The signs of a bladder infection are quite distinctive, making the condition very easy to diagnose in many cases. In fact, a whole family of conditions known as urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause a constellation of similar symptoms, with the usual treatment being the administration of antibiotics to kill the organisms behind the infection. Patients should seek medical attention if they notice these signs, because untreated infections can lead to kidney damage or sepsis.
A bladder infection, known formally as cystitis, occurs when inflammation and infection appear in the bladder. The most common symptom is difficulty urinating, which may be paired with a sensation of the need to urinate but minimal urine output. People may also experience a sense of pressure in the lower abdomen, or pain and soreness around the abdomen and back. The urine produced can be cloudy or reddish in color, and it may be quite painful to urinate for some patients. Other symptom of an infection include a fever, dizziness, and sense of fatigue.
Some patients experience recurrent infections, in which case the signs of a bladder infection may be very familiar. It is still a good idea for these patients to seek medical care unless they have been given a standing prescription for antibiotics specifically to deal with recurrent bladder infections. If three or more infections occur in a short period of time, it may be necessary to consult a urologist to find out what's causing them.
Medical professionals may diagnose a UTI based on an interview with patient interview in which the signs of a bladder infection are described, but they often ask for a urine sample to confirm the presence of bacteria. An ultrasound imaging study may also be performed to provide additional information about the patient's condition. In the case of patients with recurrent bladder infections, the healthcare provider may recommend an extended course of antibiotics to see if this prevents the re-emergence of the infection.
There are some steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing a bladder infection, including the consumption of things that will increase acid in the urine, reducing the bacterial population. Cranberry juice is a popular home remedy for UTIs, and it is best consumed on a regular basis to prevent the infection from appearing in the first place. Maintaining scrupulous hygiene around the urethra will also cut down on the risks of developing an infection.