In the post-Covid world of uncertain insurance and inflated medical supplies, prevention is better than cure.
This results in an array of questions beginning from ‘do I have a UTI?’ to ‘Is this diabetes?’.
Obviously, lack of accessible resources makes it difficult to reach a conclusion and every online webpage gives you an ominous list of symptoms confirming your suspicions.
So, we’ve done our research and gathered the facts to help you make your own well informed conclusions. All you need to do is read away and decide. Let’s begin!
1. UTI: Men & Women
A urinary tract infection is referred to as an infection in the kidneys, bladder, uterus, and urethra covering any part of your urinary system.
We can break down the working of the urinary system as follows:
- The body creates urine to excrete waste products and excess water from the human body as a part of the natural filtration process.
- Generally, a healthy urinary system is indicated by the lack of external contamination in urine.
- However, bacteria and other contaminants from outside can enter the tract leading to inflammation and infection, thereby causing urinary tract infection (UTI).
Image Credits: The Pharmaceutical Journal
UTIs are significantly different between men and women in terms of frequency, complexity, symptoms, and risk factors.
- The odds of women having a UTI at some point in their lives is more than 50%. (1)
- However, in men it is much more complicated due to complications like prostate enlargement and kidney stones.
If you’re experiencing complicated UTI symptoms, it can be a sign of internal mix up or complications that might need deeper insight into the science of UTI.
2. Causes and Symptoms
Causes of UTI in Females:
Among women, a number of factors cause UTI's such as:
In women, the urethra is close to the anus.
So, this opens up the possibility of bacteria entering the urethra from the large intestine and this can travel upto the kidneys if left untreated posing serious threat. (2)
- Abnormalities in the urinary tracts can also increase your chances of contracting an infection.
- Sexual intercourse can also result in the introduction of bacteria affecting your chance of getting UTIs.
- Women who use diaphragms and condoms with spermicidal foam have a higher risk of UTIs.
Image Credits: Unsplash
Sexual intercourse is an important agent for contracting UTI. Hence, it is of great importance to prevent UTI after sex. It’s imperative to be vigilant while you’re sexually active.
RECOMMENDED READING: How to prevent UTI after sex?
Causes of UTI in males:
Among men, the following list of reasons helps us better spread the word of caution:
- Prostate problems cause UTIs. An enlarged prostate can increase the odds of bacteria build-up and cause a UTI. (3)
- Sexually transmitted diseases are one of the most common causes of a UTI in the urethra. (4)
3. Symptoms of UTI:
Despite the differences in men and women, this is a list of common indicators you can keep in mind the next time you suspect a UTI:
- Consistent pain in the side of the flank, abdomen, or pelvic area.
- Pressure in the lower pelvis, leading to frequent and urgent urination sometimes leading to Incontinence (urine leakage)
- Agonising urination (dysuria) and blood in the urine.
- Atypical urine colour and putrid urine.
Other than these factors, the most widely asked question is can anxiety cause UTI symptoms? Certainly, yes.
If untreated UTI symptoms are not given the right importance, it can lead to various issues that can be problematic.
Image Credits: Ecosh
4. Diabetes and UTI - Is UTI a Symptom of Diabetes?
Diabetes is a health condition in which your blood glucose levels are highly fluctuating and unstable.
Essentially, we all need a hormone called insulin for the glucose to pass through the cells of a human body.
Diabetic people suffer from problems related to the generation of this hormone, thus leading to the instability of the blood sugar levels. (5)
This brings us to our issue at hand that Diabetes and urological health issues are closely connected.
Diabetes can lead to various health conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder issues.
It also affects the sensory function and blood flow of the body worsening the urological conditions.
Image Credits : Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News
5. Difference between UTI and Diabetes Symptoms
While the symptoms of Diabetes and UTI may appear similar it is important to note the distinction that UTI is a symptom of Diabetes.
Diabetes and UTI symptoms:
- Frequent dehydration
- Frequent expulsion of urine
- Increase in appetite
- Unexplained weakness and weight loss
- Appearance of ketones in the urine
- Recurrent infections in sensitive and intimate areas, such as gum, skin or vagina
However, it is also significant to note that the weakened immune system as a result of high blood sugar can cause diabetes symptoms.
This can also lead to recurrent UTIs in Diabetic females that can be hard to recover from, upon which you need to consult a doctor for further checkups.
6. How to prevent UTI in Diabetes?
While there’s no foolproof guarantee of protection against UTIs, there are a few ways to prevent UTI we can adopt to help avoid their occurrence. These include:
Drink water as frequently as possible to flush out the toxins of the kidneys. It is also a well known fact that uncomplicated UTI (especially in men) can be flushed out by drinking water and hydrating regularly.
SUGGESTED READING: How much water is required to flush out UTI?
After expulsion, clean your genitals from front to back to maintain the cleanliness of the urethra.
Avoid irritating products
You can talk to your doctor about alternate means of birth control that are just as efficient without having to bear the consequences of infections.
Urinate after sex
To prevent UTI after intercourse, this is a must. This will help flush bacteria and other contaminants from the urethra reducing the risk of infection.
Timing is crucial
Delaying the intervals of urination may further increase the multiplication of bacteria in the urinary tract.
Cotton is your best companion
Bacteria cause UTIs to flourish in warm, moist environments. Cotton is porous and keeps the genitals dry.
Use natural remedies which are diabetic friendly. Sometimes these are much more effective when it comes to controlling diabetes and curing UTI.
You can consume a variety of UTI teas such as:
1. Corn silk tea for UTI
2. Ginger tea for UTI
3. Parsley tea for UTI
Other than these, try out Apple Cider Vinegar, Oregano oil for UTI or Yoghurt for UTI to prevent UTI.
READ MORE:Natural Remedies for UTI
Image Credits: Unsplash
7. Other preventive measures for UTIs & Diabetes
The presence of Diabetes results in higher rates of infection and slower recovery rate due to weak immune systems.
So, in addition to the preventative measures of UTIs, you may follow the following rules on how to prevent UTI in Diabetics:
Control your blood sugar
High blood sugar can spill into the urine and let bacteria thrive on it. Hence, controlling blood sugar levels can help beat UTI symptoms in diabetics.
Keeping your bladder in check
Diabetes can cause UTI symptoms by the means of frequent urination. So, it is essential to fully empty your bladder to prevent any and all bacterial growth
Image Credits: Unsplash
Have more queries about Urinary Tract Infection? Use our guides to the following topics for support:
2. UTI symptoms after drinking alcohol
3. Can caffeine cause UTI symptoms?
6.Tea for UTI
8. In Conclusion
UTIs are one of the major symptoms of Diabetes but the occurrence of it does not guarantee Diabetes.
Again, there might be a few exceptions here as well. Frequent recurrence of UTIs irrespective of various preventive measures is a red flag that needs immediate attention and is a cause for concern.
The important point to remember is to stay hydrated because you need to keep drinking water to flush out the toxins regularly.
Although UTIs are not preventable, the happy news is healthy lifestyle choices and frequent doctor checkups can help reduce the chances.