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Symptoms of urinary tract problems

by Lesotho Times
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SYMPTOMS caused by kidney and urinary tract disorders vary according to the particular disorder and the part of the system affected.
Fever and a general sick feeling are common symptoms, although a bladder infection generally does not cause fever.
A bacterial infection of the kidney usually causes high fever. Kidney cancer occasionally causes fever.
Most people urinate about four to six times a day, mostly during daytime.
Frequent urination without an increase in the total daily amount of urine is a symptom of a bladder infection or something irritating the bladder, such as a foreign body, stone, or tumour.
A tumour or other mass pressing on the bladder can also cause frequent urination.
Bladder irritation can cause pain while urinating and a compelling need to urinate, which may feel like almost constant painful straining.
The amount of urine is usually small, but bladder control may be lost if a person does not urinate immediately.
Frequent urination during the night may occur in the early stages of kidney disease, although the cause may simply be drinking a large amount of fluid, especially alcohol, coffee, or tea, in the evening.
A person may need to urinate frequently at night because the kidneys cannot concentrate urine well.
Frequent urination at night is also common in people who have heart failure, liver failure, or diabetes even though they do not have urinary tract disease.
Frequent urination of very small amounts at night may result when urine backs up in the bladder because its outflow is obstructed.
Bed-wetting is normal during the first two or three years of life.
After that, it may indicate a problem, such as delayed maturity of the muscles and nerves of the lower urinary tract, an infection or narrowing of the urethra, or inadequate control of the nerves of the bladder.
The problem is often genetic and occasionally psychological.
A hesitating start when urinating, a need to strain, a weak and trickling stream of urine, and dribble at the end of urination are common symptoms of an obstructed urethra.
In men, these symptoms are caused most commonly by an enlarged prostate and less often by a narrowing of the urethra.
Similar symptoms in a boy may mean that he was born with an abnormally narrow urethra or has a urethra with an abnormally narrow external opening.
An uncontrollable loss of urine can result from a variety of conditions.
Urine may escape when a woman coughs, laughs, runs, or lifts because she has a cystocele.
A cystocele is generally caused by stretching and weakening of the pelvic muscles during childbirth or by changes that occur when estrogen levels decrease after menopause.
Obstructed outflow from the bladder may cause incontinence whenever the pressure inside the bladder exceeds the force of the obstruction, although the bladder does not completely empty in this situation.
Passing gas in the urine, a rare symptom, usually indicates an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and the intestine.
A fistula may be a complication of different types of intestinal inflammation, an abscess or even a cancer.
A fistula between the bladder and the vagina may also cause gas to escape into the urine.
Rarely, bacteria in the urine may produce gas.
Normally, adults pass about three cups to two quarts of urine per day.
Very large amounts of urine are usually a response to high blood glucose concentration, a decreased concentration of anti-diuretic hormone produced by the pituitary gland, or the kidneys’ lack of response to anti-diuretic hormone.
Kidney disease or an obstruction of a urethra, the bladder, or the urethra may suddenly reduce daily output of urine to less than two cups a day.
The persistent output of less than a cup of urine a day leads to the build-up of metabolic wastes in the blood.
Such low urine output may mean that the kidneys have suddenly failed or a chronic kidney problem has worsened.
Dilute urine can be nearly colourless. Concentrated urine is deep yellow.
Food pigments can make urine red, and drugs can produce a variety of colours — brown, black, blue, green or red.
Unless caused by food or drugs, colours other than yellow are abnormal.
Brown urine may contain degraded hemoglobin or muscles proteins.
Milky urine suggests the presence of pus from a urinary tract infection or crystals of salts from uric or phosphoric acid.

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