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What is E.Coli in Urine ?

E. coli in urine refers to the infection of the urinary tract by a bacterium known as Escherichia coli. Individuals of all age groups and of both the genders can be affected by infections of the urinary tract. Bacteria tend to easily develop in urine and can multiple from a single bacterium to nearly one hundred thousand bacteria in less than two hours.

The presence of E. coli in urine can be due to infection of the bladder by the bacteria or due to skin contact with the bacteria at the time of urination. In case pus cells are found in the urine along with the bacteria, then the urine is also said to be infected. The presence of pus cells in urine is known as pyuria, which may be accompanied by painful urination.

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Infection of the upper urinary tract which includes the kidneys can happen when E. coli in urine travels all the way up to the kidneys. Infection of the upper urinary tract is known as pyelonephritis. When the infection by the bacteria is limited to just the bladder, then the condition is known as cystitis. Both the conditions are caused due to the presence of abnormally quantities of E. coli in urine.

The E. coli bacteria generally reside in the lower intestines of all warm blooded animals, including humans. They are generally harmless in the bowels. However, the entry of E. coli into the urinary tract via the urethra can result in infection of the urine, which can result in medical complications. Women are at a greater risk to E. coli in urine as compared to men. However, E. coli in urine is not a serious condition and can be effectively treated if detected early.

Symptoms of E. coli in urine

Some of the signs and symptoms of E. coli in urine are listed below:

  • Urgent and persistent desire to urinate: This is one of the most common symptoms of E. coli in urine. Affected individuals may also experience difficulties in urination. Additionally, they may also experience abnormal cramps and burning sensation during urination. One may note that the frequency of urination does not result in equal increase in the volume of urine elimination. Young children affected by E. coli in urine may often wet the bed during the day as well as the night and also engage in involuntary discharge of urine.
  • Change in the appearance of urine: The presence of E. coli in urine may result in an abnormal appearance of the urine. The urine may become foamy and cloudy and may have a bloody appearance. The eclectic mix of white blood cells, bacteria, etc. may make the urine thicker than usual and not clear. It may also have a putrid odor. The blood in urine may give it a pink or red color.
  • Dysuria: It is one of the common symptoms experienced by individuals with urinary tract infections caused due to E. coli in urine. Dysuria can lead to extreme pain during urination as well as burning sensations when urinating.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea and nausea: E. coli in urine that causes urinary tract infections in children and infants can result in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. This can result in severe loss of fluids from the body causing dehydration.
  • Pain in the flank, abdomen, pelvis and back: Adults and children suffering from upper urinary tract infections may experience pain of the abdomen and back. Extreme lower back pain may be experienced by adults with E. coli infections of the lower urinary tract. Children with lower urinary tract infection may experience pelvic or abdominal pain.
  • Fever: Children with E. coli in urine may experience fever, when either the upper or lower urinary tract is infected. Adults on the other hand may only experience fever when the upper urinary tract is infected with E. coli and not when the lower urinary tract is infected.

Treatment of E. coli in urine

  • When one experiences the symptoms of E. coli in urine, it is important to visit a doctor for analysis and effective treatment.
  • Some forms of urinary tract infections caused due to E. coli in urine can be treated with medications available over the counter. Such drugs need to be orally consumed for a period of about ten days. It is important to note that such medications do not cure E. coli in urine, but only aid in alleviating the pain and burning sensations experienced during urination. Hence, an affected individual has to intake large quantities of water, particularly while taking the medication, so as to flush down the E. coli bacteria along with the urine. Patients need to consult a doctor if the condition does not improve after taking these medications.
  • Intake of cranberry juice is an effective home remedy for getting rid of E. coli in urine
  • Antibiotics are recommended by doctors for serious cases of E. coli in urine.
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