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Yeast Infection and Urinary Tract Infection: Know the Difference

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Apart from yeast infection, urinary tract infection (UTI) is another common vaginal problem. They have similar symptoms, but there are indicators unique for each disease to help you distinguish one from the other.

UTI occurs when E. coli bacteria infect your urethra, the tube where urine exits your bladder. Normally, UTI results from incorrectly wiping after urination. If you wipe from back to front, bacteria from the anus can quickly transfer to the urethra.1

E. coli are covered with fimbriae, which are tiny, finger-like appendages that slowly climb up the walls of your urinary tract. Fimbriae are made of lectins, proteins that bond perfectly with mannose — cells that line your urinary tract — making bacteria hard to wash out. Symptoms of UTI include:2

A burning feeling during urination (similar to yeast infection)

Frequent urge to urinate, even if little comes out every time you do

Cloudy and bloody urine

Pain in your lower back abdomen (this means the bacteria are slowly travelling up your urinary tract)3

If left untreated, UTI can cause a condition known as pyelonephritis, or severe kidney damage. Symptoms of this condition include fever, malaise, nausea, vomiting and blood in the urine.4 Should you experience any of these symptoms, head to your doctor right away as the bacteria may have already reached your kidneys.

Treatment for UTI typically involves antibiotics. However, a natural remedy like unsweetened cranberry juice is a good alternative because it has D-mannose, a compound known for healing the urinary tract.

Moderate consumption is advised, however, because the oxalic acid of cranberries can enhance the anticoagulant capacity of certain medications.

Another alternative is pure D-mannose, which is derived from peaches, apples and of course, cranberries. Amazingly, it is 10 to 50 times stronger than cranberry juice, without any adverse effects at all.

Rashes are not a symptom of UTI, so if they appear, it means that you have yeast infection. Both diseases however, may cause a burning sensation when urinating. Should you experience this symptom, visit your doctor immediately.

UTI Can Lead to Yeast Infection

Typically, antibiotics are used to flush out bacteria in the urinary tract; however, they also have the side effect of reducing your probiotics, allowing fungi to spread freely.

If you're undergoing treatment for UTI, it's best to anticipate the symptoms of yeast infection. Consuming fermented foods can help replace good bacteria lost to antibiotics, which may help lower your chances of getting yeast infection.

Preventive Measures for Your Urinary Tract Health

To lower your chances of getting a UTI, there are several practices you can adopt:

Drinking pure, filtered water daily

Urinating when needed (never resist the urge)

Wiping from front to back

Taking showers instead of tub baths

Avoiding hot tubs or Jacuzzis

Cleaning your genital area prior to and after sexual intercourse

Avoiding use of feminine hygiene sprays

Using white unscented toilet paper or a bidet to cleanse yourself after using the toilet

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