Getting UTI? You might be constipated

Are you getting recurrent UTI? You may also be suffering from constipation at the same time. Wonder why?

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the common complications of severe constipation. I will explain how constipation and UTI are related.

constipation and UTI are relatedThe majority of bladder infections is caused by a type of bacteria called E.coli. The bacteria live in the large intestine. Sometimes, these bacteria gain access to the urinary orifice. Then, they move through the urethra to the bladder, where they cause infection.


Why constipation causes UTI

Chronic constipation can cause bladder infection in many ways. As you can see on the image, the rectum and urinary bladder are located in the pelvis.

When you are constipated, the hard stools accumulate in the rectum. The faecal loading causes distension of the rectum.

Because the rectum and bladder are closely situated, rectal distension can compress the bladder neck.

Urinary tract anatomyThe pressure over the bladder neck causes incomplete emptying of the bladder. That means after passing urine, a significant volume of urine remains in the bladder.

The accumulation of urine facilitates the growth of bacteria such as E.coli that cause infection.

People with chronic constipation often suffer from painful anal conditions such as anal fissure and thrombosed haemorrhoids. Pain around the anus interferes with urination. That is another cause of UTI. It can be clearly seen in toddlers who are suffering from anal fissure due to chronic constipation.

Urinary tract infections are common when you are pregnant. One of the main reasons for that is pregnancy-related constipation.

Signs and symptoms of urinary tract infection

  • Burning sensation when you pass urine
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Cloudy urine
  • Smelly urine
  • Back pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fever

Severe flank pain and fever indicate that the infection has spread to the kidneys. It is a medical emergency and you should immediately see your doctor.

Remedies for UTI due to constipation

The infection should be treated with a suitable antibiotic. You should see your doctor to get an antibiotic.

Drinking plenty of water will produce enough urine flow and help clear the infection.

Reducing the acidity of the urine can help control the infection and reduce the symptoms. There are many over the counter preparations available such as Ural, Citralite, and Citravescent.

Want a home remedy? Then try cranberry juice. Studies show that drinking cranberry juice can help prevent UTI. However, cranberry juice is not enough to treat a full-blown bladder infection.

Relieving your constipation is one of the top priorities in the treatment. Taking an over the counter laxative can be a quick fix for your problem.

To get a long term relief, you should eat fibre-rich foods. Alternatively, you can use a fibre supplement such as Metamucil.

Image credit: UHealth