Minor Ailments » Urinary tract infections (UTI) » UTI or Cystitis: Distinguishing Between Two Common Urinary Woes

UTI or Cystitis: Distinguishing Between Two Common Urinary Woes

Cystitis and urinary tract infection (UTI) are related terms, but they are not exactly the same thing.

Cystitis refers specifically to inflammation of the bladder. It is often caused by a bacterial infection, most commonly by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is a type of bacteria that normally lives in the intestines. Cystitis can cause symptoms like frequent and urgent urination, burning or pain during urination, cloudy or bloody urine, and lower abdominal discomfort.

A urinary tract infection (UTI), on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses infections in any part of the urinary tract, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder), and urethra (tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body).

UTIs can manifest as different types depending on which part of the urinary tract is affected:

Cystitis: This is a UTI affecting the bladder, leading to bladder inflammation, also referred to as lower UTI.

Pyelonephritis: This is a UTI that involves the kidneys. It’s a more serious infection that can cause symptoms such as high fever, back pain, and more severe general illness.

So MisterPharmacist® says: Both cystitis and UTIs are commonly caused by bacterial infections, but UTIs can extend beyond just the bladder. The term “UTI” covers a broader range of infections along the urinary tract, whereas “cystitis” specifically refers to inflammation of the bladder.

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