Many of us either suffer from a urinary tract infection (UTI), a respiratory tract infection (RTI), or a gastrointestinal tract infection (GTI) but whether you can have all three of them together at the same time is a vociferous debate and may cause a flutter in a dovecote.
What is an infection?
National Cancer Institute defines infection as "The invasion and growth of germs in the body. These germs may be bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi or other micro-organisms."
A strong immune system can fight off the germs whereas a weakened immune system finds it hard to.
So, whether you're a stripling or an aged person if you have been abrogating your responsibilities as an individual and have come down to a weakened immune system you can contract multiple infections at the same time. These may not necessarily be related to each other and are medically termed as “co-infections.” However, the assertion that a primary infection may lead to secondary infections is not wrong.
Infections may be named after the site of invasion or the system involved. For e.g, an infection of the urinary system is termed a urinary tract infection.
Urinary Tract Infection
Having established a xenial relationship with your health professionals if you ask them about a urinary tract infection (UTI), they may say it occurs due to bacteria entering the urinary tract from the skin or rectum. This may involve the kidneys, ureters, urethra, or urinary bladder. The most common ones are that of the urinary bladder (cystitis) and kidneys (pyelonephritis). Other types of UTIs include urethritis (involving the urethra) and vaginitis (including the vagina). Women have a shorter urethra than men, causing the bacteria to easily reach both the bladder and kidneys. Signs and symptoms of UTI include frequent urination, burning micturition, dysuria, and urinary urgency. When a UTI gets complicated it may lead to sepsis.
Respiratory Tract Infection
Respiratory tract infections are infections of the organ or parts of the respiratory system involved in breathing. For e.g lungs, airways, throat, or sinuses. These may be divided into upper respiratory tract infection and lower respiratory tract infection. Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) involves the upper part of your respiratory system including your throat and sinuses whereas lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) involves the lower part of your respiratory system. Signs and symptoms include flu, cough, and fever, etc.
Gastrointestinal Tract Infection
When it comes to gastrointestinal tract infections, it is an immutable fact that these are viral, bacterial or parasitic infections leading to gastroenteritis involving your stomach and intestine. Signs and symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, abdominal pain too.
After yet another long excursus on the subject of infection let us return to the main point. If all of the mentioned infections occur together it could be quite frustrating. However, in such circumstances, you should go for antibiotics. It is essential for you to have antipyretics in case you find yourself having a fever too. Before going for medications it is mandatory to get your investigations done i.e CBC, renal function tests, liver function tests, serum electrolytes, etc. You can buy cranberry sachets in case of a urinary tract infection. ORS sachets are good for managing fluid loss from the body or dehydration.