How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Bladder Infection
A urinalysis is the initial evaluation for a bladder infection. In most cases, health care professionals use a voided urine specimen, however, there is a risk of contamination by skin bacteria. A clean-catch voided urine specimen involves voiding and collecting a urine sample mid-stream as opposed to at the very start or end of voiding. A catheterized urine sample is more accurate but has the risk of introducing bacteria into the bladder and may be uncomfortable in children. In infants, medical professionals can perform a suprapubic aspiration.
The definitive test to determine if there is a bladder infection is the urine culture. The urine culture identifies the number and type of bacteria in the urine as well as determines the sensitivity of the bacteria to several different antibiotics. The usual cutoff for a urinary tract infection is the presence of greater than 100,000 bacteria, however, in the presence of symptoms, a positive leukocyte esterase or > 10 white blood cells on urinalysis, even fewer bacteria in the urine is supportive of a urinary tract infection.
Physicians sometimes recommend prophylactic antibiotics for individuals who develop frequent symptomatic UTIs. Similarly, women who develop UTIs related to sexual activity may take a single dose of antibiotic around the time of intercourse.
Focus On These Foods And Actions To Help Prevent And Manage A Urinary Tract Infection
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If youve ever had a urinary tract infection , then you know that you want relief fast. The burning, urges and pain that come with a UTI can be intense, making it hard to do or concentrate on anything else. Thankfully, eating the right foods can help prevent and manage recurring UTIs. But first, lets take a look at what causes them in the first place.
How Do You Treat Utis
Urinary tract infections are usually treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare provider. The length of antibiotic treatment depends on the severity of the infection, whether you have had a UTI before, and if your symptoms go away quickly. If you are prescribed antibiotics for a UTI, it is important to take them as instructed by your healthcare provider.
There are additional medications and treatments available over-the-counter that may help ease symptoms and pain or prevent additional UTIs such as urinary pain relief tablets, cranberry pills, and heating pads.
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Take An Epsom Salt Bath
Both Epsom salts and warm water can ease pain. This can help make the uncomfortable side effects of the kidney infection a little more tolerable while you wait for the antibiotics to take effect.
Since abdominal pain is sometimes a symptom of antibiotics, as well as kidney infections, Epsom salts could also help even after symptoms from the kidney infection are resolved.
Medical Treatment For Kidney Infections
Antibiotics are always the first line of defense against a kidney infection. If the kidney infection isnt severe, a doctor will likely give you oral antibiotics to take once or twice a day for 7 to 14 days.
Its important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even if you feel better within several days. Stopping early could lead to antibiotic resistance or re-infection. A doctor will also encourage you to drink plenty of water.
In some cases, kidney infections may require going to the hospital. Youll be given fluids and antibiotics intravenously through an IV, both of which can help treat the infection.
In addition, lab work and imaging may be done to determine the severity of the infection as well as the cause, such as a blockage due to a kidney stone or anatomical abnormality.
If you have recurring UTIs that increase your risk of frequent kidney infections, a doctor will help you establish the cause of their frequency and help you prevent further infections from occurring.
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How Common Are Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are very common, occurring in 1 out of 5 women sometime in their lifetime. Though UTIs are common in women, they can also happen to men, older adults and children. One to 2% of children develop urinary tract infections. Each year, 8 million to 10 million visits to doctors are for urinary tract infections.
When To See A Doctor For Your Uti
If your symptoms persist beyond a few days with no sign of improvement, or if your infection keeps recurring, its best to see a doctor. While many home remedies may ease symptoms if they persist your doctor will be able to determine the cause and prescribe a course of antibiotics that should help take care of your UTI right away and prevent it from leading to a worsening condition or infection.
Have you tried any of the above natural remedies for UTIs, or other home treatments to treat your urinary tract infection? Tell us about them in the comments below!
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Avoid Vitamin C If Youre Already Experiencing Uti Symptoms
Vitamin C is known to help prevent UTIs by acidifying the urine, which can kill certain bacteria present in the urinary tract. But Dr. Sherry warns if you already have a UTI or are experiencing real symptoms of one, vitamin C will not be effective in killing off bacteria. This is because unless you know the exact bacteria causing the UTI, vitamin Calthough helpfulmay not be doing enough to kill the infection youre experiencing.
Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when a person does not take the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue taking antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. Also, never share antibiotics with others.
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How Long Do I Need To Take Antibiotics To Treat A Uti
How long you take antibiotics for a UTI depends on how severe your UTI is and which antibiotic youre prescribed. Some medications like fosfomycin only require one dose, while a more severe UTI might require 14 days or more of treatment. Most require 3 to 7 days of treatment.
Within the first 1 to 2 days of starting your antibiotics, youll probably notice your UTI symptoms start to fade away. If your UTI is more severe or youve had symptoms for a while before starting antibiotics, it might take a few more days for you to notice improvement.
In any case, its important to take all the antibiotics youre prescribed, even if you start feeling better before finishing them. Stopping antibiotics early can lead to antibiotic resistance, which means the medication might not work as well as it should if you need it to treat an infection in the future. It can also mean your UTI might come back if you havent treated it completely.
How Is A Bladder Infection Diagnosed
Bladder infections are usually diagnosed with a urine test.
- Urinalysis, which checks for white blood cells in the urine that can be a sign of infection
- Urine culture, which uses a sample of urine to try and grow bacteria in a laboratory to identify the type of bacteria causing the UTI and determine which antibiotics would be effective against that bacteria
In people who have recurrent bladder infections, additional testing may be indicated to check for abnormalities in the kidneys, ureter, bladder, or urethra, or for kidney stones. Tests may include:
- Computed tomography scan
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When To See A Doctor
Contact your doctor if you have pain or discomfort when you urinate or other symptoms of a bladder infection, especially if the symptoms have been present for two days or more. If an infection lingers for too long, you risk the bacterial infection traveling to other parts of your body, including your kidneys. Therefore, you should seek treatment if you notice symptoms.
Your doctor will complete a physical examination and collect a urine sample to send for lab analysis to determine if an infection is present. Complications from an uncomplicated bladder infection are typically rare with antibiotic treatment. However, if you develop fever, chills, nausea, or confusion, you should immediately contact your doctor. These symptoms suggest a more serious infection that has spread to your kidneys. If you have a kidney infection, you may need an IV treatment of high-dose antibiotics, which may require hospitalization.
What Foods Can I Eat That Will Prevent A Uti
Consuming foods high in antioxidants has been known to help prevent a urinary tract infection. Foods high in antioxidants include cranberries, blueberries, oranges, dark chocolate, unsweetened probiotic yogurt, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Smart drink choices are decaf coffee cranberry, blueberry, or pomegranate juices and black and green tea. Of course, plenty of water is also essential when fighting off a UTI.
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What Is The Most Common Cause Of A Uti
Urinary tract infections are among the most common bacterial infections in adults and may involve the lower or upper urinary tract or both. Asymptomatic bacteriuria refers to considerable bacteria in the urine of woman without symptoms. When the infection is limited to the lower urinary tract and occurs with symptoms of dysuria and frequent and urgent urination and, occasionally, tenderness above the pubic, it is termed cystitis.
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Things You Can Do Yourself
To help ease symptoms of a urinary tract infection :
- takeparacetamolup to 4 times a day to reduce pain and a high temperature for people with a UTI, paracetamol is usually recommended over NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- you can give childrenliquid paracetamol
- rest and drink enough fluids so you pass pale urine regularly during the day
- avoid having sex
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent UTIs from happening, which may help. However, theres no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.
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Home Remedies And Treatments For Kidney Infections
Some people prefer to treat medical conditions with home remedies or complementary remedies.
Because of how serious kidney infections are, its important that you dont rely on home remedies. Instead, take the prescription antibiotics a doctor gives you and use home remedies to help ease symptoms or pain.
You can also use home remedies to avoid UTIs and improve kidney function.
How Can You Cure A Uti
For all the anti-antibiotic people out there, I have bad news. You cant cure the infection with natural remedies. Sorry. Though there are natural solutions that might help prevent UTI , all the unsweetened cranberry juice in the world wont actually help you. In fact, in the study Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection, cranberry juice cocktail had the exact same effect as a placebo in recurrent UTIs. Barbosa-Cesnik C, et al. . Cranberry juice fails to prevent recurrent urinary tract infection: Results from a randomized placebo-controlled trial. DOI: Though you probably guessed that from the study title.
The only way to totally get rid of a UTI is with antibiotics. If youre experiencing symptoms, its best to get to the doctor quickly. Theyll test your urine, and if its indeed a UTI, youll get a weeklong course of antibiotics. Usually, your symptoms go away in a few days and you can enjoy pain-free peeing again. But you must continue your antibiotics until youve completed the prescription.
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Why Are Females At A Higher Risk For Utis
People with female reproductive organs are at a higher risk for UTIs because of their anatomy. The female urethra, the tube which empties urine from your bladder out of your body, is shorter than someone born with male anatomy.
The female urethra is also quite close to female reproductive organs. That means bacteria from sexual intercourse as well as products like spermicide can be in close contact with the urethra and bladder.
Females also experience menopause and pregnancy. These two biological events change the bacteria in your reproductive and digestive tracts and create conditions that make UTIs more likely.
What Are Symptoms Of A Uti In Females
- The most common sign of a UTI is a strong urgency to urinate.
- Dysuria is when sharp pains or burning is felt when urinating.
- The urge to urinate returns minutes later .
- Soreness may be felt in the lower abdomen, in the back or in the sides.If you notice a strong odor, cloudy urine or even blood presence, you should walk-in to the GYN Emergent Care Center for immediate care.
If bacteria enters the ureters and spreads to the kidneys, symptoms may include back pain, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting.
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How Do You Prevent A Bladder Infection
People who have recurrent bladder infections may be able to prevent them in some cases:
- Drink more fluids
- Urinate right after intercourse
- It is believed this will help flush out germs that can enter the bladder. There is no evidence this prevents bladder infections but it is not harmful.
Preventive antibiotics or antibiotics taken following intercourse, as recommended by your doctor
Cranberry juice, cranberry tablets, and a supplement called D-mannose have been promoted to help prevent frequent bladder infections but there are no studies that show these products are effective. However, use of these products probably is not harmful. Tell your doctor before taking any supplements.
How Long Do Utis Last
UTIs, when treated appropriately and promptly, can resolve quickly within a few days, to be exact. Antibiotic courses are usually very short, not requiring more than a 3 to 5 days of treatment when caught early and remain uncomplicated UTIs. Antibiotics, if prescribed, should always be continued for the duration dictated by your provider, even if you start to feel better before the course is complete. Inadequately treated UTIs could recur or result in the development of antibiotic resistance by the bacteria, making management of future infections more complicated.
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If You Have A Different Condition
Conditions that affect the bladder or prostate can also lead to other urinary symptoms, such as painful urination or blood in the urine. Pelvic floor dysfunction can cause painful urination too.
Both early and late stages of ovarian cancer can cause urinary urgency.
People with diabetes may find that their urine looks cloudy or smells sweet.
In diabetes insipidus, the urine is typically clear and odorless.
A doctor will perform tests to determine whats causing you to urinate frequently. Theyll ask you some questions, such as:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- What other symptoms are you experiencing?
- Do you have any unexpected leaking of urine? If so, in what situations?
Theyll most likely ask you for a urine sample to check for:
Your doctor will also conduct an exam of your abdomen. They will likely perform other physical exams, such as:
Other tests that can be useful include:
- Bladder scan. This is an ultrasound done on your bladder after youve urinated to see how much urine is left behind.
- Cystoscopy. Using a lighted instrument, the doctor can take a closer look inside the bladder as well as take tissue samples if necessary. Learn more about cytoscopy.
- Additional urinary testing. This involves a variety of tests that look to see how well your urinary system is working. Examples include urodynamic testing and uroflowmetry.
If a bacterial infection is at fault, theyll prescribe antibiotics to get rid of it.
Common Bladder Problems And When To Seek Help
Bladder problems can disrupt day-to-day life. When people have bladder problems, they may avoid social settings and have a harder time getting tasks done at home or at work. Common bladder problems include urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary retention.
Some signs of a bladder problem may include:
- Inability to hold urine or leaking urine
- Needing to urinate more frequently or urgently
- Pain or burning before, during, or after urinating
- Trouble starting or having a weak stream while urinating
- Trouble emptying the bladder
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your health care provider.
Treatment for bladder problems may include behavioral and lifestyle changes, exercises, medications, surgery, or a combination of these treatments and others. For more information on treatment and management of urinary incontinence, visit Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults.
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Antibiotics Used For Uncomplicated Utis
If you are a healthy individual whose urinary tract is anatomically and functionally normal and you have no known heightened UTI susceptibility youve got whats dubbed an uncomplicated UTI, according to guidelines published in August 2019 in the Journal of Urology. For these individuals, antibiotics are considered the first-line of treatment.
The type of antibiotics you are prescribed and for how long is contingent on the type of bacteria detected in your urine, your current health status, and whether your UTI is uncomplicated or complicated. Depending on which antibiotic your doctor prescribes, women may need a single dose or up to a five-day course. For men, antibiotics are usually given for a slightly longer period of time, notes UpToDate.
Typically, if you are diagnosed with an uncomplicated UTI, one of the following will be prescribed as first-line treatment:
The following antibiotics are considered second-line treatments for UTI. They are generally chosen because of resistance patterns or allergy considerations:
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