What Happens If A Urine Infection Is Left Untreated
The main danger associated with untreated UTIs is that the infection may spread from the bladder to one or both kidneys. When bacteria attack the kidneys, they can cause damage that will permanently reduce kidney function. In people who already have kidney problems, this can raise the risk of kidney failure.
Who Is Affected By Utis And How Are They Treated
Women are more commonly affected by them than men. Around half of women will need treatment for at least one UTI during their lifetime.
If treated with the right antibiotics, UTIs normally cause no further problems and the infection soon passes. Though complications are uncommon, they can be serious and include kidney damage and blood poisoning, which can be fatal.
A Brief Intro To Utis
A UTI is an infection in the bladder or other areas of the urinary tract, like the urethra or kidneys, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The infection is caused by bacteria.
Bacteria can enter the body, but the body usually has its own natural prevention. Urine flows through and flushes out bacteria, but sometimes the bacteria hasnt been fully flushed.
While UTIs can be uncomfortable and painful, they are easily treated with antibiotics. It is important to see your doctor if you have any of the following UTI symptoms.
- Pain or discomfort during urination
- A persistent need to urinate after having just gone
- Cloudy urine
Unfortunately, this scenario happens way too often: you have had many well-diagnosed UTIs in the past, so when you complained of UTI-like symptoms, your doctor prescribed you antibiotics right away.
Sometimes, after you take antibiotics you could even feel better but then you notice that some symptoms still remained. This could be confusing, especially if antibiotics did bring you a slight relief.
Per Dr. Hawes, if you never had blood in your urine, cloudy urine, or funny smelling urine in the first place, if your only symptoms were bladder pain and slight burning with urination, then chances are high that it was not a UTI.
Medications and supplements that help to coat the lining of the bladder could greatly reduce these symptoms.
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Related Conditions And Causes Of Uti
There are a number of health conditions that share some symptoms with urinary tract infections, including:
The following conditions may make you more susceptible to developing a UTI and increase the severity of symptoms:
Type 2 diabetes
And having a UTI can increase a mans risk for benign prostatic hyperplasia .
See A Healthcare Provider
While UTIs arent usually a cause for major concern, if you dont get them treated, they can lead to more serious problems like a kidney infection. If you have a UTI, make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The fastest way to feel better is by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria causing your infection.
If going to see a provider in-person is not an option , there are plenty of telehealth services available that will allow you to set up a virtual appointment. Check out GoodRx Care for treatment of UTIs as well as many other medical conditions.
During your appointment, your provider will ask you questions about what symptoms you are experiencing and if you are prone to UTIs. You might be asked to provide a urine sample either in the office you are seen in or at a lab close to you. Lastly, your provider will prescribe you a course of antibiotics to get started on right away.
Some common antibiotics used for treating UTIs include nitrofurantoin , sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim , and ciprofloxacin . Typically, you only need to take them for 3 to 5 days, and most people start to feel relief within the first 2 to 3 days. Antibiotics can cause nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea for many people. But, taking your dose with food can help lessen nausea and stomach upset, and taking a probiotic supplement like L. acidophilus can help with the diarrhea.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do you think I got a kidney infection?
- How much water should I drink every day to stay hydrated?
- What is the best medicine for me to treat my kidney infection?
- Once I start medicine, how long will it take for my symptoms to go away?
- Since Ive had one kidney infection, am I likely to get another?
- What is the risk of a kidney infection leading to chronic kidney disease?
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will usually be able to tell whats causing your pain by your description of your symptoms, along with a physical exam. Testing your urine can also help your doctor identify what type of infection you have. Usually, a sample of your urine is taken in your doctors office and sent to a lab to check for infection.
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Treatment For More Severe Utis
Kids with a more severe infection may need treatment in a hospital so they can get antibiotics by injection or IV .
This might happen if:
- the child has high fever or looks very ill, or a kidney infection is likely
- the child is younger than 6 months old
- bacteria from the infected urinary tract may have spread to the blood
- the child is dehydrated or is vomiting and cannot take any fluids or medicine by mouth
Kids with VUR will be watched closely by the doctor. VUR might be treated with medicines or, less commonly, surgery. Most kids outgrow mild forms of VUR, but some can develop kidney damage or kidney failure later in life.
Urinary Tract Infections Are Uncomfortable And Can Disrupt Your Life How Long Do Symptoms Last
Story by: Sara Thompson on August 31, 2022
A urinary tract infection can be annoying, painful and disrupting to your life. How long does a UTI last?
Although most UTIs arent serious, symptoms can be severe enough to interrupt your daily routine. Antibiotics usually are the best way to treat UTIs, but relief isnt instant it takes time for the medicine to ease symptoms.
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What Is A Uti And What Is A Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection in your urinary system. Around 50-60% of women will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, and an unlucky number of them get UTIs frequently. The American Urological Association estimates that 20-40% of women who have had one UTI will get another one, and 25-50% of those women will end up having at least one more after that. Men can also get UTIs, though this happens less frequently than it does in women.
UTIs occur when unwanted bacteria end up in your urinary tract and trigger inflammation. They are caused by a variety of factors, including sexual activity, poor hygiene, genetics, age, and certain types of contraceptives.
The most reliable sign of a UTI is a stinging or burning sensation with urination, though other symptoms may also occur.
A bladder infection is a type of UTI that occurs specifically in your bladder.
Think of it this way: Your urinary tract includes your urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.
Your bladder is the closest organ to your urethra , so its the area of the body most commonly affected by UTIs. Doctors call inflammation in the bladder cystitis and inflammation in the urethra urethritis.
Why Should I Take The Full Course Of Antibiotics
Antibiotics start to work against the infection quickly, and you may start to feel better within a few days. However, it takes longer for the antibiotics to completely kill the bacteria causing the infection.
When you dont finish your antibiotic treatment, theres a chance that the bacteria isnt eliminated completely, which may cause repeat infection. Or the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics and stop responding to treatment in the future.
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How Long Does A Urinary Tract Infection Last
For minor, uncomplicated urinary tract infections treated with antibiotics, some research suggests that on average, patients symptoms resolve completely in about three and a half days. These uncomplicated infections tend to be simple bladder infections, the most common type of UTI, in otherwise healthy women.
For more severe infections, such as kidney infection, it may take about a week or more to resolve symptoms.
It is possible that a UTI will resolve untreated , but symptoms are likely to last longer in the absence of treatment.
One study found that patients who didnt take antibiotics took about four more days to recover fully compared to patients who took antibiotics. This wait and see approach without antibiotics is sometimes recommended to patients diagnosed with a minor, uncomplicated UTI that may resolve on its own.
A few factors may increase the length of time UTI symptoms last:
- Not taking antibiotics
- More severe symptoms early on
- Antibiotic resistance
Kidney Infection Pain Lasts How Long
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How Do You Get Urinary Tract Infections
The design of the human body makes it so it isnt hard to get a bacterial UTI, because the infection comes from outside, through the urethra. Bacteria in the genital area can enter the urethra and the urinary tract, either because wiping after going to the bathroom, sexual activity, or unsanitary conditions. Once the bacteria have entered the urethra, the body tries fight them off, but sometimes the bacteria multiply and cause an infection.
In the case of a fungal infection, usually the fungus gets to the urinary tract through the blood stream. Those who develop this type of infection are usually ill with a disease that has compromised their immune system, such as AIDS.
In general, women get more UTIs than do men and this increases with age. Statistics show that many women get more than one. Almost 20% of women who have had one UTI will go on to have a second. Of this 20%, 30% of those will have a third, and in turn, 80% of these women will have more.
Bladder Infections In Women
40 percent of women in the United States develop a urinary tract infection at some point in their life.
This is because women have shorter urethras, making the path to the bladder easier for bacteria to reach. Womens urethras are also located closer to the rectum than mens urethras. This means there is a shorter distance for bacteria to travel.
During pregnancy, changes in the urinary tract increase the risk of an infection. Changes in the immune system also increase risk during pregnancy.
Women are also more prone to recurring infections. About of women will experience a second infection within 6 months of their first infection.
How Long Does It Take For Antibiotics To Work On A Bladder Infection
Bladder infections are very common and most people will experience at least one in their lifetime. Although bladder infections are not serious, they can be painful and inconvenient.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
If left untreated, these minor infections can lead to more serious infections that cause irreparable damage in the kidneys. Treatment is generally done through one of several brands of antibiotics, depending on the seriousness of the infection. The antibiotics can normally cure a bladder infection within two weeks or so.
Things You Can Try Yourself
If you have a kidney infection, try not to hover over the toilet seat when you go to the loo because it can result in your bladder not being fully emptied.
Its also important for most people with a kidney infection to drink plenty of fluids because this will help to flush out the bacteria from your kidneys. Aim to drink enough so that youre frequently passing pale-coloured urine.
If you have kidney failure, get advice from your doctor on how much to drink.
Make sure you get plenty of rest. A kidney infection can be physically draining, even if youre normally healthy and strong. It may take up to 2 weeks before youre fit enough to return to work.
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When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they might have a UTI, they should speak with a doctor for advice on the best way to treat the possible infection.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary to treat UTIs, but it is still important to seek medical attention for any suspected infection. This will reduce the risk of a more severe infection developing that is harder to treat.
The signs and symptoms of UTIs include:
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
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Symptoms Of Uti Infections:
The worst part about UTI infections is that they are sticky. They tend to recur a lot. If you suffer from UTI then you are likely to get affected by it several times a day.
In this case, over a period of time, you may start to understand the symptoms of UTI. As much as you may know that you have a UTI it is still very difficult to ascertain which type of UTI you have.
So, here we give you an overview of all the symptoms which will include the upper tract UTI and lower tract UTI.
- Frequent urination.
- Unclear urine.
- Blood in the urine.
The list above covers most of the common symptoms of UTI. Having known this, let us now explore the treatments that can be explored for UTI.
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What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
These bacteria are responsible for about 90% of all uncomplicated urinary tract infections. E. coli are found in the colons of humans and animals and in their fecal waste. When E. coli or other bacteria end up in the urethra, they cause a urinary tract infection.
There are other types of bacteria also known to cause UTIs. According to a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information the most common bacteria to cause UTIs are:
- Escherichia coli
- Klebsiella pneumoniae
- Streptococcus spp. , Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococci were each found to be the third pathogens in different periods during the two-year study.
What Causes A Bladder Infection
Bacteria that enter through the urethra and move into the bladder cause bladder infections. Normally, the body removes the bacteria by flushing them out during urination.
Bacteria can sometimes attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly. This overwhelms the bodys ability to destroy them, resulting in a bladder infection.
According to the
- a frequent sensation of having to urinate, which is called urgency
- cramping or pressure in the lower abdomen or lower back
When bladder infections spread, they can also cause mid-back pain. This pain is associated with infection in the kidneys. Unlike muscular back pain, this pain will be persistent regardless of your position or activity.
A kidney infection will often cause fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Youll typically feel quite ill. Kidney infections are more serious than bladder infections and require urgent medical attention.
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Urinary Tract Infections In Women
UTIs are common, particularly with increasing age. Women are more likely to get a UTI than men. Nearly 1 in 3 women will have a UTI needing treatment before the age of 24.
In women, the urethra is short and straight, making it easier for germs to travel into the bladder. For some women, UTIs relate to changes in their hormonal levels. Some are more likely to get an infection during certain times in their menstrual cycle, such as just before a period or during pregnancy.
In older women, the tissues of the urethra and bladder become thinner and drier with age as well as after menopause or a hysterectomy. This can be linked to increased UTIs.
During pregnancy, the drainage system from the kidney to the bladder widens so urine does not drain as quickly. This makes it easier to get a UTI. Sometimes germs can move from the bladder to the kidney causing a kidney infection. UTIs during pregnancy can result in increased blood pressure, so it is very important to have them treated as soon as possible.
Women are more at risk of repeated UTIs if they:
- use spermicide jelly or diaphragm for contraception
- have had a new sexual partner in the last year
- had their first UTI at or before 15 years of age
- have a family history of repeated UTIs, particularly their mother
- suffer from constipation
How Are Kidney Infections Diagnosed
Two common laboratory tests are performed to diagnose kidney infections . A urine sample is examined under a microscope to determine if white and/or red blood cells are present. The urine is also sent to the lab to see if bacteria grow in a urine culture. If a person is very sick, blood cultures may also be sent. The strain of bacteria that are cultured will determine the type of therapy used in your treatment.
Pyelonephritis can often be treated without X-ray studies, unless your doctor suspects there may be an addition problem. CT scans produce images of structures and organs and these scans are usually done without contrast . A renal ultrasound may sometimes suffice for evaluation.
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