Do I Really Have To See A Doctor For A Uti
It may seem unnecessary to see a doctor for such a common illness. Why not just let it go and treat it on your own? Dr. Elizabeth Rice, a licensed naturopathic doctor and primary care physician at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, has tips for natural treatments, but says you always have to be careful. A partially treated or mistreated UTI can quickly become a serious condition known as pyelonephritis , so care must always be taken when treating UTIs naturally.
If youre just starting to feel or see potential UTI symptoms, you can try a few natural remedies to try to flush out the bacteria and reduce inflammation before the infection really takes hold, Rice says. Increase your intake of fluids to help flush the bladder. But if the symptoms persist more than a day, or get worse, you have to go to the doctor.
Going to the doctor may be a bit annoying, but a UTI that morphs into a kidney infection is way worse than an afternoon in the waiting room. Kidney infections can lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis or permanent kidney damage. Seeing a doctor to prescribe antibiotics may ultimately help you avoid a lifetime of medical complications.
You know your body best, so listen to it. You may not run to the doctor after one weird-feeling pee. If you start to have mild symptoms, here are a few natural choices that may help you out.
Bladder Infection Diagnosis And Medical Treatment
Diagnosing a UTI usually involves a simple urine test. Your doctor or nurse will check your urine for signs of bacteria. However, if your urine tests clear of bacteria, then your healthcare provider will move on to other diagnostic tests that may include lab work or imaging studies.
Since the vast majority of bladder infections are caused by bacteria, youll likely receive a prescription antibiotic to clear the bacteria from your urinary tract. These drugs are precisely calibrated to work over a defined time frame, so its important you take all of the medication exactly as prescribedeven if your symptoms resolve. If you dont take all the medicine, you run the risk of leaving pathogenic bacteria in your system. You might relieve your symptoms without actually destroying all the bacteria. In that case, your symptoms will return quickly.
When To Go To The Doctor
Pain and burning during urination can be caused by multiple conditions that affect the health of our urinary system. Sometimes this condition can also spread from the urinary system to the rest of the body. This is a symptom that should not be ignored. It is important to consult a medical specialist if you notice any of the following:
- Increased need for urination
- Pain, burning, stinging during urination.
- Pain in the lower abdomen or back.
- Smelly, cloudy or dark urine.
- Presence of blood in the urine.
- Fever, tremors and / or chills.
- You are urinating very little or practically nothing.
A doctor to will be able to diagnose your symptoms and treat your infection appropriately. For this diagnosis a doctor will generally conduct several different medical tests, which could include a urinalysis, a urine culture, urethral or vaginal flow analysis, ultrasound of the bladder, kidney or prostate, etc.
Treatment of pain and burning when urinating will depend on the specific case. If the origin stems from a urine infection, antibiotics will usually be administered.
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Take An Otc Medication
Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is a pain reliever for the urinary tract and can be purchased over the counter in generic form or as the brand name drug AZO. This medication temporarily relieves urinary urgency, pain, and pressure associated with UTIs. However, it doesnt treat the underlying infection.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Conversations about urinary symptoms can be uncomfortable, but if youre experiencing symptoms consistent with a UTI, its best to seek medical advice. Your provider can order tests if needed, discuss treatment options, and help you understand the cause of your infection, as well as providing strategies to prevent recurrences.
The sooner you seek help, the sooner those painful symptoms will be goneand you can go back to getting a good nights sleep.
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Combine Home Remedies With Medical Care
All of the above home remedies may ease symptoms of a UTI. However, none of them are likely to cure a urinary tract infection. While it is not possible for the immune system to fight off the bacteria that causes UTIs on its own, antibiotics are usually necessary to aid in the process. You can combine home remedies for UTI relief with the medication your primary care provider prescribes to both treat the infection and minimize your discomfort.
If you decide to let your immune system fight the infection on its own, keep close tabs on your condition. Specifically, see your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- High fever
- Pain in your lower back
The above symptoms could indicate that the infection has spread to the kidneys. A kidney infection requires prompt medical care, since it can permanently damage the organs or move into the bloodstream and cause a potentially fatal infection.
Even without kidney infection symptoms, you should see your doctor if:
- Your symptoms dont improve after two or three days
- You have had three or more UTIs in the last 12 months
- Youre pregnant
- You have a medical condition or take a medication that suppresses your immune system
Get Your Fill Of Water And Water
One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is drink plenty of water. Thats because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria thats causing your infection, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . It puts you on the right track for recovery.
Most people can be assured theyre getting the water they need by simply drinking water when thirsty, according to the health and medicine division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. But to be safe, you may want to make sure youre drinking at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. General recommendations have suggested that women get about 91 oz of water daily and men get about 125 oz each day, including water from food, as also noted in that groups report.
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Natural Home Remedies For Uti Fast Relief Without Antibiotics
Having some natural home remedies for UTI fast relief that you can use at any time is an important preventative measure to take. This is especially important if you are trying to treat or prevent a UTI without having to resort to antibiotics.
Almost everyone will go through the unpleasant experience of a urinary tract infection at some point. Needing to pee three times an hour and experiencing excruciating pain every time you do is not fun. Sometimes there might be blood in the urine but that is not always the case. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms and you think you may have a UTI, using UTI test strips is a quick and easy way to find out for sure.
Urinary tract infections can be quite dangerous if left untreated. There are a number of natural UTI remedies that you can use at home to help ease the symptoms when they first flare up. Sometimes if you can start on these home remedies right away, you can cure the UTI infection without antibiotics for UTI. However, if your symptoms get worse, seek medical help.
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Cut Bladder Irritants From Your Diet
When you have a UTI, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates , that are good for your digestive health, says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a naturopathic doctor in private practice in West Hollywood, California, and the author of Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Womans Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health.
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Interstitial Cystitis: 5 Natural Ways To Help Relieve Bladder Pain
Approximately 36 percent of all women living in the United States suffer from the painful pelvic condition called interstitial cystitis . IC is much more common in women than in men, but it also affects somewhere between 14 million men in the U.S. alone. Children can also be affected be interstitial cystitis in fact, many adult patients with the condition claim that their symptoms have affected them since a young age.
Although IC cannot be completely cured , treatment can help to manage symptoms and reduce pain. What types of interstitial cystitis natural treatments are available? These include acupuncture for improving pain tolerance exercises like yoga or tai chi to increase blood flow and a healing diet to reduce inflammation. Chronic stress and unhealthy habits like smoking can also worsen interstitial cystitis symptoms, so lifestyle changes to address these contributing factors are also important.
Use Essential Oils With Caution
Oregano essential oil is well known for its strong antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that oregano oil can be very effective at killing E.coli, but it should be noted these studies are generally done in vitromeaning in a lab using scientific techniques, not performed in humans with infections. Lemongrass oil and clove oil may also be a home remedy for UTIs because of their antimicrobial properties, but both have been studied against harmful bacteria in similar experiments as Oregano oil.
Its important to take care before using essential oils as a treatment. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy advises against ingesting these oils. Instead, essential oils may be safely used topically with a carrier oil or inhaled from a diffuser.
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Other Ways To Prevent Cystitis Coming Back
If you keep getting cystitis, there is some evidence you may find it helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar. If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 11 February 2022 Next review due: 11 February 2025
Can I Treat Uti Symptoms With Over The Counter Medicines
Weve already talked about the most common UTI symptoms, but what can you actually do about them?
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are OTC pain relievers that could help ease some of the pain and discomfort UTIs can cause. Phenazopyridine is another pain reliever that could help relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Some forms of phenazopyridine are OTC while others require a prescription.
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Water Is Your Best Friend
When you first notice burning when you use the restroom, its tempting to reduce your water intake. After all, that will prevent the pain, right?
It seems counter-intuitive, but you need to flush out your system. You should drink plenty of water to help your body remove the E. Coli. Dont overdo it, but drink as much water as possible in those crucial first 24 hours.
Can A Uti Go Away Overnight
However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics. By some estimates, 2542% of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery. Complicated UTIs will require medical treatment.
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Can You Have A Bladder Infection Without Pain
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Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water and other non-carbonated, low-sugar fluids helps dilute your urine and flushes bacteria from your bladder.
Proper hydration can also prevent further bacteria growth.
Studies show that increasing your overall water intake can decrease your risk of recurrent UTIs.
On average, its suggested that women get at least 11.5 cups and men 15.5 cups of water per day, but that number varies from person to person, and about 20 percent of that water will likely come from food.
Your goal should be to see clear or light yellow urine, and to urinate at least every four hours.
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The Standard Uti Test Cannot Grow Most Bacteria
The standard urine culture method does not mimic the environment in the bladder. As we described above, a urine culture uses a specific medium, and specific conditions over a short frame of time.
The vast majority of all known organisms will not grow in these conditions. And many organisms that may be perfectly happy residing and multiplying in the bladder, will not grow in the environment of a culture plate.
This means the standard urine culture methods are just not able to identify all UTI-causing pathogens. The figure below shows organisms that have been identified in the bladder using expanded culture protocols. The markings can be interpreted as follows:
- Orange stars Bacteria known to be associated with UTIs or to make UTIs worse, but are not detected by SUC.
- Yellow arrows Known uropathogens that are not detected by SUC.
- Dark red arrows Organisms that SUC detects.
- Unmarked Not much is known about the unmarked organisms. Some of them might be beneficial , some benign , and some might be undiscovered uropathogens. More research is needed.
Alternative testing methods, like EQUC, PCR and NGS have been able to identify many pathogens that do not grow in a urine culture.
Further Investigation If Simple Treatments Dont Help
Depending on your particular symptoms, your doctor may recommend:
- Less common medications for bladder pain
- Cystoscopy and hydrodistension under anaesthesia with diathermy of any ulcers found
- Pelvic Physiotherapy. This is particularly useful where there is spasm or tensing of the muscles around the bladder, making the bladder pain worse. This can happen without you realising the muscles are tight. There is information on the management of pelvic muscle pain on other pages on this site.
- A bladder installation . Soothing medicine is inserted into the inflamed painful bladder through a small catheter inserted through the urethra into the bladder. This can be done in the doctors office or treatment centre. If you find it helpful, you doctor may teach you how to do this at home. A common plan for installation might include installation once a week for 6 weeks, with top-up treatments when your problems return.
- Other treatments depending on your personal situation
Over time, your bladder pain may change and need different treatments. You can expect that there will be times when the pain is easier to manage than others. It may even go away altogether for months or years at a time then come back at a time when you are stressed or run-down. Treatments are always improving and evolving. Even if a particular treatment hasnt worked for you in the past, there may be newer treatments that suit you well.
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Follow Good Bathroom And Diapering Habits
Some children simply dont urinate often enough. Children should urinate often and when they first feel the need to go. Bacteria can grow and cause an infection when urine stays in the bladder too long. Caregivers should change diapers often for infants and toddlers, and should clean the genital area well. Gentle cleansers that do not irritate the skin are best.
Your child should always wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement. This step is most important after a bowel movement to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra and bladder.
Are Bananas Good For Utis
The American Urological Association calls bananas a bladder-friendly food. Thats because bananas arent likely to irritate the bladder in most people. Other bladder-friendly fruits and veggies include: pears, green beans, winter squash, and potatoes. While eating bananas may help to lessen bladder irritation, eating bananas alone wont make a UTI go away.
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Be Aware Of Your Bathroom Habits
Take enough time to fully empty your bladder when urinatingdont rush it. Urinate after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex. Clean the genital area before and after sex.
If youre a woman, wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement, to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra.