How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Bladder Infection
Health care professionals use your medical history, a physical exam, and tests to diagnose a bladder infection.
A health care professional will ask if you have a history of health conditions that make you more likely to develop any type of UTI. During a physical exam, the health care professional will ask you about your symptoms.
Are Home Remedies Effective For A Bladder Infection
People have used cranberry products to prevent bladder infections. Cranberries contain a substance that can prevent bacteria from sticking on the walls of the bladder. A Cochrane Database systematic review of cranberries for preventing UTIs in 2012 concluded that the evidence for cranberry products, particularly cranberry juice, over the long term is small and that cranberry juice could not be recommended at that time for the prevention of UTIs. Further studies need to evaluate other cranberry preparations.
Probiotics are preparations that contain live bacteria, for example, lactobacillus, that can prevent other bacteria from growing and moving up from the bladder to the kidney. The probiotic decreases the ability of the infecting bacteria from sticking to the bladder and growing and may also affect the ability of the individual’s own body to fight off bacteria. A Cochrane Database review in 2015 demonstrated no significant difference in the risks of recurrent UTIs for probiotics compared with placebo or antibiotic prophylaxis in either women or children, however, there were a limited number of good-quality studies.
Adhering to the prescribed antibiotic regimen and staying well hydrated are essential components of home remedies for bladder infection.
What Uti Test Should Children Have
A UTI diagnosis in a child requires both a urinalysis and a urine culture, according to the most recent clinical practice guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In order to gather a proper urinary sample from a very young child, catheterization or a suprapubic aspirate is often recommended. Alternatively, your healthcare provider may simply leave the child diaper-free in order to obtain a sample when the child urinates. Some physicians collect urine using a bag. Samples obtained in this way, however, have a high rate of contamination, making results unreliable.
For children who are potty trained, a midstream urine sample should be collected. Its often recommended that girls sit backward on the toilet, in order to widen the labia and prevent contamination.
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Getting Tested For A Uti
Testing for a UTI usually takes place in a doctors office, laboratory, or hospital. Most tests for UTIs involve a urine sample obtained by clean-catch or catheterization. Your doctor can help determine which method is appropriate for you.
- Clean catch urine samples are collected by patients with special precautions to prevent outside germs from getting into the urine sample. Patients are given instructions on obtaining a clean catch sample and avoiding contamination.
- Catheterization involves inserting a thin rubber tube through the urethra into the bladder. When performing this procedure, the urine is collected in a sterile container for testing before removing the catheter.
How Is A Uti Usually Diagnosed
A UTI is usually diagnosed by seeing a healthcare provider, who will ask you about your symptoms and your health. They may also do a physical exam. In non-pregnant, healthy women, a lower tract UTI can be diagnosed and treated just based on having the typical symptoms.
In other situations like postmenopausal women or those with health problems your provider may also order a urine test to see if there are signs of infection. There are different types of urine tests, which can usually be done in the providers office or lab.
If you do a urine test, its important to get a clean-catch urine sample in order to keep other bacteria from contaminating the sample. For women, this means cleaning the genital area and catching urine midstream into a sterile cup .
The main types of urine tests are discussed below.
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Risk Factors For Developing Utis
Some people are at greater risk than others of developing UTIs. These include:
- women sexually active women are vulnerable, in part because the urethra is only four centimetres long and bacteria have only this short distance to travel from the outside to the inside of the bladder
- people with urinary catheters such as people who are critically ill, who cant empty their own bladder
- people with diabetes changes to the immune system make a person with diabetes more vulnerable to infection
- men with prostate problems such as an enlarged prostate gland that can cause the bladder to only partially empty
- babies especially those born with physical problems of the urinary system.
Can I Become Immune To The Antibiotics Used To Treat A Uti
Your body can actually get used to the antibiotics typically used to treat a urinary tract infection . This happens in people who have very frequent infections. With each UTI and use of antibiotics to treat it, the infection adapts and becomes harder to fight. This is called an antibiotic-resistant infection. Because of this, your healthcare provider may suggest alternative treatments if you have frequent UTIs. These could include:
- Waiting: Your provider may suggest that you watch your symptoms and wait. During this time, you may be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids in an effort to flush out your system.
- Intravenous treatment: In some very complicated cases, where the UTI is resistant to antibiotics or the infection has moved to your kidneys, you may need to be treated in the hospital. The medicine will be given to you directly in your vein . Once youre home, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a period of time to fully get rid of the infection.
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Finding The Cause Of Cystitis
It is important for doctors to find the cause of cystitis in several different groups. The cause should be found in
Analgesics as needed
Cystitis is usually treated with antibiotics. Before prescribing antibiotics, the doctor determines whether the person has a condition that would make cystitis more severe, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system , or more difficult to eliminate, such as a structural abnormality. Such conditions may require more potent antibiotics taken for a longer period of time, particularly because the infection is likely to return as soon as the person stops taking antibiotics. People with such conditions may also have infections caused by fungi or unusual bacteria and may thus require something other than the most commonly used antibiotics.
For women, taking an antibiotic by mouth for 3 days is usually effective if the infection has not led to any complications, although some doctors prefer to give a single dose. For more stubborn infections, an antibiotic is usually taken for 7 to 10 days. For men, cystitis usually is caused by prostatitis Prostatitis Prostatitis is pain and swelling, inflammation, or both of the prostate gland. The cause is sometimes a bacterial infection. Pain can occur in the area between the scrotum and anus or in the… read more , and antibiotic treatment is usually required for weeks.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infections
Normal urine is sterile and contains fluids, salts, and waste products. It does not contain bacteria, viruses, or fungi. A UTI occurs when germs, most often bacteria from the digestive tract, get into the opening of the urethra and start to multiply.
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
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What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria or other microbes, usually fecal flora, enter the urinary tract and cause an infection. The urinary tract is the bodys system for collecting and eliminating urine and includes the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.
UTIs can affect several parts of the urinary tract. Most UTIs occur in the bladder , but they may also involve the kidneys , urethra , or prostate . UTIs are common, most frequently affecting women, resulting in more than 8.1 million visits to a doctor each year.
The Role Of Uti Testing
UTI testing may be performed if a doctor suspects a UTI based on a patients symptoms and a physical examination. Laboratory tests can diagnose or rule out UTIs. UTI testing can also identify the bacteria or other microbes that are causing the infection, which helps doctors decide how to best treat the infection.
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Ok So How Do I Make Sure I Never Get A Uti Or A Kidney Infection
As they say, prevention is the best cure! And there are many things you can do to ensure that youre reducing your risk for an infection, and preventing build up from occurring in the kidneys.
Practice good hygiene. Always wipe from front to back, keep your genital area clean, wash before and after sex. Basically, do your best to keep bacteria from even having a chance of getting into the urinary system in the first place.
Drink lots of water. If youre dehydrated, youre not only increasing your chance of a UTI, but youre also decreasing your urine output, meaning that more minerals have a chance to build up and settle in the urinary tract or kidneys.
Make sure to urinate whenever you feel you have to go. Dont hold it in. This concentrates the urine allowing bacteria to build up and spread.
Alter your diet if you find youre prone to kidney stones. Cut down on certain meats and shellfish and opting instead for more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Avoid consuming too much sugar. Cut back on sodium, and eat more oxalate-rich foods .
And if you do start experiencing any of the symptoms above, be sure to see a doctor right away. UTIs, kidney infections, and kidney stones can usually be treated fairly easily, but its important to seek medical attention before any complications develop.
How Can Male Bladder Infection Be Diagnosed And Treated
If you suspect that you have a bladder infection, visit a medical facility where the following tests may be carried out:
- A complete physical examination including reference to any medical history or surgeries
- Rectal examinations to evaluate the state of the prostate
Lab tests such as:
- Urine cultures to detect the pathogen causing the infection
- Blood tests
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Condom Use During Sex
Non-lubricated latex condoms may increase friction and irritate the skin during sexual intercourse. This may increase the risk of a UTI.
To help prevent friction and skin irritation from condoms, be sure to use enough water-based lubricant during sex.
Avoid using condoms that have been coated with spermicide.
How To Feel Better
If your healthcare professional prescribes you antibiotics:
- Take antibiotics exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
- Do not share your antibiotics with others.
- Do not save antibiotics for later. Talk to your healthcare professional about safely discarding leftover antibiotics.
Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Your healthcare professional might also recommend medicine to help lessen the pain or discomfort. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your antibiotics.
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Nonculture Methods For The Laboratory Diagnosis Of Uti
Detection of bacteriuria by urine microscopy. Bacteriuria can be detected microscopically using Gram staining of uncentrifuged urine specimens, Gram staining of centrifuged specimens, or direct observation of bacteria in urine specimens. Gram stain of uncentrifuged urine specimens is a simple method. A volume of urine is applied to a glass microscope slide, allowed to air dry, stained with Gram stain, and examined microscopically. The performance characteristics of the test are not well-defined, because different criteria have been used to define a positive test result. In one study, the test was found to be sensitive for the detection of 105 cfu/mL but insensitive for the detection of lower numbers of bacteria . Other investigators have found the test to be of low sensitivity for the detection of UTI .
Performance characteristics of Gram staining for detection of bacteriuria.
Performance characteristics of leukocyte esterase and nitrite tests, alone or in combination, for detection of bacteriuria and/or pyuria.
A number of drugs can change the color of urine abnormal urine color may affect urine tests that are based on the interpretation of color changes. In some cases, this can mask color changes, and in others, it may result in false-positive interpretations .
Ways To Diagnose A Uti: Tests And Procedures Used To Diagnose Urinary Tract Infections
Having a urinary tract infection is more common than is pleasant to admit, especially in women. While men are also susceptible to the infection, they are far less likely to experience one, with only three percent of men falling ill from a UTI every year. However, with women being four times more likely to develop a UTI, and mens infections tending to be more complicated, its important for both genders to recognize the signs and symptoms that should send them to a physician.
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Who Gets Urinary Tract Infections
Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, but they are more common in women. This is because the urethra in females is shorter and closer to the anus, where E. coli bacteria are common. Older adults also are at higher risk for developing cystitis. This increased risk may be due to incomplete emptying of the bladder. There are several medical conditions that can be related to this, including an enlarged prostate or a bladder prolapse .
If you get frequent urinary tract infections, your healthcare provider may do tests to check for other health problems such as diabetes or an abnormal urinary systemthat may be contributing to your infections. People with frequent UTIs are occasionally given low-dose antibiotics for a period of time to prevent the infection from coming back. This cautious approach to treating frequent UTIs is because your body can develop a resistance to the antibiotic and you can get other types of infections, such as C. diff colitis. This practice is used very infrequently.
Are Test Results Accurate
When conducted by a health professional, urine dipstick testing can support a UTI diagnosis in people with symptoms of this condition. However, evidence is limited about the accuracy of at-home UTI testing.
One of the most significant risks for misleading results occurs when people use an at-home UTI test when they have no symptoms. Even positive test results for both leukocytes and nitrites do not suggest a UTI in patients without symptoms.
False positive test results mean that at-home UTI test results are positive despite not having a UTI. These misleading results may be caused by:
- Trichomoniasis, a common STD
- Vaginal secretions in the test sample
- Ingesting substances that turn the urine red, such as beets or certain medications
- Improper collection or storage of the urine specimen
False negative test results mean that at-home UTI test results are negative despite actually having a UTI. These results may be caused by:
- Less common microbes causing a UTI
- Protein in the urine
- High amounts of vitamin C in the urine
Concerns about the accuracy of at-home UTI tests should be discussed with a doctor and the company providing at-home test kits.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
What Other Tests May Be Needed To Diagnose A Uti
If you have a recurrent or complicated UTI, your provider may order additional tests to see your urinary tract. Complicated UTIs can include those in people with an abnormal urinary tract or those with kidney stones.
Cystoscopy: A cystoscopy is a test used to look inside your urethra and bladder. Its done with a thin tube-like instrument thats put into the urethra to see if there are any signs of infection or other problems.
Imaging studies: Imaging studies, like an ultrasound or CT scan, are tests to see pictures of how your urinary tract is working. They can help show if there are other problems that may be causing the UTI.
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Do You Need To Wait For The Results Of A Urinalysis To Get Treatment For A Uti
No, you dont always have to wait for urinalysis results to come back.
If you have typical UTI symptoms, your healthcare provider may order a urinalysis and urine culture but start you on treatment before the results are back. The urinalysis results can then just help confirm the diagnosis. And if you arent getting better with treatment, the test results can also be used to help find a different treatment.
Its also possible that your provider orders just a dipstick test to diagnose your UTI. In this case, the results are ready immediately and there is no need to wait.
No matter what, you should work with your provider to come up with a plan as to when to start treatment.