What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
If you have ever experienced the frequent urge to go the bathroom with painful and burning urination, you have probably experienced a urinary tract infection . UTIs are one of the most common types of infections, accounting for over 10 million visits to health care providers each year. Roughly 40% of women experience a UTI at some time, and in women, it is the most common infection. Healthcare costs related to UTIs exceed $1.6 billion per year.
A urinary tract infection can happen anywhere along your urinary tract, which includes the kidneys , the ureters , the bladder , or the urethra . Most UTIs occur in the bladder and urethra. Common symptoms include frequent need to urinate, burning while urinating, and pain in lower abdomen area.
There are different types of UTIs based on where the bacteria goes. A lower urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria gets into the urethra and is deposited up into the bladder this is called cystitis. Infections that get past the bladder and up into the kidneys are called pyelonephritis.
Urinary tract infection symptoms may include:
- Pain or burning upon urination
- A frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine or or pink-stained urine
- Urines that looks cloudy
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pain, cramping in the pelvis or pubic bone area, especially in women
Upper UTIs which include the kidney may also present with symptoms of fever, chills, back or side pain, and nausea or vomiting.
Treating Urinary Tract Infections With Natural Health Remedies
Urinary tract infections can be painful and uncomfortable. While some people choose to go with conventional antibiotic treatments, there are plenty of natural remedies out there to help you feel better in no time. The first thing most people will try is cranberry juice. This works by coating the mucus lining in the bladder to prevent bacteria from sticking. If that doesnt work, you might try increasing your water intake or using certain probiotics.
Urinary tract infections are an incredibly common experience for women, yet many people are not aware that there are natural health remedies that can help curb them. There are many types of UTIs, which range from mild to severe, but when theyre serious it can be difficult to cope with the pain. Luckily, there are natural remedies that have been proven to work to treat these infections, so you dont have to take antibiotics every time they occur.
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and travel up to the bladder. UTIs can be cured with antibiotics and also with natural remedies such as cranberry juice and olive leaf extract, which offer anti-microbial properties.
Maintaining a healthy diet is another way to prevent UTIs. Switching from white bread to whole grains, cutting out fatty foods, and drinking plenty of water helps the kidneys eliminate toxins.
Why Antibiotics Sometimes Dont Work
Most UTIs arent serious. But if left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and kidney scarring.
Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within 2 to 3 days after starting antibiotic therapy. Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic for at least 3 days.
While this type of medication is the standard treatment, researchers are noticing that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reducing the effectiveness of some antibiotics in treating UTIs.
Some UTIs dont clear up after antibiotic therapy. When an antibiotic medication doesnt stop the bacteria from causing an infection, the bacteria continue to multiply.
The overuse or misuse of antibiotics is often the reason for antibiotic resistance. This can happen when the same antibiotic is prescribed over and over again for recurrent UTIs. Because of this risk, experts have been looking for ways to treat UTIs without antibiotics.
Some research has shown that UTIs can be treated without traditional antibiotics by targeting E. colis surface component for adhesion, FimH.
Typically, the urinary tract flushes away bacteria when you urinate. But according to researchers, FimH can cause E. coli to firmly attach to the cells in the urinary tract. And because of this tight grip, its hard for the body to naturally flush the bacteria from the urinary tract.
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Role Of The Pharmacist
It is imperative that pharmacists urge patients who present with UTI symptoms to consult with their healthcare provider as soon as possible to receive appropriate care. Pharmacists should counsel patients on nonpharmacologic treatments and present the option of nonprescription products and UTI home test kits. Patients who decide to use UTI home test kits should be advised on how to avoid inaccurate results and to discuss their results with their healthcare provider. Patients who decide to use OTC urinary tract analgesics should be counseled on the recommended maximum dosage and duration and on common AEs. It is imperative to remind patients that these products are intended only to provide relief of pain and other related symptoms until the healthcare provider is seen. These products do not eradicate bacteria or replace the use of antibiotic treatment, and they should not be used as monotherapy.
What Are Potential Side Effects Of Antibiotics For Uti
In addition to the notable side effects weve already covered, there are a few more potential antibiotic side effects youll want to know about.
Most antibiotics can cause some degree of stomach upset like nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts for 2 or more days, let your healthcare provider know. Diarrhea is a common side effect while taking antibiotics and just after finishing them. But in some cases, diarrhea from antibiotics can be a sign of a more serious infection caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria.
Some people are also sensitive to antibiotics, which could result in a minor reaction like a rash or a more serious reaction like anaphylaxis. If you notice difficulty breathing or major skin changes after taking an antibiotic, get medical help right away.
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What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. There are many different parts of the urinary tract that can become infected, and the most common type of UTI is a bladder infection. UTIs may cause discomfort, pain, and burning sensations. They can typically be treated with antibiotics.
People of any sex or age can get a UTI, but it is much more common for women to get UTIs. You are also more likely to get a UTI if you are sexually active, pregnant, or if you have had a UTI before. Symptoms such as pain or burning when urinating, pressure in the low belly, an urge to urinate often, and fatigue and shakiness can all be signs of a UTI. Speak with your healthcare provider if you think you may have a UTI.
Treatment Options For Urinary Tract Infections
Ladies, if you think you have a urinary tract infection, you are probably right. One study found that women who self-diagnose a UTI are right 84% of the time.
You can apply this know-how to partner with your health care provider to pick the right treatment The go-to treatment of a UTI, which is caused by a bacteria, is antibiotics. Your questions about treatment decisions can make a difference, especially since antibiotic recommendations have shifted and not all doctors have changed their practices.
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Are There Natural At
Yes. While taking antibiotics is still considered the gold standard of UTI treatments, there are some things you can do at home that help relieve symptoms, as well. These include:
- Drink plenty of water. Consuming at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily can help flush away UTI-causing bacteria, setting you up for a quicker recovery. Plus, the more you drink, the more youll have to urinate.
- Urinate often. Each time you empty your bladder, youre helping to flush bacteria out of your system.
- Try heat. Applying a heating pad to your pubic area for 15 minutes at a time can help soothe the pressure and pain caused by UTI-related inflammation and irritation.
- Tweak your wardrobe. Wearing loose cotton clothing and underwear can help you recover from a UTI.
- Go fragrance-free. Make sure your personal hygiene products are fragrance-free to sidestep further irritation, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
- Cut out certain irritants. Caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, raw onions, citrus fruits, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and nicotine can further irritate your bladder, making it more difficult for your body to heal, per the Cleveland Clinic.
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What Are Some Great Ways To Prevent Uti In Dogs
UTI in dogs can be prevented with over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes.
Check out these great ways to reduce your pups risk of getting a UTI:
- Provide many water bowls around the house and outside
- Consider installing a dog water fountain outdoors
- Take your pup for daily walks
- Give your pup probiotic/prebiotic supplements and vitamin C
- Make sure that your dog eats healthy dog food
- Offer your pup several potty breaks throughout the day
- Bathe and groom your pup frequently, paying close attention to the genital area
- Dont forget to visit a vet regularly
As always, you should consult with a vet before trying any of these preventative measures.
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How Can I Tell If I Have A Uti
Not all UTIs have obvious symptoms, but signs and symptoms of a possible UTI include the need to urinate often, pain and burning sensations during urination, low fever, nausea, vomiting, feeling ill, and back or abdominal pain. You may also notice that your urine is bloody, cloudy, or odorous.
See your doctor immediately if you think you have a UTI, or ask your pharmacist about purchasing a UTI test kit. If you decide to use the take-home UTI test strips, follow the instructions carefully and be sure to discuss your test results with your doctor.
Can You Get Rid Of A Uti Naturally At Home Or Do You Need Antibiotics
Sometimes, you can get rid of a UTI naturally by resting, drinking lots of water, taking dietary supplements, and giving the infection some time to heal. Research from 2017 suggests that somewhere between 25% and 42% of UTIs resolve naturally without the use of antibiotics.
However, there are certain situations where wait and see just isnt an acceptable approach. Untreated UTIs can cause potentially life threatening complications, including .
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How Can You Determine If Your Dog Has A Uti Without Going To A Vet
A UTI test is the best way to determine whether or not your pup has UTI without stepping foot in a veterinarian clinic. Through a urine sample, vets can confirm a dogs UTI.
Aside from detecting tract infections in dogs, a UTI test can save you a lot of time, especially if your four-legged friend gets UTIs frequently. If the test detects that your dog does have a UTI, youll want to ask your vet for effective over-the-counter treatment as soon as possible. The condition will only worsen with time.
Azo Urinary Tract Defense
This is a relatively new OTC drug that has appeared in 2016 in pharmacies all over the USA and also could be ordered on.
Once you swallow it, Methenamine will work by slowing down the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract.
When exposed to acidic urine, Methenamine turns into formaldehyde to kill the bacteria, but its not strong enough to eliminate an infection completely. It cant cure an active infection but may slow down its progress.
AZO Urinary Tract Defense has been created to prevent UTIs, as well as to provide quick relief at the first signs of infection.
On top of this, Sodium salicylate, an analgesic, also acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug .
Taking an NSAID could help to reduce inflammation while fighting a bladder infection. This analgesic, though, will not change the color of your urine and is not linked to cancer.
Quick Tip: In order for AZO Urinary Tract Defense to work to its full potential, youd need acidic urine. For that, take Ascorbic Acid with the drug.
An alternative to AZO Urinary Tract Defense in Canada, Europe, or Australia is Hiprex, which works similarly.
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Do I Really Need To Take Antibiotics For A Uti
In most cases, it makes sense to start antibiotics if you know you have a bacterial UTI since this is the only way to treat it.
While it is possible for a UTI to go away on its own, this doesnt always happen. Plus, youll still have to deal with uncomfortable UTI symptoms like pain during urination while waiting to see if the UTI will go away. And if it doesnt, the infection can travel up your urinary tract and cause a more serious infection in your kidneys called pyelonephritis. If youre pregnant, have underlying health conditions, or are older than 65 years old, you should not try to treat a UTI without antibiotics.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDAs Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
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Can Urinary Tract Infections In Cats Go Away On Their Own
If an infection in the urinary tract heals without antibiotics, we will prescribe antibiotics in place of antibiotics. The best way to avoid a relapse or reinfection is to follow all of the instructions a veterinarian gives you. If there is a secondary or more serious underlying cause, reinfection may indicate an underlying problem.
There is no evidence that cats have urinary tract infections like dogs have. Older cats frequently have a slew of other urinary tract issues that can cause symptoms similar to those of younger cats. A cat suffering from FLUTD may find it difficult, painful, or impossible to urinate. These conditions can lead to serious or even fatal consequences if left untreated. Middle-aged cats are more prone to urinary tract issues when they are overweight. Cats urethras narrow, putting them more at risk of developing urinary tract infections due to the narrowing of their urethras. A FLUTD can be caused by a variety of health problems, including bladder stones, infections, and cancer.
To avoid infections and diseases, cats should be seen as soon as possible. If your cat has urinary problems, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible or visit our Somerset emergency rooms. An examination of your cats urinary tract will reveal whether it requires Urinalysis, Radiographs, blood tests, or urine culture, depending on the underlying cause.
Clinical Presentation And Diagnosis
Patients with cystitis often present with a frequent, persistent urge to urinate despite passing a small amount, dysuria or a burning sensation during urination, or suprapubic heaviness.7 Patients with pyelonephritis often experience flank pain or tenderness, a low fever , chills, nausea, vomiting, and malaise with or without symptoms of cystitis.2 Patients with a lower or upper UTI may experience hematuria or notice that their urine is cloudy or has a strong odor. Elderly patients tend to present with nonspecific symptoms including altered mental status, change in eating habits, lower abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation.6
In most patients who present with signs and symptoms of UTIs, a history of illness is the most important diagnostic tool, especially when symptom onset is sudden or severe and when vaginal discharge and irritation are not present.2,3 Sometimes, however, UTI diagnosis cannot rely solely on patient symptoms because some patients are asymptomatic this is more common in older adults than in younger adults.6 Laboratory tests, urine-sample tests, and pelvic examinations should be performed in patients with urinary tract symptoms to properly diagnose UTIs.2,3 Laboratory tests for UTIs include assessments for the presence of bacteriuria and pyuria, nitrite, leukocyte esterase, and antibody-coated bacteria.2
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Etiology And Risk Factors
Urine is generally sterile, and the causative agents for most UTIs originate in bowel flora that enter the periurethral area. Most UTIs are caused by one organism UTIs caused by multiple organisms may indicate contamination. The causative agents are gram-positive and gram-negative organisms, as well as some fungi.1 The gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli accounts for almost 90% of all episodes.3,5 Other common causative agents include Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterococcus faecalis, group B streptococcus, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida species.