When To Seek Immediate Medical Attention
UTIs are uncomfortable, but theyre not an immediate medical emergency. Some people make the mistake of assuming the same is true with a kidney infection.
Kidney infections are serious conditions that do require medical attention. Untreated, a kidney infection can quickly cause long-term kidney damage or kidney scarring. These infections can also cause sepsis, which can lead to .
Because of this, a kidney infection can be fatal if it progresses. Its important to have it treated immediately by a healthcare professional.
Note that kidney stones, if left untreated, can also cause a blockage that can lead to infection and sepsis. This may require a procedure done with intravenous antibiotics by a urologist.
Causes Of Bladder Infection
When the bacteria attack the urinary tract, it results in a bladder infection. Women get affected by a bladder infection also due to the short length of their urethra. In men, it is mostly caused due to sexual intercourse with an infected female. The use of contraceptive diaphragms or spermicidal agents is also a reason for bladder infection. Other causes are:
- A feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen.
Bladder Infection Vs Other Utis
The symptoms of a bladder infection, which people may refer to as cystitis, are very similar to those of UTIs in other parts of the urinary tract. As a result, it may be difficult to tell which part of the urinary tract has an infection based on the symptoms alone.
An infection in the urethra may cause pain and burning when urinating and discharge from the urethra, but bladder pain is not a symptom.
An infection that has spread to the kidneys will cause the most severe symptoms. A person with a kidney infection may notice the same symptoms as those of a bladder infection, plus fever, chills, and back pain.
Treatment is usually the same for all types of UTI, except for kidney infections. Treating a kidney infection may require a person to stay in the hospital.
Kidney infections can cause serious health conditions, so anyone with these symptoms should seek treatment as early as possible.
UTIs occur when harmful bacteria enter the urinary tract and start spreading.
Anyone can get a urinary tract infection, but certain risk factors can elevate the chances. These include:
- Biological sex: Females have a
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When To Get Medical Advice
It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:
- you have symptoms of an upper UTI
- the symptoms are severe or getting worse
- the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
- you get UTIs frequently
Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.
Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.
How Are Recurrent Utis Treated
Treatment for recurrent UTIs depends on whatâs causing them. Sometimes the answer is as simple as teaching a child to empty their bladder as soon as they have the urge to go.
If a condition like VUR is causing the infections, the solution is a bit more complicated. Kids with VUR must be watched closely, because it can lead to kidney infection and kidney damage. Most kids outgrow the condition. Some might need surgery to correct the reflux.
Some kids with VUR benefit from daily treatment with a small amount of antibiotics, which can also make surgery unnecessary. Kids with VUR should see a pediatric urologist, who can decide if antibiotic treatment is the best option.
In some cases, surgery is needed to correct VUR. The most common procedure is ureteral reimplantation, in which one or both of the ureters are repositioned to correct the backflow of urine from the bladder. This procedure requires only a small incision and, in some children, can be done using robotic-assisted laparoscopy. When surgery is necessary, the success rate is high, but not everyone is a good candidate for it.
Kids may be candidates for ureteral reimplantation if they:
- have an intolerance to antibiotics
- get recurrent infections while on antibiotic treatment
- have severe, or âhigh-grade,â reflux
- are older kids and teens with reflux
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How To Prevent Bladder Infections
Though natural remedies arent guaranteed to get rid of early UTI symptoms, there are some natural ways to discourage UTIs from forming in the first place.
Still, you can reduce your chances of infection, and most of the methods are free and easy.
Pee after sex
Theres a bit of a myth that an increased number of sexual partners leads to an increased risk of UTI. But a study from the University of Michigan found no connection between number of partners and UTIs. Foxman B, et al. . Health behavior and urinary tract infection in college-aged women. Instead, they found that peeing after sex was way more helpful in preventing UTIs than limiting your sexual partners.
When you urinate, the pee itself flushes out your urethra. So, that E. coli gets washed away before it gets a chance to make your life miserable. Though it seems a like a tiny, insignificant thing, a quick pee after sex can keep you from days of painful urinations.
Wipe from the front to the back
Dont use a diaphragm
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI.
A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
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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.
Composition Of The Vaginal Microflora
Since the vaginal microflora appears to be so critical to health and disease, what is its composition? In cases of recurrent UTI the dominant organisms are the uropathogens, generally Escherichia coli in recurrent bacterial vaginosis these are anaerobic Gram negative rods, generally Gardnerella vaginalis in recurrent yeast vaginitis these are mostly Candida albicans. It was long presumed that Lactobacillus acidophilus was the dominant member of a healthy vaginal microflora, but this is not the case. Studies using culture followed by molecular typing show Lactobacillus crispatus to be the most commonly isolated organism, however the culture step has since been found to have limitations as not all organisms are easy to culture. Using only polymerase chain reaction and DNA analysis it has recently been shown that Lactobacillus iners is the most common organism, at least in one mainly white population .
The most commonly isolated lactobacilli recovered from vaginal samples and determined directly by PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis.
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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Have Benefits For Utis
Its always possible that ACV could prevent future UTIs but dont count on it to treat a current infection.
Although ACV has antibacterial and antifungal properties, theres no scientific evidence to suggest that drinking it can effectively treat or prevent UTIs. In fact, most health experts dont think that what you eat or drink can prevent or treat a UTI.
Dont give your UTI the time to spread to your kidneys, which can be dangerous. Seek treatment from a medical professional.
Your healthcare professional can test your urine to see if bacteria, a virus, or fungus is causing your infection. Once they determine the cause, they can prescribe you the right treatment.
Antibiotics are usually needed to treat UTIs, since bacteria is often the culprit. Its important to take your prescribed antibiotics exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
Misusing or overusing antibiotics contributes to global antibiotic resistance, or bacteria becoming resistant to treatment. Antibiotics can also affect your gut microbiome.
Though apple cider vinegar cant help your UTI, it does have many other potential health benefits, and adding it to your diet shouldnt cause you any trouble. Read on to find out how you can add ACV to your diet.
Who Is Most Susceptible To A Bladder Infection
UTIs are more common in women than men. This is partly due to their anatomy in women, the urethra is shorter, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder and cause an infection.
Other risk factors for bladder infection include:
Any medical condition or injury that prevents you from emptying your bladder completely
Any medical condition that weakens your immune system
Being a woman in or after menopause
Having a UTI in the past
Needing to have a bladder catheter
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent UTIs. These include the following:
Drink plenty of water.
Empty your bladder immediately after sex.
Dont hold it when you feel the need to go.
Think about switching to a different method of birth control if you currently use one with spermicide.
Consider vaginal estrogen if youve gone through menopause.
Some people may benefit from cranberry supplements or antibiotics, especially if recurrent UTIs are a problem. You can learn more here about preventing UTIs.
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Is It Safe To Drink
While its safe to consume ACV in small amounts, drinking straight ACV can damage your throat and cause tooth enamel erosion. Clinical reports of people burning their throats on ACV are extremely rare, but it is a potential risk.
If you decide to drink ACV, use a straw and rinse your mouth with water afterward to help limit potential tooth enamel damage.
You can also dilute ACV in water, which makes it much easier on your throat and teeth. Mix 12 tablespoons of ACV in 8 ounces of water to make a dilute ACV solution. Remember that since the acidity of ACV is responsible for many of its benefits, dont mix it with anything that could neutralize the acid and make it less effective.
How Do Health Care Professionals Treat A Bladder Infection
If you have a bladder infection caused by bacteria, a health care professional is likely to prescribe antibiotics. If the diagnosis is not certain, based on your symptoms or lab test results, you may not need antibiotics. Instead, your health care professional will work to find the cause and the best treatment for your symptoms.
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How Vets Diagnose Utis In Cats
Vets diagnose urinary tract infections by collecting a urine sample and examining it for the presence of bacteria. These samples must be collected through a process called cystocentesis, where urine is drawn directly from the bladder with a fine needle. This is necessary to prevent contamination of the urine sample from cups, tables, or any other surface the urine may come into contact with.
After cystocentesis, your veterinarian will run a culture-and-sensitivity test. During this test, the bacteria are isolated and studied. This helps the vet determine the best antibiotics for your cats exact infection.
Occasionally, acute infectionsespecially first-time infections that show up suddenlyare treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic without trying to determine which bacteria are involved.
Chronic infections, however, almost always require more testing to isolate the type of bacteria causing the problem and identify the best antibiotic.
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, there’s no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat a UTI if the infection has already started.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With Cystitis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for cystitis. A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a cystitis management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
Prevention And Treatment Of Kidney Infection
Antibiotics are started as soon as the doctor suspects pyelonephritis and samples have been taken for laboratory tests. The choice of drug or its dosage may be modified based on the laboratory test results , how sick the person is, and whether the infection started in the hospital, where bacteria tend to be more resistant to antibiotics. Other factors that can alter the choice or dosage of drug include whether the personÃ¢s immune system is impaired and whether the person has a urinary tract abnormality , including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Blockage can be completeÃ¢Â¦ read more ).
Outpatient treatment with antibiotics given by mouth is usually successful if the person has:
No nausea or vomiting
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What You Should Do If Your Cat Has A Uti Or Cystitis
If your cat has a UTI, you should follow recommendations on prescription medications. Most cats will be put on a broad-spectrum antibiotic to clear the bacterial infection. Sometimes pain or anti-inflammatory medications will be added to help with discomfort. Your veterinarian may also recommend a prescription diet to change the pH level in the bladder to prevent recurring infections and bladder stone formation.
If your cat is diagnosed with inflammatory cystitis, your veterinarian will prescribe pain or anti-inflammatory medications and may or may not prescribe antibiotics. They will also recommend ways to help your cat cope with stress. There are treats and diets designed to help calm your cat , as well as calming pheromones like Feliway®, that come in plug-in diffusers or sprays.
What To Drink To Help Bladder Infection
Preventing urinary tract infections starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection .
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also reduce the risk of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria .
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs .
Finally, when you use the toilet, make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can cause bacteria to spread to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs .
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Spermicide use and wiping from back to front may increase the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied:
- D-Mannose. D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence (
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Overall Completeness And Applicability Of Evidence
This review suggests that there is a lack of evidence that intravesical instillation with nonpathogenic bacteria in adults with neuropathic bladder is effective in preventing symptomatic UTI.
Due to multiple exclusion criteria in these small studies, especially in relation to immunosuppression, presence of other infections, and other urogenital tract intervention/abnormalities, the limited evidence is only applicable to a selective group of the adult population with neuropathic bladder. In addition, there is heterogeneity between bladder management types as well as male predominance between the studies.
From the evidence presented and due to variable success rates, the need for strict adherence to instillation protocols together with high attrition rates in these studies, intravesical instillation with nonpathogenic bacteria is unlikely to be a widely accepted intervention. However, with innovative therapy and with additional support for participants undergoing this procedure, it may be worthy of further study.
Are Probiotics Good For Urinary Tract Infections
Lactobacillus probiotic strains are considered a very good natural option for urinary tract infections. Recent studies suggest that the lactobacillus probiotic strains may provide a safe and effective way to treat UTIs and prevent recurrent urinary tract infections by boosting the immune response of the body against pathogens such as E. coli that are known to cause UTIs.
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Straining In The Litter Box
The litter box straining that cats are usually doing especially if theyre male cats is straining to PEE. Its usually not constipation. And this is DEFINITELY an emergency! If your cat is straining or vocalizing while trying to go, or making frequent unsuccessful trips to their box, they need to go to the vet IMMEDIATELY! If its a urinary obstruction, immediate vet care is your cats only shot at survival.
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Types Of Urinary Tract Conditions
A urinary tract infection refers to an infection in any area of the urinary tract. Conditions that can occur in the urinary tract or with the potential to lead to complicated infections include:
- Urethritis: An inflammation of the urethra, usually caused by an infection for example, a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia
- Cystitis: An infection in the bladder that has often moved up from the urethra, also one of the most common UTIs
- Nephritis: Any type of kidney inflammation
- Pyelonephritis: An infection in one or both kidneys
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