Friday, April 19, 2024

When To See A Doctor For Bladder Infection

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Treatment For More Severe Utis

What is a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

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.

Why Antibiotics Might Not Work

Sometimes antibiotic treatment doesnt do the trick. This may occur when the bacteria causing the UTI become antibiotic resistant, meaning they outsmart and outlive the antibiotic.

See, bacteria have this amazing ability to mutate to evade being killed. And after being attacked multiple times by the same antibiotics we use on lots of people, the bacteria can learn to resist them. Some research estimates that as many as one in three uncomplicated UTIs are resistant to at least one common antibiotic. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.8 million people in the U.S. get an antibiotic-resistant infection every year.

This sounds bad, and thats fair: Its not great news. But this doesnt spell doomsday either.

If your UTI isnt responding to treatment with one antibiotic, your doctor may prescribe another type of antibiotic. Most bacteria arent resistant to all the antibiotics out there, so chances are your urologist or primary care doctor has encountered this situation before and knows how to help.

How To Treat A Bladder Infection

You cant treat a bladder infection at home. Bladder infection treatment requires antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria. It can take a few doses of antibiotics before symptoms begin to improve. In the meantime, you can use home remedies for bladder infection symptom relief. To ease bladder infection pain and discomfort, try the following strategies:

  • Apply heat to soothe your abdomen. You can use a heating pad or a hot water bottle. Use warm, not hot, heat.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to flush out the bacteria. Water is the best choice. Avoid drinks that can irritate the urinary tract and make your symptoms worse. This includes carbonated drinks and those containing alcohol, caffeine, and citrus juices.

  • Take phenazopyridine to relieve in the urinary tract. This drug is available over the counter without a prescription as various brands, including Azo. It will not cure or treat the bladder infection, but it can ease the pain while the antibiotics start to work. The safest way to take it is after seeing your doctor and discussing its use.

Cranberry juice is a popular choice for people who want to prevent bladder infections. The science on prevention is inconclusive, but drinking it is safe for most people. However, cranberry juice cant treat a bladder infection and may actually irritate the bladder.

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Eating Diet & Nutrition

Experts dont think eating, diet, and nutrition play a role in preventing or treating bladder infections. If you have any type of UTI, talk with a health care professional about how much to drink each day to help prevent or relieve your infection.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and other components of the National Institutes of Health conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.

Can You Get Antibiotics For A Uti Without Insurance

15 of Symptoms of a Bladder Infection Never to Ignore

You can definitely get antibiotics for a UTI without insurance. Though a prescription is required, insurance is not. And if you dont have insurance, dont worry there are many low-cost or even free options for getting the antibiotics you need.

Many of the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections are available as generics. This means that they are usually less expensive. And GoodRx can also help you keep your medication costs low. These antibiotics for UTIs are under $20 with a pharmacy discount:

In addition, many stores offer $4 generics for select medications, including some antibiotics. Some pharmacy chains like Publix even offer certain antibiotics for free.

Finally, if you are uninsured and finances are a barrier, Dispensary of Hope may be able to match you with a local option for free medications. Some doctors offices and free clinics may also have samples or free medications available for you to take home with you.

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Causes Of Utis And Bladder Infections

UTIs and bladder infections occur as a result of bacterial growth in your urinary tract. Your body is naturally home to billions of species of bacteria, and not all of them are bad.

In fact, bacteria help keep your body functioning the way its supposed to. But some bacteria dont belong in sensitive places in your body, and they can trigger some pretty miserable symptoms when they end up in the wrong place.

For example, E. coli, which is most commonly found in your digestive system, is also the most common type of bacteria to cause a UTI or bladder infection.

Several things can increase the risk of UTIs and bladder infections. While some of these risk factors are out of your control, you can control others.

  • Sexual intercourse: As fun as sex is, it can increase the risk of developing UTIs. The friction and movement around your genital area during sexual activity can facilitate bacteria moving around down there.
  • Hygiene: Things like forgetting to change your underwear, wiping from back to front, or sitting in wet or sweaty clothes for prolonged periods can up your chances of getting a UTI.
  • Genetics: Some people are simply more prone to UTIs than others. If someone in your immediate family gets UTIs regularly, youre probably more susceptible to them too.
  • Age: Due to urinary incontinence and estrogen deficiency, research shows that women are more likely to get recurrent UTIs after menopause.

Is Antibiotic Treatment Necessary For Uti

It was long thought that urine is sterile. This mistaken belief is based on old studies that relied upon the ability to grow bacteria in the laboratory.

These studies failed to grow bacteria out of the urine of most healthy individuals, and this led scientists to believe that the urine is typically sterile.

However, the advent of molecular, non-culture-based methods to detect the bacteria in and on our bodies , has revealed that the urine may never be sterile, even in healthy people.

Even as a physician who has conducted microbiome research for a number of years, I was initially skeptical of urine microbiome testing as a means to diagnose UTI. However, I have had multiple patients who had standard urine cultures that lined up exactly with their microbiome testing, and quite a few patients who had positive microbiome testing followed by a subsequent UTI. This strongly suggests that microbiome testing is not only accurate in the right setting, but also may predict imminent UTI in some patients.”

There are certain ramifications of the discovery of the urinary microbiome. One is that asymptomatic bacteriuria should not necessarily be treated.

If there is supposed to be bacteria in the urinary tract, why would we try to wipe them out when the patient is not experiencing symptoms?

A caveat to this is UTI during pregnancy. It does appear that treatment of asymptomatic bacteriuria may still be important in this patient population.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection

A bladder infection is the most common type of urinary tract infection . The infection causes cystitis, which is inflammation of the bladder. Symptoms of a bladder infection and cystitis include frequent or urgent need to urinate, pain or burning with urination, pelvic pressure or discomfort, and cloudy or bloody urine.

When To Get Medical Advice

Testing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

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.

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When Should I Go To The Doctor

A kidney infection can develop quite quickly over a few hours or days, so dont wait to see the doctor. Any of the above symptoms of a UTI or kidney infection should trigger a visit to your doctor for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.

A doctor will analyze a sample of your urine. If you test positive for a kidney infection, youll be prescribed oral antibiotics and, in some cases, a medication that helps relieve pain with urination. If treated promptly, a kidney infection shouldnt cause serious harm.

If you experience a fever over 101°F, pain, are unable to drink or take oral medication along with some of the other symptoms, get to the nearest urgent care or ER. For more serious infections, your doctor may keep you in the hospital for observation with IV antibiotics followed by outpatient oral antibiotics.

After completing the full course of prescribed antibiotics, you should feel better. If you dont, talk to your doctor, as you may need another course of antibiotics.

Some Preventative Measures Do Help

Because urinary tract infections do tend to reoccur, it can be beneficial to take some steps to prevent them. Dr. Talbott recommends emptying your bladder immediately after sexual intercourse. You can also take cranberry tablets, which are not necessarily curative, but may have some benefit in preventing infection in the first place.

Drinking a lot of water can also be very beneficial, says Dr. Talbott. It helps flush out bacteria and accelerate healing.

If you suffer from recurrent UTIs, you should speak with your physician, who might investigate further for other causes or contributors, including spermicidal agents and lower estrogen levels.

UTIs can be miserable, but you dont have to suffer. If youre experiencing symptoms, MDLIVE is an easy, convenient way to talk to a doctor without having to wait days for an appointmentfrom the comfort of your own home. Our doctors can talk to you about your symptoms, give you a diagnosis, and if a prescription is needed, send one straight to the pharmacy of your choice. Contact MDLIVE for a consult with a board-certified doctor via secure online video, phone, or the MDLIVE App today.

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What Are Other Possible Causes Of Painful Urination

A painful burning feeling when you urinate is often a sign of a urinary tract infection . However, painful urination can occur even if you dont have an infection. Certain drugs, like some used in cancer chemotherapy, may inflame the bladder. Something pressing against the bladder or a kidney stone stuck near the entrance to the bladder can also cause painful urination.

Painful urination can also be caused by vaginal infection or irritation. You might be sensitive to chemicals in products such as douches, vaginal lubricants, soaps, scented toilet paper, or contraceptive foams or sponges. If it hurts to urinate after youve used these products, youre probably sensitive to them.

How You Can Treat Cystitis Yourself

UTI Myths

If you have been having mild symptoms for less than 3 days or you have had cystitis before and do not feel you need to see a GP, you may want to treat your symptoms at home or ask a pharmacist for advice.

Until you’re feeling better, it may help to:

  • wipe from front to back when you go to the toilet
  • gently wash around your genitals with a skin-sensitive soap

Some people believe that cranberry drinks and products that reduce the acidity of their urine will help.

But there’s a lack of evidence to suggest they’re effective.

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Irritation Down There Doesnt Necessarily Mean A Uti

Youre likely to remember the symptoms of a UTI if youve experienced one. You have a frequent urge to pee which often results in a minimal amount of urine and any urine that is released causes a painful, burning sensation. You could also have discolored or foul smelling urine, or pressure in your lower abdomen, back or sides below your ribs. In the elderly, confusion can be the main symptom of a UTI. Such discomfort, however, may not indicate a urinary tract infection.

Other diseases present similarly to a UTI. For example, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis lead to vaginal itchiness, irregular discharge or blood in the urine . At the onset, symptoms for sexually transmitted diseases can also be confused with those of UTIs. Thats why its important you seek professional medical advice when you start having symptoms you think are a urinary tract infection. If you do have a UTI, and you wait too long to receive treatment, it could lead to a more serious kidney and lower urinary tract infections.

Home Remedies For Bladder Infection Symptoms

Drinking plenty of water can help clear the infection and may help relieve your symptoms sooner. Some people find that taking cranberry extract also helps relieve their symptoms. However, research on this is inconclusive.

Some research suggests that consuming cranberry juice, extract, or pills can help prevent bladder infections. However, these are not treatments for a bladder infection if you already have one. It is also important to drink at least eight glasses of water each day to help keep your bladder healthy and prevent infection.

If you are currently treating a bladder infection, drinking plenty of water can help flush out bacteria and clear the infection.

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How To Make An Appointment With Dr Michael Hsieh

Dr Hsieh currently sees chronic UTI patients at both the Childrens National Health System, and George Washington University locations. You can visit either link for more Information on how to make an appointment.

At this stage Dr Hsieh prefers initial appointments to be conducted in person. However, depending on insurance and the patients state of residency, GWU patients may be able to organize an appointment via telemedicine instead.

Its best to reach out using the information above to discuss whether this can be arranged.

Appointments with Dr Hsieh are covered by healthcare insurance in most cases. For uninsured patients, Dr Hsieh does his best to make fees reasonable and within their financial means.

Uti Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Mayo Clinic Minute: Treating Urinary Tract Infections

Only an antibiotic can rid your body of an infection so its important to observe and make note should you have the following symptoms and communicate them with your healthcare provider. Please note you may have just one, a few, or all of the following symptoms UTIs can present in different ways in individuals, no matter your sex.

1. Pain and burning while urinating this is perhaps the most common sign you have a urinary infection.

2. A constant feeling that you have to urinate or are urinating small amounts frequently. There is nothing worse than not getting relief by feeling as if you cannot fully empty your bladder.

3. Your urine smells pungent appears cloudy, and/or has blood in it .

4. Pain in your pelvis : this symptom is more common in women and can typically be radiating in the center of the pelvis above the pelvic bone.

5. Sudden mental confusion: if you are the caretaker of an older adult, this can sometimes be the most surprising and frightening symptom of a UTI and sadly, is quite often ignored in individuals already diagnosed with dementia. If you observe an abrupt transformation in behavior such as increased distress, confusion, or detachment, this could be the result of an undiagnosed UTI.

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Dr Hsiehs Personal Interest In Recurrent Uti And Interstitial Cystitis

Michael Hsieh has studied the immune system and infections for more than 25 years. Around 16 years ago, as a urology resident, he became interested in researching and treating chronic UTI. Since then, his research has been supported by grants from the NIH.

Throughout his research, Dr Hsieh has studied the naturally occurring microbiome, and how the presence of non-pathogenic bacteria may prevent urinary tract infections. He also headed a research group focussed on bladder inflammation, UTI and bladder cancer.

When To Go To A Doctor For UTI: Dr Hsiehs Experience

Most patients that see Michael Hsieh for urinary tract infections have suffered from multiple episodes and are desperate for something that works. His investigative approach has enabled him to assist patients with previously unidentified urinary pathogens.

I am very careful about labelling patients with Interstitial Cystitis, I think a lot have occult UTI with difficult to culture organisms. By utilizing more accurate testing methods we are able to identify pathogens in many cases, and develop appropriate treatment.”

Does Cranberry Juice Cure Utis

Cranberry juice and cranberry extract have been commonly used to treat and prevent UTIs and while cranberry certainly cant hurt and can help, its not a one and done solution for UTIs. There isnt a common consensus on whether or not cranberry actually reduces the number of UTIs a woman gets as studies have shown both that and the opposite. Dont expect that cranberry will cure a UTI without antibiotics. But if the pain is unbearable before you can get to the doctor, it can provide some relief.

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