Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do I need any tests, such as urinalysis?
- What is the likely cause of my urinary tract infection ?
- Do I need medicine? How should I take it?
- What are the possible side effects of the medicine?
- When should I expect relief from my symptoms?
- What symptoms would indicate that my infection is getting worse? What should I do if I experience these symptoms?
- I get UTIs a lot. What can I do to prevent them?
- Do I need preventive antibiotics? If so, should I be concerned about antibiotic resistance?
- My child gets UTIs a lot. Could an anatomical problem be causing his or her UTIs?
How Do I Know Its A Uti
Urinary tract infections can have classic symptoms, non-classic symptoms, and female or male related symptoms. Those symptoms related to both genders are easily recognizable.
- Both genders experience burning sensations while urinating
- Both have frequent needs to urinate, but produce less output
- Both may have discolored urine white, cloudy, pink, red, dark
- Men and women develop a strong odor in the urine output
- Aching pain in the pelvic area
- Men may experience pain between the rectum and scrotum
- Men may have dribbling, leakage, or a slow stream
Treatment with antibiotics, drinking plenty of fluid, and taking over the counter pain medications will relieve most patients of a UTI. The doctor will test the urine to find which bacteria is the culprit and order the antibiotic accordingly.
Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection often vary from person to person. Factors such as age, gender and the type of UTI may determine precisely which symptoms are experienced and to what degree. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for as an indication of a urinary tract infection.
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Treating Urinary Tract Infections
Your recommended treatment plan by your GP will depend on whether your infection is in the upper or lower urinary tract.
Both types of urinary tract infection can usually be treated at home using a course of antibiotics.
If an upper UTI is more serious or there is increased risk of complications, you may need hospital treatment.
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Utis Can Be Caused By Multiple Pathogens
Another issue with the standard mid-stream urine culture, or Kass test, is that it looks for a single pathogen, and does not take into account the possibility of multiple infection-causing pathogens.
Instead, if multiple pathogens are found, it is generally assumed that the urine sample was contaminated.
This is a problem because some chronic infections have been found to be caused by multiple pathogens co-existing in the bladder. And each pathogen may require a different treatment approach.
|Our biological studies reveal mixed microbial infections hiding inside the cells of the bladder. Located there, the microbes seem quiescent but cause low-grade inflammation that may cause various bladder symptoms…Cloistered, inside cells bacteria escape antibiotic and immune attack.|
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Other Home Remedies For Kidney Infections
To alleviate kidney infection pain in the lower back and abdomen areas, you can use hot compresses. Kidney infections can cause the surrounding muscles to spasm and become painful. You can also use heating pads to increase blood flow to speed up healing with increased oxygen levels to the area from the blood cells.
Heat therapy also makes it easier to stretch the soft tissues and decreases stiffness to allow the muscles in the area to relax. Feelings of pain and soreness will also be reduced, even if temporarily.
Bubble baths are not recommended for those with a kidney infection. Frequent baths can remove the protective mucus covering the urethra, and some chemicals present in soaps can cause irritation, making it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary system. .
What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the bodys liquid waste products. The urinary tract includes the following parts:
- Kidneys: These small organs are located on back of your body, just above the hips. They are the filters of your body removing waste and water from your blood. This waste becomes urine.
- Ureters: The ureters are thin tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to your bladder.
- Bladder: A sac-like container, the bladder stores your urine before it leaves the body.
- Urethra: This tube carries the urine from your bladder to the outside of the body.
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Upper Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
In addition to the symptoms above, the presence of the following symptoms may indicate that the affected person is suffering from an upper urinary tract infection:
- Pain and/or aches between the upper abdomen and the back, known as flank pain
- Signs of confusion, disorientation and/or agitation may occur, especially in elderly patients
Good to know: Upper urinary tract infection symptoms are similar in both men and women.
If you are experiencing possible symptoms of a urinary tract infection, carry out a symptom assessment with the free Ada app.
Avoid Food And Beverages That May Irritate The Bladder
The most common bladder irritants are alcohol, caffeinated drinks, carbonated beverages, and spicy dishes.
Both caffeine and alcohol have been found to increase bladder spasming, which can make UTI pain worse. And when men and women increased their intake of coffee or soda, they had higher chances of getting UTI symptoms.
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Pregnancy And Urinary Tract Infections
Pregnant women with a UTI that develops into a kidney infection are at higher risk of developing additional complications, which may affect both them and the fetus. Such complications include anemia, premature labor, low birth weight and, in very rare cases, stillbirth.
Fortunately, early medical intervention means that urinary tract infections in pregnant women can usually be treated successfully. If the affected person has a lower urinary tract infection, a course of oral antibiotics is the most common treatment method. If an upper urinary tract infection is suspected, the doctor may recommend administering antibiotics intravenously in hospital instead.
Once the infection has cleared, a doctor may choose to prescribe low-level, prophylactic antibiotics for the remainder of the pregnancy to reduce the risk of a UTI returning.
Pregnancy can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI. This is due to numerous factors, including hormonal changes and the increased weight of the uterus putting pressure on the bladder.
Foods And Drinks For Kidney Infections
While staying hydrated is one of the most important things to do to ensure frequent flushing of bacteria from the urinary tract, you dont always have to consume water to achieve this goal.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and can be easily mixed with warm water and honey to drink. Parsley also effectively flushes out toxins in the body when consumed as a drink.
Drinking lots of fluids can also prevent constipation and other irritating kidney infection symptoms from occurring.
Fiber-rich foods such as apples and cabbages are also effective preventative measures for constipation. You should avoid foods high in phosphorus until an infection is cured, because infected kidneys prevent organs from properly regulating phosphorus levels in the body.
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How To Get Rid Of Uti Back Pain
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are infections that infect areas of your urinary system. The urinary system is made up of four parts:
- The kidneys
- The bladder
- The urethra
The urethra is a thin tube that connects the bladder to the outside of your body. When you urinate, the urine flows out of the bladder through the ureters and urethra.
Sometimes bacteria makes its way up the ureters, into your bladder, and sometimes all the way up into your kidneys. This can lead to back pain and is a sign of a serious infection.
What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
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It Turns Out Urine Is Not Sterile
It has become common knowledge that urine is sterile its even become ingrained in first aid advice, like urinating on a wound is better than using non-sterile water. But it turns out its not.
The bladder has its own unique microbiome, and an ideal balance of microbes that your body does its best to maintain.
Studies have found hundreds of different bacteria in healthy bladders. And in patients with UTIs, they have found even more. Thats a lot of different bacteria that were assumed not to exist in the bladder!
Because UTI test techniques have always assumed urine is sterile, they have always been flawed.
For many, the consequences of this are UTI test results that list contamination which implies the bacteria came from a source other than the bladder possibly skin, vagina, or elsewhere.
This contamination may actually be bacteria from inside the bladder that should be considered as part of the puzzle. Results may also show insignificant levels of growth that are then often dismissed.
Its important to acknowledge here that actual sample contamination is also a real possibility, so minimizing this is also important. Weve discussed this more below.
When To Seek Medical Advice
You may find your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, you should see your GP if you find your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days.
Also see your GP if you have a UTI and:
- you develop a high temperature
- your symptoms suddenly get worse
- you are pregnant
- you have diabetes
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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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How Do You Know If A Uti Has Spread To Your Kidneys
Kidney infections usually present with a fever, chills, and back pain.
The main difference between UTI and kidney infection symptoms is:
- High fever
The most common kidney infection symptoms include:
- Severe flank pain
Kidney back pain is concentrated on the back in between the ribs and hips. Constant dull or severe pain is usually reported. Pain increases with increase fluid intake or if someone presses on your back.
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Your Uretha Is Irritated After Having Sex
“I have many patients with urethritis after intercourse who believe they have UTIs, but when I culture before and after, the cultures are negative,” Rice says. People sometimes even call the UTI-like symptoms you can get from intercourse “honeymoon cystitis.”If this is what you’re dealing with, the symptoms should go away within a few days without antibiotics. “Often, if I prescribe natural supplements and bladder pain relief medications, the symptoms are limited to less than 24 hours,” Rice says. You should still consult your doctor, but don’t be surprised if they advise pain relief rather than antibiotics.
Causes Of Utis Vs Causes Of Kidney Infection
Your urinary tract is normally well equipped to prevent infections. The regular passage of urine helps to flush pathogens out of the urinary tract.
When bacteria make their way into your urinary tract and begin to multiply, UTIs occur. This can lead to symptoms. These bacteria have often come from your gastrointestinal tract and spread from your anus into your urinary tract.
Women are more likely to develop UTIs than men. This is because the female urethra is shorter than the male urethra and closer to the anus. Bacteria have a shorter distance to travel in order to establish an infection.
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Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many lifestyle choices that can help you prevent UTIs. These are some of the things you can do to protect yourself from them:
- Drink plenty of water to flush out bacteria. For some people, drinking cranberry juice may also help prevent urinary tract infections. However, if youre taking warfarin, check with your doctor before using cranberry juice to prevent urinary tract infections. Your doctor may need to adjust your warfarin dose or you may need to have more frequent blood tests.
- Dont hold your urine. Urinate when you feel like you need to. Some children dont go to the bathroom often enough. If your child does this, teach him or her to go to the bathroom several times each day.
- Wipe from front to back after bowel movements. Teach your child to wipe correctly.
- Urinate after having sex to help wash away bacteria.
- Use enough lubrication during sex. Try using a small amount of lubricant before sex if youre a little dry.
- If you get urinary tract infections often, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm as a birth control method. Ask your doctor about other birth control choices.
- Avoid taking or giving your child bubble baths.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing , and dress your child in loose-fitting clothing.
- If you are uncircumcised, wash the foreskin regularly. If you have an uncircumcised boy, teach him how to wash his foreskin.
What Does A Uti Feel Like
Generally, UTIs feel like a sharp burning sensation while urinating. Oftentimes, the burning is from the acidic urine irritating the lining of the bladder and urethra, urologist Lisa Hawes, MD, told Readers Digest. The bacteria damages the lining of the bladder and urethra and then the acidic urine acts like alcohol over a cut, causing the burn. You may also experience itching and a constant feeling of needing to urinate. If you have a UTI, back pain might also be something you notice. Back pain is one of the common symptoms of a bladder infection, which is a type of UTI.
But is it possible to have a UTI without Symptoms? Could you be sick and not even know it? The scary answer is yes.
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Other Ways To Prevent Recurring Utis
If you have more than 3 UTIs in 1 year, or 2 UTIs in 6 months, there are other things that may help prevent UTIs.
There is some evidence that women under 65 years old who keep getting UTIs may find it helpful to take:
- a supplement called D-mannose this is not recommended for pregnant women
- cranberry products, such as juice or tablets
Speak to your doctor before taking any of these during pregnancy.
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar.
Page last reviewed: 18 November 2020 Next review due: 18 November 2023
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are most often caused by bacteria spreading from the anal or genital region and entering the urinary tract. Because of this, there are a number of preventative methods that can minimize the risk of experiencing a UTI:
- Regular urination
- Emptying the bladder after sexual intercourse
- Drinking lots of water, ideally at least 1.5 liters a day. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can irritate the bladder
- Wiping from front to back after using the toilet to avoid spreading bacteria from the anal region
- Maintaining good personal hygiene and keeping the genital area clean and dry
- Taking showers instead of baths
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Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections
It is generally not recommended to treat urinary tract infections with home remedies alone, because antibiotic treatment is usually required to clear the infection. It is only in very mild cases of cystitis that the infection may clear without medical intervention. However, it is possible to use certain natural methods at home alongside antibiotic treatment to alleviate pain and help clear the infection quicker. Such remedies can include:
- Drinking plenty of water, ideally at least 1.5 liters a day, to help flush the bacteria out of the body
- Placing a hot water bottle or heating pad against the abdomen or lower back to ease pain in those areas make sure to wrap the heating device in a clean cloth or towel before application to avoid burns from direct contact with the skin
- Taking pain-relief medications, such as paracetamol/acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
Drinking cranberry juice has been cited in the past as a successful treatment method for urinary tract infections. Although not harmful, recent studies indicate the benefit of cranberry juice for treating UTIs is limited.
How Long Does Back Pain Last With A Uti
Minor back pain may accompany UTIs. Once antibiotics are started, you should feel better within 12 to 24 hours.
However, untreated UTIs can cause severe infection and complications. Constant, dull, or severe pain can signify a kidney infection. Unlike muscular pain, this pain will be persistent and unrelieved by any alleviating factors.
UTI back pain will last until you begin antibiotic treatment for your UTI.
A UTI that has spread to the kidneys is a serious infection that will typically not go away on its own. Its extremely dangerous for an infection of this nature to go untreated.
If you are experiencing back pain from a UTI seek medical attention immediately, youll likely need antibiotics.
UTIs typically cause lower abdominal pain and not back pain. Lower abdominal pain can last 2-3 days with a UTI and longer for untreated UTIs.
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