Things You Can Try Yourself
If you have mild symptoms of cystitis, it can help to:
- take paracetamol up to 4 times a day to reduce pain
- give children liquid paracetamol follow the instructions on the bottle
- drink plenty of water
- avoid drinks that may irritate your bladder, like fruit juices, coffee and alcohol
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent cystitis from happening, which might help. However, theres no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat cystitis if the infection has already started.
Treatment Concerns For Antibiotics
While most UTIs can be effectively managed and treated with a course of antibiotics, more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to different types of antibiotics due to mutations in their genetic code. Every time you take an antibiotic, the bacteria that are in your system are more likely to adapt and mutate and become resistant to the administered antibiotic. And since recurrence rates in the case of UTIs are high, its a strong possibility that an antibiotic may not be effective every time. Many antibiotics such as ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer effective against stronger mutated bacteria and hence are not a good choice for combatting these infections.
Other health risks and adverse effects associated with antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections include extreme allergic reactions and numerous side effects. These can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Another potential risk of taking antibiotics is that they might destroy some of the good bacteria residing in your system that help with your systematic bodily functions without harming you. The death of these bacteria opens up the passageway to a whole new range of possible infections.
How Do I Know If I Need Antibiotics To Treat My Uti
Once you have a UTI, home remedies and OTC medications will not cure a UTI. You will need antibiotics to cure your UTI. Once you start antibiotics, symptoms usually clear up in 2-3 days.
Even though the symptoms should clear up quickly, you should still take all the antibiotics your doctor prescribes for you. If you dont, the infection could come back even stronger the next time.
For an uncomplicated UTI, these antibiotics are prescribed most often:
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Otc Uti Treatment: Key Takeaway
Women are prone to contracting a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. Certain UTIs do not need treatment if they are diagnosed on time and if the symptoms are cared for, however, some UTIs require medical intervention in the form of antibiotics.
While antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, researchers are looking for better OTC treatment options for UTI symptoms that might eliminate their need. Several OTC UTI treatment drugs help prevent and manage UTI symptoms but should never be considered a replacement to prescribed antibiotics. The only clinically proven cure for a UTI is a prescribed antibiotic and nothing else as of yet.
If you think you have a UTI, you may visit Family Medicine Austin and consult our healthcare experts. It is always advised to avoid self-treatment and seek medical help.
I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.
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The Lowdown On Natural Treatments
D-mannose is a supplement made from a glucose-like sugar that you can find online or in health food stores. D-mannose is most helpful at preventing E. coli from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, says Rice. D-mannose in recurrent urinary tract infections. . If taken with a lot of water, this can effectively flush out the bacteria that is causing the infection.
Rice often tells patients to take 500 milligrams every two to three hours when experiencing symptoms however, the best dose is individual. You can find more guidelines here, and when in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to follow the manufacturers guidelines. Be sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to help the D-mannose remove the bacteria. Again, if the symptoms persist more than 24 hours or get worse, get yourself to the doctor.
D-mannose isnt recommended for those with diabetes, and if youre taking other medications, you need to talk to a doctor before starting this treatment. Diarrhea is a common side effect.
Althaea officinalis, otherwise known as Marshmallow, is an anti-inflammatory herb widely available in powdered, supplement, and tea form. Althaea officinalis is a demulcent herb that can soothe and coat the lining of the urinary tract to help decrease inflammation, says Rice. Make a strong tea and sip throughout the day.
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Drink Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
One of the most well-known UTI treatments is cranberry juice. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in cranberry juice. They contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help treat and prevent infections.
Studies show that cranberry juice can help relieve UTI symptoms, as well as reduce how often you get them.
Follow Good Bathroom And Diapering Habits
Some children simply dont urinate often enough. Children should urinate often and when they first feel the need to go. Bacteria can grow and cause an infection when urine stays in the bladder too long. Caregivers should change diapers often for infants and toddlers, and should clean the genital area well. Gentle cleansers that do not irritate the skin are best.
Your child should always wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement. This step is most important after a bowel movement to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra and bladder.
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For Urinary Tract Infections
Since three of the most common causes of kidney discomfort occur in the urinary tract, here are some remedies to relieve pain in the kidneys related to the urinary tract:
1. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is key to relieving pain in the kidneys since water will help flush bacteria out of the body. Plus, staying hydrated will help clear out the urinary tract as a whole and work to eliminate any possible infections.
Many specialists recommend the 8×8 rule, meaning you should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day. However, water intake is highly dependant on you and your health, so take this article into consideration when determining your daily amount of water intake.
2. Drink Cranberry Juice
While not scientifically proven, cranberry juice is known to be a remedy for urinary tract infections. If you choose to alternate between cranberry juice and water, be sure to choose a cranberry juice that isnt packed full of additional sweeteners. A cranberry supplement or pure cranberry juice is always the best way to go!
3. Take Probiotics
Its no secret that probiotics are beneficial for you, especially when it comes to fighting bacteria and kidney pain. Studies show that probiotics can improve kidney function and assist in processing waste too.
4. Drink Parsley Juice
You can also mix parsley into a smoothie to make drinking it more bearable. Check out these recipes for inspiration!
5. Take a Warm Epsom Salt Bath
6. Apply Heat
7. Use Non-Aspirin Pain Killers
Drinking Cranberry Juice For Uti
Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins which do not let the bacterias stick to the walls of the urinary tract. If you ask any expert how to naturally treat UTI? Cranberry juice will surely be one of the suggestions to cure urinary tract infections. The juice is full of nutrients that boost the overall health system. Studies say that cranberry reduce the chances of UTI reduce by 35%.
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Keep Regular Bathroom Visits In Mind
While suffering from a UTI, often urinating will aid in clearing bacteria from the urethra. Even a modest bit of emptying your bladder will help to remove some of the infection-causing bacteria. The bladder may become more infected with urine-borne bacteria if the need to urinate is suppressed. Additionally, urinating before and after sexual activity will lessen the number of bacteria that enters the urethra.
When To See A Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of a UTI, its best to see your doctor as soon as possible. For those who are pregnant, a UTI can be dangerous for both mother and child.
Your doctor will perform the necessary tests, like a urine culture, to figure out the primary bacteria responsible for your infection. Theyll then prescribe medication that is targeted for your specific needs.
Again, this isnt something you want to ignore for too long because your UTI could get a lot worse. Ramin said, in rare cases, the bacteria could make its way to your kidneys, which makes the UTI more difficult to treat.
In more serious cases of urinary tract infection, antibiotics may need to be administered intravenously and then followed by a course of oral antibiotics for several days to weeks, he said.
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What About Drinking Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is not a treatment for urinary tract infections, says Dr. Shepherd. While its unlikely to be harmful, a meta-analysis of studies that looked at the use of cranberry juice in more than 2,000 people showed that it didnt reduce the chance of getting a urinary tract infection in comparison with water, placebo or nothing at all . And what about probiotics? Tried and tested but, unfortunately, probiotics havent been proven effective in reducing the frequency of recurrent UTIs or treating existing UTIs either .
So when it comes to getting quick relief, your best bet is to see a healthcare provider and get a prescription for antibiotics and Azo for pain relief. And in the long term? Make sure to take steps to avoid getting UTIs in the future.
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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Practice Healthy Hygiene Habits
Preventing UTIs starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold your urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection.
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also 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 using the toilet especially if you have a female urethra make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs.
Benefits of healthy hygiene for UTI
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Careful wiping when you use the toilet may also help decrease the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied and are all available in capsule form:
- D-Mannose.D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence.
- Cranberry extract. Like cranberry juice, cranberry extract works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
- Garlic extract. shows garlic and garlic extract to have antimicrobial properties, so they it may be able to block the growth of bacteria to prevent UTIs.
Cut Back On Meat And Poultry
Some studies, such as one published in August 2018 in the journal mBio, have linked contaminated poultry and meat to E.coli bacteria strains that can cause UTIs. These studies havent proven that eating meat or poultry causes UTIs. In fact, some E.coli can live in the intestines without causing any problems. However, bacteria from the gut can enter the urinary tract and cause infection. This risk is greater in women than men, because women have shorter urethras than men, meaning the bacteria has less distance to travel to reach the bladder.
Cutting back on meat and focusing on fruits and veggies may slightly cut your risk of UTIs. According to a study of Buddhists in Taiwan, published in January 2020 in Scientific Reports, compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarians had a 16 percent lower risk of UTI.
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Practice Good Hygiene After Sex And Ask Your Partner To Too
Overall health with increased water intake and exercise is the best way to improve health and help with decreasing UTIs, Dr. Shepherd shares. This includes good hygiene and being diligent about cleaning all of your lady parts. And make sure your partner does, too. Bacteria from sexual intercourse is one of the most common ways women can get a UTI, Dr. Shepherd explains.
Whats The Difference Between A Urinary Tract Infection And Bladder Infection
A urinary tract infection is a more general type of infection. There are many parts of your urinary tract. A UTI is a term for an infection that takes place throughout the urinary tract. A bladder infection, also called cystitis, is a specific infection. In this infection, bacteria makes its way into the bladder and causes inflammation.
Not all urinary tract infections become bladder infections. Preventing the spread of the infection is one of the most important reasons to treat a UTI quickly when you have symptoms. The infection can spread not only to the bladder, but also into your kidneys, which is a more complicated type of infection than a UTI.
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What Do Bladder Spasms Feel Like
Normally, the bladder gently fills with urine and you slowly become aware of the need to urinate. This feeling is your cue to start looking for a bathroom.
But in people who have bladder spasms, the sensation occurs suddenly and often severely. A spasm itself is the sudden, involuntary squeezing of a muscle. A bladder spasm, or âdetrusor contraction,â occurs when the bladder muscle squeezes suddenly without warning, causing an urgent need to release urine. The spasm can force urine from the bladder, causing leakage. When this happens, the condition is called urge incontinence or overactive bladder.
People who have had such spasms describe them as a cramping pain and sometimes as a burning sensation. Some women with severe bladder spasms compared the muscle contractions to severe menstrual cramps and even labor pains experienced during childbirth.
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Barleans Olive Leaf Complex
Olive leafs contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-microbial essentially they serve as a natural antibiotic. I took about a tablespoon when my bladder pain hit
I do take Barleans occasionally when I feel symptoms of Candida overgrowth. One symptom of Candida overgrowth, by the way, is recurring UTIs, and as mentioned, Candida also causes bladder inflammation common with IC.
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What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
Take An Otc Medication
Phenazopyridine hydrochloride is a pain reliever for the urinary tract and can be purchased over the counter in generic form or as the brand name drug AZO. This medication temporarily relieves urinary urgency, pain, and pressure associated with UTIs. However, it doesnt treat the underlying infection.
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How Should This Medicine Be Used
Phenazopyridine comes as a tablet or capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times a day after meals. Do not chew or crush the tablets as it may cause your teeth to become stained swallow them whole with a full glass of water. You may stop taking this drug when pain and discomfort completely disappear. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take phenazopyridine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
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