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.
How Are Utis Diagnosed
Visit your doctor if you have UTI symptoms. They may perform a physical examination and a sample of urine will be collected for testing.
The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases recommend that if your urine tests results show bacteria in your urine but you don’t have any symptoms of a UTI, it is unlikely you will need antibiotics. For more information, visit the Choosing Wisely Australia website.
What Causes A Uti
Most bladder infections are caused by bacteria that is normally found in the bowel. Some common ways that bacteria is introduced into the urinary tract include:
- Wiping from back to front when using the toilet
- Holding your urine, which allows bacteria to accumulate
- Sexual intercourse
Some medical conditions can increase the risk of developing a UTI.
- Diabetes increases the amount of sugar that is in the bladder, making it more likely that bacteria will accumulate.
- Some medicines, such as antibiotics, can increase the risk of bacteria growth, leading to a UTI.
- If your bladder isnt functioning properly, it may be difficult for it to completely empty, making it easier for bacteria to accumulate in the remaining urine.
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Uti Tests And Diagnosis
If you suspect that you have a urinary tract infection, go to the doctor. You’ll give a urine sample to test for UTI-causing bacteria.
If you get frequent UTIs and your doctor suspects a problem in your urinary tract, they might take a closer look with an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI scan. They might also use a long, flexible tube called a cystoscope to look inside your urethra and bladder.
Practice Good Sexual Hygiene
The also says that sexual intercourse introduces bacteria and other microbes from outside the body to the urinary tract. Practicing good sexual hygiene can help to reduce the number of bacteria that people can transfer during intercourse and other sexual acts.
Examples of good sexual hygiene include:
- urinating before and immediately after sex
- using barrier contraception, such as a condom
- washing the genitals, especially the foreskin, before and after engaging in sexual acts or intercourse
- washing the genitals or changing condoms if switching from anal sex to vaginal sex
- ensuring that sexual partners are aware of any current or previous UTIs
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
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?
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How Do You Get Urinary Tract Infections
The design of the human body makes it so it isnt hard to get a bacterial UTI, because the infection comes from outside, through the urethra. Bacteria in the genital area can enter the urethra and the urinary tract, either because wiping after going to the bathroom, sexual activity, or unsanitary conditions. Once the bacteria have entered the urethra, the body tries fight them off, but sometimes the bacteria multiply and cause an infection.
In the case of a fungal infection, usually the fungus gets to the urinary tract through the blood stream. Those who develop this type of infection are usually ill with a disease that has compromised their immune system, such as AIDS.
In general, women get more UTIs than do men and this increases with age. Statistics show that many women get more than one. Almost 20% of women who have had one UTI will go on to have a second. Of this 20%, 30% of those will have a third, and in turn, 80% of these women will have more.
Testing For Bladder Infections
If you think that you may have a urinary tract infection, head to your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will ask you to provide a urine sample, which will then be examined and tested for bacteria that cause UTIs.
If you are unsure if your symptoms are a UTI, or just want to know for sure, many pharmacies sell over-the-counter urine tests that can help your doctor determine if you have a UTI. This way you can avoid unnecessary antibiotics if you dont have a UTI and if you do, you dont need to deal with the hassle of going to a commercial lab.
Frequent Need To Urinate
Due to the irritation and inflammation of the bladder/urethra, patients with UTIs typically find themselves using the bathroom to urinate more than normal. Some patients experience UTI-related incontinence, which can cause bladder leakage. If this happens, its important for the patient to change their underwear immediately to prevent more bacteria from accessing the urethra.
Patients may begin to dread the discomfort of going to the bathroom, especially if they are needing to use the bathroom more than usual. However, its important for patients with UTIs to drink plenty of fluids and urinate often to help flush out the bacteria.
If Youre Advised To Watch And Wait
Occasionally, health care providers will tell patients to use the watch and wait approach if their health history and symptoms call for it.
Patients who are implementing this tactic should also:
Drink lots of fluids
Consider taking OTC pain medication
Eat nourishing foods and get ample rest to support the immune system/improve their overall health
Considering supplementing with vitamins
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Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
How do you get rid of a UTI fast? Fortunately, most cases of UTIs can be cured with a short course of antibiotic therapy. Doctors can often diagnose UTIs based on symptoms alone, without the need for an examination or taking a blood or urine sample.
Antibiotics commonly recommended for UTIs include:
Keep in mind you cannot get UTI antibiotics over the counter and will need to set up an appointment with a doctor.
Even though symptoms can go away in as few as a few hours after starting antibiotics, some people have so much pain during UTIs they want something to relieve the pain in addition to killing the infection. A medication called phenazopyridine can be taken as much as three times daily to dull the pain.
Treatment Of Utis In A Dog
Antibiotics are indicated for bacterial UTIs. Prescription food may be required to combat crystals/stones in the urinary tract.
Resistant or recurrent UTIs are a real pain in the neck for the patient, pet parent and doc! Many of these require additional testing before a treatment plan can be reached.
Over-the-county remedies and supplements such as cranberry juice extracts dont seem to do much good. One of the most trusted voices in holistic/naturopathic veterinary medicine, Dr. Susan Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, AHG, says she does not use them.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti Infecting My Kidneys
Both bacteria and viruses can move upwards from the bladder to the kidneys or can be carried through the bloodstream from other parts of the body. Signs of the UTI developing in the kidneys include a high fever and a cramp-type pain that arrives in waves and then subsides, on both sides of the lower back, which may spread down towards the front of the thighs. The pain may be so unbearable as to cause a woman to pace around. There may be associated nausea and vomiting. Occasionally, this develops into confusion, or delirium, with the affected person perhaps losing track of time, or not knowing where they are. This confusion tends to be more pronounced in the elderly population. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should go to A& E immediately. Pyelonephritis is treated with antibiotics, and, if necessary, fluid replacement into the veins.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
If you’re a woman, your chance of getting a urinary tract infection is high. Some experts rank your lifetime risk of getting one as high as 1 in 2, with many women having repeat infections, sometimes for years. About 1 in 10 men will get a UTI in their lifetime.
Here’s how to handle UTIs and how to make it less likely you’ll get one in the first place.
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What Is The Urinary Tract
The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the body’s 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.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Females, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria around the anus from going in the vagina or urethra.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
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When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they might have a UTI, they should speak with a doctor for advice on the best way to treat the possible infection.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary to treat UTIs, but it is still important to seek medical attention for any suspected infection. This will reduce the risk of a more severe infection developing that is harder to treat.
The signs and symptoms of UTIs include:
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
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.
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Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Ninety percent of the time when a healthy adult woman experiences painful urination and a urge to frequently urinate, it is a UTI. In addition, many women who have bladder infections may notice that their urine looks cloudy or dark. Some may even see blood in their urine.
While burning and a frequent or intense urge to urinate are the most common symptoms associated with UTIs, sometimes more painful or uncomfortable symptoms arise.
These rare symptoms include:
If you have a high fever , back or flank pain, or nausea and vomiting it may indicate something more serious and you should seek urgent medical attention.
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If Youre Advised To Take Antibiotics
Depending upon the strain of bacteria that is present, the healthcare provider may recommend the patient takes a specific type of antibiotics. Its important for patients to realize that not all antibiotics work the same and should only be taken as prescribed. Furthermore, if a patient takes the wrong antibiotic they may accidentally wipe out all of their healthy bacteria instead of fighting the UTI infection.
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Living With Urinary Tract Infections
If you have 3 or more urinary tract infections each year, your doctor may want you to begin a preventive antibiotic program. A small dose of an antibiotic taken every day helps to reduce the number of infections. If sexual intercourse seems to cause infections for you, your doctor many suggest taking the antibiotic after intercourse.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs are unpleasant enough that most women will try anything to avoid getting one. Mann discusses some simple lifestyle changes that might help you prevent UTIs. These steps help reduce the chance of bacteria entering the urinary tract, which is the main cause of UTIs. Make sure to:
- Empty your bladder more often: Dont hold it when you feel the urge to go. Mann says that you should empty your bladder at least every four hours during the day. And urinating immediately after intercourse can help wash bacteria away from the urethral opening.
- Drink more water: Studies have shown people who drink more water are less likely to have recurrent urinary tract infections. Mann suggests that you drink at least 2 liters of water daily.
- Practice safer wiping and cleaning: Wiping from front to back helps avoid bacterial contamination. Avoid irritating feminine products with dyes, fragrances and parabens. Instead, wash with water whenever possible. And, please, dont ever douche unless otherwise advised to do so by your practitioner, says Mann.
- Try a different birth control: If you have repeated urinary tract infections, you may want to avoid using a diaphragm and spermicide, including spermicidal condoms. Talk to your doctor or clinician about other birth control options that can lower your risk for UTIs.
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I Think I May Have A Urinary Tract Infection
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