Tuesday, October 4, 2022

What Can Happen If A Urinary Tract Infection Goes Untreated

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Consider Switching Birth Control

Urinary Tract Infections

Some older research suggests that certain contraceptives may contribute to the cause of UTIs in some women.

If you use diaphragms, spermicides, or nonlubricated condoms and get frequent UTIs, it may be worth talking to your doctor to find other methods of birth control.

Its not uncommon for UTIs to go away on their own with at-home care and without the use of antibiotics.

Some research estimates that 25 to 42 percent of UTIs can go away on their own. This is usually only common in women with no other health issues.

However, there are some serious risks that can come from leaving a UTI untreated, including pyelonephritis and .

UTIs are painful, but with treatment, you can alleviate an infection and prevent recurrent infections. Talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of a UTI. With proper treatment, you should begin to feel better in a few days.

Take your antibiotics as instructed even after your symptoms improve to prevent complications or a secondary infection.

If the UTI doesnt resolve after antibiotic treatment or you end up with multiple episodes of a UTI, your doctor will likely do further testing.

This could be in the form of:

You may be referred to a urologist, depending on the severity of your UTI or if you have chronic infections.

Certain strains of bacteria can cause UTIs. They can range from mild to severe. The degree of severity depends on multiple factors, including:

Getting Treatment Help For A Urinary Tract Infection

Many adults discount the symptoms or treat those symptoms as something else. You need to get a diagnosis and make sure you treat a UTI before the infection spreads and complications arise. Treatment is usually possible with antibiotics and you can get fast relief from symptoms as well as making sure you dont experience further health issues. Contact us today or visit Highland Park Emergency Room for help treating this issue before it gets worse. Were here to help.

What About Kidney Stones Are They Involved Here Somehow

Sort of. A kidney stone isnt an infection, but a collection of salt and minerals that hardens and turns into a stone. While some stones may be small others can be much larger. They may stay in the kidney, or begin to move into the ureter, the tube that connects the kidney and the bladder. When this happens, kidney stones can become extremely painful.

Kidney stones can be tricky, since they may have many of the same symptoms as a UTI or a kidney infection pain when urinating, needing to urinate often, and cloudy or strong smelling urine, blood in the urine, fever, nausea or vomiting. And while stones often pass on their own, larger stones sometimes need to be broken up, or removed.

Sometimes, kidney stones can lead to a urinary tract infection or a kidney infection, so its important to get them checked out by your doctor. And, since the symptoms are so similar, getting a checkup is probably a good idea anyway just to rule out the possibility of an infection, and to make sure the stone is moving along as it should.

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How Do I Know If I Have A Uti Or A Kidney Infection

It may feel like all urinary tract infections are the same they all feel pretty uncomfortable! But a UTI can occur anywhere within your urinary system and its important to know what to look for in case it travels to your kidneys. Read on to learn more about UTIs and Kidney Infections, and how to tell the difference between them.

Uncommon Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection You Should Know

Untreated UTI Bladder Infection Pelvic Pain Danger

About 40% of women develop at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetime. Having one UTI over the span of decades doesnt sound too bad, but not all women are that lucky.

Its estimated that 20-30% of women will have a second UTI within 3-4 months. And for 11% of women, UTIs become an ongoing problem, recurring at least once every year and often more frequently.

UTIs typically cause a specific cluster of symptoms: a strong need to urinate, frequent urination, burning when you urinate, and passing small amounts of urine. Women receive comprehensive care for UTIs at Fred A. Williams, MD, so call the office in Paris, Texas, if you experience any of those symptoms.

Were also available to answer your questions if you develop one or more of these three uncommon symptoms of a UTI.

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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.

What Causes Urinary Tract Infections And What Are The Symptoms

Urinary tract infections are very common in sexually active young women as well as women after menopause. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria from the vagina invade the bladder by climbing the urethra. In rare cases, the same bacteria can climb the ureter the tube that connects the bladder and kidney and cause a kidney infection.

The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are a burning sensation during urination, pelvic pain, frequent need to urinate, and the feeling of not being able to completely empty your bladder.

With severe urinary tract infections, a woman might see blood in her urine. In older patients, symptoms are sometimes more subtle and can include confusion.

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How Do I Know If A Uti Has Spread To My Kidneys

A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys. While this type of infection is rare, its also very dangerous and if youre experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor immediately: Upper back or side pain. Fever, shaking or chills.

Drink Plenty Of Water

What Happens if you Leave a UTI Untreated?

Although urinating can be painful when you have a UTI, its important to drink as many fluids as possible, particularly water. Most adults should aim to drink between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

The more you drink, the more youll urinate. Urinating helps flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract.

Read Also: Can I Take Azo Urinary Tract Defense With Antibiotics

Apple Cider Vinegar For Utis

Apple cider vinegar is widely known and used for its amazing health benefits, and its a natural remedy for UTIs, too. Its acidifying nature is great at clearing UTIs, and it helps prevent bacteria from spreading, stopping the infection before it reaches the kidneys. Try Braggs organic raw apple cider vinegar. Its gluten-free and contains Mother of Vinegar, a healthy bacteria that occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. Its also loaded with vitamins and prebiotics, which relieve and prevent UTIs.

A version of this article first appeared in our print magazine.

Ok Got It But Then What Is A Kidney Infection

A kidney infection is, in essence, a UTI that has spread into the kidneys. While this type of infection is rare, its also very dangerous and if youre experiencing any of the following signs of a kidney infection, you should see a doctor immediately:

  • Upper back or side pain

  • Fever, shaking or chills

  • Feeling nauseous

  • Vomiting

While most kidney infections can be treated simply with an antibiotic, if left untreated, a kidney infection can cause damage to your kidneys, leading to chronic kidney disease. The bacteria could even spread to your bloodstream creating a life-threatening situation.

Read Also: Urinary Tract Infection In Pregnancy

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.

Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections

Complications Caused by Untreated Urinary Tract Infection ...

The symptoms of a basic urinary tract infection often include:

  • Dark, cloudy urine that may appear red or pink from blood
  • Painful or burning urination, a condition known as dysuria
  • An urgent and frequent need to urinate
  • A small amount of urine when you do go to the bathroom
  • Urine that smells bad
  • Confusion, particularly in more elderly patients
  • More intense feelings of general illness

If you are experiencing symptoms of a kidney infection seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you receive treatment the more likely you are to prevent long term damage and recover faster.

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What Is A Kidney Infection

Kidney infections are technically a type of UTI, since kidneys are part of your upper urinary tract, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . These infections are typically caused by bacteria called Escherichia coli that is usually found in the large intestine but can wreak havoc when it finds itself in the urinary tract.

Kidney infections are one of the most common urologic conditions that we see in general urology practice, Fara Bellows, M.D., a urologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells SELF. Still, kidney infections are no joke.

This is a serious organ infection, and people need to take care of it, urologist David Kaufman, M.D., of New Yorks Central Park Urology, tells SELF. Bladder infections are really uncomfortable, but kidney infections can be deadly.

Why You Should Never Ignore The Symptoms Of A Uti

According to the NIH, urinary tract infections are the most common infection in the U.S. Half of women have at least one UTI in their lifetimes. Men are susceptible, too, although their longer ureters protect their urinary tract from bacteria and other pathogens.

How do you know if you have a UTI? The experts at Rose Family Practice and Urgent Care in Vancouver and Battle Ground, Washington, recommend you contact them for a UTI evaluation if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Frequent urination, small amounts of urine at a time
  • Urine thats pink, red, or brown
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Burning sensation when you urinate
  • Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen, lower back, or pelvis
  • Urine that smells strange
  • Fatigue, fever, or chills

Most UTIs can be resolved with a course of antibiotics. Not treating a UTI can spread the infection and cause serious and even life-threatening health issues.

Some UTIs dont have symptoms. If you already know that youre prone to UTIs, staying on top of your health with regular exams at Rose Family Practice will help keep infections in check, protect the health of your other organs, and minimize your risk for chronic UTIs.

If you do have symptoms, get help right way. Consequences of an untreated UTI include:

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Cotton Underwear For Utis

Synthetic briefs are a big no-no if you are prone to UTIs. Paying extra care to the material of your panties can go a long way in preventing infections. This set of six Hanes womens 100 percent pure cotton brief panties prevent bacterial growth by allowing your vagina to breathe, and wont aggravate any existing UTIs. They have an ultra-soft waistband for extra comfort and dont have those annoying scratchy labels either.

Preventing Complications Of Untreated Utis

I took antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, but don’t feel quite better yet. What should I do?

Not everyone can avoid having a UTI. Urinary tract infections are very common, especially in women. Fifty percent of women have suffered from one at one point in their life, and sometimes several. Yet, complications can be avoided in most cases if you recognize the symptoms of a UTI and treat it properly. Visit a doctor at the first sign of a problem. Follow his or her directions when it comes to taking the antibiotics. Dont stop treatment simply because symptoms have disappeared, because antibiotics usually cause symptoms to clear up fast but the course must be completed to be effective. Drink plenty of fluids to help the body flush out the bacteria.

However, the best way to avoid complications is to do your best to avoid infections.

There are simple habits you can adopt in order to lessen the risk of a UTI.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water to flush out bacteria
  • Stay clean. Wash daily, and before and after sex. Wear clean, dry, cotton underwear.
  • Wipe from front to back to avoid getting E. coli into the urethra
  • Empty the bladder completely as often as possible
  • Urinate after sex
  • Get frequent screenings for STIs
  • Make sure the doctor is aware of underlying issues . He may prescribe preventative antibiotic treatment.

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Understanding Your Urinary Tract

Your urinary tract, or urinary system, comprises several different organs designed to extract, hold, and transport waste from your system in the form of urine. The main organs involved in the urinary system include:

  • The kidneys: These two organs sit on each side of your body, generally around the waist. They filter out excess water and waste from your blood to create urine.
  • The ureters: These two thin tubes run between the kidney and bladder, transporting urine to the bladder.
  • The bladder: This organ stores urine until it reaches a certain level, at which point you feel the need to pee. The body voluntarily contracts the muscles that line the bladder to urinate.
  • The urethra: This thin tube connects the bladder to the outside of the body. When you urinate, a muscle called the urinary sphincter relaxes as your bladder contracts to remove urine from your body.

Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria infect any part of your urinary system, but they are most common in your lower urinary tract, comprising the urethra and bladder.

How To Know When A Uti Turns Into A Kidney Infection

The main job of the kidney, a part of the urinary tract, is to remove waste and take extra water from your blood.

When bacteria or viruses create problems in either one or both of your kidneys, its known as a kidney infection.

This can easily happen when bad bacteria or viruses travel up your uterus.

When a kidney infection is left untreated, it can become life threatening, so its important that you seek medical attention immediately if you notice blood or pus in your pee, pain in your lower back, upset stomach or vomiting, fever and chills or loss of appetite.

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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.

Complications Of A Uti

UTI Treatment

Complications of UTIs arent common, but they can be serious and require immediate treatment by a doctor. They usually affect people diagnosed with diabetes, a weakened immune system, men with recurrent UTIs, or women who are pregnant.

If a UTI is left untreated, bacteria may travel to the kidneys causing kidney infection, damage and even kidney failure. Blood poisoning can happen and occurs when the infection spreads from the kidneys to the blood-stream.

If the infection moves to the kidneys, there may be high fever, back pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. If you have these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor.

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Can A Uti Go Away On Its Own

While it is possible for a urinary tract infection to improve over time, an antibiotic is usually needed to get rid of the infection fully.

When left untreated, the infection from a UTI can actually move throughout the bodybecoming very serious and even life threatening.

If you do not treat a bladder infection, it may turn into a kidney infection, which can then result in a more serious infection thats moved into the blood stream. When this happens, sepsis can occur, causing you to become very ill.

If you have symptoms that typically accompany a urinary tract infection, but arent sure if thats what youre really dealing with, its best to see a doctor to be properly diagnosed.

He or she can prescribe you an antibiotic that will have you feeling better in a matter of days.

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