How Long Do Kidney Infections Last
If the bacteria from a bladder infection make their way up to your kidneys, you’ve got a more serious situation. A kidney infection can take up to 14 days to resolve with treatment, says AUA.
Unlike a simple bladder infection, a kidney infection’s not going to resolve on its own. You’ll need a longer course of antibiotics, often through an IV for a couple of days before switching to an oral version, AUA explains.
You might have a kidney infection if you have symptoms of a UTI, plus chills, fever, and/or pain in your back, side, or abdominal area. These are red flags to get care right away. This type of UTI can cause permanent damage to your kidneys and even lead to sepsis, an extreme immune response that can be deadly.
Get Your Prescription Filled Right Away
Once you are done with your appointment and have received a prescription for an antibiotic, its important you get it filled at a pharmacy as soon as possible. The faster you start taking your medication, the faster your UTI will be gone.
If you usually use next-day prescription delivery or a mail order pharmacy, this is one time when you should avoid doing this. These options can cause a delay by anywhere from 1 day to 1 week . Youre better off using a local pharmacy in this case.
If going into the pharmacy is a concern due to COVID-19, many pharmacies have added options to help minimize the amount of time you are inside the building. Some options to ask about at your pharmacy include:
Same-day delivery through services like Instacart
Using the pharmacys drive-thru pick-up window
Paying ahead of time through the pharmacys smartphone app to make your time spent at the checkout counter faster
Every pharmacy is different, so make sure to ask your personal pharmacy if these options are available at your location.
When To See A Doctor
In many cases, if you use home remedies at the very first sign of a urinary tract infection, you may not have to visit your doctor. However, if your symptoms continue for a day or more, you need to get qualified medical attention.
Dr. John P. Cunha on eMedicineHealth recommends seeing a doctor for symptoms of a urinary infection in the following circumstances:
- Your UTI symptoms last for more than 24 hours and dont get better with home remedies
- You have a fever and chills
- Along with the burning sensation when you urinate, you have nausea and vomiting
- You are pregnant, have diabetes, or are undergoing chemotherapy
Any toddler with a UTI, child or elderly person should always see a doctor if a bladder infection or other urinary infection is suspected.
A urine test that shows evidence of bacteria or germs usually is enough to confirm if treatment is needed for a UTI.
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Treatment And Duration Of Uti
A healthcare provider will first perform tests to identify the type of UTI the patient is believed to have. This typically will involve taking urine samples to look for bacteria, red blood cells, white blood cells, and to test chemicals in the urine . In other cases, blood tests, CT scans, kidney scans, or ultrasounds may be ordered to diagnose the infection.
For mild lower urinary tract infections , most patients will be prescribed an antibiotic to prevent the UTI from spreading to their kidneys. Women generally take antibiotics for 3 days whereas men take them for 7-14 days or more. In some cases, a single dose of antibiotic is sufficient. Should the patient be pregnant, have diabetes, or a mild kidney infection, antibiotics are taken for 7 to 14 days. Lower urinary tract infection symptoms typically begin to clear up within 24 hours of starting antibiotics. Regardless of the type of infection, it is important that the patient finish the antibiotic for the full course of treatment even if symptoms begin to clear up. Failure to finish the antibiotics could lead to the infection recurring and it becoming resistant to antibiotics.
Which Antibiotic Gets Rid Of A Uti Fastest
The antibiotic you will be prescribed will depend on a few factors, such as how often you get UTIs, your medication allergies, and other medical conditions you have. No matter which one your provider chooses, though, know that they all work well.
is a first choice because it works very well and can treat a UTI in as little as 3 days when taken twice a day. Some providers might choose to have you take it a few days longer than that to be sure your infection is totally gone. Unfortunately, Bactrim is a sulfa drug, and many people are allergic to it.
is another first choice for UTIs, but it has to be taken a bit longer than Bactrim. You have to take Macrobid twice a day for a minimum of 5 days for UTIs, but many providers will have you take it for a week to be sure you are all better.
remains a fan favorite because it works in as little as 3 days and only has to be taken once a day. But it does carry some serious risks like tendon ruptures and heart problems. It also tends to cause bacterial resistance more often than the previously mentioned antibiotics.
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Take An Otc Pain Reliever
Over-the-counter pain medications can temporarily relieve pain caused by a UTI. Use caution here, and always speak with a doctor first, as some UTIs can turn into kidney infections. In these cases, patients should avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , which could make the infection worse.
Consider Switching Birth Control
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:
- urodynamic testing
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:
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Can You Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are an effective treatment for UTIs. However, the body can often resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own without the help of antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs will require medical treatment. These UTIs involve one or more of the following factors:
More severe risks of using antibiotics include:
Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
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Uti Treatment From Tufts Medical Center Community Care
Tufts Medical Center Community Care provides treatment for a range of common illnesses, such as UTIs. Our primary care physicians, family physicians, OB/GYNs and urologists are highly trained and experienced, and provide individualized care to patients of all ages. We have locations throughout the north suburban Boston area, so you wont need to travel too far to get the world-class care you deserve. Our centers are easily accessible, have ample parking and feature shorter-than-average wait times. We also offer both evening and weekend appointments for your convenience.
Contact the friendly staff at Tufts Medical Center Community Care today to schedule an appointment for UTI treatment. We accept most major health insurance plans.
What Are Possible Complications Of A Urinary Tract Infection
Most UTIs cause no complications if they spontaneously resolve quickly or if treated early in the infection with appropriate medications. However, there are a number of complications that can occur if the UTI becomes chronic or rapidly advances. Chronic infections may result in urinary strictures, abscesses, fistulas, kidney stones, and, rarely, kidney damage or bladder cancer. Rapid advancement of UTIs can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, sepsis, and death. Pregnant females with untreated UTIs may develop premature delivery and a low birth weight for the infant and run the risks of rapid advancement of the infection.
The Best Course Of Action
For most sufferers, Ali advises the best course of action is to increase fluid intake, take appropriate pain relief and speak with a healthcare professional for further assessment of symptoms.
If symptoms persist for more than two days – or include a fever, loin pain and/or nausea and vomiting – it is important to see your GP for advice on whether antibiotics are required. It’s also important to go back if you’ve been started on antibiotics and symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.
“While some of the over-the-counter treatments may provide symptomatic relief, the 2018 NICE UTI guidelines state that there is no evidence found for cranberry products or urine alkalinising agents to treat UTI,” he adds. “However, there’s a clinical trial showing the effectiveness of D-mannose. And grapefruit seed extract and oil of oregano have also been found to be beneficial.”
How Long Do Utis Last In Men
UTIs can last up to 14 days in men, says AUA. It’s less common for men to get UTIs, but when they do get this type of infection, it’s considered complicated and treated on the same timeline as complicated UTIs in women.
The AUA recommends that men take antibiotics for seven to 14 days if they have a bladder infection. As for kidney infections, men should get care right away to avoid a more serious condition and will probably need to take antibiotics for 14 days. The first couple days might involve IV antibiotics in the hospital, and assuming that goes well, the doctor will switch you over to oral antibiotics for the rest of the treatment.
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Do You Need To See A Doctor To Get Antibiotics For A Uti
You need to speak with your doctor or a licensed medical professional to be prescribed antibiotics for a UTI. This can usually be done in person, at the doctor, or over the phone.
If this is your first UTI or your symptoms are severe it may be helpful to get treated in person to rule out the possibility of sexually transmitted infections.
Cranberry And Blueberry Juice
Berries like cranberries and blueberries contain bioactive ingredients that may help to get rid of a UTI fast.
Cranberries are often mentioned as a remedy for treating recurring urinary tract infections. Does scientific research support the use of cranberry juice for UTIs?
The journal Advances in Nutrition reports that cranberries have unique properties with many health benefits. Various studies point to the fact that cranberry juice can help lower instances of UTIs by preventing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. It was found that women who consumed 300 mL cranberry juice daily had lower UTI infection rates.14
Other studies have shown that cranberry extract capsules could help to reduce occurrences of UTIs in some women by up to 70%. Some independent studies have shown that cranberry juice can help to treat recurring UTIs in children.14
However, some other studies have demonstrated mixed results. Therefore urologist Dr. Courtenay Moore says that taking cranberry juice for UTIs may help and cant hurt. So, it may be worth trying to increase the amount of cranberry juice you consume if you battle against a UTI.15
If you consume cranberries in a juice form, make sure it has a high content of fruit and the minimum amount of sugar possible.
Antibiotic Warnings And Treatment Concerns
The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for uncomplicated UTIs are similar in efficacy. But its important to note that ampicillin, amoxicillin, and sulfonamides are no longer the drugs of choice for combatting UTIs because of the emergence of antibiotic resistance. In addition, amoxicillin and clavulanate has been shown in previous research to be significantly less effective than others when it comes to treating urinary tract infections.
Also, as noted above, the FDA advises against using fluoroquinolones for uncomplicated UTIs. These medicines should only be considered if no other treatment options are available. In some cases, such as a complicated UTI or kidney infection, a healthcare provider may decide that a fluoroquinolone medicine is the best option, notes the American Academy of Family Physicians.
For pregnant women, some common antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines, should not be prescribed because of possible toxic effects on the fetus. But oral nitrofurantoin and cephalexin are considered good antibiotic choices for pregnant women with asymptomatic bacteriuria and acute cystitis, according to past research.
Why Your Uti Test May Be Negative Even When You Have Symptoms
How about a study that looked at bacterial DNA in the urine of women with UTI-like symptoms who also had a negative culture test?
To summarize, the researchers looked at urine samples of women without symptoms and a group with UTI-like symptoms. They performed two tests: a culture test and a DNA-sequencing test that allows identifying if there is any bacterial DNA in the urine.
According to the study, 90.5% of symptomatic women with a negative urine culture tested positive for Escherichia coli bacteria with molecular methods compared to about 5.3% of women without symptoms.
This allowed the researchers to conclude that culture tests might not be sufficiently accurate and if a patient complains of urinary tract infection symptoms, she might as well be treated for an acute UTI.
The findings are gaining traction among chronic UTI sufferers who feel that the study finally gives more credibility to their complaints.
However, argues Dr. Hawes the significance of finding bacterial DNA may be different than the significance of finding live growing bacteria. Does the DNA stay around after an infection? If so, for how long? How do you determine antibiotic sensitivity based on DNA findings rather than live growth?.
As Dr. Hawes concludes, We dont yet understand the clinical significance of this data. In other words, do not dismiss the results of your culture test because of this study.
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Rehydrate Yourself With Green Tea
Reducing levels of body hydration can worsen the condition of UTIs. The body needs antioxidants when dehydration aggravates bladder inflammations caused by infections.
Green tea contains catechins such as EGCG these antioxidants prevent cell damage and reduce bladder inflammations to a considerable extent.
Drink a couple of cups of green tea at regular intervals in a day. The body will replenish its levels of antioxidants, and your UTI pain will wither away within a couple of days.
This remedy can momentarily reduce bladder inflammation, which will return once you lower or halt your green tea intake. Sadly, the health benefits of green tea can only treat mild conditions of UTI.
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What If The Infection Does Not Clear Up With Treatment
Most infections clear up with treatment. However, if an infection does not clear up, or if you have repeated infections, you may be given some special tests such as:
a type of x-ray called an intravenous pyleogram , which involves injecting a dye into a vein and taking pictures of your kidney and bladder
an ultrasound exam, which gives a picture of your kidneys and bladder using sound waves
a cytoscopic exam, which uses a hollow tube with special lenses to look inside the bladder.
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Option #: After Antibiotics Uti Symptoms Still Linger Maybe Its Not A Uti
Unfortunately, this scenario happens way too often: you have had many well-diagnosed UTIs in the past, so when you complained of UTI-like symptoms, your doctor prescribed you antibiotics right away.
Sometimes, after you take antibiotics you could even feel better but then you notice that some symptoms still remained. This could be confusing, especially if antibiotics did bring you a slight relief.
Per Dr. Hawes, if you never had blood in your urine, cloudy urine, or funny smelling urine in the first place, if your only symptoms were bladder pain and slight burning with urination, then chances are high that it was not a UTI.
As Dr. Lisa Hawes explains After multiple UTIs, the bladder lining is damaged and inflamed. When the protective GAG bladder layer is damaged, the acidic urine can easily irritate the bladder and cause pain.
If you noticed that drinking lots of water help with your condition, it is because you are simply diluting the urine and making it less irritating to your bladder walls.
Medications and supplements that help to coat the lining of the bladder could greatly reduce these symptoms.