Treatment Strategies For Recurrent Utis
Recurrent urinary tract infections, defined as three or more UTIs within 12 months, or two or more occurrences within six months, is very common among women these but arent treated exactly the same as standalone UTIs. One of the reasons: Continued intermittent courses of antibiotics are associated with allergic reactions, organ toxicities, future infection with resistant organisms, and more.
Because of this, its strongly recommended that you receive both a urinalysis and urine culture from your healthcare provider prior to initiating treatment. Once the results are in, the American Urological Association suggests that healthcare professionals do the following:
- Use first-line treatments. Nitrofurantoin, TMP-SMX, and fosfomycin are the initial go-tos. However, specific drug recommendations should be dependent on the local antibiogram. An antibiogram is a periodic summary of antimicrobial susceptibilities that helps track drug resistance trends.
- Repeat testing. If UTI symptoms persist after antimicrobial therapy, clinicians should repeat the urinalysis, urine culture, and antibiotic susceptibility testing to help guide further management.
- Try vaginal estrogen. For peri- and post-menopausal women with recurrent UTIs, vaginal estrogen therapy is recommended to reduce risk of future UTIs.
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Which Antibiotic Will Work Best
Your doctor will take a urine sample to confirm that you have a UTI. Then the lab will grow the germs in a dish for a couple of days to find out which type of bacteria you have. This is called a culture. Itâll tell your doctor what type of germs caused your infection. Theyâll likely prescribe one of the following antibiotics to treat it before the culture comes back:
Which medication and dose you get depends on whether your infection is complicated or uncomplicated.
âUncomplicatedâ means your urinary tract is normal. âComplicatedâ means you have a disease or problem with your urinary tract. You could have a narrowing of your ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder, a narrowing in the urethra which transports urine from the bladder out of the body, or, you might have a blockage like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate . It’s also possible you have a urinary fistula or a bladder diverticulum.
To treat a complicated infection, your doctor might prescribe a higher dose of antibiotics. If your UTI is severe or the infection is in your kidneys, you might need to be treated in a hospital or doctor’s office with high-dose antibiotics you get through an IV.
Your doctor will also consider these factors when choosing an antibiotic:
- Are you over age 65?
- Are you allergic to any antibiotics?
- Have you had any side effects from antibiotics in the past?
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.
Antibiotics can also have adverse effects on the flora of the gut and the vagina. Many antibiotics such as fluoroquinolones cannot be prescribed to pregnant women because of the concerns that they might have a possible toxic effect on the fetus.
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.
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Probiotic Food Like Curd And Buttermilk:
Probiotics are basically good bacteria that fight against bad bacteria. Not only for UTI but also for good health and digestion eating probiotics is always good for health. Coming to urinary tract infection probiotics helps us by preventing the bacteria sticking on the walls of urinary tract, thereby prevent the urinary tract infection.
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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.
Urinary Tract Infections In Babies And Young Children
Babies and children are at risk of UTIs. These infections always need to be investigated as they may indicate a serious underlying condition, such as urinary reflux. Reflux is caused by a bladder valve problem allowing urine to flow back into the kidneys from the bladder. Reflux can cause the urine to stay inside the body increasing the risk of infection. It may lead to kidney scarring, which in turn leads to high blood pressure and sometimes kidney problems.
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Otc Uti Treatment Options
UTIs are typically treated with a course of antibiotics that may run for a single day or a course of 7 days but usually lasts at an average of 1-3 days for uncomplicated urinary tract infections. However, some infections might not even need a course of antibiotics and may cease to exist. But, while treatment of UTIs without antibiotics may be a possible prospect in the future, for now, only a few equally effective OTC UTI treatments are available that can help a patient manage their symptoms. These include:
Hydration: Although not exactly an OTC UTI treatment method, hydration is still the key to treating a UTI quickly. If youve contracted a UTI, it is important to have fluids as frequently as possible so that you urinate more frequently and the harmful bacteria are flushed out of your urinary tract through natural means. This option means curing your symptoms without the use of medication.
- Probiotics: Probiotics serve as an excellent OTC UTI treatment option that helps promote digestion and immunity in your body. Probiotics restore the good bacteria present in your gut and reduce the chances of reinfection.
- Ascorbic Acid: Increasing your Vitamin C intake not only strengthens your immune system but is also a greater OTC UTI treatment option since it helps acidify the urine which may reduce the chance of reinfection.
What Is Uti Medicine
Urinary tract infections are usually treated with prescription antibiotics. These are medicines that help kill the bacteria causing the infection or stop bacteria from multiplying. The length of antibiotic treatment depends on factors such as symptom severity, length of infection and if you have previously had a UTI. Be sure to carefully follow your healthcare providers instructions when taking prescribed antibiotics to treat a UTI.
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How Do Health Care Professionals Treat A Bladder Infection
If you have a bladder infection caused by bacteria, a health care professional is likely to prescribe antibiotics. If the diagnosis is not certain, based on your symptoms or lab test results, you may not need antibiotics. Instead, your health care professional will work to find the cause and the best treatment for your symptoms.
Can I Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
UTI treatment without antibiotics is NOT usually recommended. An early UTI, such as a bladder infection , can worsen over time, leading to a more severe kidney infection . However, a small study has suggested early, mild UTIs might clear up on their own. Its always best to check with your doctor if you are having UTI symptoms.
Pregnant women should always see a doctor as soon as possible if they suspect they might have a UTI, as this can lead to a greater risk of delivering a low birth weight or premature infant.
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Treatment For Uti Symptoms
When UTI symptoms are particularly uncomfortable, a physician may also recommend phenazopyridine to alleviate the burning and discomfort to be taken in conjunction with antibiotics. This medication should not be taken for more than two days and has side effects that include headache, nausea, and changes in urine color .
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
Patients with three or more infections per year should be offered either continuous low-dose antibiotic prophylaxis, patient-initiated, or postcoital prophylaxis if the onset of infection is linked to sexual intercourse . Before a prophylactic regimen is chosen, a urine culture should be performed to determine the susceptibility of the pathogen. The duration of continuous prophylactic therapy is usually 6 months to a year. Unfortunately, within 6 months of discontinuing antibiotic prophylaxis, 40% to 60% of women develop a urinary tract infection, and prophylaxis must be resumed. Patient-initiated therapy at the onset of symptoms has been shown to be effective in young, healthy nonpregnant women. Short-course regimens have been advocated for patient-initiated therapy in compliant women with frequently recurring and symptomatic urinary tract infections. The major advantages of short-course therapy over continuous therapy are convenience and the avoidance of antibiotic toxicity symptomatic infections are not prevented, however. For postcoital prophylaxis, nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or fluoroquinolones taken within 2 hours after sexual intercourse have been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of recurrent cystitis.,
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Key Points About Urinary Tract Infections
- Urinary tract infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people each year. These infections can affect any part of the urinary tract.
- Most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria, which normally live in the colon.
- The most common symptoms of UTIs include changes in urination such as frequency, pain, or burning urine looks dark, cloudy, or red and smells bad back or side pain nausea/vomiting and fever.
- Antibiotics are used to treat UTIs. Other treatments may include pain relievers, and drinking plenty of water to help wash bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- Other things that can be done may help reduce the likelihood of developing UTIs.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
Symptoms of a UTI can differ depending on what part of the urinary tract is infected.
A bladder infection usually causes symptoms that include the following:
- Burning when urinating
- The feeling that you need to pee frequently, but when you go to the toilet very little urine comes out
- Pain in the pelvic area just above the pubic bone.
Bladder infections are usually considered a simple UTI and treatment is usually with antibiotics for three to five days. Symptoms usually resolve in a couple of days.
People with an infection of the urethra may experience symptoms similar to a bladder infection in addition to itching or irritation at the end of the urethra where the pee comes out.
Symptoms of a kidney infection are usually more widespread and more severe than those of a bladder infection and may include:
- Fever or chills
- Pink or red-tinged urine
- Burning when urinating
- The feeling that you need to pee frequently, but when you go to the toilet very little urine comes out
- Pain in the pelvic area just above the pubic bone
- Moderate to severe lower back pain
- Nausea or vomiting.
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Add Vitamin C To Your Diet
Not only does vitamin C help strengthen your immune system, but it may also acidify your urine, which limits the growth of some bacteria and may prevent urinary tract infections from occurring. Just be careful of eating too many acidic foods when you have a UTI, as they can potentially irritate your bladder, which may only make your UTI symptoms worse.
Most Common Bacteria That Cause Utis
Based on a study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information, the bacteria most commonly associated with causing UTIs are:
- Escherichia coli
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Based on the symptoms the patient is experiencing and before any testing is done to officially determine the infection type, the doctor prescribes first line antibiotics. For most UTIs, the prescribed antibiotic will cure the infection and not require any further testing.
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Should Uti Treatment Vary According To Whats Causing The Infection
Your UTI treatment may vary according to whats causing the infection. Certain UTIs, especially chronic and recurring ones, will need antibiotic treatment as opposed to simple home remedies.
If youre prescribed antibiotics to treat a UTI, a healthcare professional may choose an antibiotic thats specific to the type of bacteria thats triggering your infection.
Why Antibiotics Are The Golden Standard
Urinary tract infections occur due to an external bacterial infection in the urinary tract of a body. The most common treatment option is a course of antibiotic therapy that targets the pathogens and the bacteria causing the infection.
The appropriate antibiotic course leads to higher symptomatic and bacteriological cure rates and significantly reduces the chances of reinfection. The types of antibiotics prescribed as the first line of treatment are based upon the type of bacteria found in your urine after the urine analysis, your health status, and the severity of the infection.
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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.
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.
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When To Contact A Doctor
If a person suspects that they have a UTI, they should ask a healthcare professional for advice about the best way to treat it.
Antibiotics may not always be necessary, but it is still important to seek medical attention. This reduces the risk of developing a more severe infection that is harder to treat.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about treating UTIs.
Can You Get Rid Of A Uti Naturally At Home Or Do You Need Antibiotics
Sometimes, you can get rid of a UTI naturally by resting, drinking lots of water, taking dietary supplements, and giving the infection some time to heal. Research from 2017 suggests that somewhere between 25% and 42% of UTIs resolve naturally without the use of antibiotics.
However, there are certain situations where wait and see just isnt an acceptable approach. Untreated UTIs can cause potentially life threatening complications, including .
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