When Urinary Tract Infections Keep Coming Back
If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, you can head them off before they take hold.
Unless you’re in the fortunate minority of women who have never had a urinary tract infection , you know the symptoms well. You might feel a frequent urgency to urinate yet pass little urine when you go. Your urine might be cloudy, blood-tinged, and strong-smelling. For 25% to 30% of women who’ve had a urinary tract infection, the infection returns within six months.
If you have repeated UTIs, you’ve experienced the toll they take on your life. However, you may take some comfort in knowing that they aren’t likely to be the result of anything you’ve done. “Recurrent UTIs aren’t due to poor hygiene or something else that women have brought on themselves. Some women are just prone to UTIs,” says infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kalpana Gupta, a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
How To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections In Singapore
To prevent UTIs, you should take good care of your urinary system. Its best to not skip urinating frequently and at the right time. If you have a habit of holding in your bladder, this is a big no-no. This can cause UTIs, so its best to be on the lookout for this.
If you dont wash your hands properly, you can get an infection on your hands that may be transferred to your urinary tract. Therefore, its best to wash your hands thoroughly before handling anything that could be contaminated.
You should also make sure that the towels and bedding in which you sleep are clean and hygienic. This will help protect you from UTIs as well as other kinds of infections.
Finally, it is important to eat healthy and keep yourself well-sustained. Drink plenty of water the recommended amount is about one and half liters to two liters per day for the average adult. In addition, make sure your diet consists of lots of vitamins, minerals, and fruits and vegetables.
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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Home Remedies And Treatments For Kidney Infections
Some people prefer to treat medical conditions with home remedies or complementary remedies.
Because of how serious kidney infections are, its important that you dont rely on home remedies. Instead, take the prescription antibiotics a doctor gives you and use home remedies to help ease symptoms or pain.
You can also use home remedies to avoid UTIs and improve kidney function.
Recovery And Management Of Utis In Cats
Most cats will fully recover within 7-10 days of developing a urinary tract infection, but they may need to remain on a canned diet for longer. Your vet may check a urine sample after treatment to determine if all the bacteria are gone.
Occasionally, cats will develop repeated urinary tract infections. Cats with recurring UTIs often require more testing to determine the underlying cause.
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How Long Do Utis Last
With antibiotic treatment, symptoms of a UTI typically improve within 2 to 4 days.
But this can vary depending on many factors, including how quickly you receive treatment, the severity of your infection, and whether or not any complications arise.
Keep in mind that the course of antibiotics should be completed for UTI symptoms to completely resolve and prevent recurrent infections.
Heres What Will Happen When You Visit The Vet
If a urinary tract infection is suspected in your cat, the veterinarian will perform a physical examination and will also collect a urine sample to perform a urinalysis .
Most commonly, your veterinarian will insert a sterile needle through the skin and into the bladder to collect urine . This is the best way to get a sample without risking outside bacterial contamination that could complicate interpretation of the results of the urinalysis.
For cats that will not tolerate this, another option is to put your cat into a cage with a clean litter box filled with a special non-absorptive litter and wait for him to urinate.
Depending on your cats symptoms, the vet might instead insert a sterile urinary catheter through the urethra to collect urine. Unsurprisingly, this requires heavy sedation and is usually only done if your cat is being sedated for another reason.
Once the urine is collected, the vet will run tests on it, including viewing it under a microscope to look for bacteria and/or crystals. Alternatively, the veterinarian may send the urine sample off to a laboratory for testing.
A culture and sensitivity test can reveal if bacteria is present and also tell the vet exactly what type of bacteria it is and which antibiotic is most likely to be successful in treating it. This is important because different bacteria respond to different antibiotics.
Load Up On Vitamin C For A Healthy Urinary Tract
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s health library. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when youre having pain urinating.
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Wipe From Front To Back
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces gain access to the urethra. This small channel allows urine to flow out of the body.
Once bacteria are in the urethra, they can travel up into other urinary tract organs, where they can lead to infections.
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.
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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.
Oab: What To Drink And When
First, make water your preferred beverage. Added ingredients in sodas and energy drinks, and caffeine in coffee, may aggravate an overactive bladder.
Staying hydrated is important to overall health. But for people with OAB, choosing how much and when to drink is essential. The old saying about drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day? A healthy adult may not need that much. The American Urogynecologic Society suggests drinking water when youre thirsty.
Here are six tips for managing your fluid intake:
- Spread out fluid intake throughout the day, sipping water between meals.
- Unless exercising, dont carry a large water bottle with you.
- Fill your cup or glass half-way or use a smaller cup.
- Sip, dont gulp.
- If youre drinking enough water, your urine should be light yellow or almost colorless.
- Remember that you also get fluids in other foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and soups.
See your doctor if you have pain or burning with urination, or if your urine is cloudy, dark, or smells strong.
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Urinate When The Need Arises
Frequent urination puts pressure on bacteria in the urinary tract, which can help to clear them out.
It also reduces the amount of time that bacteria in the urine are exposed to cells in the urinary tract, reducing the risk of them attaching and forming an infection.
Always urinate as soon as possible when the urge strikes to and treat UTIs.
Cut Bladder Irritants From Your Diet
When you have a UTI, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates , that are good for your digestive health, says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a naturopathic doctor in private practice in West Hollywood, California, and the author of Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Womans Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health.
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How Do Utis Affect Pregnancy
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy raise your risk for UTIs. UTIs during pregnancy are more likely to spread to the kidneys.
If you’re pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor or nurse right away. Your doctor will give you an antibiotic that is safe to take during pregnancy.
If left untreated, UTIs could lead to kidney infections and problems during pregnancy, including:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
How Is A Uti Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your signs and symptoms. Your provider may press on your abdomen, sides, and back to check if you feel pain. You may need any of the following:
- Urinalysis will show infection and your overall health.
- Urine cultures may show which germ is causing your infection.
What Happens If You Let A Urinary Tract Infection Go Untreated
If the infection moves up the urethra, they may cause a bladder infection . Bacteria that have infected the bladder may travel to the upper urinary tract, the ureters and the kidneys. An infection of the kidneys is called pyelonephritis. An upper urinary tract infection may cause a more severe illness than a lower urinary tract infection.
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Avoid Alcohol And Coffee
The kidneys most important role is to filter out harmful substances and toxins, and both alcohol and caffeine can require extra work from the kidneys. This may hinder the process of healing from an infection.
Alcohol and antibiotics also shouldnt be mixed, so avoid alcohol during your treatment for this reason as well.
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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.
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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How Does Urinalysis Work
Different methods can be used to collect a urine sample. Typically, a urine collection is performed by having you pee into a cup. Your doctor will inform you about any special steps you need to take, such as collecting your urine first thing in the morning.
Youll usually be instructed to do a clean catch urine sample. This is done to prevent contamination from bacteria found on and around the genitals and usually just means that youll have to wipe yourself before collecting the sample. Youll want to pee a small amount into the toilet, then collect the urine mid-stream. Sometimes, urine samples are collected using a catheter, but this is more often used in special scenarios or if you are hospitalized and already have a catheter.
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.
What Can I Do To Prevent A Uti
- Empty your bladder often. Urinate and empty your bladder as soon as you feel the need. Do not hold your urine for long periods of time.
- Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. You may need to drink more liquids than usual to help flush out the bacteria. Do not drink alcohol, caffeine, or citrus juices. These can irritate your bladder and increase your symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend cranberry juice to help prevent a UTI.
- Urinate after you have sex. This can help flush out bacteria passed during sex.
- Do pelvic muscle exercises often. Pelvic muscle exercises may help you start and stop urinating. Strong pelvic muscles may help you empty your bladder easier. Squeeze these muscles tightly for 5 seconds like you are trying to hold back urine. Then relax for 5 seconds. Gradually work up to squeezing for 10 seconds. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions a day, or as directed.
Why Is My Cat Lying In The Litter Box
If your cat has been lying in the litter box a lot lately, it might point to stress or illness, but its not always a sign of urinary tract issues. In addition to lying in the litter box, cats with UTIs or other urinary problems will strain, lick at their genitals, hide, meow in the box, and look restless.
If your cat is lying in the litter box and also exhibiting these behaviors, theres a good chance that a UTI or other urinary tract issue is to blame.
Among cats with urinary tract problems, this behavior appears to result from a mix of stress and, perhaps, a need to stay in the box just in case something changes. Imagine feeling like you had to urinate for hours but couldnt get everything outwouldnt you stay near the toilet?
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