What If Its Not A Uti
If you have symptoms of a UTI, chances are thats what youre dealing with. In some cases, though, these symptoms can also be signs of more serious health conditions.
Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms include:
- Bladder or kidney cancer
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Blood in semen
A family history, physical exam, and lab tests can help your doctor determine the next steps and potential causes of your lingering UTI symptoms.
Antibiotics By Mechanism Of Action
Different types of antibiotics work against bacteria in different ways. Below are some examples.
Antibiotics that destroy cell walls:
- Beta-lactam antibiotics
Antibiotics that prevent bacteria from reproducing:
Some antibiotics work best on certain types of bacteria. Mainly, these are classified as antibiotics that target gram-positive bacteria with a simple cell wall, and those that target the more complex gram-negative bacteria.
Your healthcare provider may treat you with a broad-spectrum antibiotic that works against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, but some infections may require a culture test to identify the specific form of bacteria. By identifying the exact type of bacteria that’s causing your illness, your healthcare provider can prescribe you the form of antibiotic that’s most effect against that particular bacteria.
Who Is More Likely To Get A Kidney Infection
Anyone can get a kidney infection, but it is more common in some people, such as:
- Women: A woman’s urethra is shorter than a man’s. Having a shorter urethra makes it easier for bacteria to get into the urinary tract. The urethra is also closer to the anus in women. Bacteria can spread from the anus or vagina into the urethra, and then travel up the urinary tract. Pregnant women are even more likely to have a kidney infection.
- People with diabetes
- People with a weakened immune system: This could be caused by a disease, such as diabetes or HIV, or by certain medicines called immunosuppressives. People who have had a kidney transplant or other organ transplant take immunosuppressives.
- People who have nerve or spinal cord damage that keeps them from feeling pain in and around their urinary tract: This can keep them from noticing symptoms of a bladder infection, which can lead to a kidney infection.
- People who use a catheter to drain urine from their bladder
- People with vesicoureteral reflux : People with VUR have urinary tracts that allow urine to flow backwards from the bladder to the kidneys.
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Signs That Uti Is Not Responding To Antibiotics
What if you feel lower back pain? Is this a sure sign that infection is progressing to the kidneys and antibiotics are not working?
While lower back pain could be an important sign of kidney infection, in many cases low back pain alone is not a sure sign that bacteria ascended to the kidneys, it could be just pain radiating from the bladder due to UTI, clarifies Dr. Hawes. However, if you are experiencing fever and/or nausea, these are very serious symptoms and you should seek immediate medical attention.
This is when the chances are higher to get sick with an infection caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria:
- You underwent multiple UTI treatments in your lifetime
- If you have been using the same antibiotic for previous infections
- Stopped taking antibiotics and didnt finish all the pills that your doctor prescribed you
- If you are guilty of keeping a stash of antibiotics and self-treating UTIs, cold, travel diarrhea, etc.
- Youve been recently hospitalized
- If you are immunosuppressed or have any serious chronic health issues, for example, uncontrolled diabetes.
Dr. Hawes highlights that it is important to request a urine culture test before deciding on a type of antibiotic. If you are taking multiple antibiotics without checking bacterial drug sensitivity, its a guessing game that only increases your chances to develop resistant bacteria.
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How Do You Know If Youre Dealing With A Standard Uti Or Severe Kidney Infection
Both are technically forms of UTIs. A standard UTI, though, typically just means you’re dealing with cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. That inflammation causes those typical UTI symptoms like painful or burning urination and urgent or frequent urination, explains Dr. Mueller.
But a kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is caused by the same bacteria and oftentimes results from an untreated bladder infection. These symptoms are typically much more severe.
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Urinary Infections In Children
A urinary infection in a child needs to be investigated as it may indicate a more serious condition.
The most common urinary system condition is urinary reflux. With this condition, the bladder valve isnt working properly and allows urine to flow back to the kidneys, increasing the risk of a kidney infection.
Urinary reflux and the associated infections can scar or permanently damage the kidney, and can also lead to:
- high blood pressure
- toxaemia in pregnancy
- kidney failure.
Urinary reflux tends to run in families, so its important to screen children as early as possible if a close relative is known to have the problem.
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Seek Treatment Right Away
It is very important to get medical treatment for a kidney infection as soon as possibledo not wait for it to go away on its own. Kidney infections that are not treated soon enough can cause permanent kidney damage or can spread to other parts of your body and cause an even more serious infection, such as an infection in your blood , which can be fatal.
If you have pain, talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter pain medicines. You can also use a heating pad to help with pain. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water.
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How Will I Know If I Have A Kidney Infection
To find out if you have a kidney infection, doctors may do tests such as:
- Urine tests to look for bacteria or other signs of infection, such as white blood cells, in your urine
- Blood tests
- Imaging tests to look at your kidneys, such as an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan
- Rectal exam for men, where the doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the anus to see if the prostate gland is enlarged and blocks the flow of urine
What Are Potential Side Effects Of Antibiotics For Uti
In addition to the notable side effects weve already covered, there are a few more potential antibiotic side effects youll want to know about.
Most antibiotics can cause some degree of stomach upset like nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If you have severe diarrhea or diarrhea that lasts for 2 or more days, let your healthcare provider know. Diarrhea is a common side effect while taking antibiotics and just after finishing them. But in some cases, diarrhea from antibiotics can be a sign of a more serious infection caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria.
Some people are also sensitive to antibiotics, which could result in a minor reaction like a rash or a more serious reaction like anaphylaxis. If you notice difficulty breathing or major skin changes after taking an antibiotic, get medical help right away.
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Antibiotics Are Not A Cure
Antibiotics should only be used for specific bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics only when appropriate can help fight antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotics DO NOT work against viruses and cannot be used to treat infections like influenza or COVID-19.
You should also be sure to always take your full course of antibiotics. Don’t save them in case you get sick laterantibiotics you take for one infection may not work on another. You should also never share your antibiotics with anyone else or use antibiotics that were not prescribed to you.
When To See A Healthcare Professional
You should only take antibiotics under the direction of a healthcare professional. If your symptoms worsen or aren’t resolved after your full course of antibiotics, talk to your healthcare provider about additional treatment options.
You should also alert your healthcare provider to any side effects you experience while taking antibiotics, even if they are minor. Go the emergency room or seek immediate medical care if you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction while taking antibiotics.
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Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Kidney infection symptoms can develop quickly. Signs of kidney infection may include:
- pain in your back or sides
- a fever and chills
- feeling sick or being sick
- generally feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms
You may often notice symptoms of a lower urinary tract infection before developing a kidney infection. These may include needing to pee urgently, a burning or stinging feeling when you pee, and sometimes blood in your urine.
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your GP.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Kidney Infection
Symptoms usually develop quickly, over a few hours or so, and may include:
- Pain in a loin or flank. .
- High temperature which may cause shivers.
- Feeling sick and/or being sick .
- Blood in the urine.
- There will also usually be symptoms of a bladder infection – for example, pain on passing urine, and going to the toilet often.
Not all of the symptoms may develop, and sometimes a kidney infection can just cause vague symptoms. For example, just feeling generally unwell but not being able to say why.
In older people a kidney infection may cause confusion. This is why a urine test is often done when an elderly person suddenly becomes confused or appears generally unwell.
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Uti Not Going Away After 2 Rounds Of Antibiotics
So on Dec. 1 I went to urgent care w/ UTI symptoms, they did a culture and I had an UTI from e coli. They put me on 7 days of antibiotics. Exactly 2 weeks later I started feeling mostly just an urgency to go, went to urgen care and they tested it. Sure enough, UTI. The dr. put me on 5 days of Cipro and that I needed to follow up with my dr. On the 5th day, saw my dr. and they tested me. Nitrites was negative, but leukolytes were positive. She added another 5 days of Cipro. On the last few days of my cipro, I tested it on over-the-counter UTI test strips. They were negative for both, however after 24 hours off antibiotics, sure enough I tested positive for leukolytes and a few bacteria at the dr. office. They didn’t prescribe me anymore antibiotics until they culture it, which will take about 2 days. Has this happened, where as soon as you go off the antibiotics it starts coming back? How can you get rid of it?
0 likes, 16 replies
Posted 4 years ago
I had one kick in hard after surgery and right after being on cipro for over a week. On top of bring on it a couple weeks before that. Resistant strain of infection. Cipro did nothing.
Posted 4 years ago
Did you find something that eventually worked? Right now I’m waiting for a few days for the culture to come back. I don’t know what antibiotic they will try this time.
Posted 4 years ago
It got out of control. Went staph. In hospital for 5 days in IV meds. One was venctomycin. Sent me home after that with bactrum.
How Do We Stop Superbugs
Drug-resistant bacteria are especially prevalent and dangerous in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities. A 2019 Centers for Disease Control report shows that multi-drug-resistant bacteria called CRE are rapidly rising. These superbugs are resistant to nearly all existing antibiotics, and they kill 50% of hospitalized people with CRE infections.
C. diff., the hospital-related pathogen mentioned above, is becoming more deadly due to drug resistance. The majority of C. diff-related deaths occur in patients 65 years and older. C. diff-related deaths have quadrupled in the last 10 years.
How do we fight this deadly trend? We just need to make more antibiotics, right?Its not that simple.
The pipeline of new antibiotics has dried up considerably since the early 1990s, and the number of pharmaceutical companies investing in antibiotic research has dwindled, says Pallotta.
However, some researchers are developing the next generation of antibiotics by studying and exploiting our natural defense mechanisms. Research is ongoing to develop new antibiotics, including those with unique mechanisms of activity, to combat C. diff, CRE, among others.
Superbugs are a major threat to global health, but with rigorous education and innovative research, we still have a chance to beat them.
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Are Urinary Tract Infections Contagious
You cannot pass a UTI on to another person. However, if you have an infection of any type particularly one that is antibiotic resistant there is always a risk that the bacteria causing the infection could infect those around you if you do not adhere to proper hygiene standards. If you have an ESBL resistant infection, you will often be kept in isolation in a hospital ward, to decrease the risk of spreading these bacteria to other vulnerable patients. For prevention of UTIs, it is particularly important that you wash your hands after using the bathroom and after sexual contact, and maintain a clean environment.
Find out more about what you can do to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
Things You Can Try Yourself
If you have a kidney infection, try not to “hover” over the toilet seat when you go to the loo because it can result in your bladder not being fully emptied.
It’s also important for most people with a kidney infection to drink plenty of fluids because this will help to flush out the bacteria from your kidneys. Aim to drink enough so that you’re frequently passing pale-coloured urine.
If you have kidney failure, get advice from your doctor on how much to drink.
Make sure you get plenty of rest. A kidney infection can be physically draining, even if you’re normally healthy and strong. It may take up to 2 weeks before you’re fit enough to return to work.
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How Can I Treat A Kidney Infection At Home
Treating kidney infection solely at home or with natural remedies is not a good idea. However, several home remedies can help manage the pain while the infection is treated with antibiotics. These include drinking water, using a heating pad to reduce pain, and taking over-the-counter acetaminophen to manage both pain and fever.
Can I Go To Work With A Kidney Infection
Most kidney infections are treated on an outpatient basis with oral antibiotics. Symptom relief typically occurs after a few days of treatment, so it may be possible to go to work at that point. Many patients, however, require a week or two before they feel well enough to work. As always, never go to work with a fever.
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Option #: After Antibiotics Uti Symptoms Still Linger Maybe Its Not A Uti
Guess what, UTI is not the only diagnosis responsible for UTI-like symptoms.
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.
First: What Is A Uti Exactlyand How Do You Usually Treat One
Essentially a UTI is a bacterial infection that can form in your urethra, bladder, or kidneys, causing unpleasant symptoms like frequent urination, a burning sensation while you pee, pelvic pain, and more.
When UTI symptoms rear their ugly head, trying to treat them yourself will only give the infection more time to spread. The longer you wait to get medical attention, the more you’re putting yourself at risk for more serious health complications.
One in five women gets a UTI at least once in her life, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Waiting too long to start treatment can allow the infection to progress from a simple bladder infection treated with three days of oral antibiotics to a complex kidney infection requiring intravenous antibiotics, says Ekene Enemchukwu, MD, assistant professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Dr. Enemchukwu also points out that there’s also the chance you’re actually not dealing with a UTI at allanother reason to always check in with your health care provider about any concerning symptoms. “UTI-like symptoms, in the absence of bacteria, can be caused by other conditions, such as vaginal infections, STDs, kidney stones, severe constipation, and vaginal atrophy,” says Dr. Enemchukwu.
If its a typical, mild UTI, heres what your treatment will look like. These interventions can also make it easier for you to go about your day and sleep with a UTI.
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