Heres A Little Refresher On Urinary Tract Infections
Unsurprisingly, a urinary tract infection is what it says it is — an infection of the urinary tract when bacteria makes its way into your urinary tract system, which is normally sterile.
Sometimes, UTIs can be caused by a lack of good hygiene, but most of the time, it occurs after high risk activities like sexual intercourse, using a diaphragm, or just #livingthegoodlife . On that note, some experts literally list female anatomy as a common risk factor for the illness.
The infection itself is often caused when E. coli bacteria get pushed up your urethra. Sometimes, it can hang out in this urinary hallway without infecting anywhere else.
However, more often, the bacteria ends up in your bladder, causing frequent painful peeing, pink-tinged urine, abnormal discharge, and pelvic discomfort.
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.
How To Get Rid Of A Uti Without Medication
This article was co-authored by Scott Tobis, MD. Dr. Scott Tobis is a board certified Urologist. With more than seven years of experience, he specializes in treating patients for urologic conditions such as urologic cancers, prostate enlargement, vasectomy, kidney stones, frequent/urgent urination, erectile dysfunction, incontinence, and blood in the urine. Dr. Tobis holds a BS in Cellular and Developmental Biology from The University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MD from Dartmouth Medical School. He completed his internship in General Surgery and residency in Urologic Surgery at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and his fellowship in Urologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery at The City of Hope National Medical Center. Dr. Tobis is a diplomat of the American Board of Urology. This article has been viewed 42,105 times.
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Do I Really Have To See A Doctor For A Uti
It may seem unnecessary to see a doctor for such a common illness. Why not just let it go and treat it on your own? Dr. Elizabeth Rice, a licensed naturopathic doctor and primary care physician at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, has tips for natural treatments, but says you always have to be careful. A partially treated or mistreated UTI can quickly become a serious condition known as pyelonephritis , so care must always be taken when treating UTIs naturally.
If youre just starting to feel or see potential UTI symptoms, you can try a few natural remedies to try to flush out the bacteria and reduce inflammation before the infection really takes hold, Rice says. Increase your intake of fluids to help flush the bladder. But if the symptoms persist more than a day, or get worse, you have to go to the doctor.
Going to the doctor may be a bit annoying, but a UTI that morphs into a kidney infection is way worse than an afternoon in the waiting room. Kidney infections can lead to potentially life-threatening sepsis or permanent kidney damage. Seeing a doctor to prescribe antibiotics may ultimately help you avoid a lifetime of medical complications.
You know your body best, so listen to it. You may not run to the doctor after one weird-feeling pee. If you start to have mild symptoms, here are a few natural choices that may help you out.
Home Remedies For Utis
Until there are more advancements in UTI treatment, antibiotics remain the most effective standard treatment. However, prescription medication doesnt have to be the only line of defense.
Along with standard therapy, you can incorporate home remedies to feel better sooner and reduce the likelihood of recurrent infections.
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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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Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
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What If I Have Frequent Recurring Utis
Within a year of havig a UTI infection, roughy one-quarter to one-half of women will have another UTI. For these women antibiotic prophylaxis may be recommended by her health care provider. With a recurrent course of UTIs, a urine culture or imaging tests may be required for further analysis.
For recurrent UTIs, there are several antibiotic options for prevention:
- A shorter course of antibiotics at the first sign of UTI symptoms a prescription may be given to you to keep at home.
- A longer course of low-dose antibiotic therapy.
- Take a single dose of an antibiotic after sexual intercourse.
The choice of antibiotic is based on previous UTIs, effectiveness, and patient-specific factors such as allergies and cost. Antibiotics commonly used for recurrent UTIs can include sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, nitrofurantoin, cefaclor, or cephalexin.
In postmenopausal women with vaginal dryness that may be leading to recurrent UTIs, vaginal estrogen may be an effective treatment. Treatment options your doctor might recommend include: Estring, Vagifem , or vaginal estrogen creams .
Cure Urinary Tract Infections Without Antibiotics 3 Home Remedy Treatments
Few things are as annoying as a urinary tract infection .
These infections cause serious discomfort. Constantly feeling like you need to urinate, burning sensations, pain, blood in the urine no wonder UTIs send some nine million people to the doctor each year.
Common intestinal bacteria, known as E. coli , cause all this misery. As long as the E. coli stays in the intestines, where it belongs, you have nothing to worry about.
But sometimes these bacteria gain access to the urinary tract, after accidental contamination by feces or sexual activity.
Women are more susceptible to UTIs. Thats because the female urethra is shorter than the males, giving bacteria easy access to the bladder.
When it comes to treating UTIs, antibiotics are the standard treatment. And thats a big mistake.
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Consider Switching Birth Control
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:
- 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:
Can Uti Symptoms Linger After I Take Antibiotics
Since UTI symptoms usually improve just a few days after starting antibiotics, youll want to talk to your healthcare provider if you notice that UTI symptoms are still hanging around after finishing your antibiotics.
Theres no need to panic, but you and your healthcare provider will want to make sure the antibiotics actually worked against your UTI. To do this, they may take another sample of your urine to see if the bacteria are still there or not. If the infection is cured, youll want to be sure there isnt a different issue thats causing similar symptoms.
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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.
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What About Antibiotic Resistance
Resistance rates for antibiotics are always variable based on local patterns in the community and specific risk factors for patients, such as recent antibiotic use, hospital stay or travel. If you have taken an antibiotic in the last 3 months or traveled internationally, be sure to tell your doctor.
High rates of antibiotic resistance are being seen with both ampicillin and amoxicillin for cystitis , although amoxicillin/clavulanate may still be an option. Other oral treatments with reported increasing rates of resistance include sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim and the fluoroquinolones. Resistance rates for the oral cephalosporins and amoxicillin/clavulanate are still usually less than 10 percent.
Always finish taking your entire course of antibiotic unless your doctor tells you to stop. Keep taking your antibiotic even if you feel better and you think you don’t need your antibiotic anymore.
If you stop your treatment early, your infection may return quickly and you can develop resistance to the antibiotic you were using previously. Your antibiotic may not work as well the next time you use it.
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Side Effects Of Taking Antibiotics For Uti
Antibiotics are effective at killing the bacteria that cause UTIs, but they can upset your gut and vaginal flora. This is because antibiotics arent always discriminating in which germs they kill, which means they can kill both healthy and dangerous bacteria. Other health issues, such as a yeast infection or severe diarrhea, may result as a result of this.
22% of women who take antibiotics for a urinary tract infection may acquire a yeast infection.
With all of this in mind, its no surprise that many individuals ask if a UTI may be treated without antibiotics, especially because 25% to 42% of UTIs resolve without treatment.
Over the years, scientists have wondered if non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs could be equally as effective as antibiotics. NSAIDs are over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen . Although nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs do not kill bacteria, they can help reduce inflammation in the same way that antibiotics do.
According to a meta-analysis published in 2020, NSAIDs may be a good option for antibiotics if you simply have a mild to severe UTI and no other risks or consequences. Antibiotics appeared to work better than NSAIDs in the first 3 to 4 days of the tests.
If you have a minor UTI, you might want to wait a few days before taking antibiotics. If your symptoms dont improve after a few days, you might want to consider starting an antibiotic.
Uti Treatment Without Antibiotics: What Actually Works
Want a quick fact to bust out at your next all-ladies get-together? A whopping 40 percent of women will get a urinary tract infection at some point in their lives!
Okay — maybe this isnt your go-to topic while sipping cocktails with the girls, but its definitely worth knowing the ins and outs of this super common ailment — especially since 20 percent of women who get a UTI will get another one, and many women experience them on a chronic basis.
Most of the time, urinary tract infections require the treatment of antibiotics to kick the infection to the curb. This is a powerful and effective treatment, usually working in as little as a few days.
But if you would rather not use antibiotics?Especially since there is some serious concern about creating antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection — what options do you have?
Read on to see if there are any UTI treatments without the use of any antibiotics that actually work.
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
The management of complex UTI is an interprofessional that includes a urologist, nephrologist, infectious disease expert, internist, pharmacist and the primary care provider.Complicated UTIs need to treated more carefully to serve patients with these infections and to avoid overuse and misuse of antibiotics that will ultimately result in more resistant infections in the future. Using the right antibiotic for the right duration is key. Practitioners should not hesitate to take advantage of infectious disease specialty services in these situations to help optimize antibiotic use.
Failure of a standard UTI or pyelonephritis to respond to initial treatment should suggest some other medical problem such as diabetes, sepsis, an abscess, urinary retention or an obstructing stone with a possible pyonephrosis. Bladder drainage with a Foley and appropriate imaging tests can identify these problems.
These patients need close monitoring because of potential complications. The outlook for patients with severe UTI is guarded and even those who do recover tend to have a prolonged recovery period.
How To Get Rid Of A Uti Without Antibiotics
UTIs are one of Mother Natureâs torture devices. Itâs bad enough youâre running to the potty every 15 minutes. Was it necessary to add the feeling of a hot poker being jammed inside your urine hole?
I think not.
This cruel âbeingâ then decided that the treatment requires permission from a licensed medical professional. And isnât it oh so easy to see a doctor these days?
- Long wait times
- Rude staff
- Exposure to âbat soup virusâ
There has got to be a better way. Right? You turn to Dr. Google and search for âhow to get rid of a UTI without antibiotics.â Which has led us to this moment.
Before we get too excited letâs see if thereâs any scientific proof to back the internet chatter on getting rid of a UTI without antibiotics. Letâs get you some advice from a real expert. A board-certified urologist with VirtuCare.
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