What Is Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection is an infection affecting a persons urinary tract. The urinary tract involves the following internal body parts: kidneys, bladder, and urethra.
Here is how they work together. The kidneys are body organs that remove the waste from the blood flowing in them. Meanwhile, the bladder stores this waste or urine. Then, the urethra is the tube carrying the urine from the bladder and out of the body. Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria happen to be in the urine and travel into the bladder.
According to reports from healthcare providers, UTIs are the principal reasons for visits among patients. Besides that, the majority of the patients with reported UTIs are women. It is because women have a shorter urethra than men, making bacteria travel shortly into the bladder.
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.
Read how torevert antibiotic resistance with diet.
What Is A Urinary Tract Infection
The urinary tract is comprised of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra . A urinary tract infection is an infection caused by pathogenicorganisms in any of the structures that comprise the urinary tract. However, this is the broad definition of urinary tract infections many authors prefer to use more specific terms that localize the urinary tract infection to the major structural segment involved such as urethritis , cystitis , ureterinfection, and pyelonephritis . Other structures that eventually connect to or share close anatomic proximity to the urinary tract are sometimes included in the discussion of UTIs because they may either cause or be caused by UTIs. Technically, they are not UTIs and will be briefly mentioned in this article.
UTIs are common, leading to between seven and 10 million doctor visits per year . Although some infections go unnoticed, UTIs can cause problems that range from dysuria to organ damage and even death. The kidneys are the active organs that produce about 1.5 quarts of urine per day in adults. They help keep electrolytes and fluids in balance, assist in the removal of waste products , and produce a hormone that aids in the formation of red blood cells. If kidneys are injured or destroyed by infection, these vital functions can be damaged or lost.
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I Stopped Taking Antibiotics For Recurrent Uti
I had tried every UTI home remedy I could find. Nothing helped.
Id been fighting this for 3.5 years. Keeping my life together and keeping up appearances. I even managed to travel to the Balkans to volunteer for a few months.
Sarajevo was the turning point. I like to think of it as the final frontier.
I got a UTI that never went away. The symptoms stayed with me despite taking a longer course of two different types of strong antibiotics. These were prescribed to me as a last resort.
Without finding out what was causing my UTI, I knew there was little chance of finding the right antibiotic and I wasnt willing to continue taking them without being better informed.
My body was suffering. It had become sensitive to everything.
I would get itchy daily, still had yeast infections constantly, and my contraceptive pill had ceased to control my cycle. I felt like a complete mess.
So I stopped taking antibiotics.
For me this was like taking a deep breath and jumping from a cliff into the sea, without knowing if I could really swim.
How Standard Uti Testing Failed Me
I started researching and bringing information to my doctor about other organisms I wanted to test my urine for. He was happy to comply. He didnt know what else to do to help me. Significantly though, he did believe that I had an infection.
Still the results were unhelpful. Specific organisms were not found. But other signs of infection were.
I was completely uninformed about testing, and why it wasnt helping me figure this out.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Hindsight Tip #2:
Ive since learned that standard UTI testing is very inaccurate. Many studies have proven that standard urine culturing techniques fail to identify infection in at least 50% of cases.
If you have received inconclusive or negative test results despite your symptoms, or if your treatment does not seem to work as it should, inaccurate testing could be the issue.
I encourage you to learn more about this issue, so you can take control of the situation and seek better care.
There are 7 main reasons your UTI test results could be wrong, and Ive laid all these out for you , along with what you can do about it.
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Introducing: Biofilms And Recurrent Uti
In the case of a chronic UTI, a biofilm is usually involved. A biofilm is a community of bacterial cells that stick together, and attach to the bladder wall . This community can be fungal as well as bacterial, and there can be more than one pathogen present. Sometimes they are complex, diverse communities of multiple pathogens.
The biofilm produces a protective slime, , to shield itself from antibiotics and the bodys natural defences. Think of it a bit like an invisibility cloak and a forcefield combined! The bacteria are effectively hiding in plain sight.
Needless to say, this clever goopy shield makes diagnosis and treatment targeted to that community of bacteria very difficult. From time to time, bacteria are released or escape from the biofilm, which kicks off a reaction in the body.
This is usually an inflammatory response, which leads to heightened UTI symptoms. You might hear people talking of flare ups or episodes of UTI symptoms, indicating a chronic issue that cycles through acute and symptom-free phases.
For sufferers of chronic UTI, these symptoms and pain can be really debilitating and have adverse effects on their lives, as well as their mental and physical wellbeing.
What Does It Mean If Your Uti Symptoms Are Getting Worse Even Though Youve Already Taken Four Or Six Antibiotic Pills
Does this mean you dont have a urinary tract infection after all, but some other condition?
And is it just a coincidence that the urinalysis showed trace amounts of bacteria and leukocyte esterase?
UTIs may get worse while taking an antibiotic for several reasons, says Michael Ingber, MD, board certified in urology, female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, and founder of The Center for Specialized Womens Health, division of Garden State Urology.
First, it does take some time, typically several hours, before the antibiotic is absorbed into the system and before it gets into the bladder, continues Dr. Ingber.
Second, the antibiotic sometimes may not be effective. In cases of resistant UTI, symptoms may worsen.
This is why, typically, I instruct women to contact me should their symptoms persist or worsen after 2-3 doses of the antibiotic.
Thus, no improvement after only one day is nothing to fret about.
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Recurrent Uti: What It Is And What To Do About It
If you get urinary tract infections all the time, or even just a couple of UTIs in fairly quick succession, youre among millions of people around the globe who suffer from recurrent UTIs. For a health issue that is so widespread, there is a surprising lack of information about it.
In this article well explain what recurrent UTI is and what you can do about it. Before we dive into recurrent UTI, however, lets start at the beginning…
Will Uti Go Away On Its Own
How long a UTI lasts will also depend on the severity of the infection. In the case of uncomplicated UTIs, its possible to deal with the issue with home remedies and drink plenty of liquids, and the UTI will go away on its own. This is because the body itself can manage smaller infections. Still, its important to mention that this is true for only about 25-42% of UTIs that are minor. Always pay attention to the severity of your symptoms, and dont try to endure anything that causes you too much discomfort.
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Why Your Uti Test Results May Be Negative Despite Symptoms
Now that weve explained a bit more about why your recurrent UTIs may in fact be one, embedded UTI, lets take a look at UTI testing.
Have you ever had UTI symptoms, felt quite sure that you have a UTI, but your test has come back negative? This is incredibly common – not to mention frustrating. And your hunch is likely right: If you are experiencing symptoms, its very possible you have a UTI.
There are a few reasons why your UTI test result might be negative:
Urine is not sterile
It has been found that the bladder has its own unique microbiome with hundreds of different bacteria. So a urine sample that may be dismissed as being contaminated with foreign bacteria, may in fact contain bacteria that are an important part of the puzzle.
The pathogens causing your symptoms may not be in your sample
Standard UTI test methods focus on free-floating pathogens. Embedded biofilm infections attached to the bladder wall are not free-floating and less likely to pass out via your urine sample. Its also possible your urine sample is too diluted, e.g. due to over-hydrating.
UTIs can be caused by multiple pathogens
As mentioned earlier, a UTI can be caused by multiple infection-causing pathogens. The 1950s test only looks for a single pathogen. If more than one are found, it may presume the urine sample was contaminated.
Unfortunately Getting A Tattoo While On Antibiotics Can Compromise Both Your Health And Your New Tattoo
Though it is possible for the discomfort & burning of a urinary tract infection to linger after starting treatment, the return of uti symptoms while on therapy is worrisome for antibiotic resistance. Can you get a tattoo while on antibiotics. A urinary tract infection can also result in straining to urinate or a bladder infection .
Why Should I Take The Full Course Of Antibiotics
Antibiotics start to work against the infection quickly, and you may start to feel better within a few days. However, it takes longer for the antibiotics to completely kill the bacteria causing the infection.
When you dont finish your antibiotic treatment, theres a chance that the bacteria isnt eliminated completely, which may cause repeat infection. Or the bacteria may become resistant to antibiotics and stop responding to treatment in the future.
What Else Can You Do When Antibiotics Fail
When it comes to the best treatment for recurrent chronic UTIs there are two main camps.
Some physicians prefer a long-term antibiotic treatment protocol, frequently prescribing a variety of antibiotics over the course of several months .
Others advocate for the mindful use of antibiotics and focus on correcting underlying dysbiosis as the main reason for recurrent UTIs. In fact, we are still learning about the human microbiome and the effect bacteria have on our health and it seems less and less probable that antibiotics alone could solve chronic issues.
Moreover, antibiotics were developed when we thought that a healthy bladder is sterile which we now know is far from the truth.
What is the best approach to cure a chronic UTI? Here is a selection of posts that can help you to get up to speed:
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What Is A Uti
A UTI refers to an infection in any part of your urinary system, including your kidneys, bladder, and urethra. It most commonly occurs in your lower urinary tract, where the bladder and urethra are located.
Women can be as much as 30 times more likely to develop UTIs than men due to a shorter urethra. This means that bacteria travel more quickly and easily from your urethra to your bladder.
Acute cystitis, in particular, often affects women and triggers bladder inflammation. On its own, a bladder-related infection is painful and bothersome. But if left untreated, it could spread to your kidneys and pose serious consequences.
Note that not all UTIs exhibit signs and symptoms in patients, so its possible to be completely unaware that you have one. When they do present, however, symptoms commonly include:
- Urinating often in small quantities
- A burning sensation when you pee
- A reddish, bright pink, or brownish color
- Strong-smelling or cloudy urine
- Pelvic pain , especially in the center of your pelvis and near your pubic bone
- Feeling tired or shaky
- Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen
- Fever or chills
The three different types of UTIs are as follows:
Its an inflammation of your urethra. Symptoms include a discharge from your urethra and burning urination.
Bladder inflammation thats marked by painful, burning urination and cloudy urine, as well as a frequent need to pee.
- ephalexin ceftriaxone
How My Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Began
I was going through a stressful relationship breakup, and selling my business, and was completely run down.
I was still exercising daily, and had a fairly healthy vegetarian diet, but stress took its toll.
The UTI hit me fast. The pain was just as intense as I remembered, but I didnt panic quite as much as the first time. I knew Id get antibiotics when I showed up at the emergency room.
Plus, I didnt have time to think about it. Life was way too hectic for me to put extra energy towards my health.
Just as with my first UTI, the antibiotics worked and I dismissed it. But the symptoms crept back. A month later I was at a friends farm when it got so bad I had to make a run for the hospital.
Driving more than an hour was too much for me and I ended up squatting on the side of a dangerous road in the dark more than once.
Recurrent urinary tract infections had officially become a part of my life, though I had no idea of this at time.
The thing is, when it first hits you, its out of the blue, and you never imagine this is going to be your life now. You take antibiotics, it goes away, youre generally healthy, so chances are it was just an anomaly.
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Amoxicillin/potassium Clavulanate Cefdinir Or Cephalexin
How it Works: is another combination drug that belongs to the penicillin class of antibiotics. and belong to a different class of antibiotics thats closely related to penicillins.
All three antibiotics kill bacteria by destroying one of its most important components: the cell wall, which normally keeps bacteria structurally intact.
Amoxicillin/clavulanate: 500 twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cefdinir: 300 mg twice a day for 5 to 7 days
Cephalexin: 250 mg to 500 mg every 6 hours for 7 days
Notable side effects: Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and rash are common side effects of these antibiotics. In rare cases, all three have the potential to cause the dangerous skin reactions, SJS and TEN.
If you have a penicillin allergy, your healthcare provider wont prescribe amoxicillin/clavulanate. They may or may not prescribe cefdinir or cephalexin since there is a small chance that a person with a penicillin allergy may also be allergic to these two.
A Urinary Tract Infection :
It is very common for women of all ages to get infections in their urethrathe tube that carries urine from your bladder to the porcelain container. UTIs happen when bacteria or other agents like viruses or fungi get into your urethra, bladder or kidneysusually starting in your urethraand cause an infection.This can happen by wiping the wrong way, or wearing thongs that transfer bacteria from the anus to the urethra .
Sex can cause a UTI, because sexual intercourse can help push bacteria into the urethra. But having sex doesnt guarantee that you will get a UTI. There are preventative measures that can be taken when engaging in sexual activity that can help reduce your risk of getting a UTI.
- Pee before and after sex
- Stay hydrated to help rid your urinary tract of bacteria
- Avoid using spermicide as a form of contraceptive, as it may disrupt the balance of normal bacteria in the vagina and urethra1
The most common symptoms of UTIs are urgency to urinate, feeling the need to urinate very frequently and pain or burning when you pee. UTIs can usually be fixed pretty quickly with antibiotics from your primary care provider.
Now, while it isnt invariable that sex led to your UTI, it is necessary for you to have sex to get an STI. Viral infections need other strategies.
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