Various Treatment Options for Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the kidneys, bladder, urethra or ureters. These are the parts of the body where the urine passes through before it is released from the body.

General Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of the UTI. Generally, they would include:
– strong and persistent urge to urinate
– burning sensation during urination
– frequent passing of small amounts of urine
– cloudy or colored urine
– strong smelling urine
– rectal pain in men
– pelvic pain in women

Specific Signs and Symptoms
• Kidney Infection
– upper back and side pain
– fever
– shaking
– chills
– nausea
– vomiting

• Bladder Infection
– pelvic pressure
– discomfort in the abdomen
– frequent painful urination
– blood in the urine

• Ureters/Urethra Infection
– burning sensation during urination

It’s a must to see the doctor immediately if you experience any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.
Treatment options would include home remedies and medical treatment.

Home Remedies
You can treat your UTI at home but with the supervision of a doctor after a urine test is done to evaluate if you do have infection in the urinary tract. Take all the antibiotic medications as instructed. Continue taking them as prescribed by the doctor even after the pain is gone.

To relieve pain:
– Take over-the-counter pain medications.
– You can also use a hot water bottle to ease the pain on the abdominal area.
– Be sure to drink plenty of water.
– Avoid coffee, alcohol and spicy foods that can further irritate the bladder.
– On top of that, stop smoking. Smoking is a well-known bladder irritant that can cause bladder cancer.

Medical Treatment
• Cystitis
For Lower Urinary Tract Infection (Cystitis), a three-day course of antibiotics would be prescribed. Other doctors meanwhile would opt for the seven-day course. In some cases, a single dose of antibiotics is given. Be sure to check with your doctor to find out which of these options is most suitable for you.

• Antibiotics
– For adult males suffering from UTI, they would usually need the 14-day antibiotics.
– One month of antibiotic treatment is necessary for males who also have Prostate Infection (Prostatitis).
– Adult females with kidney problems, urinary tract defects or diabetes are typically prescribed with the five- to seven-day antibiotics.
– Children with lower tract infection are given the 10-day antibiotic course.

• Pain Medicines
Pain medications are given to reduce the burning sensation felt during urination. An example of this drug is phenazopyridine (Pyridium), which can be taken along with the antibiotics for the first two days of treatment.

• Pyelonephritis
– For Upper Urinary Tract Infection (Pyelonephritis), adults may receive IV fluids and oral antibiotics or antibiotic injections.
– Follow-up checkup is needed two days after the start of the treatment to monitor the progress.
– For those who are very ill, dehydrated and weak, they will be admitted to the hospital. Fluids and antibiotics will be given through IV.

Prevention
Although not backed by medical research, cranberry juice has long been recommended as an alternative natural treatment for UTI due to its infection-fighting qualities. Many experts believe that drinking cranberry juice everyday can also prevent urinary tract infections. However, don’t drink this juice if you are taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin, as interaction between the two can cause bleeding.

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