UTI Infections – Symptoms and Treatment

Self-diagnosing of UTI infections can be a tricky business given that several of the common symptoms, including painful urination and acute lower back pain, can often accompany other conditions. For instance, a sexually transmitted disease or STD could be the real cause, or perhaps the back pain could be the result of a pinched nerve. Misdiagnosis is all too common and the best way to be certain is to have a simple and painless urinalysis carried out.

Urinalysis Test for UTI Infections

Much the same as various home pregnancy tests, you urinate on a small stick that has been pre coated with a chemical reagent. The reagent reacts to display a color, or another indicator. However, follow up with a professional examination is essential if you are feeling any kind of pain.

More often than not, doctors suggest bringing in a urine sample collected at home. Simply choose or produce a clean and sterile container, through boiling or alcohol soaking, and collect a couple of ounces of middle stream urine. Mid stream is urine that is NOT produced in the very first few seconds, but instead liquid that is expelled later. Doing so lessens the likelihood of any contaminants throwing off the results.

The urinalysis carried out on the sample will look for the existence of pus, red blood cells, and more specifically, any bacteria, such as excessive levels of E. coli.

Treatments for UTI Infections

UTI infection treatment varies depending on the type of infection as well as the severity of the problem.

In some instances, the most effective treatment for UTI infections is no treatment whatsoever. Simply let the body's immune system do its job. In the event, the symptoms do not disappear in two or three days, other measures are called for. In some cases, drinking plenty of fluids will clear the problem although those fluids should NOT be alcohol, coffee, tea or sweet soft drinks. Drinking water is generally most effective, although cranberry juice is a classic home remedy. However, cranberry juice is not recommended for folks on blood thinning medications, such as warfarin.

In the event that symptoms continue, antibiotics are the next line of defense. Several courses of treatment use a low dose program of Cipro or Amoxicillin, which is a relative of the more popular penicillin. Doctors may also prescribe a sulfa drug such as Bactrim - Sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim.

The symptoms typically disappear inside a few days as the infection is cleared. In the case of more severe infections, or those that have been left untreated for a longer period, it could take a week to ten days.

Some upper UTI infections, which make it to the kidneys, can be quite serious. In addition to medications that are more powerful or increased doses of Furadantin, Macrodantin, or Levaquin, pain medication is usually necessary.

Renal system infections usually produce noticable lower back pain due to their location close to the spine, just above the small of the back. An analgesic such as aspirin, or medications that are more specialized are normally prescribed by doctors. Some produce blue or orange urine, so talk about this with your doctor to head off anxiety and panic at the abnormal coloring.

Page Updated: November 12, 2016
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