who knows all about UTIs?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I had a bladder infection a week before Thanksgiving. Drank a gallon of cranberry juice and thought it went away. Then while I was away from home for Thanksgiving it came back. When I got home Sunday I had pains in my back also and my whole abdomen seems kinda bloaty. I've been doing the cranberry juice and ibuprofen (recommended by most of the medical websites) but it seems to be getting worse. My insurance has a $2700 deductible and there is no way I can afford to go to the doctor unless I am on my death bed. difficult child#2 has some amoxycillin left over from something he had. I know you aren't supposed to take other people's medicine but I have taken this particular medication before and had no problem with it and it is mentioned on the web sites as one that my be prescribed if you have a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). It did say not to do the cranberry juice while you were on the antibiotic so I quit drinking the juice and I just took two pills (The stated dosage). Any of you experts out there, does that sound like a reasonable thing to do?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    If you're having pain in your back, it could have evolved into a kidney infection which can become life threatening if untreated.

    Untreated Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s can spread up to the kidney. If untreated, it can go septic. been there done that. If that's the case, amoxicillin probably won't be strong enough.

    Get to the doctor ASAP.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    4 weeks after difficult child's birth (an emergency cesearean) I decided to go back to work. Needless to say 1/2 way through the 2nd day, I was shivering, with horrible pains in my back. I ended up in the hospital for 7 days on 5 anitbiotics---from an Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) that spread to my kidneys and then went spetic. If you start running any fever---get to a dr. ASAP.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree, get to the DR.

    Incidentally, if you're dealing with the typical onset of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) [frequent need to urinate with burning and not much urine coming out] there is an OTC called Uristat and it's amazing stuff. It takes away the burning and pressure feeling. It is best to drink lots of straight water than the cranberry juice, though drinking cranberry juice is a wonderful preventative.

    I have had the onset of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s and take a double dose of any antibiotic I have lying around along with gallons of water and uristat and within no time at all, I'm cured. I keep the constant water up for days and days. HOWEVER, if at anytime my urine becomes cloudy or pink (meaning there is blood in your bladder) I contact my DR.

    If there any way you could have your DR call in an antibiotic?? Maybe call your gyno and explain the sitch? OR, even more cost effective - go to a Planned Parenthood office and get a sliding scale charge for a urine test and some antibiotics (or a script)! PP isn't just for teenagers in trouble. Many women use them as their primary DR's.

    Good luck
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Get to the doctor, fast.

    For future reference, do not self-treat with antibiotics. You have just caused several problems:

    1) The urine specimen they will want, so they can isolate the causative bug and also work out what antibiotics it is best treated with, is now possibly going to be invalid. They have to try, but chances are the report will come back with "nothing grown; antimicrobial activity detected." This means that you will have made the bugs too sick to grow properly in a culture medium (always more hostile than the body) but not so sick than they aren't going to continue to multiply in your body and make YOU sick.

    2) You have started the bacteria down the fast track to antibiotic resistance. And since those bugs are capable of moving elsewhere in your body and even moving to another person, it increases the likelihood of greater antibiotic resistance in the community. Increasing resistance across the board is bringing to a close the halcyon days when people no longer died from a simple infection. When they can no longer create new, effective antibiotics, it will be back to the bad old days. It's also a VERY good reason for farmers to stop the practice of feeding antibiotics to stock, purely to keep them well. That is the biggest cause of increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and now potentially a big killer.

    You probably took antibiotics which wouldn't work effectively anyway.
    Drugs get metabolised in the body in many different ways. If you have a blood-borne infection, or a localised flesh infection, an antibiotic which gets into your bloodstream and stays there until it is broken down, is what you want. It will travel through your circulation to where it's needed, and keep killing the bugs.
    But a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) - you need a drug which is rapidly excrted into the urine. Normally this is a bad thing, because the antibiotics quickly wash out of your body instead of doing their job. But if it is the uriine where the bugs are growing, then flooding the kidneys and urine with antibiotics designed for the job, is the way to go.

    But you must take the RIGHT antibiotic, and you MUST finish the course!

    Whenever you fail to take a full course, you are rapidly pushing up resistance. For example, you've taken three days of a five day course. You're already feeling a lot better. In y our body, most of the invaders have been killed off. All the vulnerable ones, anyway. Even those slightly more resistant are on the ropes, another couple of punches and they're definitely out for good.
    Then you fail to deliver those punches, when you say to yourself, "I'm feeling OK now, I guess I don't need to finish these pills, I hate taking drugs anyway." Somewhere in a quiet backwater of your body, a single bacterium could still be struggling to survive - the strongest of his generation. And they multiply exponentially, really fast. And each of their descendants now carries that same resistance; you killed off all the weak ones. Soon you'll have a new population, only now they won't respond as well to the antibiotics.

    I mentioned the concern of a world where antibiotics no longer work - infections were also killers in the days before we had antibiotics. I had an aunt die after a routine appendix removal, because she was given food too soon and the internal stitches tore and she developed peritonitis. And penicillin simply wasn't available back then. They just had to watch her die, nothing could be done even though they knew what was gone wrong.

    Kidney infections are in this category. They are nasty. The kidney is like a kitchen sponge - imagine trying to disinfect one of those and be sure you got every single bug! And disinfect it without destroying it in the process...

    Cranberry is a great PREVENTIVE of UTIs. I get really angry at all the ads that say, "Finding the burning of cystitis too much? Take this natural product, you will get better," when it can't stop a raging infection.

    I'm a long-term expert on UTIs. I was born with a deformed kidney but nobody knew until I had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) remain untreated for long enough for the infection to go up to the kidneys. That's how I understand about these silly mistakes we make, when we first get symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).

    There are many reasons for the infections beginning, but the most common cause is sex. Somewhere between 36 and 48 hours after sex, the symptoms will begin.
    To prevent infection in the first place - empty your bladder within fifteen minutes of having sex. You can always have your cuddle afterwards. But lying there all night with your bladder now seeded by bacteria which you failed to flush out when there were only a handful of them - you will wake with the infection well underway, even though you will probably feel fine for another day or so.

    Keep drinking lots of water. Cut back on sugar - some is OK, but a big overload, especially if you're in a diabetes risk group, can actually provide food for the bugs if the sugar gets into your urine (which it will with everybody, if you eat enough sugar).

    Take cranberry, but it won't stop an active infection. To reduce symptoms, use a urinary alkaliniser (but check out first if it's OK with other medications). Be aware of the sodium content of these, especially if you have issues with your heart. And the alkaliniser will only MASK symptoms; the bugs are still there, partying on and hunting for the doorway north to the ureter and the kidneys.

    Taking analgesics, antipyretics - again, they only mask the discomfort and fever. They do absolutely nothing to curb an infection.

    When your bladder is inflamed (as with an infection) the bladder wall gets thicker. Cranberry helps prevent or limit this when used long-term. But as the bladder wall thickens, the angle of entry of the ureters (those tubes from the kidneys) changes angle of entry, and their non-return valve gets stuck open. Now there's a highway to the kidneys and soon you'll be in real pain and serious danger.

    Ignoring a bladder infection, or just treating the symptoms and doing nothing else, puts your life in danger. It also will cost a lot more to treat in the long run, so the fast fix is the best way.

    For future reference - at the first sign of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), get up (because it will probably start in the small hours while you're trying to sleep). So get up out of bed, stop trying to pretend nothing is wrong (hey, we all do it until we learn better).
    Go drink a pint of water immediately. You should normally avoid caffeinated drinks, but now you can go for it - the caffeine speeds up your kidneys in flushing out, it's a diuretic. AVOID ALCOHOL TOTALLY. It's an irritant to the bladder, it can speed up that bladder wall thickening.

    Keep drinking water. Find a sterile container and take a urine specimen. Label it with date, time and your name, then put it in the fridge to take to the doctor later on. Take some alkaliniser and any pain killers, but do not be fooled into thinking you're OK now - you are not.
    You now need the RIGHT antibiotics, fast. A doctor will first prescribe based on educated guesswork - he knows what groups of antibiotics to prescribe, but he won't know for a few days if the bug is resistant, so he has to send the specimen off.
    So get to the doctor with your specimen, ASAP.
    (In my case, with UTIs occurring frequently due very much to my body no longer working properly, I have the right antibiotics in reserve and can begin them as soon as I've tucked the specimen bottle in the fridge. But I still get to the doctor, I need a replacement specimen bottle and I also need a new prescription - for next time. I have had too many treatments lately due to recurring infections - I am now resistant to the injections I was getting as my final treatment option, but thankfully a new antibiotic got released just in time for my most recent attack earlier this month to be treated).

    Then take the antibiotics faithfully. Finish the course. Treat symptoms, but don't expect it to improve your condition. And if you get to the end of the antibiotics and you still have symptoms, tell the doctor. It means you didn't get the bug and could either need a longer course (likely, if the infection has had ample time to get a good grip on you or is in your kidneys) or a different antibiotic.

    Meanwhile, keep drinking water, keep off the alcohol, plan to give up caffeine if you are getting these frequently, remember to empty your bladder 15 minutes after sex, and invest in incontinence pads. Because when this bug gets to the incontinent stage, it is extremely unpleasant. And by this stage, it is not just urine you're passing, it contains a lot of thing your body shouldn't be losing. Blood. Protein. Epithelial cells (ie lining from your urinary system). Not good.

    I hope by now you've been able to get yourself to the doctor. I hope it's not too far advanced (which would give you a much more difficult time).

    And don't beat yourself up about it, just deal with it from here. I have told you a lot of stuff that doctors so often don't bother to tell patients, which is why people keep getting sick. If you discuss what I have said with your doctor, he will probably agree with just about everything except maybe the cranberry. However, it was my urologist who put me on cranberry.

    And if you are doing all this and still getting sick - here is a cute trick that even the GPs don't know. I got this one from a bladder clinic nurse.
    Take cranberry all the time. Take moderately large doses of Vitamin C (no more than 1000 mg, in divided doses through the day) every day for two weeks. Then switch from Vitamin C to a sachet of alkaliniser twice a day for two weeks. Then back to Vitamin C for two weeks, then alkaliniser again for two weeks.
    What this does is get rid of any bugs which are still sitting in your system but not doing anything much, just waiting for you to get a bit run down so they can take off and infect you again. By getting these bugs acclimatised to first a low pH for two weeks, and then a high pH for two weeks, and back and forth for a month or two like this, it really does knock off a lot of these bugs.
    It is no good for treating active infection, though. It's just another preventive/health improver.

    I hope you are doing OK now. Do be kind to yourself. This can be rally horrible, you feel incredibly sick, weak and totally washed out (as well as in some of the worst pain you can ever experience, like someone has replaced your kidneys with bricks).
    A warm pack over the kidney area can ease the pain. Avoid getting cold there, it makes the pain worse.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on.

  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I'm had several Mutt, 3 I was hospitalized with.
    There just isn't anyway around it. You have to get treatment. Think of it as your Christmas present to yourself.
  7. guest3

    guest3 Guest

    I was treated for multiple Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)'s only to finally find out I had/have Interstitial cystitis (IC), which antibiotics and cranberry juice only make it worse. I am thankfully in remission, but I have a poor friend who is currently suffering badly and it is good to see a urologist and rule it out
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Doctor. Now.

    I went through a time where I was getting UTIs about 1-2X a year, but they were pretty mild, and I cleared them up with cranberry juice alone.

    Only one time did I have a kidney problem. You do NOT want to fool around with that.
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Definitely get thee to a doctor ASAP. If the cranberry juice doesn't work and a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) comes back, it is time for a doctor's visit, especially if there is back pain. Kidney infections are nothing to fool around with.
  10. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Ditto what Marg posted. It is really very important to take antibiotics properly and under medical supervision, otherwise, as Marg explained, you are exposing yourself and possibly the community to some pretty serious risks. (And Marg, I fully agree about feeding antibiotics to livestock.)
  11. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I used to have them all the time. <span style="color: #FF6666">GO TO THE DOCTOR</span>. It's not like a cold that can cure itself. Once it moves into the kidneys...you have major problems and pain.

    I had them so frequently in my 20's (eons ago) that my doctor gave me this HUGE prescription to just keep on hand. He trusted my knowledge of when one was coming on. Knock on wood, I have not had one in probably 15 years.

    Don't let this go.