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How can I treat a urinary tract infection at home?

Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

Peter Loisides (Board Certified Urologist, Saint John's Health Center) gives expert video advice on: What side effects are commonly caused by urinary tract infection medications? and more...

How will a doctor treat an "acute" urinary tract infection?

Well, a urinary tract infection that's acute is treated primarily with antibiotics. First however a history is taken to make sure that we're heading down the right path, and we do a urinalysis to help us confirm the diagnosis. The urine is also cultured for the presence of bacteria or yeast and the culture eventually helps us a few days later as the results are received. However, in the mean time we use empiric therapy with antibiotics so that we can hopefully get rid of the infection as soon as possible. The culture becomes a confirmatory test that we've done the right thing.

How will a doctor treat a "chronic" urinary tract infection?

Well, recurring urinary tract infections are a problem because, of course, something is predisposing the recurrences. A full investigation should be made with tests that include cystoscopy as we mentioned earlier. In addition to that, we would use upper urinary tract studies like ultrasounds or CAT scans primarily of the kidney. We use ultrasounds of the kidney to help us rule out obstruction, stones, or tumours.

What side effects are commonly caused by urinary tract infection medications?

The problem with many antibiotics that are utilized for urinary tract infections is that they can be harsh medications on your stomach, causing nausea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Also, as they are broad-spectrumed in nature, most of the antibiotics cause a disturbance of the intestinal bacteria which can cause bloating, diarrhoea, and even in some instances the opposite; constipation.

How are children with urinary tract infections treated?

In children, the matter of urinary tract infections becomes much more significant because of the fact that they quickly can develop fevers, chills, and delirium (mental status changes) from epilonephritis. Antibiotic therapy in the form of intravenous antibiotics, are essential for children in this scenario that results from urinary tract infections.