A UTI is an infection that affects any part of the urinary system, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. UTIs are among the most common infections, affecting people of all ages. Women are more likely to get UTI than men.
Symptoms of a UTI include a fever, chills, tiredness, burning sensation when urinating, an increased urge to urinate, cloudy or bloody urine, and pain in kidney or pelvis to name a few.
Treatment for a UTI includes antibiotics and supportive measures that we have outlined for you below. Sometimes, hospitalization may be necessary. It is very important for you to learn how bad (severe) your symptoms are.
How bad is my UTI?
Mild: No UTI is considered “mild.”
Moderate: This means that you are not having any severe symptoms (see below), can take oral treatment, and are able to eat and stay hydrated at home. The infection is very likely to be limited to your urinary tract.
You will likely need urine tests and then oral antibiotic treatment for a few days. You can also follow the guidance below to manage your symptoms like pain.
Moderate UTIs can get worse and need hospitalization with late, incomplete, or inappropriate treatment.
Severe: The infection has possibly spread to your blood or other parts of the body. You are having one or more of severe symptoms/warning signs, are not able to stay hydrated, or are unable to safely take care of yourself at home.
You will likely need to be hospitalized, get IV antibiotics, expert consultation, and other tests/procedures. Severe UTI can become life-threatening very quickly and you should seek medical help immediately.
Warning signs/severe symptoms of UTI that need immediate medical attention
This is not a complete list or a substitute for medical advice. You should contact your medical team rightaway if you are suspecting a UTI.
- Fever above 102 deg F (38.8 deg C)
- Any fever that lasts for more than 2 hours
- Blood in urine
- Lightheadedness/dizziness when you stand or even when you are sitting
- Unable to keep anything down (food, water etc)
- Severe nausea, diarrhea, pain
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- If you are on cancer treatment that makes your immune system weak
- If you have a personal history of multiple or complicated UTIs
What tests are needed to diagnose a UTI?
At the minimum, your Doctor will order a urine analysis and urine culture. They may order other blood & urine tests as well. Depending on your unique situation, an ultrasound, CT or MRI of kidney/belly (abdomen) may be needed.
Uncommonly, a procedure called cystoscopy–which allows a surgeon to look inside your bladder with a tiny camera — may be needed.
Supportive care for UTIs
- Take your medications as directed by your Doctor: Antibiotics may rarely cause side effects, such as nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Report these to your health care provider. Do not just stop taking the pills.
- Make sure your provider knows if you could be pregnant before starting the antibiotics
- Increase your water intake (80-120 ounces per day)
- Ask your Doctor for a medication to help with burning urinary pain
- Avoid sugary and processed foods
- Minimize caffeine use
What caused my UTI?
Factors like your age, gender, and medical issues can increase your risk of getting a UTI. Some of these are:
- Abnormal urinary tract anatomy
- Sexual activity
- Lower immunity like when you are on chemotherapy or recovering from a surgery
- Urinary tract blockage due to stones, cancer etc
- Female anatomy
- Urinary catheter use
- Surgeries of the urinary tract
- Some forms of birth control
How can Ankr help with your UTI?
Don’t try to treat a UTI by yourself. Use Ankr to:
(1) learn about the common symptoms of UTI
(2) send message to your Doctor if they use Ankr platform*
(3) be better informed about how to prevent another UTI
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