How to Diagnose and Treat Urinary Tract Infections?

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Kidney Health

How to diagnose?

Some of the symptoms of urinary tract infections are similar to symptoms of other ailments. For example, a painful urination could be because of sexually transmitted disease and not because of urinary tract infection. This makes it difficult to diagnose urinary tract infection by the physical symptoms.

A simple home test kit similar to a simple home pregnancy test kit can be used. This kit has a chemical reagent smeared stick. One needs to urinate on the stick. The chemical reagent on the stick reacts with urine. The stick will show some discolouration or textural change to indicate the presence or absence of urinary tract infection.

The above is just a preliminary test. If the test result is positive, one needs to follow this with a urine analysis. This involves collecting urine in a sterile container and sending it for testing. Urine should be collected a few seconds after the start of urination. This is to make sure that superficial impurities do not get into the sample urine.

Urine analysis result shows the presence or otherwsie of blood, pus, E.coli bacteria, other bacteria, toxic wastes, fat cells and creatinine (if ordered for).

How to treat?

Urinary tract infections occur in many ways. Different treatments are available for different kinds of urinary tract infections.

Some of the urinary tract infections are mild. They can be treated by the immune system of the body. One needs to just wait for a couple of days for the body’s immune system to work the problem out.

At times drinking lots of water or cranberry juice will wash the urinary tract infection away. Cranberry juice should not be consumed by those using warfarin like blood thinning medicines. Alcohol, sugary drinks and coffee is not to be used for flushing away of urinary tract infection. Plain water should be used for this purpose.

Antibiotics are prescribed if urinary tract infection persists despite the above treatments. Cipro and Amoxicillin are less potent antibiotics while Penicillin is more potent. Some people need sulfa drugs like Bactrim, also known as Sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim.

If urinary tract infection continues to give trouble even after a week, prescriptions of drugs like Macrodantin, Furadantin and pain killers like Levaquin are recommended.

During a urinary tract infection the pain in the urinary tract often spreads to the lower spine. The lower spine is located close to the urinary tract. Simple analgesics are prescribed for this pain. Some portions of these drugs end up in urine giving it an orange or a blue tint. This is to be brought to the attention of the physician.