In honor of Kidney Awareness Month, we have put together an in-depth blog on how to treat a Urinary Tract Infection.
Initially, a UTI is not an infection of the kidneys, but left untreated it could become one. The kidneys filter 53 gallons of blood a day, keep your blood pressure in check, and even assists with the production of red blood cells. While these useful little organs spend their day happily performing their function, as many as 26 million Americans may already be suffering from kidney related diseases and may not even know it. Kidney Awareness Month reminds you that you need to take care of these amazing little filters, as your life may very well depend on them!
How does a UTI affect my kidneys?
A urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria that affects the bladder, kidneys, urethra and ureters. Often, the infection is caused by the bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, sexually transmitted bacteria can also cause infection. However, most don’t lead to complications and sometimes it’s possible to treat a UTI at home.
As mentioned earlier, your kidneys can be badly affected by urinary tract infections, or UTI’s as they are commonly known. UTI’s are most common amongst women and adolescent girls, although not limited to them, as men can experience them as well. If not treated early, a urinary tract infection has the potential to morph into a kidney infection, and this is where serious damage can occur. This is why it is highly recommended that you learn how to treat a UTI.
How to treat a Urinary Tract Infection
There are a few different ways to treat a UTI, and if caught in the early stages it may be possible to treat it at home relatively easily. Here are the top ways you can treat a UTI:
- Hydrate with water: Try hydrating to treat a UTI. Water removes the bacteria in your bladder hence eliminating the infection faster. It also dilutes urine so that urination is less painful. Since urine is made of waste and bodily acids, dark urine is considered to be more acidic and is often more painful to pass. Diluted urine is lighter in color and should not burn.
- Drink cranberry juice: In addition (and not as a substitute) to drinking water cranberry juice and cranberry tablets have acted as a remedy for people who have experienced bladder infections according to recent studies. It is also recommended that you stay away from drinking caffeine as it can not only dehydrate you, but also cause cause bladder irritation.
- Try a heating pad: Putting heat across your abdominal region and back can relieve aching that occurs during bladder infections. We recommend using the heating pad to treat a UTI in 20-minute intervals so as not to burn the skin. If you don’t own one, heating pads can be created at home by soaking a small towel in warm water.
- Take a mild pain reliever: Bladder infections can cause pain in the pelvic region even when you’re not urinating. Taking pain medications in the meantime can help relieve any discomfort as it sometimes takes a decent amount of time for a UTI to clear up completely.
- Doctor prescribed antibiotics: If none of the above methods work, we highly recommend seeking medical attention . You will probably be prescribed an antibiotic. This method to treat a UTI will be determined by a urine test, and possibly other tests if the doctor thinks that it is necessary. When on antibiotics it is especially important to stay hydrated.
My UTI won’t go away
If your symptoms last for longer than three days and are becoming worse, or are coupled with fever, or chills please contact a medical professional immediately. Left untreated, a urinary tract infection can lead to serious kidney issues.
At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to our walk-in clinic located at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06119-1801. All our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.