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UTI – Overview

March 28, 2021


"Bacterial growth in the bladder or kidneys causes urinary infections. The most common type of urinary infection is a bladder infection. Your discharge diagnosis may have been cystitis or urinary tract infection. You may have also had a pyelonephritis. Urinary tract infections are also abbreviated UTI. Bladder infections often need antibiotics to treat. Sometimes the infection can spread to the kidneys. Kidney infections, called pyelonephritis, are a more serious type of UTI. Kidney infections often start with uncomfortable symptoms when urinating. These include burning with urination, increased urinary frequency and a feeling like you need to pee, but then you can't. Usually urinary infections are accompanied by urine that smells foul. Other symptoms include fever and lower abdominal pain. In older patients, it's very common for a bladder infection to cause confusion or falls. And sometimes, the typical urinary symptoms are absent, so confusion or behavior change is really the first symptom of the infection. Urinary infections that spread into the kidneys can cause vomiting and low back pain. There may or may not be diarrhea. Bladder and kidney infections are both treated with antibiotics. For the urinary pain, phenazopyridine and ibuprofen are often helpful, but treating the underlying infection with antibiotics is the best way to treat the symptoms. If you are well enough to go home, the ER team will give you a first dose of IV antibiotics for your kidney infection and then oral antibiotic for 10 to 14 days. You will probably be described a nausea medicines such as ondansetron so that you can keep down your fluids and food and your medications. Antibiotics in general often cause upset stomach. This can be mitigated by taking yogurt or probiotic. In addition, many women suffer from yeast infections when they take antibiotics. Often, a single dose of the antifungal medicine Fluconazol can prevent this uncomfortable side effect."

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