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Cystitis/Urinary Tract Infections

Created 2006-10-26
Modified 2010-09-16
Views 6013
Author Tom Ingram
Urinary tract infections come in a variety of flavors:

"Bladder infection" (cystitis) refers to a simple infection of the bladder. These are extremely common in women. Symptoms include burning, frequent urination, a feeling of incomlete voiding, and a sense of urgency. One particular type, hemorrhagic cystitis, can cause visible bleeding and even passage of clots. Diagnosis is usually made by a combination of symptoms and urinalysis. Treatment includes 3-7 days of antibiotics.

"Kidney infection" (pyelonepritis) refers to an infection of one or both kidneys. In this condition, you usually have all of the symptoms of cystitis plus feeling much sicker. You may be running a fever, having lower back pain, or vomiting. Diagnosis is made by a combination of symptoms, physical exam and urinalysis. Treatment ranges from oral antibiotics to hospitalization.

"Urinary Tract Infection" (UTI) refers to any of the above or a combination of the two. Treatment is the same as listed above.

Factors leading to chronic or recurrent urinary infections include: diabetes, sexual activity, poor fluid intake, infrequent voiding and use of bubble baths. Research has proven that cranberry juice can help prevent (8oz daily) and even treat urinary infections.

Over the counter medications for bladder infections are analgesics only and do nothing to treat the underlying infection. They will get you through a midnight onset of symptoms but you should call the office as soon as possible.

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