Urinary Tract Infection: Got That Tingling Feeling

Burning with urination.  Cramping stomach.  Continual urge to pee.  These are the symptoms of the most searched condition on iTriageHealth.com this week – Urinary Tract Infection or more commonly known as a UTI.

A urinary tract infection can happen anywhere along the urinary tract.  Because of this a UTI may be called different names depending on what part of the urinary tract is under attack.

  • Bladder infection — also called cystitis is an infection in the bladder.
  • Kidney infections — also called pyelonephritis are an infection of one or both kidneys.
  • Ureter infection — is an infection of the tubes that take urine from the kidney to the bladder.
  • Urethra infection — is an infection of the tube that empties urine from the bladder to outside the body.

 

Why Do UTI’s Impact Women More Than Men?

Germs.  Bacteria enter the urethra and then enter the bladder or kidneys.  Usually your body can process the bacteria and prevent infection, but sometimes the little germs get through and make you miserable.

Women have a shorter urethra that is closer to the anus than men.  Women are also more likely to get a UTI from sexual activity, due to diaphragm use or upon entering menopause.

Symptoms of Infection include:

 

  • Cloudy urine
  • Blood in urine (hematuria)
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Need to urinate at night (nocturia)
  • Pain or burning with urination (dysuria)
  • Pressure below the umbilicus of the abdomen.

Symptoms of more serious Kidney infection include:

 

  • Fever over 101
  • Vomiting
  • Severe pain during urination
  • Flank, back or groin pain
  • Confusion or mental changes

Treatment

Diagnosis of the condition is generally confirmed with a urinalysis (UA) or Urine culture.  Treatment depends on the severity of infection and may include antibiotic medications to decrease the burning and/or pain medications to relieve pain symptoms.

Where you seek treatment is a matter of choice and convenience.  Appropriate treatment can be found at your physician’s office or from a variety of healthcare access points.  According to the Healthcare Blue Book the cost of diagnosis and treatment for a UTI has a wide range based on where you seek care.  Below is a breakdown of costs and fees associated with a UTI*:

Emergency Department:

  • Physician fee – $211
  • Hospital fee – $386
  • Laboratory Studies – Urine Analysis $27 and Urine Culture $37
  • Total = $661

Urgent Care Center:

  • Healthcare Provider and Facility Fee – $150
  • Laboratory Studies – Urine Analysis $27 and Urine Culture $37
  • Total = $214

Retail Clinic:

  • Healthcare Provider and Facility Fee – $62
  • Laboratory Studies – Urine Analysis $27 and Urine Culture $37
  • Total = $126

*All cost information is estimated based on average nationwide pricing data and may not reflect exact pricing in your area or based on your insurance.

Do you need help finding a hospital, urgent care center, retail clinic or physician near you? Download the free iTriage mobile healthcare app from the app stores, or visit www.iTriageHealth.com .

16 comments

  1. I’ve heard that drinking cranberry juice can also help clear up a UTI. I wonder if there’s any truth to that.

  2. Alicia Verity, MSPH

    I have heard that also. I dug a little to see if there are any studies to prove the effectiveness of cranberry juice to treat a UTI. This is what I discovered: Cranberry juice does not inhibit bacterial growth and will not sterilize the urinary tract. Therefore it cannot prevent or treat a UTI. The suspected mechanism is that an element in cranberry juice called proanthocyanidins helps prevent bacterial adherence to the uroepithelial cells thus reducing the development of the UTI. I’d say if you like cranberry juice continue to drink it with the thought that you are helping to create (however minor) a barrier to bacterial adherence. Still unproven, but many women swear by it!

  3. Thanks for that information. I do like cranberry juice, so I guess it can’t hurt!

  4. does coco juice and herbal alternative tea med do me any good… thanks

    infection treatment center novi mi

  5. Pins on the toilet seat – very amusing , but sadly accurate graphic of UTI symptoms

    Anne – you may want to have a look at http://www.utireview.com , where there are review of some of the current books available on the subject

  6. I suffered from uti’s for many years and tried everything out there, am resistant to most antibiotics now and then I discovered that taking 6000 – 8000 mg if vitamin C with rose hips daily has cleaned out my urinary tract within a few days to the point of having had a white discharge that is now gone and everything feels healthy again the way it use to before I kept getting all these uti’s. I heard years ago that drinking lemon juice daily would do this but for me that wasn’t enough and the vit. c in large doses is doing it. I was praying for a natural solution and so far have not had another uti. I have been on a 4000 mg a day maintenance dose after the initial 1 week high dose. It can cause diarrhea but one can take something for that until you get to a lower dose and if you tend to be more constipated this will make things move perfectly. Good luck.

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