How to Recognize the Symptoms of a UTI & Tips for Prevention

Thanks to our partners at Checkable Health for writing this article and sharing their expertise with us!

UTI

Got a UTI? Get Tips on Treating and Preventing UTIs for Good

Ladies – let’s talk UTIs. I’m sure most of you reading this have had a urinary tract infection at least once since birth. They are one of the most common infections in the human body. Studies show that 40% of all females will get one in their lifetime, and 25% to 30% of women who’ve already had a urinary tract infection will get another within six months. Sigh. But it’s not just women that get UTIs; anyone can get one. Men, children, seniors, and even animals can also get UTIs.

It is estimated that women get UTIs up to 30 times more often than men due to the female anatomy. (The urethra in females is shorter and closer to the anus, where E. coli bacteria may linger.) I think we all can agree that whichever gender you identify with, UTIs are no fun for anyone. The good news is that UTIs are easily treatable and preventable. With just a few tips and lifestyle changes, you can say bye-bye to the UTI.

What Exactly is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the urinary system, consisting of the urethra, ureters, the bladder, and the kidneys. An infection occurs when bacteria (usually E. coli) gets into the urinary tract and multiply. Normally, urine moves through the urinary system without any contamination because our kidneys work as a filtration system to keep the germs out. However, bacteria can get into the urinary system from outside sources, causing infection and inflammation, and a UTI is born. Approximately 8 -10 million people in the US are treated for UTIs annually, making it one of the most common bacterial infections.

Know the Signs of a UTI

 If you are experiencing pain or pressure down there, you could be battling a urinary tract infection. UTIs can be quite painful for some, and others may have no symptoms at all. It is important to know what the symptoms of a UTI look like so you can get treatment fast. Recognizing the symptoms of a UTI in children can be a bit challenging, especially with young ones that can’t express themselves well. Regardless of age, UTIs can be become serious if left untreated and cause more severe complications, including a kidney infection or scarlet fever. Knowing the symptoms and what to look for is key in treating a UTI quickly. 

UTI

Common Symptoms of a UTI in Adults

  •     A burning sensation when you urinate
  •     A strong urge to urinate often, yet only pass a small amount each time
  •     Urine looks cloudy or may contain blood
  •     Urine has a strong odor
  •     Lower back or lower abdomen pain
  •     Pressure in the lower abdomen 
  •     Chills, nausea, and/or vomiting

Common Symptoms of a UTI in Children

  •       Sudden and frequent need to urinate
  •       Loss of control of urine and wetting bed at night
  •       Pain while urinating
  •       Trouble urinating
  •       Lower belly pain
  •       Blood in the urine
  •       Bad-smelling urine
  •       Nausea and vomiting
  •       Fussiness/ Irritability
  •       Fever
  •       Chills
  •       Pain in the back or side below the ribs
  •       Tiredness

6 Steps for Treating a UTI Fast

If you or your kiddos have some of the above symptoms, there is a good chance it is a UTI. We suggest following these 6 easy steps to effectively treat your UTI to feel better fast.

Step 1: Take a UTI test. The only way to know if you do have an infection is to take a test, either using an at-home UTI test kit or at your doctor’s office. If the test is positive, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics. Most people start feeling some relief within 24 hours of starting antibiotics, but the infection will take a few days to go away. 

Step 2: It’s OK to take pain meds. They are made for pain, so if it hurts down there, try whichever OTC pain medication you prefer, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, while waiting for your antibiotics to work. We also suggest taking Phenazopyridine (AZO or Uristat) if you are experiencing burning while peeing. Tip: If taking AZO, your pee will be bright red/orange.

Step 3: Go when you gotta go. Try not to hold your urine for long periods of time. It will make the pain worse. It’s important to flush out your system when fighting bacteria, so peeing is the best route. 

Step 4: Drink water and stay hydrated. This goes hand-in-hand with the tip above. Water helps flush out the bacteria, so the more you drink, the better your chances are of getting toxins out.

Step 5: Refrain from caffeine, alcohol, and sex. Not fun, but just until your symptoms subside. Alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration and can irritate the bladder. Sex can bring more harmful bacteria into the urinary tract causing your UTI to worsen.

Step 6: Take supplements. D-Mannose, cranberry, vitamin C, and probiotics can help boost your immune system and provide good bacteria that antibiotics can sometimes kill. This can also sometimes cause a yeast infection simultaneously. D-Mannose helps keep the bacteria from sticking to your bladder walls and is a powerful supplement to combat UTIs, especially when combined with cranberry juice powder. We suggest Checkable’s Urinary Tract Prevent + Recovery. 

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Easy Tips to Prevent UTIs

The best way to combat a UTI is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This is especially helpful if you are prone to recurring UTIs. Here are some easy ways to incorporate preventative methods into your daily life to keep a UTI from happening. 

  • Drink tons of water: H2O really does help. Urinating frequently allows bacteria to be flushed before an infection can even begin. If you don’t love plain water, add some lemon.
  • Wipe from front to back: You would be surprised to know how many people quickly wipe and don’t pay attention to the direction. The idea is to stay away from the buttocks area so that any lingering bacteria from going number 2, doesn’t go near your urethra. This is a big issue with kids!
  • Practice good sexual hygiene: Intercourse may be fun, but it can cause bacteria and microbes to enter the urinary tract. The best way to avoid a UTI is to urinate before and after sex. 
  • Feminine products: Stay away from douche and scented feminine products. They can irritate and throw off the vagina’s delicate pH levels and cause UTIs and yeast infections.
  • Take a look at your birth control: Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide treated condoms can all lead to bacterial growth. Wash anything reusable after sex and use water-based lube. Scented or flavored ones can also throw off your vaginal pH. 
  • Probiotics: Probiotics restore the good bacteria that the bad bacteria can kill. You can take supplements or eat foods rich in probiotics, like yogurt, kefir, raw sauerkraut, or kombucha.
  • Cranberry & D-Mannose supplements: These two powerhouse ingredients help block bacteria from forming and promote a healthy bladder. If you are prone to recurrent UTIs, evidence shows that D-mannose and cranberry powder help prevent bacteria from sticking to your vaginal walls. Try Checkable’s Urinary Tract Prevent + Recovery for a perfect blend of ingredients, including D-Mannose, cranberry juice powder, hibiscus, and natural dandelion herb.

There you have it, ladies. Those tips should help prevent UTIs as long as you follow the rules! If you find you are still getting UTIs on the reg, it may be a good time to visit your gynecologist for a check-up. In the meantime, make a cranberry smoothie with yogurt and enjoy feeling good.

Author: Ali Kessler

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