Methods used at home to determine if you have a UTI

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I recently had a very bad UTI that dramatically impacted my ability to urinate (I have a TRUS measured prostate size of 100 gms). During one night, I had a two hour episode where it felt like there was a piston in my abdomen trying to force urine out (imagine being punched in the stomach except that the force is downwards instead of inwards). It was extremely painful, but the worst of it was that it caused uncontrollable defecation if I released my pelvic floor in order to let the urine out (only 10 to 20 mL of urine would come out during each spasm). I tried to go to the ER, but soiled two pairs of pants enroute. Fortunately, it did clear up after the two hours.

At the time I was on my second day of amoxicillin for a UTI. I finished the course of amoxicillin and now a week later it looks like I still have the UTI so I'm on a new antibiotic, cephalexin, for 14 days.

My question regards methods used at home to determine if one has a UTI. I am only aware of the UTI strips that you dip in urine. I had strips from one manufacturer that I have been using on and off for several months. But about ten days ago I decided to order some strips from Siemens, since I had heard that Siemens makes high quality products. I received those strips this past Thursday and they showed blood in my urine that the other strips did not. This lead me to go to the doctor yesterday (Friday) where they determined that my UTI had not cleared up and hence the new antibiotics.

Are test strips the only tool we have to use at home? Clearly at the doctor's office they seem to have more sophisticated methods. Culturing urine is probably not possible at home, but they seem to have a method for getting actual numbers for specific gravity, leukocytes, occult blood, etc. Thoughts on this subject appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hope you are taking Probiotics with all those antibiotics. I ended up with C-diff with 4 rounds of antibiotics from my Doctor. Learned the hard way ended up very sick for 4 months, hospitalized and ended up with fecal transplant. Now I can't take certain antibiotics for fear of relapse. So any time I get a UTI i have to have certain antibiotics. Just my 2 cents.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I've been taking probiotics for years and usually increase the dosage when I have to take antibiotics.

      I've heard of C-diff, but don't know really much about it. Are you thinking that my uncontrollable defecation that night might have resulted from C-diff? I'll do more research on it. Thanks.

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    • Posted

      I researched C-diff and it looks like diarrhea is one of the major symptoms. Surprisingly, during that event, I did not have diarrhea.

      After doing the research it sounds like C-diff is a very nasty disease that can lead to death. Hope you are doing better and thanks for letting me know about this.

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  • Posted

    I'm not familiar with the strips you mentioned. Traditionally, your doctor needs to do a urine culture to not only confirm that you have a UTI but also what antibiotic it is sensitive to. As case in point, when I got my first UTI my primary had me start on Augmentin because I had some for my diverticulitis, but 3 days later when I spiked a 103 degree temp and went to the ER they did a urine culture, gave me a bolus of Rocephin, offerred to admit me for 3 days of IV infusions of it, or go home with Cefdinir. I chose the latter as they didn't know if the UTI was sensitive to Rocephin. It turned out that the UTI was E.coli and wasn't sensitive to any of the antibiotics I had taken so far. They ended up putting me on Levofloxacin for 10 days.

    So my best advice is always get a urine culture. Also, your doctors will be understandably sensitive to what antibiotics they prescribe as they don't want you to be immune to some super bug that comes on the scene. Depending on how you Self-cath, you always have the probability of getting a UTI. Just be sure to:

    1. Wash your hands first with an antibacterial soap;
    2. Use an alcohol swipe to disinfect the end of your penis before insertion of the cath; and
    3. Use a self-contained cath that is pre-lubed so that your hands never touch the portion of the cath that is inserted.

    I hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply. I don't self cath and really don't know how I got this UTI. I was in Hawaii prior to getting the UTI. Last UTI I can remember having was over 20 years ago. I know that certain sexual practices greatly increase the risk of a man developing a UTI, but I don't practice any of these.

      Regarding self cath. I don't need to self cath; however, after that ugly event, I went in the next day to learn how to self cath. I had thought that an emergency room would consider a man unable to urinate a priority event, but my uro told me not to assume that at all. My plan is to only self-cath for emergency events. Mostly, when there is significant hesitation to urinate, which pretty much only happens at night.

      The catheters that I have on hand, in case I need them are, Speedicath Flex Coude FR12. Even though they are relatively expensive, I got them so that I don't have to touch the catheter.

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  • Posted

    I was told by my Uro that when you have BPH the residual voiding urine left in the bladder can sit their which welcomes the buildup of our little E. coli buddies and such...The Post Void Residual volume should be 50ml or less to be on the safer side. You can have a large prostate and a small medium lobe and still be voiding well. The TRUS can reveal if you have an large medium lobe or not..If you would self Cath after voiding it should give you an idea how much was left ..

    Take care and Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Bayliner.

      I actually have a bladder scanner. My typical PVR is around 100 mL to 125. I am currently taking supplements in an attempt to ward off e Coli, which I tried to write in another post, but the mods keep flagging the supplements for some unknown reason.

      Interesting thing about bladder scanners. My scanner always seems to read high compared to the uro bladder scanners (at the highest maybe around 70 after really spending time to get a reading) and even Transabdominal US (15 ml). Yesterday when I was being evaluated for the ongoing UTI, a bladder ultrasound was ordered. The technician had a hard time getting a reading and when she did it was low (less than 20 mL). I knew it was higher and told her so. But unlike other technicians she didn't give up. She kept moving the probe around and then finally set it where it touched my pubic bone. Then the reading was suddenly in the high 90s and low 100 ml range. When I do the scan, my probe is resting against my pubic bone. So now I'm thinking it isn't so much a question about my scanner reading high as to where the probe is placed. I was very surprised as she was moving the probe around at how high she went on my abdoment (which resulted in 0 mL). She was also a little surprised at how low she felt she had to place the probe on my abdoment to get that reading.

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    • Posted

      Just to follow up on using self cathing to get the PVR. The day after my horrible event, I went into my new uros office to learn self cathing. After speaking with Nurse Mary, she decided to do a bladder ultrasound before I tried self cathing. The result was 68 mL. I immediately self cathed after that and only 20 ml came out. We were both a bit puzzled by that result.

      I spoke with my new urologist shortly afterwards about it and he intimated that it might be because there is a valley in my bladder caused by the protruding prostate. There might be additional urine sitting in that valley that isn't easily removed, even by self cathing. So my strategy is to make sure I drink enough to hopefully get some turnover of liquid in the bladder and to take the supplements to reduce the ability of e Coli to cling to the urinary tract walls. I'm also wondering if it might not be a bad idea to do some jumping jacks/in place running before I urinate to try and get the urine in my bladder to be well mixed. Hopefully this would help in moving urine out of the valley area over the course of a day. I'm also wondering if standing on my head might help as well in moving urine around.

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  • Posted

    I think you are on a logical path to addressing UTI's. Before my operation I would get them all the time. I know the moderators do not allow for natural cure suggestions but they are easily found on the Net..That aside, you seem to have a grip on the subject and I would make my URO aware of the fact that taking Iffy AB's is not my idea of a good time.

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  • Posted

    I hear you and sympathize! C-diff or E-Coli both have "super-bug" versions out there. Tomorrow, Sunday I take my final vancomycin capsule after three long months of doing battle against C-diff. I agree with you, in the Great Scheme of things the little dears have every right to be there, just as we do and we retain our right to defend ourselves against the critters as best we can. No point in getting worked up about it.

    This is not your ordinary diarrhea, by any means. As I quickly discovered, one's lower colon and rectum seem to be perpetually filled and the urge to go has to be satisfied, instantly, wherever you happen to be!

    However, all bad things must come to an end, just as the good ones do. I sincerely hope your recovery is close to hand. Warm regards, alan86734.

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Alan. Fortunately I don't have C-diff. Best wishes to you for a full recovery. Be sure to take those probiotics in the future when you're on antibiotics.

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