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Thread: Should you get sick from a UTI?

  1. #1

    Should you get sick from a UTI?

    I'm a C-6 quad for about 15 years and have a SP catheter. During those years i've had many many UTI's, but never once felt sick because of them. Not fevers, no feeling crappy, pretty much nothing.

    The reason i'd know when i had UTI's were i'd get dysreflexia more often and the biggest tell tale sign was urine that smelled horrible along with more sediment floating around in it. In fact, i've yet to remember a time where a urine sample was taken for whatever the reason and i didn't have at least a lower level UTI and other times had a raging UTI. Yet physically, i'd have never known i had a UTI because there were never any other signs.

    Because i so often have cloudy/smelly urine, but am not sick otherwise, i avoid going to the doctor about it because if i took antibotics each time i think i had a UTI, i fear that i'd become immune to the antibotics. So long as i'm not outwordly sick or i don't sense the UTI at the time is that bad (only kinda strong smelling urine/cloudy), does it matter that much if i often have a UTI going on, but it's not making me otherwise ill?

  2. #2
    Do a search on this forum for colonization versus urinary tract infection. Having increased episodes of dysreflexia could indicate a UTI but sediment or smelly urine doesn't necessarily indicate an infection.

    Generally you want to treat a UTI only when it is making you sick, causing you a fever, increased dysreflexia, etc.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDuder View Post
    I'm a C-6 quad for about 15 years and have a SP catheter. During those years i've had many many UTI's, but never once felt sick because of them. Not fevers, no feeling crappy, pretty much nothing.

    The reason i'd know when i had UTI's were i'd get dysreflexia more often and the biggest tell tale sign was urine that smelled horrible along with more sediment floating around in it. In fact, i've yet to remember a time where a urine sample was taken for whatever the reason and i didn't have at least a lower level UTI and other times had a raging UTI. Yet physically, i'd have never known i had a UTI because there were never any other signs.

    Because i so often have cloudy/smelly urine, but am not sick otherwise, i avoid going to the doctor about it because if i took antibotics each time i think i had a UTI, i fear that i'd become immune to the antibotics. So long as i'm not outwordly sick or i don't sense the UTI at the time is that bad (only kinda strong smelling urine/cloudy), does it matter that much if i often have a UTI going on, but it's not making me otherwise ill?
    TheDuder,

    The general approach today is to give antibiotics only when there is systemic evidence of infection, i.e. fever, increased white matter counts, and malaise. These usually mean that the infection has involved the kidney or has affected the bladder sufficiently to have produced a general response in the body. If you are getting significantly increased autonomic dysreflexia, that is also a sign that the infection is causing significant discomfort.

    Just bacteruria (bacteria in the urine, even with increased white cell count in the urine and smelly urine) should be treated with increased fluid intake, ascorbic acid, and other non-antibiotic therapies. I don't know what the recommendation is regarding changing of the suprapubic catheter but I would think that it should be changed (perhaps the SCI-Nurse can help here).

    Wise.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDuder View Post
    I'm a C-6 quad for about 15 years and have a SP catheter. During those years i've had many many UTI's, but never once felt sick because of them. Not fevers, no feeling crappy, pretty much nothing.

    The reason i'd know when i had UTI's were i'd get dysreflexia more often and the biggest tell tale sign was urine that smelled horrible along with more sediment floating around in it. In fact, i've yet to remember a time where a urine sample was taken for whatever the reason and i didn't have at least a lower level UTI and other times had a raging UTI. Yet physically, i'd have never known i had a UTI because there were never any other signs.

    Because i so often have cloudy/smelly urine, but am not sick otherwise, i avoid going to the doctor about it because if i took antibotics each time i think i had a UTI, i fear that i'd become immune to the antibotics. So long as i'm not outwordly sick or i don't sense the UTI at the time is that bad (only kinda strong smelling urine/cloudy), does it matter that much if i often have a UTI going on, but it's not making me otherwise ill?
    I feel the exact same way. I never know and sometimes feel like I'm crying wolf unknowingly. Thanks Wise.
    Marie
    Unbroken by the grace of God

  5. #5
    If you had AD, and it was not just from a clogged catheter, you were "sick" from the UTI and needed treatment. AD is one of the symptoms that we require to call it a UTI and not just colonization. Of course with an indwelling catheter, you are pretty much colonized all the time, so treating just on the basis of cultures or bacteria count is NOT recommended or wise. The same applies to sediment, cloudiness, mucous or smell of the urine. Without other symptoms, this should not be considered a UTI.

    In general, it is recommended to change indwelling catheters at the time antibiotics are started for a UTI. If your caregivers are competent to change a SP catheter, I would recommend doing this. Otherwise, there is no evidence that changing the catheter more often than every 4-6 weeks has any benefit as far as prevention of UTIs.

    (KLD)

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