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Thread: UTI with no symptoms?

  1. #1

    UTI with no symptoms?

    I found out today that I have a UTI. I'm waiting on the results to come back to find out what it is and what to take to treat it. My appetite is fine, my body temp is normal and I don't feel bad at all. Is this common or do most people feel bad when they have a UTI?

  2. #2
    If you mean you have a positive urine culture (colonization), yes, this is very common and should not be confused with a UTI. To have a UTI as a person with a SCI, you need to have fever/chills, malaise, AD, flank pain, elevated blood white count, bad spasticity, etc. If you have no fever, and feel find, you don't have a UTI.

    If you and your doctor are not familiar with this important concept, it is time to learn about it. Here is a good start:

    http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/epcsums/utisumm.htm

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    My urologist looked at a urine specimen under a microscope today and said there was puss cells and one other thing. I feel fine though. If he saw that in the specimen is he likely right in that I have a UTI?

  4. #4
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
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    I agree with KLD - Chad used to get cloudy urine, his caregivers (or I) would take in a sample and sure enough, he had a UTI - although I'm not quite sure the distinction between colonization and UTI (KLD?). They would always send it out for drug culture to see what the bug would respond to as it was different every single time which agent they had to use.

    When I read the link KLD provided in this thread, I took him off of his prophylactic dose of macrobid (100 mg/daily) and ONLY took his urine in when he fell lousy on top of cloudy urine. I have a dipstick system at home, so I test his cloudy urine and it is always a "UTI" but I use them only to more or less keep track of the frequency of what is going on and if he is also spilling protein or glucose as he has a high family history of diabetes.

    Now, he gets more infections, e.g. just cloudy urine, but I treat it with copious amounts of fluids. Water actually seems to work better than cranberry juice just anecdotally in his case. When masses of water don't work after 2 days, or if his temp plummets, I take in the sample and have it treated with antibiotics. Btw, chad's temp plummets to 94-ish and then bounces up in the stratosphere after a day or two, so when it's super low I know a huge fever is coming on. So by the time the culture is back and he has his first dose of whatever, he is starting to have what is considered a fever by non-SCI standards as his normal temp is about 96.1 to 96.5.

    Good luck, and try not to overtreat yourself. And make sure your urologist reads the information in the link KLD posted. That was a real eye opener for our urologist.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

  5. #5
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    johnnie-
    what he was seeing was the colonization. Are you having any of the symptoms that SCI-Nurse mentioned, or are you having increased leakage or bladder spasms? These would be items that would indicate that the colonization has become an infection. Now if he also did a blood test and your white cells were elevated(the other item he mentioned maybe) then that would be an indication of an infection somewhere, but not necesarily a UTI.
    'Chelle
    L-1 inc 11/24/03

    "My Give-a-Damn's Busted"......

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Broknwing
    johnnie-
    what he was seeing was the colonization. Are you having any of the symptoms that SCI-Nurse mentioned, or are you having increased leakage or bladder spasms? These would be items that would indicate that the colonization has become an infection. Now if he also did a blood test and your white cells were elevated(the other item he mentioned maybe) then that would be an indication of an infection somewhere, but not necesarily a UTI.
    He didn't do a blood test on me. As far as 'symptoms', I have pain of some kind almost every day. That hasn't changed. I also have mussle spasms and some bladder spasms, but I've always had that. My urine was cloudy and I could see some some pieces of something in the sample. I feel fine and have no other symptoms though.

  7. #7
    Is that article saying that daily antibiotics will double the chance for a UTI? I take antibiotics daily for 'maintenence'. It was prescribed by my former urologists and I've just continued to take them, thinking it would help.

  8. #8
    Using a "maintenance" antibiotic is like taking the bacteria to the gym every day so they will grow stronger & more resistant to the antibiotic. We went through that with a non-SCI savvy urologist, too.
    - Richard

  9. #9
    The original report came back on my urine specimen and it showed infection in the urine. The doctor prescribed Levaquin for me until he finds out for sure what kind of UTI it is. Anybody here used Levaquin before? How did it go?

    I still don't see how I can have a UTI and feel fine. My urine is cloudy though and I can see little pieces of something in it when I looked at the urine in the sterile cup.

  10. #10
    Hi Johnnie,

    As Nurse KLD explained, there is a difference between an able-bodied person who infrequently gets a bacterial growth in their bladder and when a Spinal Cord Injured person does.

    Since SCIs get so many UTIs because we catheterize and have indwelling catheters etc, using antibiotics for every symptomless UTI (colonization) will render antibiotics useless when we really get a bad UTI with the symptoms that Nurse KLD listed.

    If you feel good yet have bacteria growing in your bladder (a positive test from your doctor) then it's considered a "colonization" and should NOT be treated with antibiotics.

    If you have the symptoms such as fever, chills, malaise, AD, flank pain, elevated blood white count, bad spasticity, etc. then it's considered a UTI and SHOULD be treated with antibiotics.

    Always insist on a Culture and Sensitivity test (C&S). The doctor/urologist will probably start you out on a broad-spectrum antibiotic like Levaquin or Cipro (and should only do so when you have the above severe symptoms) but when the C&S test comes back in about 72 hours he may change the type of antibiotic that is the most narrow-spectrum yet effective antibiotic in order to save the "big guns" like Levaquin and Cipro for when you get a bona-fide UTI and really need the extra strength of a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

    If you take the broad-spectrum "big gun" antibiotics at every sign of a UTI (colonization) then they won't be effective when you need them. And this can potentially kill you.

    Doctors/urologists who mainly treat able-bodied patients don't know this difference. If you can find a doctor or preferably a urologist who is familiar with SCI patients then he or she will or should know this.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

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