Move over cranberry juice – bladder infections call for Zipnosis

You’ve been planning this trip for months, your reservations are made and bags are packed.

Then, with two days to go before your trip, you notice it: You have to go to the bathroom. All the time. But when you do, there isn’t much urine. And now, you’re starting to notice a burning sensation. Sounds like a bladder infection.

Don’t panic – this doesn’t need to ruin your plans. This is a perfect time for OnCare. It’s an online diagnostic tool available to everyone to use, not just Fairview patients, to treat about 70 common conditions, including bladder infections, tick bites and pink eye.

Common symptoms, unique care

Women who suspect a urinary tract infection, or UTI, are among the most common users of OnCare, said Dang Tran, MD, vice president of medical practice for Fairview Clinics.

UTI occurs when bacteria, typically E. coli, get into the bladder or other urinary organs via the genitals or bloodstream. Symptoms vary depending on where the infection occurs. An infection in the bladder or kidneys can result in everything from high fevers and chills to vomiting, back pain and body aches.

In most cases, though, the telltale signs of UTI include a strong, persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when doing so, and urine that both looks and smells odd. Men may feel rectal pain; women tend to feel pelvic pain.

“The good news is that UTI is most often treated with a simple prescription of antibiotics; after only one or two days of treatment, you’re likely to be feeling better, though you should take the entire course of antibiotics, as prescribed,” Tran said.

“You shouldn’t ignore the symptoms or rely on simply drinking a lot of cranberry juice”, he added. “If left untreated, urinary tract infections can lead to serious infections of the kidneys or can spread to the bloodstream. And pregnant women may be at increased risk of premature delivery or low birth-weight babies.”

Quick, simple online care

If you suspect a bladder infection – just got online, anytime, anywhere to OnCare.org. You’ll answer a few questions about your symptoms just like you were in a doctor’s office. In an hour or less (between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.) a clinician will respond with a diagnosis and prescription if needed. It’s really that simple.

Everyday prevention tips

Though no one is immune from such infections, Tran said there are everyday steps to make them less likely:

  • Drinking more fluids: As with many health conditions, drinking more water and less alcohol and caffeine, can help urinary tract health. Water helps you urinate more frequently; caffeine and alcohol can irritate the urinary tract. Unsweetened cranberry juice or powdered cranberry extract may also help.
  • Practicing bathroom hygiene: Women should wipe from front to back, thereby minimizing the chance of bacteria getting close to the urethra.
  • Practicing urinary hygiene; If you feel the urge to go, do so: “By all means, when your body tells you it’s time to urinate, pay attention,” Tran said.

“All this information is provided online,” Tran added. “Patients don’t just get a prescription, or treatment if needed, but vital information on how to prevent future infections.”

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