The Most Serious Type of UTI You Need to Know About

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Written by Bernie Carr

Each year, millions of people suffer from urinary tract infections (UTI), according to the National Library of Medicine. A urinary tract infection is any infection that affects the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder and urethra. Most of the time, UTIs are minor ones that are easily treated. Some people may even ignore them for a while. But there are more serious types that we should all be aware of.

A good resource

I received a review copy of Herbal Medic, A Green Beret’s Guide to Emergency Medical Preparedness and Natural First Aid. It is written by Sam Coffman, a former Green Beret medic and clinical herbalist. He teaches wilderness first aid, remote and post-disaster herbal medicine and urban and primitive survival skills. He certainly knows what he is talking about. I found the book to be quite informative, written in an easy to understand format. It gives lots of options and ideas on how to deal with many illnesses and health conditions using herbs and formulas.

This book is a good resource for emergency medical preparedness

In the book, you will find a lot of first aid essentials, pointers on making herbal medicines and formulas and how to deal with the most common injuries, infections and other medical issues.

I read with interest his section on UTIs and how he highlighted a couple of different types of UTIs.

Below is an excerpt from the book, reprinted with permission:

Types of UTI

“A urinary tract infection (UTI) is fairly easy to diagnose from symptoms alone. They commonly include the following:

  • A frequent urge to urinate
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • A burning or itching sensation while urinating.

These symptoms may indicate an infection in the lower urinary tract (the urethra and bladder).

However, it is critical to look for signs that the infection is in the upper urinary tract (the ureter and kidneys). An upper UTI will present with the same symptoms as a lower UTI along with the following:

  • Lower back pain or tenderness around the area where the lowest ribs attach to the spine
  • Flank pain (between the bottom of the ribs and the top of the pelvis, along the side of the body
  • Tenderness in the supra-pubic region
  • Severe pain for the first few steps of walking immediately after getting up from a horizontal position
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Malaise

For an herbalist, an upper UTI is a red-flag event. It is far more serious than a lower UTI and even potentially life threatening, and should be referred to orthodox medical care. It is usually treated with intravenous antibiotics. While it is possible to treat an upper UTI with herbs, rest and nutrition, it’s not something you should ever want to do unless you have no other choice.”

What happens if a UTI is not treated early?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UTIs can get serious if not treated right away.

When they’re not treated early, UTIs can lead to kidney failure and even death.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

I know of someone in her 20s who took antibiotics for a lower UTI but it did not clear up. After another week, she developed a kidney infection which caused excruciating back and side pain as well as a high fever. She had to be taken to the emergency room and as admitted to a hospital-she was given IV antibiotics and had to stay in the hospital for 10 days. If you find yourself with UTI symptoms, make sure you get early treatment.

About the author

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.






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