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How can I tell if it is a flare, or a UTI?

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  • How can I tell if it is a flare, or a UTI?

    I had been doing so well for about 2 months. Frequency was just fine (every 2-3 hrs), just a low-grade constant pressure & possibly PFD.

    I began neglecting the IC diet about a month ago, and still felt fairly good. For some crazy reason, the last week has been terrible! Constant bladder buring and pressure, frequency is every hour or less, can't sit in class, back hurts, capacity is only 100cc's, sometimes only 50cc's (before this wk was usually 200 cc's or so).

    I didn't change anything in my diet, except I had pancakes 3 times this week (could that be it?), and no excess stress to speak of.

    At first I thought it was an infection, but then I felt a tiny bit better today. Can symptoms wax and wane with an infection too, or is it a sign that it is definately just my IC going crazy?

    19 y/o student, salesperson, fashionista, future high school teacher. <3 to sing and travel. Dream job= cruise ship entertainer
    My IC story- diagnosed at age 15 (Feb 2004), after approx. 6 mos of symptoms. Went into near complete remission following hydrodistention and introduction of meds. Feeling so good that I started skipping meds (bad idea). 1 week flare (May 2006). New flare November 2006-present.
    My triggers- I'm not sure about food triggers, just started IC diet but so far doesn't seem to be doing much. Stress is a big trigger for me though. Both flares this year came during stressful times. I think that stress reduction will help me immensely (last flare went AWAY during vacation in Mexico when I was drinking margaritas like they were water;P).
    Start of IC symptoms- Summer 2003 (after a UTI)
    Dx- February 2004, after hydrodistension (ouch!)

    Current treatments- Amytriptyline (25mg), Hydroxizine (25mg), MSM w/Glucosamine (1000mg,3x/day), quercetin (500mg, 2x/day), trying to stick to IC diet, prelief as needed.

    Previous treatments- Amytriptyline (10mg), Hydroxizine (10mg), Alesse (HBC)

  • #2
    Well, my uro and I have a deal that I can just call him and get a culture done when I'm not sure if I'm flaring or having a UTI. But, you can also purchase over the counter test strips at your local pharmacy. AZO makes them. Make sure you get the ones that test for nitrates.

    If you test positive for nitrates, you have a UTI. If you test positive for only white blood cells, you MAY have a UTI. Some infections don't show nitrates but our body reacts to them and throws out an increase in white blood cells. However, some of us throw off white blood cells when we're flaring. Me included! That's when it's confusing to me and I call my doctor.


    • #3
      By the way, I hope you're feeling better soon. Go back to the IC diet!


      • #4
        I have actually used the azo test strips and the other brand that you can buy at the store, and it did not pick up my infection at all. EVen the dipstick test my urogyne did was completely normal but my culture came back showing I had a bad infection. I dont think those test strips work very well. ALso I think you have to have a diet High in nitrates for it to be able to pick up the infection. I have no clue what foods have nitrates in them though. I would get a culture to make sure.


        • #5
          Anytime there is a question about infection, especially if it has been a few days, it never hurts to get checked for an infection.

          If it is a flare, getting back on the diet will help if it is a diet related flare.
          I hope you feel better soon.

          "Life is what happens when you are making other plans" John Lennon

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