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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    How can you tell the difference between UTI and IC

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    Hi everyone, as you know I haven't been really diagnosed yet but I was wondering how you tell the difference betwwen UTI and IC. I usually only pee 6 to 8 times a day but last night I got a burning feeling down in vaginal area and I went to the batroom about 5 times before I went to bed. It felt like I was getting a bladder infection(UTI) Just like I use to. I drank about 4 glasses of water went to bed and I feel normal this morning. b I didn't wake up until 5:00 to go to the restroom. I could have went earlier but was to lazy to get up. How can you tell. What does this sound like?

    Caled my doc. of course he's out today but Ifeel goos right now. I also didn't eat anythiong off the diet yesturday.

  2. #2
    Support Leader dyno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    A UTI is when bacteria is present in your urine that indicates an infection. In IC there is no bacteria present. You can still get UTI's with IC but that is the difference.

    It would be best to discuss the with your Dr. If you are working with a urologist and they are not available today, try your Primary if you feel you need help today.

    I am editing this to add that burning sometimes can be an indicator of infection. They do make home test kits you can get at your drugstore to check before you go to the Dr. if you want.
    Last edited by dyno; 05-11-2005 at 05:33 AM.

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  3. #3
    Support Volunteer traceann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Hmmmm, for me, one of my "clues" to an actual UTI is my nighttime freguency goes up, and I haven't done anything that I can see to have caused it. And I have more pain (like someone used my bladder for a basketball), but that comes a bit later -- for me frequency is the first.

    I am going to buy myself some the UTI test strips (this site has them in the ICN Shop, and I know my pharmacy has them) to keep around for just such dilemmas. Then I know when to call the doc for an appt! When I was first diagnosed, I hurt all the time and trying to tell the difference was maddening, lol. Like I told the nurse when I called one time and she asked if I had any pain on urination -- I always have pain with or without infection! I don't think she was too familiar with IC, because she didn't know how to react to that statement. Sometimes too, I have noticed my urine is cloudy -- not just once in awhile, it will stay consistenly cloudy every time I go. Hope this helps a little, I know how frustrating it can be -- especially when doc is out of the office! ARGH! LOL!


  4. #4
    ICN Member Katrina's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Green Bay WI
    For us ICers that is a bit of a personal thing. Pretty much any symptom that a person can have with an infection is possible to be normal for an individual with IC.
    For that reason Jolene's explanation of the difference is the only real trueth. The difference between an IC flare and an infection is not easy to tell. For me blood, discharge, burning when I haven't done anything that normally causes burning, a stomach ache, and feeling like I am flaring are signs of an infection. I added my complete list of flare causes to help you out...because when you are only going my symptoms knowing if something is going on that could cause a flare is one way to know if is is more likely IC or an inflection. Either way I think getting tested just in case is the safest way to go. Not treating an infection can be dammaging to your one wants that!

    ē Flares may be because of: stress, food, food allergies, certain vitamins, nasal allergies, fumes, over working yourself, exercising wrongly or too much, sex, gas, hormones, yeast infections, bacterial infections, smoking, car rides, viruses or being sick, being over tired, treatments affecting you badly, test affecting you badly, surgeries, baths of more than just water, temperature or weather changes, diarrhea or constipation, hunger or over eating, and many other things. Some things you can help lesson or preventÖsome not. If you are flaring there is a lot you can do Katrinaís collective list of pain treatment ICN ICNís survey from patients
    Faith, Hope, and Love,

    I believe God is using me. He uses me for God. Things I gain from all my suffering are meant to help others. I hope I can help you too. Email me or start a chat if you like my help or anything. I CARE!Illnesses: IC,IBS, IBD, GERD, PFD, Epilepsy, Endo, Allergies, RLM,Rapid heart beat, low blood pressure,Gastritis,Gall stones,Tendonitis,migraines, Shingles, Prolapsed pouch,ext. fatigue (current problem) I have seen periods of remission and I have seen them end and return. At this time remission is over and working on getting it back!

    IC Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.
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  5. #5
    ICN Member poetgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    It is often very difficult to tell the difference between a UTI and a flare, especially if it is a mild infection. If I have a full-blown bladder infection, I can definitely tell the difference, though. I normally do not have blood in my urine with a flare. Any burning I have during a flare happens right after I finish urinating and can persist for an hour or so, whereas with a UTI, it happens only as I'm urinating and ceases once I'm done. There are other things too, but I know them because I've had so many experiences that after a while, I just kind of know.

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  6. #6
    ICN Member VickiB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    N. Idaho
    I've never been able to tell the difference between a flare and UTI. If my symptoms don't begin to decrease with-in the first day of onset, I go in to get tested.


  7. #7
    Support Leader Sarojini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    North Carolina
    It is hard to tell the difference -- for me, I notice more burning than usual on top of the usual pain. Instead of burning just at my bladder neck as I begin urinating, the whole process of urinating burns, and I notice that my whole crotch area burns even when I'm not peeing if I have a UTI. I also notice more pain in the inguinal area, which is the area between the lower belly and the top of the leg when I have a UTI. This is different than my usual flare pain, and when it happens I know it's time to go to the doctor.

    However, we are all so different -- you may have different signs that tell you. If you feel something isn't right, it's always best to see the doctor and have your urine cultured -- the worst that can happen is that it comes back negative. BUT, if it's positive for a UTI, you need to have it treated right away as they can spread to the kidneys, and that can be serious.

    *Diagnosed with severe IC in 2004
    *Also diagnosed with PFD, fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, IBS, migraines, allergies/asthma, dermatographism
    *Kept trying a million different treatments for all these things until I found what works, and I am doing okay these days with the help of a cocktail of medications and the InterStim, which was first placed in 2007. [I have had 2 revisions - one in 2010 when my battery died and had to be replaced, and one complete replacement (lead and generator) in 2012 after a fall on my stairs caused my lead to move.]
    *Current meds include Atarax (50mg at night), Lyrica (150mg twice a day), Xanax (0.5mg at night and as needed), Zanaflex (4mg at night), hydrocodone (10/325, every 6 hours as needed), Advair, Nasonex, Singulair (10mg at night), oral contraceptives, home instills containing Elmiron and Marcaine (as often as I need to do them).

    **I am not a medical authority nor do I offer definitive medical advice. I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

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