The evolution of testing for urinary tract infections continues, with mixed results. There are currently three types of tests available.
I. Dipstick Tests Which Identify If UTI Bacteria Are Present
A urine sample is collected at the urgent care clinic, ER or doctor’s office and a test strip is dipped into the urine sample to determine if bacteria are present.
The “basic dipstick” test: These strips contain 2 indicators: leukocytes (or white blood cells) and nitrites. If both are positive, this indicates that UTI bacteria are present in the bladder. However, if only the leukocyte test is positive and the nitrite test is negative, you may not have a UTI. The positive leukocytes may simply indicate that you have inflammation elsewhere in your system, but not in the bladder.
The “advanced dipstick” test: These strips are available to our customers for purchase at our website so they can use it at home. They show 3 indicators. In addition to leukocytes and nitrites, there is a pH test. The pH test indicates whether your urine is favorable or unfavorable to bacteria growth. This test result, which ranges from 5 to 8.5, should be between 6 and 7; if higher, bacteria are present and growing. Read more about how to manage pH here.
The “electronic dipstick test”, which is simply an app that you download on your smartphone so that when you take a picture of the “basic dipstick” results it will confirm whether or not you have a UTI. The press is making a big deal out of the fact that this app will soon be available from Walgreen’s and is already rolling out across the UK. Our assessment is that it is still very basic.
II. Urine Culture Tests
If the dipstick test shows the presence of UTI bacteria, your doctor may send your urine sample out to a laboratory in order to find out what type of bacteria is causing the infection.
This process analyzes the growth of bacteria in a petri dish.
This is an important step because it will indicate what type of antibiotic should be used to treat the infection. And yet very few doctors are taking this step, likely due to the extra cost. So, in many cases, the wrong antibiotic is prescribed, causing recurring UTIs. You have a right to request a urine culture so that you know what you are dealing with!
There are basically two types of bacteria: gram-negative and gram-positive. Read more about this at our blog site here.
D-Mannose can be used as an alternative to antibiotics for gram negative bacteria, which includes both Coli and Klebsiella Pneumoniae; however, it will not help with gram-positive bacteria.
Goodbye UTI offers UTI treatment and prevention products containing D-Mannose – a clinically proven molecule that naturally removes E-Coli bacteria from the urinary tract. All Goodbye UTI products are formulated in the US with the highest quality D-Mannose available on the market.
III. Next Generation DNA Sequencing Tests
This is the state-of-the-art urine test. You doctor must sign a form and a kit can be delivered to your home. You follow the instructions and send a urine sample directly to MicroGenDX’s lab via pre-paid FedEx.
A topline analysis will be sent to your doctor within 24-48 hours, and full report will follow within 3-5 days.
This test identifies all of the bacteria and fungi present by detecting their DNA with 99% accuracy.
The good news is that the test can reveal hundreds of results; the bad news is that most doctors have not been trained on how to treat many of the microbes which are identified.
The test may, or may not, be covered by your health insurance, but at $199 per test, it may be worth finding out what combination of germs may be preventing you from feeling better. Learn more here.