Need Advice for Natural vs Antibiotic Remedies for Son's UTI

Updated on October 20, 2012
J.W. asks from Sebastopol, CA
21 answers

Hi All,

My 3 1/2 year old son has a UTI. On Tuesday night, he was screaming in pain from the burning sensation when he urinated but by mid-day Wednesday, it didn't hurt at all when he peed. The problem is that he came home from school with a fever and we're worried that it's from the UTI. The doctor gave us homeopathic remedies to use first but said if it got worse, we'd need to start antibiotics. So, we're confused if the fever indicates that it's getting worse even if the burning sensation is gone. We don't really want to use the antibiotics but we don't want his kidneys damaged either by waiting too long. Has anyone had experience with this? Any advice? If we give him the antibiotics, we'll give him probiotic too but any other recommendations? The doctor doesn't take calls after 5 and we just picked him up from school. Thanks for your help!

UPDATE: Thank you all for your concern. I would like to mention that I took him to a real doctor. She's actually quite respected and was recently interviewed by Dr. Oz. She just believes in using the best remedies from both homeopathic and regular medicine. The issue is that she doesn't take phone calls after 5 p.m.

SECOND UPDATE: I so appreciate the concern for my son but for those who worry that he's suffering, he's not. He's been up playing around as if nothing is wrong. It doesn't hurt when he urinates at all. He just started a fever this afternoon. The fever is at 100.5. He's not even acting sick. We just know that he likely has a UTI from the visit we had with the doctor yesterday. She did the preliminary test, sent the urine to a lab and prescribed him antibiotics. However, she said to try the homeopathic remedies first (and there's actually a homeopathic anti-biotic called Pleo Not) and said that we could hold off on antibiotics until the labwork was back unless he got worse. As of this morning, he was totally fine. This afternoon, he started to get warm. It is frustrating that this doctor doesn't take calls after 5 p.m. It's actually quite common that the doctors in our area don't take calls in the evening. They just say if it's an emergency to go to urgent care or hospital. It's definitely annoying and frustrating at times but she's actually quite a good doctor and spends an hour with us each visit. We're moving soon so we'll be finding a new pediatrician. No worries. :)

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answers from Dallas on

Have you ever had a UTI? The pain is excruciating ... Good grief get that child to a real Dr and some antibiotics to take care of it. A UTI does not just disappear.

I understand if you want to sway from antibiotics, do that when it is something his body can fight off. UTI needs addressed or it will get worse.

Poor kid, UTI pain is horrid. Get him some help from a real DR.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

lots of water and cranberry juice can help. But if he as a fever from the UTI and you know that is what has caused it, I would just take the meds. They can be way over used for things like ear infections, but if a fever is present I would not play around.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

I can't think of a thing that will cure a UTI without an antibiotic. I can't think of anyone being a real doctor that doesn't have someone on call for emergencys after 5. Take him to an after hours clinic, have him pee in a cup and get a culture started. If it were me I would never fool around with a UTI. I could tell you other stuff but I don't want to scare you, just get you moving. Change doctors, too,while you are at it.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It can turn dangerous fast, and I'd say the fever indicates his body is trying to fight it off. For most things I'd say try to treat it on your own first, but this time antibiotics would probably be safer. Just my thought...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I have never heard of any natural remedies for UTIs. I understand you do not want to overuse antibiotics but I believe he absolutely needs it in this case.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Did you know that you can have a million UTIs but all it takes is O. kidney infection to damage kidneys for life?
Yes, I would say the fever is a sign that the UTI is getting worse and I would have him in the ER in the next minute.
What pediatrician has no answering service, etc after hours?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If he's just started a fever, and probably has a UTI, and you have been prescribed antibiotics, FILL THE RX!

She told you that you could hold off on the antibiotics UNLESS he got WORSE. A FEVER is worse.

A FEVER represents that his body is attempting to fight off an INFECTION. He clearly has an INFECTION.

He could very well now have a KIDNEY INFECTION.

I come from a long line of medical people in my family. UTI and FEVER is not something you just want to give cranberry juice and a other home remedies to cure..I'm sorry but this whole thing just blows my mind...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Cranberries, cherries and blueberries all have an enzyme that prevents the infection from attaching to the urinary system. But since he does now have an infection he will need medication.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

have him drink cranberry juice.. and drink lots of water.

i respect natural remedies for lots of things.. but a uti can go from bad to worse without proper treatment. kidney damage sepsis hospital..

if the child has a fever take him to the dr.. asap.. first thing in the morning. i am not a big fan of antibiotics.. but each of my kids have had one course of antibiotics when they needed them one for an ear infection one for pneumonia.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I am sorry but that Dr. is a QUACK and is putting your child in danger.
I am all for natural remedies and wait and see approaches (my DD hasn't had antibiotics for ear infections in years) for the usual childhood booboos - but a UTI is not one of the cases where you wait, see and hope it gets better. It just isn't!
The fact that the burning is gone and the fever has started is an indication that the UTI is moving into the kidneys.
Now if you think his pain was bad when he had the burning, wait another day or two until he has a full blown kidney infection! It is EXCRUCIATING! Seriously I gave birth without meds and the pain I had from a kidney infection was WAY WORSE that that. I was in so much pain I couldn't move, I just laid in bed crying!
Take the poor kid to urgent care and get him some REAL MEDICATION!
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would not fool around with a UTI - poor kid could end up with it spreading to his kidneys or going septic, then he will end up in the hospital with a load of antibiotics infused through an I.V much scary than giving a few needed oral antibiotics.

go to a regular pedi for this potentially serious infection.

With antibiotics he will start to feel better by his 2nd dose - make the poor kid suffer fooling around with homeopathic remedies and waiting to see. UTI's are uncomfortable and can be painful - poor kid!

FYI: It sounds like you are happy with your doctor and trust her, However, just because she was on Dr. OZ doesn
t make her a good doctor. Lots of quacks find their way on t.v.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'm as big a fan of natural remedies as you'll ever find but I wouldn't mess around with a UTI, especially for a boy. It's very rare for boys to get these. I used to get these all the time and I wouldn't go a few hours without the antibiotic, never mind take a wait and see approach for a few days with something else.

There is a product called AZO that can help with the pain if he's still having it. It is available over the counter and works wonders. If he's not in pain but just has the fever, I would treat the fever now with tylenol or ibuprofen and then call in the morning. Twelve hours won't make a big difference in treating this, other than the discomfort.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Harrisburg on

I'm sure your little guy is feeling fine by now but for future reference you can use D-mannose to treat and prevent uti's. My daughter has urinary reflux so we are well aware of the damage that can be caused by uti's & the risk of frequent antibiotic use. She drinks 1/2 T of D-mannose 1-2x's/day and has not had a uti in a very long time but if she were to get one it would clear up very quickly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

You can call the 24/7/365 nurse advice line through your local hospital or children's hospital... 24/7/365... For ALL (ER, make apt first thing, make alt soonish, treat at home) type Q's.

I have a lot of training in basic healthcare and some emergency med... I still call all the time just to double check something. I call it my 'Paranoid Mom' calls, because aim paranoid I'm forgetting something, or paranoid something little is big, etc. usually gives them a laugh, and ME a deep sigh of relief. LOVE those nurse lines for exactly these kinds of borderline "Well....???" Q's.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I treat UTI's with lots and lots of cranberry juice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I hope you've already been to an Urgent Care clinic with him and he's taken his first dose of antibiotics.

Cranberry juice and other "natural" remedies can help prevent a UTI, or can be used in the first few hours when a person experienced with these knows that one is coming on. Once there is pain and fever, antibiotics are the only thing that will get rid of this bacterial infection before it becomes dangerous.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I've heard of natural things to PREVENT UTIs but I would never consider trying to heal one that way. It's too dangerous because kidney damage is not reversible. Please go to the ER and get your son on antibiotics immediately. He is probably miserable and in pain. That would be my recommendation.

You also need a new pediatrician who takes phone calls after 5. I've never heard of a children's doctor being unavailable like that. My ped can be reached any hour of the day or night with an emergency call. Maybe she's too respected to be bothered by her patients. Sad.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It all depends on whether he can swallow vitamins or not. We have 4 kids and none of them have ever had any drugs of any kind, including antibiotics. We do things differently. I'm 37 and never have had any antibiotics, etc. That being said, here's what I do for a UTI in kids your son's age:

7 droppers (not just drops) of Herbs for Kids Echinacea/Astragulus for 5 days
1 PB8 (open the capsule and dump the contents into the mouth or mix it in something) until his bowels start to get loose
50,000iu of vitamin A for 4 days (it's not toxic at these therapeutic levels for short term, but it WILL wipe out ANYTHING)

For kids/adults that can swallow:
Goldenseal instead of the Echinacea/Astragulus
same on the PB8 and vitamin A (more for adults)

If you have any questions....feel free to message me.

LOL "Real Doctors" may also do more than just prescribe meds as instructed by their pharmaceutical reps....they might actually know a little herbology or decide that wiping out ALL bacteria - good and bad - might not be the best idea with our Western diets.

PS: A fever is a GOOD thing. It is his body letting you know that it's doing it's job by fighting it. If my kids get one and I let it ride. It's over 3x faster than the kids whose parents felt like they needed to medicate. Meds only bring the fever down 1-2 degrees - right back into the range that the bacteria grows perfectly - turning their kids into a petri dish. At 105.5 we'll bring it down with cool cloths and getting them adjusted. Only one has ever gotten that high and it was over in 40 hours.


answers from Hartford on

I can tell you from personal experiences that a UTI doesn't have to be painful for it to still be there. The fever is one major clue. At this point in the treatment I wouldn't wait for using an antibiotic any longer unless the labs say it's not a UTI.



answers from Charlotte on

I take it that this is not a regular ped who you took him to. Please take him to a pediatrician. Little kids are not able to fight a UTI without antibiotics. It's not just his kidneys you have to worry about. UTI's can turn SEPTIC quickly and he'd end up with infection in his blood stream. That's systemic and the last thing you want is to be sitting in the hospital with him while he's hooked up to IV's.

Please get him to a regular doctor - who is a PEDIATRICIAN.


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