Burning, frequent urination, a need to go that won’t go away almost always indicate a bladder infection, according to new research.

It may seem obvious, but 20% (1 in 5) people with symptoms of a bladder infection test negative when for bacteria when they visit the doctor. In an attempt to answer what’s causing bladder infection symptoms in that 20%, researchers compared the common UTI test (dipping agar in a urine sample and then culturing it) with a more sensitive one, and found that those 20% were getting false negatives with the simpler test. One interesting thing to note: the false positive rate was pretty close for both test types (about 10%).

Should everyone with UTI symptoms get an antibiotic? No. For one, antibiotic resistance isn’t just a passing concern, it’s already pretty serious, and that small group of false positives could quickly add up to more antibiotic resistance, since urinary tract infections are a very common problem.

Instead, plenty of water and frequent urination may be enough. Most people can cure their own UTI by immediately upping their water intake and urination frequency at the first sign of symptoms. Just stay away from cranberries. Most cranberry options at the store contain added sugar, and even the ones that don’t (like capsules) only have anecdotal evidence to support them (studies have found them to be on par with placebos).

While women are more likely to get UTIs (shorter urethras and closer proximity to feces), men aren’t immune and should also be aware of the symptoms.

Another way to support your body against UTIs is to take colloidal silver for immune support. If you already have a UTI, take a little colloidal silver when you wake up and wait 10-20 minutes before starting on water.

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