Posts Tagged ‘UTIs’

UTIs-Natural Solutions For Prevention

September 6, 2016

UTIs affect millions of men and women impacting their quality of life and may even affect their kidneys. Fortunately, most of these infections are uncomfortable with symptoms of burning on urination, frequency of urination, and back and pelvic pain. This article will discuss the usefulness of cranberry juice which may serve as an effective treatment to prevent recurrent UTIs.

A recent study reported in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aug. 2015 showed that cranberry pills (two capsules twice daily, equivalent to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice daily) cut the rate of UTIs in half.

Also there is supplement, D-mannose, can also help to reduce recurrent UTIs. Another study found good results from a combination of cranberry and d-mannose.

D-mannose is filtered through your kidneys and concentrated in your bladder and coats the bacteria causing the infections and renders them unable to stay in your urinary tract.

More than 90 percent of all UTIs are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is normally found in your intestinal tract. Problems only arise when this ordinary bacterium is present in high numbers in places where it shouldn’t be—like your urinary system.

Although antibiotics are an effective means of eradicating bacteria within the urinary tract, antibiotics need to be used with caution. Antibiotics are not selective and they kill the pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract but also kill the good bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, the bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics and with the removal of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract there is a risk of other infections such as vaginal infections, fungal infections and side effects like diarrhea.

Bottom Line: UTIs are so very common and affect millions of American men and women. Cranberry juice and D-mannose may be a solution to preventing recurrent infections. If you have any questions about recurrent UTIs, speak to your physician.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)– A Primer

May 25, 2015

Urinary tract infections are one of mankind and womankind’s most common maladies. Most of these infections are a source of irritation and bother but if left untreated can cause significant kidney damage. This blog will discuss this common condition and what can be done to prevent and treat common UTIs

A UTI is when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. UTIs cause more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. About 40% of women and 12% of men will have symptoms of at least one UTI during their lifetime.

The urinary tract makes and stores urine, one of the waste products of your body. Urine is made in the kidneys and travels down the ureters to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine until it is emptied through the urethra, a tube that connects the bladder to the skin, when you urinate. The opening of the urethra is at the end of the penis in a male and in front of the vagina in a female.
The kidneys are a pair of fist-sized organs in the back that filter liquid waste from the blood and remove it from the body in the form of urine. Kidneys balance the levels of many chemicals in the body (sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and others) and check the blood’s acidity. Certain hormones are also made in the kidneys. These hormones help control blood pressure, boost red blood cell production and help make strong bones. The ureters are two tubes that carry the urine down to the bladder.

Normal urine has no bacteria in it, and the one-way flow helps prevent infections. Still, bacteria may get into the urine from the urethra and travel up into the bladder.

Signs of UTI
When you have a UTI, the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated just as your throat does when you have a cold. The irritation can cause pain in your belly and pelvic area and may make you feel like urinating more often. You may even try to urinate but only get a few drops and/or feel some burning as your urine comes out. At times, you may lose control and wet yourself. You may also find that your urine smells bad or is cloudy.
Kidney infections often cause fevers and back pain. These infections need to be treated at once because a kidney infection can quickly spread into the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening health issue.

Causes of UTI
Large numbers of bacteria live in the rectal area and also on your skin. Bacteria may get into the urine from the urethra and travel into the bladder. They may even travel up to the kidney. But no matter how far it goes, bacteria in the urinary tract can cause problems.
Just as some people are more prone to colds, some people are more prone to UTIs. Men are less likely to get a UTI.
Some factors that can add to your chances of getting a UTI are:
Body Factors
Women who have gone through menopause have a change in the lining of the vagina and lose the protection of estrogen that lowers the chance of getting a UTI. Some women are genetically predisposed to UTIs and have urinary tracts that make it easier for bacteria to cling to them. Sexual intercourse can also affect how often you get UTIs.
Birth Control
Women who use diaphragms have also been found to have a higher risk when compared to those who use other forms of birth control. Using condoms with spermicidal foam is also known to be linked to greater risk getting of UTIs in women. Women are more prone to UTIs because they have shorter urethras than men so bacteria have a shorter distance to travel to reach the bladder.
Abnormal Anatomy
You are more likely to get a UTI if your urinary tract has an abnormality or has recently had a device (such as a tube to drain fluid from the body) placed in it. If you are not able to urinate normally because of some type of block, you will also have a higher chance of a UTI.
Anatomical abnormalities in the urinary tract may also lead to UTIs. These abnormalities are often found in children at an early age but can still be found in adults. There may be structural abnormalities, such as outpouchings called diverticula, that harbor bacteria in the bladder or urethra or even blockages, such as an enlarged bladder, that keep the body from draining all the urine from the bladder.
Immune System
Issues such as diabetes (high blood sugar) also put people at higher risk for UTIs because the body is not able to fight off germs as well.
Can UTIs be Prevented?
There are steps women can take to avoid UTIs:
1 Urinating after sex may lower the risk of UTI by flushing out bacteria that may have gotten into the urinary tract during intercourse.
2 Certain forms of birth control, such as spermicidal foam and diaphragms, are known to increase the risk of UTIs in women. Check with your health care provider about other types of birth control.
3 Drink plenty of fluids to keep well hydrated.
4 Don’t put off urinating when you need to and don’t rush to finish. Holding in urine and not draining your bladder fully can increase your risk of UTIs.
Wipe from front to back to keep bacteria around the anus from getting into the vagina or urethra.

Bottom Line: UTIs are a common condition that affects millions of men and women. this blog will hopefully provide you suggestions for preventing UTIs. For more informatiion call your doctor.

Do’s and Don’ts of Douching-It May Cause Your UTI

August 9, 2014

I am 56 y\o female with recurrent urinary tract infections. I have been douching for many years and I was told by my urologist that the douching may be the culprit of my UTIs. Is that true?

Douching clears out the normal good bacteria of the vagina, which can upset the balance of bacteria in the vaginal area and make it easier to get UTIs. Allowing that bacteria to stay inside the vagina is a natural way to protect yourself from UTIs. Therefore, if you are prone to recurrent UTIs, then I suggest you deep six the douching.

What can you do to prevent UTIs?

Keep yourself hydrated. One of the best ways for preventing UTIs is to stay well hydrated, Drinking water can flush out bacteria from your bladder and lower your chances of getting a UTI.

I recommend urinating after sexual intimacy. Sexual activity may massage bacteria from the vagina into the urethra, the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body, which can then multiply and create an infection. Urinating after sex will expel the bacteria in the urethra and prevent the bacteria’s access to the bladder.

Drinking cranberry juice also seems to make it harder for bacteria to infect the urinary tract. Cranberry juice contains active compounds that are not destroyed by the digestive system after people drink them, but instead work to fight against bacteria, including E. coli, which is the most common bacteria causing UTIs. It appears that cranberry juice seems to prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
Urinate frequently as holding urine probably can increase risk of having UTIs.

Wear cotton underwear. Bacteria grows in a moist, warm environment, so it’s a good idea to wear cotton underwear and clothes that aren’t too tight to allow air to flow and to keep the area dry. Avoid tight fitting jeans and exercise clothing.
See a doctor for persistent symptoms. If you don’t get better quickly with these non-medical suggestions or you have more than 3-4 infections per year, then it is time to obtain a medical opinion.

Bottom Line:
UTIs are a common malady affecting nearly every woman at some time during her adult life. There are several suggestions provided in this blog that you can do to decrease your likelihood of recurrences.

Urinary Tract Infections-Help Without Medication

February 5, 2013

Urinary Tract Infections Are One of the Most Common Maladies affecting women and is a source of pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. There are several action steps that most women can take to help reduce the frequency of these infections.
There are several simple, do-it-yourself techniques that may prevent a urinary tract infection. Some may work some of the time, or only in some women. But, because they carry no side effects, they certainly are worth trying to prevent the often painful and bothersome symptoms the infection can bring.
Here are some steps you might consider if you have more than 3-4 infections a year.

• Drink plenty of fluids – the equivalent of six to eight 8-ounce glasses of liquids – every day to flush bacteria out of your urinary system.
• Make sure you’re getting vitamin C in your diet, either through food or supplements. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, makes your urine acidic, which discourages the growth of bacteria.
• Drinking cranberry juice may also produce the same effect. Cranberry tablets are a more concentrated form of cranberry juice without the sugar content.
• Urinate every two to three hours whether you have the urge or not. Keeping urine in your bladder for long periods gives bacteria an opportunity to grow.
• Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches. They also may irritate the urethra.
If you suffer from urinary tract infections more than three times a year, your health care professional may suggest one of the following therapies to try to prevent another recurrence:
• See you doctor about a low dosage of an antibiotic medication, such as trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole or nitrofurantoin, taken daily for six months or longer
• If you infections occur after sexual intimacy, a single dose of an antibiotic medication taken after sexual intercourse.
Bottom Line: Recurrent urinary tract infections impact millions of American women. A few of these steps can probably reduce the frequency of these infections. If you have any questions, check with your doctor.

Cranberry Juice for Bladder Infections: not just folklore

August 17, 2012

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Cranberry-containing products may be more than just a folk remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs). A recent article from Archives of Internal Medicine concludes that cranberry-containing products offer women protection against UTIs, particularly those prone to recurrent infections.

Researchers studies over 1,600 men, women, and children of different populations including the elderly; the hospitalized; those with neuropathic bladder, spinal cord injuries, or multiple sclerosis; and pregnant women. Most of the trials (10) were conducted in North America; the remainder were conducted in Finland, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

Cranberry-containing products used in the studies took on different forms and dosages.  Cranberry juice contains P a substance that has the ability to inhibit Escherichia coli from adhering to the lining of the bladder and the urethra, the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. The studies looked at cranberry juice as well as capsules or tablets.

The authors of the review concluded that cranberry-containing products are most protective against UTIs in women with recurrent infections. They also may offer protection to women in general, including those who are pregnant, and to children and other populations, but heterogeneity across the trials made interpretation difficult.

Interestingly, the studies showed that the cranberry juice was more effective than capsules or tablets, but the investigators noted that could be because women who drink cranberry juice are better hydrated. They also found that dosing at least twice daily seems necessary to achieve benefit.

Bottom Line: If you have recurrent urinary tract infections, daily cranberry juice may just be the tonic you need to decrease these infections. 

Frequent Urinary Tract Infections? Pee Your Way to Fewer Infections!

August 16, 2011

UTIs (urinary tract infections) are one of the most common infections in women. Women with UTIs complain of frequency of urination, burning on urination, and getting up at night to urinate. These are the hallmark symptoms of UTIs. That’s the bad news. The good news that UTIs are one of the easiest to prevent. These infections usually occur as bacteria from the rectum migrate to the vagina and then enter the urethra or the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the outside of the body. This is why your doctor will advise you to wipe from the front of your vagina towards the rectum as this will decrease the bacteria that may enter your urethra.

If you are affected with recurrent UTIs, 3 or more per year, then you will want to drink lots of water to flush out your kidneys and bladder to help keep them clear of bacteria. Since bacteria can be massaged into the urethra from the vagina during sexual intimacy, it is important to urinate immediately after sex. Urination after intercourse washes out those unwanted bacteria that enter the urethra during intimacy.
Some women are able to control their frequency of infections by taking a low dose antibiotic such as Macrodantin or a half a tablet of Bactrim right after sexual intimacy. The use of antibiotics after sexual intimacy is especially helpful for those women who develop urinary symptoms shortly after engaging in sexual intimacy.

Bottom Line: UTIs affect millions of women. These infections impact a women’s quality of life. However, a few simple steps like urinating after sexual intimacy is an example of good vaginal hygiene that can reduce the frequency of those bothersome infections.

A Grapefruit May Be The New Apple-But Be Careful

July 24, 2011

For generations we have been encouraged to eat an apple-a-day in order to stay healthy and keep the doctor at bay. Today, the new apple may just be the grapefruit.
Let’s look at the benefits of grapefruit:

Appetite Loss: Grapefruit reduces the feeling of hunger. This is the reason why people include grapefruit in their weight loss programs. High fiber contained by this fruit can satisfy hunger and thus may avoid any overeating temptation. Grapefruit juice, if combined with water, can quench the thirst.

Fatigue: Grapefruit is beneficial in the treatment of fatigue. It helps to dispel fatigue and general tiredness. It can bring about a refreshing feeling in you when you drink equal amount of grapefruit juice and lemon juice.

Acidity: The fresh grapefruit juice has alkaline reaction after digestion. The citric acid increases the effect of the alkalinity reaction after digestion. The juice extracted from the grapefruit is beneficial in preventing the acid formation and many other diseases that arise due to the presence of acidity in the body.

Indigestion: Grapefruit is useful for solving the problem of indigestion. It is very light as compared to other food articles and thus, acts immediately on indigestion by easing the heat and irritation caused in the stomach. It improves the flow of digestive juices, thereby improving the digestive systems.

Insomnia: A simple glass of grapefruit juice, if drunk before going to bed, can promote healthy and sweet sleep and thus, alleviates insomnia.

Constipation: A glass full of fresh squeezed grapefruit in the morning is the best remedy to control the constipation. Grapefruits are high in fiber and they result best in stimulating the colon and other parts of the body.

Urinary Disorders: Grapefruit juice is quite rich in potassium and vitamin C and thus, works as the best medicine in the case of recurrent urinary tract infections.

Lowers Cholesterol: The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that consumption of grapefruit can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as triglycerides.

Caveats on grapefruit
As with any medication, there are considerations about the use of grapefruit with medications. More than 50 prescription and over-the-counter drugs are affected by grapefruit juice, including some of the most commonly prescribed medications. This list includes a number of medications used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, pain, erectile dysfunction, and allergies.

Grapefruit contains a substance that inhibits the enzyme called CYP3A4. This powerful enzyme breaks down numerous medications such as the cholesterol-lowering drug, Lipitor. Patients who take Lipitor, or some antidepressant medication, and eat grapefruit, can have toxic levels of the medications because the grapefruit inhibits CYP34A.

So what are patients to do? Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to find out about your specific drug. All new medications are tested for drug interactions, including grapefruit juice, before they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When you order medications in the mail or pick them up at your local pharmacy, you should receive a patient information sheet, which will let you know if your drug is affected by grapefruit juice. Some pharmacies may also put a warning label on your medication bottle. If you are not sure, ask the pharmacist.

Bottom Line: Grapefruit juice may be helpful for many conditions and improve overall health. However, there are precautions about using grapefruit because of interactions with certain medications. If you have any questions, check with your doctor or your pharmacist.

Cranberry Juice Does Not Prevent Urinary Tract Infections-Another Medical Myth Bites The Dust

March 29, 2011

According to a report in Clinical Infection Diseases (2011;52:23-30), a placebo beverage fared better than cranberry juice in protecting against repeat urinary tract infections (UTIs) in 319 female college students presenting with acute UTI. The women were assigned to drink either eight ounces of cranberry juice or a placebo juice twice a day for six months or until another UTI developed. Although the investigators expected to see a 30% recurrence rate in the placebo group, the actual overall recurrence rate was 17%, with the cranberry-juice group experiencing a slightly higher recurrence rate than the those girls taking the placebo drink. according to a report in Clinical Infection Diseases (2011;52:23-30).

 

Urinary Tract Infections in Men

May 4, 2010

Urinary tract infections (UTI) indicate inflammation anywhere within the urinary system.  In men it can occur in the kidneys, bladder, prostate or urethra.  UTIs are more common in women, but they also affect men, especially in men more than 50 years of age.  If UTIs are left untreated, they can result in spread of the infection and cause permanent kidney damage.

Prostate infections are the most common infections in men.  Acute prostatitis occurs when bacteria lodge in the prostate and produce symptoms such as fever, chills, difficulty with urination, back pain, or blood in the urine.  The treatment is antibiotics for 7-10 days.

Chronic bacterial prostatitis is similar to the acute infection but without the fever or chills.  These men also may have painful ejaculation and low back pain.  The treatment is also antibiotics but often the medication has to be taken several weeks or even months.  Men with chronic prostatitis also may be advised to avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods and chocolate.

In many men, prostatitis occurs without identifying any bacterial culprit.  This is called abacterial prostatitis or prostadynia.  The symptoms are the same a chronic bacterial prostatitis.  The pain and vague urinary problems are a result of spasm or congestion of the pelvic floor muscles or congestion within the prostate gland itself.  In most instances, antibiotics are not helpful in treating this condition.  The treatment consists of anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants or alpha blockers.

UTIs can also occur after instruments are inserted into the urinary tract such as catheters or tubes as they may transport bacteria from outside of the body to the bladder and prostate gland.

Previous infections such as some of the sexually transmitted diseases may leave scars in the urethra and cause it narrow or stricture.  This disrupts the normal flow of urine and may result in infections of the urinary tract.

The diagnosis of a UTI is made with a history, physical examination and a urinalysis and a urine culture.  The latter is a test that identifies the offending bacterial and the best antibiotic to treat the infection.  Occasionally, additional tests such as a CAT scan and cystoscopy are required.

General measures for treating UTIs in men include increasing the consumption of water. Alkaline substances, such as citrates, taken in water might improve symptoms. By making the urine more alkaline, they make the environment more hostile to bacterial growth and improve the results of antibiotic therapy.

Antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment. Trimethoprim (Trimpex) is currently the first choice for lower UTI , because it is cost-effective, well tolerated and works in 80 per cent of infections. Cephalosporins and quinolones are reserved as second line drugs in patients with lower UTI, but are first choices in patients with signs of kidney infection.

You can prevent UTIs by drinking lots of fluids every day, empty your bladder often and completely, practice safe sex, always use latex or polyurethane condoms, urinate after sex to flush out bacteria, if you are uncircumcised, and wash under the foreskin each time you take a bath or shower.

Although UTIs are aggravating and affect the quality of life of those with the condition, they do not cause prostate cancer, benign enlargement of the prostate, or perhaps more importantly, impotence.

Bottom Line: With an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment, most cases of UTIs in men can be cured, treated or certainly controlled.