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Thread: Chronic UTIs

  1. #1
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Default Chronic UTIs

    Out of curiosity, are they really that serious?

    I've heard they are, but what actually makes them such a serious condition?

    I've heard from both ends that it's nothing, and that it's really serious (both opinions from different doctors).

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    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    It can really stress your kidneys out. Have you tried drinking a glass of cranberry juice every day? (Wait, is this for you? I made an assumption.)
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    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    It can really stress your kidneys out. Have you tried drinking a glass of cranberry juice every day? (Wait, is this for you? I made an assumption.)
    Haha, it is for me. I just wanted to keep it generally objective, but whatevz.

    I just bought some organic cranberry juice (drink?) from the store...the thing is it's 100% juice, but it also has like apple juice and grape juice in it, although the label CLEARLY states that it's cranberry juice.

    I have pretty much done everything to prevent UTIs and kidney infections.
    I won't go into details, but yeah. I believe it's the size of my urethra that's causing all the trouble...but it doesn't bother me all too much. They're just incredibly annoying to get every month or two.

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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    The problem with some things like this is the effect it can have on the cells.. For example: picking your nose too much may make cancerous cells develop in your nose. (cells that aren't made to handle rough friction and outside forces, the reason they're up in the nose in the first place, being exposed to it too long and too often makes the cells reproduce faster than they're suppose to to compensate, the risk of defective cells that never go into G0 increases.) Of course, this is over a long course of time, etc. and this cancer thing is completely more serious than a UTI thing, but the example is suppose to prove the point that the cells can be stressed out with things like this, which may cause them to mutate or act out.

    To be specific, there are several kinds of UTI's.

    This doctor's website had some really good, brief explanations of these things going side-by-side:

    Bladder infection (simple cystitis)
    A bladder infection is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that make their way into the bladder via the urethra (the tube leading from the bladder to the outside.) The bacteria then grow to significant numbers and overwhelm the body's defenses producing infection. These bacteria generally emanate from the stool or fecal matter, and make their way into the bladder via vaginal colonization. The symptoms of cystitis (bladder infection) are typically urgency to urinate, frequent urination (frequency), and dysuria (burning or discomfort while urinating.) These symptoms are not specific for UTI as will be discussed.
    Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)
    A kidney infection, otherwise known as pyelonephritis is a UTI that has been caused by bacteria ascending to the kidney and renal pelvis (where urine is funneled down the ureter which is the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder.) This obviously is a more serious infection, and is generally accompanied by flank (side) pain, fever, and other constitutional (systemic) symptoms. The patient with pyelonephritis (referred to as "pyelo") often appears quite ill and may be hospitalized, though this type of UTI is rarer than cystitis.
    Vaginal infection (vaginitis)
    Vaginitis or a vaginal infection is generally something different than a UTI, though the two may be simultaneous. Oftentimes, a vaginal yeast infection can occur during antibiotic therapy for a UTI or other infection. The symptoms may be similar with burning or a vaginal discharge. A careful urinalysis can usually detect if there is a concomitant UTI along with a vaginal infection.
    Interstitial cystitis (IC)
    Interstitial cystitis is not generally felt to be an infection at all, but its symptoms closely mimic that of a UTI in many people who have it. IC is an entire topic in itself, and won't be covered in detail here. See the ICA web site for more details about this condition. There are various other IC links at the bottom of this page. I will say that clearly more than 1/2 of all patients referred for the diagnoses of "recurrent UTI" may have IC or a related condition. IC is a difficult, frustrating condition with no known cure or cause, and with very little in the way of successful treatment. Patients newly diagnosed with IC by Dr. Casey will be referred to specialty centers. A few books are listed that may help the IC sufferer through the battle.

    Source: http://www.dentonurology.com/rec-uti.html

    Treatment is most notably antibiotics. Have you talked to your doctor about maybe starting on an antibiotic regime? You really need to be visiting your doctor with every episode to ensure it is bacterial and culture tests are done every month. This data is important in diagnosis. The more information they have, the better they can treat you. There are many types of things like this example here:

    Reflux (movement of urine backwards into the ureters or kidneys) can also be detected by this study. Although this is rare in adults, we do find it occasionally, and as this is a "fixable" problem, it is good to know.

    Most commonly all these x-ray studies are normal, but it is important to rule out a condition that could be surgically remediable.
    ... That could be occuring without you knowing.

    Hygiene is key with avoidance of vaginal contamination with bowel matter being the most importance facet. Wiping after a bowel movement in the direction opposite from the vagina can help reduce vaginal colonization by bacteria (after all, it's bowel "flora" bacteria that cause UTIs). Intercourse is often cited as a precursor to infection by many ladies, so voiding before and after intercourse is recommended.
    These are both very important. I'm not saying you wipe the 'wrong' way, but you may want to buy some cleansing wipes, and use baby powder immediately after every use in the bathroom to keep the area dry, as bacteria require moisture. Mayhap up-taking more showers (I had to quickly 'shower' the lower half of my body a lot in Iraq because of the amount of sweating I was doing.) Hygiene is very important to this.

    Like I said a moment ago, there are preventative antibiotics out there that can be administered, so if hygiene and cranberry juice is not enough, and it is indeed bacterial, antibiotics are definitely an option.

    If you're sexually active, see if your UTI's frequently come from this act, because there are medicines for this as well.

    This quote here is a very good one as well. I found this website pretty cool. I hope this information helps.

    However, I believe the actual presence of bacterial UTI is fairly uncommon. That leaves many patients with symptoms compatible with a UTI but without culture evidence of them. Absence of evidence does not mean evidence of absence, so the patient who is referred for evaluation and does not have culture data (i.e. the referring doctor never did cultures) must be evaluated closely so that a correct diagnosis can be made.
    There are subtle clues in the history that a physician can use to try and help determine if a patient possibly has an alternative explanation for symptoms such as an inflammatory pelvic or bladder condition like IC. If no such clues can be obtained, or if there is a history of positive cultures, it may be imperative to proceed with a work-up to assure that some alternative explanation does not exist.
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    I shower twice a day, and recently the cranberry juice has made things tons better.

    I don't really see a doctor...I just know a few who are able to prescribe me what I need...It sounds terrible, I know, and I don't take advantage of their services, but for the most part whenever they prescribe me antibiotics it stays away for a good amount of time (usually 4 mos).

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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    You really do need to get cultural tests done to be sure. Bacteria MAY be manifesting from another condition. With adequate hygiene being a factor, there must be something else there causing this. If it is the size, as you say, there are ways of fixing that, but you don't want to stress your body out constantly fighting infections. Other things may complicate it - your lymph nodes could overwork themselves, your immune system must always be heightened.. these sort of things have bad results on the body as well. You need to find the true source of this.
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    I hope you don't mind my asking, but which way do you... wipe?

    I know that seems like a bizzare question, but if you wipe from back to front you're bound to get bacteria from the anus that might be the culprit of these infections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    I hope you don't mind my asking, but which way do you... wipe?

    I know that seems like a bizzare question, but if you wipe from back to front you're bound to get bacteria from the anus that might be the culprit of these infections.
    Haha, that's always been a fear of mine, so I've never wiped that way.

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    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    It may very well have something to do with the size of the tubes. I have a female relative with that problem.
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    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    I had a problem with this when I was much younger. It was bad enough that I had to take a daily low-dose antibiotic. My urethra was too small, had a dilation done...end of the UTIs. Well sorta, I'm still prone to them if I'm not being very careful.

    If you have the same type of problem, this is probably the only thing that will really help in the long-term. You don't want to risk scarring your kidneys with an infection, or worse, repeated infections, which is always a possibility when you have a bladder infection.

    Cranberry juice can help but it has to be pure 100% juice with no other juices added...or sweeteners. It is extremely hard to drink.

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