From Today’s Caregiver
Tip #6: Chronic UTIs: A Condition that Plagues both Caregiver and Patient
A urinary tract infection is defined as being “chronic” if the patient has had 3 or more UTIs within a given year. Research conducted by Brand Prescriptives in May 2020 among 800 women across the US showed that among UTI sufferers, 33% of all women were chronic. We also asked this question of women who were Caregivers and 42% of their patients were chronic.
There are many reasons that female Caregivers and their patients have seen a simple case of cystitis turn into what appears to be a continuous cycle of UTIs.
Some of the causes may be easily addressed, but many others are impossible to diagnose and treat accurately. Here’s a partial list which continues to expand as we find out more every day on this topic.
- Lack of hydration: a urologist will explain that the bladder should be constantly replenished with water in order to remain healthy. They explain that if old urine remains in the bladder too long, it can develop bacteria and a UTI sets in. The rule of thumb is to drink 6-8 glasses of water each day.
- Inaccurate testing: the testing done at an OB/GYN office has been shown to be highly inaccurate, as the equipment that they use to diagnose your UTI in the office is very basic. The urine cultures done at a urologist’s office will be more sophisticated but are limited to looking at the results in a traditional manner. New tests have been developed which use genetic sequencing (DNA) and are much more precise, but they are not yet widely available to doctors or consumers.
- The wrong antibiotic: as we all know, the typical response to discovering that you have a UTI is to prescribe an antibiotic. However, it’s possible that the antibiotic that is prescribed is not the correct one. Certain antibiotics have been proven in clinical trials to be more effective than others in getting rid of certain types of UTI bacteria. It’s really important to know which bacteria your doctor is treating you for, so just ask and then look up the correct treatment here.
- Antibiotic resistance: this is the most common cause of chronic UTI’s. Over the years, many women have probably taken 7 of the 10 most popular antibiotic brand names (Cipro, Bactrim and Keflex to name a few). This over-prescribing has led to “antibiotic resistance”, which means that the bacteria have learned how to hide and mutate in your system. So as soon as the course of antibiotics has been completed, they begin to grow all over again. This problem has caused scientists to work on new types of antibiotics, but development has been slow and underfunded.
- Biofilms: these are slimy “sacs” that the bacteria surround themselves with after burrowing into the lining of the bladder. This protects them against the threat of antibiotics. It is very difficult to diagnose the presence of biofilms today but researchers and scientists are working on this aggressively, because they have identified that this is a significant cause of recurring UTIs.
- ESBL’s: the two bacteria which are most often the cause of UTIs are Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Both are part of a family of germs known as Enterobacteriaceae. These germs can produce enzymes called extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs). ESBL enzymes break down and destroy some commonly used antibiotics, including penicillin and cephalosporins, and make these drugs ineffective for treating infections.
Treatment Tip: So, what can be done if the doctor has diagnosed this as an E-Coli UTI, but you or your patient continue to get the symptoms over and over again? A natural supplement known as D-Mannose is now widely recognized by doctors as a suitable alternative for older patients. Sold under the brand name Goodbye UTI, this 100% pure D-Mannose powder provides fast relief for an active E-Coli UTI and, if taken daily, will protect the urinary tract against recurring infections. Formulated under the strict supervision of a Doctor of Pharmacy in GA, Caregivers can trust the quality and safety of this product.
Tip #5: No, All UTIs Are NOT the Same
The most common misconception is that there’s one type of bladder infection -the one caused by the infamous E-Coli bacteria. That’s not exactly correct. It’s true that about 80% of bladder infections are caused by E-Coli bacteria, which means that only 20% of patients will have some other bacterial infection.
Here is the official list of the types of bacteria which cause bladder infections:
- Most common: Escherichia coli (E-Coli)
- Less common: Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Proteus species, Klebsiella species, Enterococcus faecalis, other Enterobacteriaceae
Also, your patient’s UTI will either be “uncomplicated”, which means that their urinary tract is normal) or “complicated” (which means there is a problem with their urinary tract, such as a blockage from kidney stones or an enlarged prostate (in men).
The medication and dose that will be recommended depends on the type of bacteria and whether it is complicated or not. So, it’s really important for the Caregiver to ask the doctor for clarification on both.
Below is a chart of the most frequently recommended antibiotics for the two types of E-Coli UTIs. However, research shows that these drugs have varying levels of effectiveness in eradicating the bacteria. If the bacteria are “sensitive,” they will not remain in the patient’s system. So Macrobid is the most effective antibiotic and Bactrim is the least effective.Expand
Source: National Institutes of Health Publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7234695/
Treatment Tip: So, what else can be done for the patient if the doctor has diagnosed this as an E-Coli UTI but the antibiotic is not effective? A natural supplement known as D-Mannose is now widely recognized by doctors as a suitable alternative for older patients. Sold under the brand name Goodbye UTI, this 100% pure D-Mannose powder provides fast relief for an active E-Coli UTI and, if taken daily, will protect the urinary tract against recurring infections.
Formulated under the strict supervision of a Doctor of Pharmacy in GA, Caregivers can trust the quality and safety of this product.
NOTE: Goodbye UTI is not effective against the other less common bacteria listed above. One supplement which is being recommended by naturopathic doctors is monolaurin (brand name “Lauricidin”).
Tip #4: How Caregivers can confirm that their patient has a UTI
Even though many elderly patients do not have the “classic” symptoms of a UTI, such as a constant burning sensation, there are three immediately-apparent signs to look for to identify a bladder infection:
- the sudden onset of confusion and inability to communicate clearly, known as delirium
- pain when urinating
At Home Urine Test
The next step is to confirm the diagnosis. This can difficult when the patient has difficulty getting to the doctor to provide a urine specimen, especially right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Caregivers have another option. They can order a set of urine strips online and have them available for use at all times. When symptoms are spotted, they can simply analyze a urine sample right at home. The instructions on the urine test strip package will tell you what to look for.
Here are some examples of what this urine test will detect:
Leukocytes – White Blood Cells produced by the body that help fight infection. Could indicate a UTI or Kidney Infection
Nitrites – Bacteria that causes UTI’s to convert nitrates into nitrites. A positive result for nitrites could indicate a UTI.
Protein – High levels of protein in urine can indicate kidney disease.
pH – Checks the acidity or alkalinity of urine.
Blood – Serious UTI/Cystitis can cause blood in urine, as well as other issues such as kidney stones or bladder/kidney cancer.
Treatment Tip: Once a urinary tract infection has been diagnosed, the first step is to call the doctor and ask for an antibiotic prescription, especially when the patient has a fever. The antibiotic should help with all of the symptoms above. However, once the course of antibiotics has been completed, it will be important to avoid this happening again.
Many Caregivers have found that just giving their patients a single scoop of an all-natural supplement called Goodbye UTI each day prevents UTI recurrences. Formulated under the strict supervision of a Doctor of Pharmacy in GA, Caregivers can trust the quality and safety of this product.
Tip #3: Antibiotics Are No Longer A Reliable Treatment for UTIs
Many men and women are saying that after they have taken the required course of antibiotics, they are seeing the symptoms of another infection occurring within a few weeks. What’s going on? We are in the midst of a growing “antibiotics resistance” crisis, which has resulted from decades of over-prescribing by physicians. The bacteria which cause UTI’s have become familiar with the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, so they are able to hide and mutate. So once the medicine is gone from our urinary tract, they begin to thrive and grow again.
Doctors and Scientists Around the World Are Concerned About Antibiotics Resistance
This situation is causing great concern in the medical community because simple infections are no longer treatable, and they often must rely on very powerful “last resort” antibiotics to save the patient’s life. For patients, this drug resistance crisis is resulting in a poor quality of life, leaving a large percentage of the population suffering from chronic UTIs. Take the time to watch this segment from 60 minutes about the antibiotic crisis to learn more.
The FDA and CDC are issuing guidelines for both consumers and doctors regarding the prudent use of antibiotics. In fact, doctors are now prohibited from prescribing long-term use of antibiotics for UTIs in seniors, because the research showed that the side effects were worse than the treatment.
Antibiotics Side Effects
What’s worse is that the antibiotics that are prescribed to heal UTI’s cause side effects. First, there are the side effects which are our body’s reaction to strong drugs, such as nausea, diarrhea, rash and headaches. Second, there are the side effects which cause other parts of our bodies to malfunction; antibiotics which were designed to kill harmful bacteria sometimes kill the good bacteria in the vagina, the intestines and the mouth. Third, antibiotics can cause severe interaction effects with a long list of other medications that patients may be taking. Lastly, antibiotics can cause some very serious conditions: severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis; colitis; or kidney failure.
So, are there any alternatives to antibiotics for people who are suffering from UTI symptoms?
Natural Supplements for UTIs
Many medical professionals have now turned to natural supplements. The most frequently recommended supplement is called D-Mannose; it has been cited by several medical reports and clinical trials as comparable to the most-prescribed antibiotic (Macrobid) in both speed of relief from symptoms and long-term effectiveness.
But it’s important to understand that not all D-Mannose supplements are the same. Here are some suggestions regarding what to look for to ensure the highest quality product before you buy:
- 100% pure D-Mannose powder: if you are considering buying this supplement, make sure that you choose 100% pure D-Mannose; some manufacturers are adding unnecessary ingredients such as cranberry or uva ursi or hibiscus, but these extra ingredients simply dilute the healing impact of the pure product. Also, be sure to buy it in powder form; D-Mannose capsules or tablets must first be digested in the stomach before getting to the bladder, whereas the powder mixed in water goes right to the bladder to provide fast relief.
- Know who’s making the product: if you’ve looked online for natural supplements you’ve probably noticed that you cannot find out any information about the company that’s selling the product. Is it made in China or in the US? What manufacturer is standing behind the product?
- A medical professional should be supervising the formulation of the product: this is a product that your patient will be consuming. The FDA does not regulate natural supplements, so there are no guarantees of safety. But if a medical professional, such as a doctor, is involved in formulating the product, you can have confidence in its quality.
Treatment Tip: Goodbye UTI is a 100% pure D-Mannose supplement which has been proven to provide fast relief and to protect your bladder against future infections. Formulated under the strict supervision of a Doctor of Pharmacy in GA, UTI sufferers can trust the quality and safety of this product.
Tip #2: How A Simple Bladder Infection Can Become A Dangerous Kidney Infection
It’s important for everyone to know that, if left untreated, a simple bladder infection can travel to the kidneys and cause a life-threatening situation. Last year over 100,000 hospitalizations and 23,000 deaths were caused by urinary tract infections.
What Do the Kidneys Do?
The National Kidney Foundation explains what our kidneys actually do, and it’s a real eye-opener. All of us should have a better appreciation for these small organs that are the size of our fist, but which have a very large role in keeping us healthy every hour of every day.
Here’s how the kidneys function:
- Blood enters the kidneys through an artery from the heart, and is cleaned by passing through millions of tiny blood filters; then
- Newly cleaned blood returns to the bloodstream by way of veins and waste material passes through the ureter and is stored in the bladder as urine.
Tip #1: Let’s Clear Up “UTIs”
Based on the calls that we receive we find that there’s a lot of confusion regarding urinary tract infections or UTIs. Most people think that a UTI is a bladder infection, but that’s not exactly right. This is the first in a series of educational tips on this topic. Let’s start with an anatomy lesson. Expand
The Urinary Tract
There are four key parts to the urinary tract:
1) Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs which filter about a half cup of blood every minute, removing wastes and extra water to make urine;
2) Ureters are tubes which carry the urine from the kidneys to the bladder;
3) The bladder is a sac which stores urine, allowing urination to be controlled.
4) The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body.
Contrary to popular belief, UTIs are not just bladder infections; they can affect all or different parts of the urinary tract system
- Urethritis–an infection in the urethra
- Cystitis— the correct term for an infection in the bladder
- Ureteritis–an infection of the ureter tubes
- Kidney infection–an infection affecting the kidneys
- Pyelonephritis–when both the kidneys and ureters are infected
Treatment Tip: Doctors and urologists will typically prescribe an antibiotic to kill the bacteria which are causing the infection in the urinary tract. However, many consumers have become resistant to antibiotics, leaving them vulnerable to the more serious kidney infection. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Medical professionals are now recommending a natural supplement called Goodbye UTI to rid the system of UTI bacteria and to protect the urinary tract against future infections. The supplement is known as D-Mannose which has been proven in clinical trials overseas to be as effective as antibiotics. Formulated under the strict supervision of a Doctor of Pharmacy in GA, UTI sufferers can trust the quality and safety of this product.