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hk1972
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/5/2007 11:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there, I'm desperately trying to help my wife (Gwen) get well from nearly 2 years of repeat UTIs. It's really getting her down and I feel completely helpless as to how I can help her further. She's had some different anti-biotics over this time (Trimethoprim/Amoxicillin/Nitrofurantoin) but it only seem to help her out temporarily, and furthermore I'm not entirely sure that they aren't making her health more of a problem.
 
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
 
Many thanks,
Harry.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/5/2007 12:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Boy, talk about a Catch-22. 
 
In some cases, repeated UTIs, vaginitis and IBS problems are caused by an over-abundance of bad bacteria in the body.
 
The solution to this is to treat with antibiotics.  The problem is that many antibiotics give you IBS-like symptoms (known as antibiotic-associated diarrhea or colitis).  So you may correct the original problem, only to trade it in on a new one that looks just the same!  Thankfully probiotics can go a long way towards correcting the problems associated with antibiotics.
 
If your wife also has a lot of GI tract problems, have her see a GI and get a breathalyzer test.  It works just like it sounds: you breathe into it, and they can tell by the gasses you emit whether or not you have a bad bacteria problem, and they can get a general idea of how bad it is and maybe what bacteria(s) are causing it.  Bad bacteria in the guts can be hard to get rid of, which means she would need yet more antibiotics, but they would probably put her on some much stronger ones and for a longer period of time.  Someone on here said they knew of a doctor who didn't do less than 6 months of antibiotics for one type of bad bacteria!  (Most, however, will give you 2-3 weeks.)
 
This should hopefully clear up both the bowel problems and the urinary tract infection problems.  Make sure she takes probiotics during and after the antibiotic regimen to put good bacteria back in her system and keep the bad bacteria pushed out.  There's only so much living space in there, so the more good residents you can have, the less room you have for the seedy ones to move in.
 
If she doesn't also have bowel problems, or she can't see a doctor soon, then see about getting her on some probiotics anyways.  They're always a good idea while she's on antibiotics for any reason, but they may also help keep the UTIs from reoccuring.  I'm only familiar with probiotics formulated for IBS (which certainly won't hurt her), but you may be able to find some at health food stores formulated for urinary problems.  She can get results from any probiotic--including acidophillus milk and yogurt--but specialized products will probably result in a quicker, more noticeable improvement.  Acidophillus milk is the smallest probiotic unit you can get, followed by regular yogurt, then yogurt for bowel problems (like Activia) and/or homemade yogurt; then you get into the pills, with, again, acidophillus pills being the weakest and Culturelle and some health food store products being about the strongest. 
 
Four other things I can think of related to UTIs, and two are of delicate conversation.  One, how you wipe your butt matters for a woman, believe it or not.  Experts say that a woman should always wipe from front to back, not back to front.  This keeps from getting fecal matter into your vagina or ***oris where it can cause an infection.  Fluids from these two parts, however, don't contaminate the anus, thus why you go front to back.  Secondly, sex can cause UTIs in women.  But, in the article I read, they said that peeing after sex helps keep the rate of UTIs down.  Something about sex can cause urine to stagnate or back up into the bladder or something like that.  In any event, they found that women who peed very soon after sex had a significantly lower rate of of UTIs.  Your wife might also consder washing herself afterwards to help keep away any foreign matter that her body may be obecting too streously to.  Warm water and a washcloth should do it, but a bidet would probably work the best, actually.  Supposedly you can buy bidet attachments for toliets in the US!  A douche could also be used, but that could cut two ways.  A woman's body naturally produces acid in the vagina just to kill anything foreign that gets in there.  Douching too often rinses that away and can actually lead to a vaginal infection.  At the same time, your wife has something that's not working right down there, so she might need the douche to do what her body is not (cleaning her out).  Because, for a woman, all of those things are SO close down there, you have to treat all three very carefully because they can transmit problems to other places--meaning even though she's having UTIs and not vaginitis, her problem may really be starting in the vagina and moving into her bladder and urethra; you never can tell.
 
Thirdly, water, water, water.  I'd say she needs a minimum of 64 oz, and probably more.  In order to get my liquids requirement in, I make up a pitcher of green tea and sit it on my desk at work.  It's so easy to just pour it out and drink it; no having to get up and go get more every half hour (which, apparently, I'm too lazy to do).  I have also done this with water.  Also, get 32oz or pint glasses to use in your house.  That's all we drink out of at home and you automatically fill it up and when it's at hand, you almost always automatically drink it all.  Only two of those will have her minimum requirement (I actually drink my 64 oz of green tea at work and do two more 32oz glasses at home with dinner--sometimes even more!).  Fourth, she can try seeing an allergist or putting herself on an elimination diet to see if her problem is a food or drink allergy.  I'd start with drink allergies (although food can cause a problem too).  Cut out caffeine, artifical flavors, artifical colors and all forms of sugar (artifical and real).  No coffee (not even "de-caf" which actually still has a fair amount of caffeine in it).  In short, switch to straight water and see what happens.  If the UTIs don't come back, then you may have found the problem.  Add other liquids back in one at a time to see if they are tolerated.  I would generally peg artifical sugar, flavor and dyes as the most likely culprits. 
 

hk1972
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/6/2007 3:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Excellent, thank you for so much for your advice. I'll keep on looking into it and try to keep you posted on any progress and keep you informed of anything else I find out that I think may help you to help me further.

Again, thank you so much for your advice,
Harry.

Easta
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 12/6/2007 4:05 AM (GMT -7)   
In the UK it is possible to purchase a product (entirely natural) called Waterfall D Mannose. It stops E Coli from sticking to the wall of the bladder and should help eliminate infections without recourse to antibiotic therapy. I don't know where you live or if it is obtainable in other countries but if you are interested and can find no more info I can get the address to you.

hk1972
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/12/2007 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I've just read up about that Waterfall D Mannose you suggested and it sounds very effective. So I've put in an order for 2 packets of the stuff as advised by the lady I spoke to. I'll keep you posted. Please god let this work!!!

Easta
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 12/14/2007 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hope the Waterfall helps. It certainly can't do any harm (except Mannitol is a slight laxative so your wife may notice a change in that dept) and won't interfere with her good bacteria balance in the gut as antibiotics are prone to do. UTIs are horrid things and can be very stubborn to treat. Certainly washing from front to back after every BM is very important. I have done this ever since a really ghastly cystitis after catheterisation during hysterectomy some 15 years ago and have been free of trouble ever since. A useful source of info on UTIs is Angela Kilmartin whose books are very helpful and practical. Finding the trigger for your wife's individual attacks is key to long term improvement. What you eat, how much of clear fluids you drink, even what you wear (no tight fitting trousers that rub and irritate the perineum) the list goes on and on. Do hope things improve. Please let us know.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 12/14/2007 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I had forgotten about the tight-fitting thing, Easta.
 
No pantyhose for the wife.  Cotton crotch panties only.  No thongs or anything tight or abrasive like that.  I'm terrible for saying it, but you have to keep it loose and aired-out down there.  tongue   If she's expelling some bits of the bacteria when she pees (she should be doing so), then she doesn't need anything to trap the bacteria that comes out and then rub it right back in again.  Because toliet paper isn't usually enough to get you properly clean; she'd have to wipe with some sort of anti-bacterial wipe every time to keep it from happening, I would think.  Seems easier to wear loose-fitting cotton panties to me.  Also helps if she gets sore down there.   

shortnsweet9
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 12/14/2007 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi hk1972!

I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in here, as someone who has experienced recurrent UTI's myself. All of the advice given to you by Keriamon and Easta is spot on, but there are a couple other things to add to it. One is cranberry -- cranberry is proven to promote bladder health and it's often recommended that women with a UTI drink cranberry juice along with their water. Since I was having recurrent bladder infections I found a cranberry supplement at the health food store, it is simply cranberry in capsule form to be taken daily. It's very safe and could definitely help to ward off those UTI symptoms. Keriamon mentioned that sex can sometimes trigger a UTI in women; some other things worth mentioning are the fact that use of spermicides and diaphragms during sex increase that risk. I'm not exactly sure of the science behind it, but I believe it's due to the change in bacteria that those items cause "down there." Using tampons during menstruation can also sometimes trigger infections, so if your wife uses them she may want to switch to pads, or at least alternate the two so she is not wearing tampons for a week straight. Keriamon is right -- everything is so close together down there that you want to make sure you keep it all in working order so things aren't getting mixed up. The other thing is to tell your wife to NEVER hold her pee if she doesn't have to. Holding it when you need to go can give bacteria a chance to multiply. Emptying your bladder frequently can help to clean out the bacteria.

You do mention that your wife has been on some antibiotics. Has she been checked for chronic UTI rather than recurrent UTI? Sometimes women, for some reason, have a bacterial UTI that can't be cleared up with one round of antibiotics. Her doctor can check for chronic UTI by doing a urinalysis when she is seemingly symptom free. It may be that she still has some bacteria in there that were not killed off, and those bacteria are just waiting for another chance to multiply, manifesting in yet another symptomatic UTI. Unfortunately sometimes it can take a long course of antibiotics to get rid of this, but once the bacteria is all gone, the UTIs should stop. This is what happened to me. I was getting UTI after UTI, and after having 4 in as many months the doctor became suspicious and did a urinalysis when I appeared to be healthy. Lo and behold, my urine still had trace amounts of bacteria in it, even after my last round of antibiotics to treat my most recent UTI. What was happening was that the bacteria was still there, and every time I gave it a chance -- say I held my pee for a little too long, or had sex using spermicide, etc -- the UTI came back. I had to take a 6 month course of Macrobid to get rid of all the bacteria. The doctor did frequent urine tests until they finally started coming back free and clear. Now I just maintain with the cranberry supplement and keeping things clean down there. I know that 6 months of antibiotics sounds daunting, but it might be necessary to regain that balance. The good news is that I haven't had a UTI since, and that was a year ago! It might be something to check with your wife's doctor...

Hope this helps!

hk1972
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/17/2007 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Great news people, whilst my dear wife is still suffering from regular urges to 'go', she says that she's been feeling much
better. I don't yet know for definate that it's long term but for the moment she's very pleased with the 'Waterfall D-Mannose',
thus so am I. I can't thank you enough, EASTA. Also Gwen says I'm to tell you that "You're an angel!" and wishes you a very lovely
Christmas. I would like to extend that to everyone here who's tried to help. I will definately keep you all posted on further
progress.
 
You're ALL wonderful people!
 
All the best,
Harry.

Easta
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 12/17/2007 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Glad that there may have been some progress. Generally speaking, if Waterfall works at all it can be made to work completely. I trust that the improvement will be maintained. Keep the fluids up, keep cool down below, wash after a bowel movement and always pass water after it as well as after being sexually active.

This will give your bladder a fighting chance and hopefully lead to a better quality of life for you both.

Keep us posted.

Raea
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 12/20/2007 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
D-mannose is actually the compound in cranberry that does the work.  I use it too - and really am thankful for it. Use it on my old cat too.  I'm not trying to be funny or weird here, but it helps me to "go commando" at home.  I wear long skirts for air flow.  Also, more importantly - I discovered that sugar or white flour foods can spark a UTI for me.  Maybe whe would take a look at her diet?  When i get one - I cut out all sugar and bread and pasta for at least a couple days.  Helps alot.  No dehydrating drinks - caffeine tea, coffee...and definitely no pop.  carbonation can actually readjust your chemistry enough to set the conditions for a UTI.  I also wash with alcohol free witch hazel down there as often as I can.  alc free is important so you don't dry things out.  WH actually will condition and hydrate.  You can add a couple drops of lavendar oil to the WH or jojoba oil or olive oil for a pain killer and antibacterial. 

hk1972
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/2/2008 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone, happy new year :D I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Me and Gwen have almost got our home back in shape after the beating it took over Christmas :P The clever, Waterfall D-Mannose, product we got worked really well and I beleive that it made a huge difference to our holiday period. It's so nice to have my wife back to her usual happy self again so without trying to over-do it, thank you all so much again for your input and I wish you all the happyness possible for the future.
 
Thanks so much,
Harry x.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 1/2/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm so glad your wife is feeling better. I was constantly getting cold, constantly feeling under the weather, "lazy", etc. My doctor suggested I take a multi-vitamin, seeing how I was sick an awful lot. At the same time something made me look up my medicine, Welchol, online and I found that in high doses, rats on it developed a vitamin deficiency. The study concluded that this was not worth mentioning as a side-effect of the medicine, as it only occured in rats at doses higher than normally prescribed. Well, duh! You give rats a lot of a medicine to simulate taking that medicine for years (seeing how rats only live about two years). I'd been on this medicine 4 years. When I started taking the multi-vitamin, boom, I felt normal again! So I know what it feels like to go from being constantly sick and run down to being able to flip a switch and feel normal again.

Easta
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 1/2/2008 12:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Very glad that the improvement in Gwen's condition has been maintained. I suggest taking the mannose regularly and especially as soon as any twinge in the urethra is felt - also after intercourse and if she has had to use any "suspect" public loo!!

Really pleased that we have been able to help. Keep in touch.

Happy New Year to you both.
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