Urinary Tract Infections: What You Need to Know
Innovative Wellness offers a holistic multidisciplinary approach to treat UTI symptoms, with custom personalized medication to treat the root cause. Read on to find out more about urinary tract infections, how to prevent them and how we can help!
Anyone who’s had a urinary tract infection, or UTI, likely won’t forget the experience, but they’re definitely not alone: UTIs are one of the most common types of bacterial infections. They’re more prevalent in women by a ratio of about eight to one, and about 60% of women will have at least one in their lifetime. For some of those women, UTIs become recurrent - up to 53% of women over the age of 55 experience recurring infections, which can have a negative impact on their quality of life.
UTIs can be extremely painful and inconvenient, and if not treated effectively, they can also lead to dangerous complications.
What Causes a Urinary Tract Infection?
To understand why they’re more common in women, it helps to consider the physiology involved. A UTI begins when bacteria makes it way into the urethra, then moves to the bladder. The female urethra is shorter and closer to the anus (a source of bacteria). For many women, sex can trigger a UTI, but they can appear without sexual actvity as well. Plus, women can have several other risk factors including:
Diaphragm use, which puts pressure on the urethra.
Menopause and perimenopause, because of changes to bacterial levels and thinning of tissue in the urinary tract.
Condom use, which can lead to irritating friction on the urethra.
Pregnancy, because of hormonal changes and pressure on the bladder from the baby.
In all genders, other risk factors include:
Obstructions in the urinary tract
A compromised immune system
Seniors and urinary tract infections
As we age, the risk of a UTI rises, as does the risk of complications. Unfortunately, it can also become more difficult to recognize a UTI in seniors, particularly those with dementia. A sudden change in behavior, or increased confusion, can indicate a UTI in an elderly person.
Symptoms of a UTI
Certainly the most memorable symptom of a UTI is a burning sensation when you pee. However, many other symptoms are associated with UTIs, and some depend on the location of the infection. When the infection is in the urethra and the bladder, you could experience:
The sensation of having to pee repeatedly, even when there is no more urine.
An urgent need to pee.
Bloody, dark-colored or cloudy urine.
Pain in the pelvis or rectum
An untreated UTI can travel to the kidneys, leading to more severe, systemic illness. The symptoms of a kidney infection include nausea, fever and chills, and a general ill feeling. You may also experience flank pain.
Complications of an untreated UTI
Once an infection spreads to the kidneys, you need immediate medical attention. An untreated kidney infection can lead to permanent kidney damage, and even blood poisoning (sepsis), which can be life-threatening.
How to Prevent and Treat UTIs
When it comes to UTIs, prevention is much easier than treatment. Getting rid of an infection requires antibiotics, but there are many things you can do in order to prevent UTIs and support the healing process when you do have one.
The first step is scheduling a consultation to discuss and develop a treatment plan to resolve source and risk causing infection and treatment plan. Here at Innovative Wellness we have developed protocols and treatment options to diagnose, treat, prevent, and maintain urinary health.
Some simple prevention tips to start with are:
1 - Stay hydrated.
Did you know that when we aren’t hydrating well, it can make symptoms of urinary urgency and frequency worse? In addition, staying plenty hydrated helps to flush out bacteria, and helps to dilute existing bacteria as well. Drink water even when you are not feeling thirsty and aim for at least eight cups of water a day (carry a water bottle if you can to help remind you).
2 - Don’t ignore the urge to go.
It is normal to void every 3- 4 hours during the day. Going too often or not going enough can increase your risk for urinary tract infections.
Holding urine in your bladder can cause bacteria to multiply and spread. It’s often suggested to pee within 30 minutes of having sex to prevent urinary tract infection, but studies haven’t found a conclusive link that this is effective prevention (but it certainly can’t hurt!).
3 - Avoid triggers that can increase risk of UTI.
Decrease intake of caffeine, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners that may increase urinary symptoms of a UTI.
4 - Maintaining gut health is essential for helping treat and manage urinary health.
No doubt, if you have an active urinary tract infection, antibiotics are first line. However, starting a preventative and supportive routine will help decrease risk for recurrent urinary tract infections and is essential to long term prevention and optimal quality of life. It is important to be on the right probiotic to treat not only gut health but to support vaginal and bladder health.
Upwards of 60% of the immune system is associated with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract!
Therefore, good digestive health is essential for whole body wellness. We live in synergy with the bacterial colonies in our intestines, and imbalances in this gut flora—either an absence of beneficial bacteria or an overgrowth of unhealthy organisms—can bring about a wide variety of health complications.
Some of these—like bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea—are digestive in nature, but microbial imbalances can influence our health in many other ways. Traditionally people
would consume fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi to help ensure
healthy GI flora. Since these foods are rarely consumed in sufficient quantities today, it is important that most people supplement their diets with probiotics.
Looking for a quality probiotic? Look no further! Our Ultimate Probiotic provides a comprehensive array of beneficial bacteria to support a healthy gastrointestinal system.
With 5 billion colony forming units (CFUs) made up of eight different bacterial strains designed to mimic the diversity of microorganisms found in a variety of cultured foods. The types of lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and streptococcus in our product are the most well-researched, most effective, and are scientifically proven to be beneficial. Shop the Ultimate Probiotic here.
At Innovative Wellness Inc. we see many patients that have been struggling with ongoing UTIs, frustrated with taking courses of antibiotics and ending up right back where they started. We approach healing in a unique, holistic way and tackle the root cause so that you can heal from recurrent UTIs for good! Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation today.
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