family practice issues and general life events

Urinary Tract Infections

With all due respect to the doctor lecturing about urinary tract infections, but they are not a fascinating topic. While there is more than enough information to fill an hours lecture, and it is very applicable to my practice, I find my mind wandering, and my ADD needing to do something else, so I can absorb the information I need.

However, it is definitely an important topic. Especially in my female population. I would estimate that at least two patients a day come into my office with urinary symptoms. An with the rise of antibiotic resistance due to a combination of improper prescribing and patient’s not taking their antibiotics properly, it is very important. While I don’t usually culture on the initial infection, I do insist on a urinalysis. However, there is an increasing amount of resistance for those I have cultured.
And not always is there an infection in the case of those having symptoms. Probably about 25% of the time in my practice, the symptoms are more of an urethral spasm without infection.

And for those that are infectious need to complete their course of treatment. Even though the symptoms resolve, there are still bacteria lingering. And those that survive incomplete treatment become stronger more difficult to treat later, and those that complain about recurrent infections, but did not complete their treatment have only themselves to blame.

So my advice to you to prevent such infections include the following:

1. Drink plenty of water. This will help to flush the kidneys and bladder and make it more difficult for the bacteria to take hold.

2. Females all need to urinate after sex. This will help to remove any entry of bacteria.

3. Decrease the frequency of bubble baths

4. Decrease the amount of caffeinated drinks. They do nothing for hydration and only help to dehydrate you

5. Finish any course of antibiotics prescribed. It doesn’t matter if you are taking it for pneumonia or ear infection. Not completing the course only increases resistance.

6. Wipe front to back. Wiping in the other direction could potentially introduce new bugs to the urinary tract.

So anyway, it is not fascinating but it is important. And if you do these simple steps you can potentially prevent several infections.

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