UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by Community Admin on Oct 31, 2016 9:56 am

Twenty- six years ago, I broke my neck playing high school football leaving me a C-5-6 quadriplegic. Since my injury, I have dealt with frequent urinary tract infections and over the years I have found ways to control the frequency of the infections. Recently, I started antibiotics for another urinary tract infection but on a positive note, it's my first UTI I've had in a year. Considering I used to get 4 to 5 a year, having one a year is a big improvement.

 I've been able to do a couple things to help me control the frequency of my UTIs. The most obvious preventative measure is to drink at least 60 to 80 ounces of water a day.  Honestly, drinking that much water will definitely help flush out your system and prevent UTIs. There are many other health benefits to drinking water such as helping with your bowel program and dry skin.

You might have heard that you should drink cranberry juice. True, cranberries definitely help with protecting your urinary tract and the wall around your bladder. The problem is cranberry juice is extremely high in sugar. A healthier alternative to cranberry juice is cranberry pills.  They are effective in protecting the bladder and urinary tract and can be bought at most drugstores.  In my experience, a cranberry mannose probiotic seems to be more potent and successful than generic cranberry pills. The probiotic comes in a powder form that you mix in water in the morning. You can buy the cranberry mannose at pharmacies or on Amazon for a better price.   Similar to fresh cranberries, dried cranberries can protect against bacteria buildup in your bladder and the urinary tract. 


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If you are having severe problems with UTIs, you might want to look at a daily antibiotic.  Several people I know take a daily antibiotic such as Cipro to help prevent UTIs.  Be careful if you take a daily antibiotic that you don't build up a tolerance or immunity to that specific drug.

Catheters can be a major cause of UTIs. You should speak with your urologist and your durable medical equipment company about the most effective catheters for preventing frequent urinary tract infections.  There are several different catheters available on the market. It’s important to know that there are certain catheters that work better for specific levels of disability. That is why it’s so important to speak with your urologist about what catheter works best for your situation. There’s a good chance that a catheter that works for a low-level para would not work well for a quadriplegic who has their caregiver help them cath.

All of the above can help prevent UTIs.  But it goes without saying, the most important thing you can do is find a good urologist that understands spinal cord injuries. The healthiest individuals I know consistently have check-ups with their urologist and get a yearly urodynamic check-up.  I hope some of this information helps you to prevent frequent UTIs.


TJ Griffin
Christopher Reeve Foundation
 Peer Mentor Program Coordinator
 817-360-6869
tjgriffin@christopherreeve.org


 

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Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by Dan Gottlieb on Oct 31, 2016 12:02 pm

dear TJ Griffin,

Dr. Dan Gottlieb here. Sorry, butI might want to disagree with you about cranberries and cranberry pills. Although cranberries are very healthy for you and filled with vitamins, and extensive study published in the New York Times last week showed that cranberries were no more effective than placebo when it comes to preventing urinary tract infections. I have been taking cranberry extract four years despite the fact that these pills are pretty expensive. But now I have stopped taking them.

Of course I will continue drinking ridiculous amounts of fluids and getting rest and weight shifting to take care of my bladder and the rest of me!
Dan

 
www.DrDanGottlieb.com

Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by KristinB on Dec 11, 2016 12:25 pm

Hi!  My husband had a T3-T4 injury, and he was dealing with chronic UTIs. We tried the supplement D-Mannose and he takes one in the morning and one at night. He has been taking them for 4 months now, and this is the longest UTI free stretch he has had since his injury!  This was much more effective than cranberry pills. He still drinks a ton of water. .

Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

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Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by IrinaCarmen on Dec 13, 2017 5:33 pm

KristinB:
Hi!  My husband had a T3-T4 injury, and he was dealing with chronic UTIs. We tried the supplement D-Mannose and he takes one in the morning and one at night. He has been taking them for 4 months now, and this is the longest UTI free stretch he has had since his injury!  This was much more effective than cranberry pills. He still drinks a ton of water. .

Hei, Kristin! Hope you see this, even if it's been more than a year since your reply smileyCould you please give me a link to those supplements? I looked for them online, but I'm not sure I found the right ones. Thanks!

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Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by KristinB on Jan 3, 2018 7:59 am

Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by IrinaCarmen on Jan 3, 2018 8:15 am

Thank you so much! smiley

And a happy new year to both you and your husband! heart

Re: UTI Care and Prevention by TJ Griffin

Posted by BLove on Feb 8, 2018 5:55 pm

Hi,

My father, age 71, has T10 incomplete paraplegia (less than a year, so I guess that's why I say he "has paraplegia").  He has a Foley cath and has been experiencing severe UTIs (last one required a week hospitiliaztion). Pseudomonas MRSA has always been the diagnosis. I have read some very helpful information on the forum, which we will be sure we are doing.  We are going to try the product that KristinB says has been helpful to her husband. Dad's uroligist suggests going back to self-cath/in and out, however, he is unable to accomplish this without help and that just puts  too much strain on my mom.

My questions is about preventive anti-biotics. I understand why that is not the best choice, but I read on one forum post that someone with a suprapubic cath takes one 500 mg Cipro each time the cath is changed.  Has anyone heard of this helping with Foley cath? If so, I'd really like my dad to discuss with his urologist.

Thank you!

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