The first time I went through the hell that is having a full-on urinary tract infection, I had no idea what was happening, why it was happening or, most importantly, how to make it go away. After 21 years of mostly pain-free urination, it suddenly felt as if my lady bits were on fire every time I peed — which I soon learned was because I had developed a UTI, which I had contracted through sexual activity. I had just become sexually active, and as ridiculous as this sounds, it felt like my own body was slut-shaming me — until my antibiotics finished their job (which took about three days), peeing was miserably difficult, and I hurt all over.
Because of that experience, I’ve made a point to learn all I can about how to avoid contracting UTIs, because they really are painful enough to interfere with your daily life and they can cause your kidneys to become infected, too.
If you’ve ever had a UTI, then you don’t need me to tell you how hellish they can be. But you may not know that there are actually several easy and effective ways to prevent yourself from getting a UTI in the future. Here are six tips to get you started.
1. Drink Plenty Of Water & Cranberry Juice
Drinking lots of water is a great way to dilute your urine, and diluting your urine guarantees that you’ll urinate more frequently and flush out any bacteria that might be hiding in your urinary tract. So if you’re not already drinking lots of water, you really should start.
As for cranberry juice, well, the evidence that it helps prevent urinary tract infections isn’t exactly conclusive, and despite what the urban legends may claim, it definitely can’t cure a UTI. But cranberries do contain a natural antiseptic called hippuronic acid, which can prevent too much bacteria from sticking to the lining of your bladder. And staying well-hydrated with an all natural, low sugar, vitamin C-rich cranberry juice can only aid you in your overall mission to stay healthy, which can help you avoid UTIs.
2. Make Sure To Pee Shortly After You Finish Having Sex
We all know sex can get pretty dirty, no matter what you’re doing — all that sweat and skin-to-skin contact can spread bacteria. So to avoid letting any bacteria work its way up your urethra and into your bladder, you really should be peeing right after sex. If the sex ends and you don’t have to go, drink a full glass of water so you can make yourself go — because you really need to flush out any bacteria that your sex adventures might have bestowed upon you.
I know jumping out of bed to pee the second sex ends could potentially mess with your post-sex cuddles, and post-sex cuddles are the best — but you can always hop back in bed and get your snuggle on after you use the bathroom. Trust me, cuddles are not worth the horror that is dealing with a UTI.
3. Always Wipe From Front To Back
You probably already know to do this, but just in case you don’t, know that wiping from front to back is crucial to preventing UTIs. Wiping from back to front pushes all the bacteria from your anus right into your vagina and your urethra, then up into your bladder from there. Wiping wrong is basically a bacteria-riddled recipe for developing a urinary tract infection, so be sure to wipe correctly.
4. Stick To Unscented Feminine Hygiene Products
Though they may smell nice, scented soaps, sprays, powders, tampons and pads can irritate your urethra and up your chances of developing a UTI. So be kind to your urinary tract, and try to avoid putting anything scented down there — there’s nothing wrong with the natural scent of your vagina. If you’re anxious about your smell, just make sure to practice good vaginal hygiene, and you’ll be in the clear.
5. Don’t Wait Too Long To Pee
You need to flush the bacteria out of your bladder and urethra as often as possible, and holding your urine is no way to do that. I know stopping to use the bathroom can be super annoying when you’re really busy (I for sure hold it way too long when I’m writing), but it only takes a couple of minutes and it could keep you from having to deal with the pain, expense and recovery time that a UTI will require.
So take the time to pull over at that gas station, miss a little bit of that movie, and always use the bathroom before you go to bed. It may seem annoying to have to work around your bladder’s schedule, but you will never regret not developing a UTI, I can assure you.
6. Take Showers Instead Of Baths
There’s nothing quite like taking a long, relaxing, bubble bath at the end of a stressful day (especially a stressful, chilly winter day). But opting for a shower instead of a bath is one guaranteed way to help your urinary tract.
Soaking in the bathtub makes it too easy for the bacteria and harsh chemicals from your bubble bath to get inside of your urethra — so it’s really best to avoid baths altogether, especially if you get UTIs frequently. That said, if you’re anything like me, there’s no way you’re going to be able to cut out baths completely — but at the very least you should avoid using too many bath oils, salts or bubbles when you bathe. Try using a natural, unscented soap for the bath instead.
There’s no way to 100 percent ensure that you never get a UTI again, of course — but these tips will definitely help you keep your urinary tract happy.
Original Source: http://www.bustle.com/articles/117356-6-ways-to-prevent-urinary-tract-infections
Original Source: http://www.kashmirmonitor.in/news-new-device-to-improve-urinary-infections-treatment-90876.aspx
Urinary tract infections could be treated more quickly and efficiently using a DNA sequencing device the size of a USB stick, says a study.
“We found that this device, which is the size of a USB stick, could detect the bacteria in heavily infected urine – and provide its DNA sequence in just 12 hours. This is a quarter of the time needed for conventional microbiology,” said one of the researchers Justin O’Grady from University of East Anglia in England.
The new device called MinION detected bacteria from urine samples four times more quickly than traditional methods of culturing bacteria.
The new method can also detect antibiotic resistance – allowing patients to be treated more effectively, the researchers said.
“Swift results like these will make it possible to refine a patient’s treatment much earlier – and that is good for the patient, who gets the ‘right’ antibiotic,” O’Grady said.
“This technology is rapid and capable not only of identifying the bacteria in UTIs (urinary tract infections), but also detecting drug-resistance at the point of clinical need,” O’Grady noted.
Professor David Livermore from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School explained that urinary tract infections are among the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics.
“Antibiotics are vital, especially if bacteria has entered the bloodstream, and must be given urgently. But unfortunately it takes two days to grow the bacteria in the lab and test which antibiotics kill them,” Livermore noted.
As a result, doctors must prescribe a broad range antibiotics, targeting the bacteria most likely to be responsible, and then adjust treatment once the lab results come through, he pointed out.
“This ‘carpet-bombing’ approach represents poor antibiotic stewardship, and it is vital that we move beyond it. The way to do so lies in accelerating laboratory investigation, so that treatment can be refined earlier, benefitting the patient, who gets an effective antibiotic, and society, whose diminishing stock of antibiotics is better managed,” Livermore said.
The findings were presented at an international medical conference run jointly by the American Society for Microbiology’s Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the International Society of Chemotherapy (ICC) at San Diego in the US.
Do you ever experience a burning sensation when urinating? Do you get the urge to urinate more frequently than usual? These could be signs of a urinary tract infection, the second most common type of infection in humans.
The urinary tract is made up of the organs of the body that produce, store and discharge urine. These organs include the kidneys, ureters, bladder and the urethra. This system can be divided into upper urinary tract comprising of the ureters and kidneys and the lower urinary tract being the bladder and the urethra.
The urinary system does several important jobs. It removes liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine. It also regulates, keeping a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood. The system also produces a hormone that is essential in the formation of red blood cells and also an enzyme that plays a role in blood pressure. The kidneys also regulate blood pressure by adjusting the volume of blood as well as the flow in and out of them.
What causes infection? This very important system of the body, however, gets infected frequently. The lower urinary tract tends to be more prone to infections. The most common cause of urinary tract infections is bacteria within the body. The bacteria from the bowel that is found on the skin near the rectum or vagina may spread and enter the urinary tract through the urethra causing urethritis. The infection may go up to the bladder, infecting the bladder (cystitis). When it reaches the kidneys it causes a more serious infection called pyelonephritis. Germs may be introduced into the urethra by wiping from back to front after bowel movement.
Infections may be introduced also by anything that obstructs or delays the flow of urine, for example kidney stones or holding urine longer. Weakening of the bladder muscles also allows residual urine, which promotes multiplication of the germs. Sexual activities and introduction of foreign bodies into the urethra also encourages infections. Women are more prone to urinary tract infection due to their shorter urethras and the close proximity to the anus.
For men, uncircumcised individuals are at greater risk of urinary tract infection as the foreskin of the penis makes it easier for the germs to get trapped and enter the urinary system. In an elderly man, an enlarged or infected prostate increases the risk of urinary tract infection. Unprotected sex and anal sex also increase the risk of urinary tract infection.
These are the symptoms and signs of urinary tract infection: Urinating more often or waking up from sleep to urinate; urine that smells bad; the urine may be cloudy or tinged with blood; pain or burning when you urinate; very little urine produced and the urge to urinate recurs quickly; and pain or pressure in the lower abdomen. When the infection spreads up to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) this could be more serious and can cause shaking chills with a fever.
This may be associated with side pain or lower back pain that gets worse. Vomiting may also occur.
There are simple steps that help preventing urinary tract infections: Drink plenty of fluids, drinking a lot of water (six to eight glasses of water daily) leads to passing a lot of urine which has the effect of flushing the urinary tract. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement to avoid introducing anal bacteria. Avoid holding urine for long periods of time; urinate as soon as you feel the need.
Good hygiene is of great importance in preventing urinary tract infections. Both men and women ought to exercise good hygiene before and after sexual intercourse. Hygiene in men is significantly improved by undergoing circumcision. Medical male circumcision is offered free in government health services and covered by medical aid, so ask your health provider.
If one suspects having urinary tract infection, take lots of fluid especially water and visit the nearest clinic or doctor. The nurse/doctor will take note of your symptoms, examine you and may take a sample of your urine for analysis. Urinary tract infection may be treated with oral antibiotics and with more severe cases hospitalisation may be necessary.
• Dr Emmanuel Tom is a general medical practitioner at Wanaheda Medical Centre in Windhoek (e-mail: [email protected]).
Centuries ago, doctors tasted their patients’ urine to diagnose diabetes. If it was sweet, it meant the body wasn’t properly clearing away glucose. Fortunately, we have more advanced — and much less gross — medical tests available today, but the ancient clinicians were on to something: Your pee is an excellent predictor of your health.
“Urine is a byproduct that includes fluids and other filtrates that come out of your body so it can tell you what’s going on inside,” says Tomas Griebling, M.D., M.P.H., vice chair of the department of urology at the University of Kansas. Take a peek at your pee before you flush, and watch out for these six signs.
The sign: Dark yellow color
What it means: You’re dehydrated—but you probably already knew that. What you may not know is that even short-term dehydration, like not guzzling enough fluids during your work day or workout, can set you up for more serious bladder conditions down the road. “When you’re dehydrated, your body tries to conserve fluid so your urine becomes more concentrated,” Dr. Griebling says. The chemicals in your urine come into contact with the lining of your bladder and can cause irritation, which may lead to incontinence or an infection. Ideally, your pee should be consistently clear or light yellow. Up your H2O intake if it’s dark to help restore hydration.
The sign: Red urine
What it means: There’s blood in your pee, a condition called hematuria. That’s never normal, “so you should get it checked out as soon as possible,” Dr. Griebling says. Causes of bloody urine include trauma, kidney disease or cancer, inflammation or an infection in the kidneys, and more. Taking blood thinners can also make your urine red, but it’s still important to see a doc, stat.
The sign: Strong-smelling urine
What it means: First, rule out any foods or drinks you recently had. “The classic example is asparagus,” says Dr. Griebling. Some people have an enzyme that breaks down asparagus to a compound with a strong odor that you’ll notice within 20 to 30 minutes of eating the vegetable. That’s nothing to worry about. Coffee can also make urine smell, especially if you’re dehydrated. Bacteria that causes a urinary tract infection (UTI) can also produce a foul smell. If you have any other signs of a UTI, such as burning when you pee, a fever, or cloudy urine, let your doc know. You may need an antibiotic to fight off the infection.
The sign: Foamy or bubbly urine
What it means: You could have kidney disease. When your kidney’s filtering units aren’t working properly, that can lead to a build-up of protein in your urine. The protein then creates a foamy appearance when it hits the water in the toilet. You may be at risk for kidney disease if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family member with the condition.
The sign: Increased urgency or frequency
What it means: You might have an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate gland surrounds the urethra through which urine leaves the body. As the gland grows bigger, it can press on the urethra and cause a variety of changes in urination. Urgency means you need to go right away and you may have difficulty holding it in. With increased frequency, you feel the need to go more often and may wake up several times at night to use the bathroom.
“Many people think that drinking less water will help with urgency and frequency, but dehydration can cause urinary issues, too,” Dr. Griebling says. BPH can also cause incomplete emptying of your bladder, so you still feel like you have to go even after taking a leak. Talk to your doctor if you notice any changes in urination. There are many treatments available for BPH including kegel exercises, medications, and surgery, if needed—but also lifestyle changes, like physical activity and limiting alcohol and caffeine. In addition, your doctor may evaluate your current medication regimen, since certain decongestants and antihistamines may increase BPH symptoms.
The sign: Air or gas coming out
What it means: Bacteria in your bladder may produce gas that releases when you pee. If you have any signs of a UTI, schedule face time with your physician. Although less likely, you could have a fistula, an abnormal opening within the bladder or between the bladder and colon. You could be at risk for developing a fistula if you have a history of Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel disease—and you may need surgery to correct the condition.
Duke Medicine researchers have found that bladder cells have a highly effective way to combat E. coli bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs).
In a study published online May 28, 2015, in the journal Cell, Duke researchers and their colleagues describe how bladder cells can physically eject the UTI-causing bacteria that manage to invade the host cell.
This response is analogous to having indigestion and vomiting to rid the stomach of harmful substances.
The finding suggests there may be a potential way to capitalize on this natural tendency in bladder cells to help treat recurring UTIs.
UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting for about 8.1 million doctor visits annually, the majority of which occur in women, according to the National Institutes of Health. Bacterial infections are the most common cause of UTIs, with 70 percent of infections arising from a particular type of E. coli bacteria.
“The cost for managing UTIs in the U.S. is close to $3 billion annually,” said senior author Soman Abraham, Ph.D., professor in the departments of Pathology, Immunology, and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Duke University School of Medicine, and professor in the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-National University of Singapore.
“Because E. coli are able to hide inside of the bladder cells, it’s especially difficult to treat UTIs with regular antibiotics,” Abraham said. “So there is increased need to find new strategies for treatment, including co-opting any preexisting cellular tactics to combating infection.”
When E. coli first attack bladder cells, the cell’s surveillance machinery—known as autophagy—is the first line of defense against pathogens. The autophagy machinery encases the bacteria in a host membrane and shuttles them to the lysosome, a “capsular cauldron,” that destroys harmful pathogens in its acidic environment. But upon entering the lysosome, some pathogens have the capacity to neutralize the acidic environment and avoid being degraded.
Using mouse models of UTIs and cultured human bladder cells, the authors found that the host cells can sense when lysosomes have been rendered neutral and are malfunctioning. The host cells then respond by triggering the lysosome to eject its contents, including the bacteria.
“When the cells have trouble digesting the materials in the lysosomes, a logical way to get rid of this potential hazard is to throw it up,” said first author Yuxuan Miao, a Ph.D. candidate in Duke’s department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.
The bacteria that are expelled out of the bladder cells appear to be encased in a cell membrane, presumably ensuring their elimination in urine and avoiding any bacterial reattachment to the bladder wall.
“It was thought that lysosomes always degrade their contents,” Miao said. “Here we are showing for the first time that when the contents cannot be degraded, the lysosome appears to have a back-up plan which is to expel the contents in capsules.”
The researchers hope these findings will aid in finding chemical targets that can accelerate and amplify the bladder cell’s ability to expel the bacteria.
“A lot of women tend to experience recurrent infections once they have an initial bout of UTI,” Abraham said. “The reason for this is that there is bacterial persistence within the cells of the bladder. If we can eliminate these reservoirs using agents that promote expulsion, then we can potentially eradicate recurrent UTIs.”
Most of us think of bacteria as the enemy, but each of our bodies harbors trillions of microbes, most of them beneficial or benign. Now, you can add two new friendlies to the list. This week, two groups of synthetic biologists seeking to repurpose living microbes for human benefit report genetically modifying bacteria to detect cancer in mice and diabetes in humans.
Clinicians have sought to exploit microbes for more than a century. Beginning in 1891, an American bone surgeon named William Coley injected more than 1000 patients with bacterial colonies in hopes that they would shrink inoperable tumors. The treatment sometimes worked, in part because the microbes preferentially seek out tumor tissue, which is rich in nutrients yet has few immune cells to knock out any pathogens. But the results were uneven, and with the rise of radiation and chemotherapy, the approach fell out of favor. More recently, synthetic biologists have begun to modify bacteria to fight cancer and other diseases—engineering them to secrete toxins inside tumors, for example. A couple of these therapies have even made it into clinical trials, though none have been approved yet.
Far less effort has been directed at using bacteria as a test for disease. Sangeeta Bhatia, a biomedical engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, and her colleagues previously worked on cancer detection using metal nanoparticles. In the presence of a tumor, the particles would release snippets of proteins called peptides that could be detected in the urine. Unfortunately, Bhatia says, the signal was often too weak to serve as a clear indicator of disease. Bhatia’s team then realized that bacteria offered a potentially superior option. The researchers knew that microbes with a taste for tumor often penetrate the masses as they grow and replicate. So Bhatia’s group joined up with a team led by Jeff Hasty, a bioengineer at the University of California, San Diego, to reprogram bacteria that could be fed to mice and, in the presence of cancer, would produce a luminescent signal with a simple urine test.
They started with a harmless strain of bacteria called Escherichia coli Nissle 1917, which is commonly added to yogurt and other foods as a probiotic to promote digestive health. First, they fed the bacteria to mice and confirmed that the microbes crossed the gut and colonized tumors in the liver. They engineered the bacteria to produce a naturally occurring enzyme called LacZ when they encountered a tumor. Next, the researchers injected mice with compounds that were precursors for light emitters. These were two-part molecules made up of a sugar linked to luciferin, a luminescent molecule. When bound together, the pair doesn’t emit light, but LacZ acts like a pair of scissors that cuts the two apart. So, in mice that had liver cancer populated by E. coli, the LacZ produced by the microbes released the luminescent compound, which was then excreted in the animals’ urine, turning those samples from yellow to red. What’s more, Bhatia and her colleagues report in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine this week, while conventional imaging techniques struggle to detect liver tumors smaller than 1 square centimeter, this approach was able to flag tumors as small as 1 square millimeter.
In a separate study also reported in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine, researchers led by structural biochemist Jerome Bonnet of the University of Montpellier in France followed a related strategy to detect a key sign of diabetes, namely elevated glucose in the urine of human patients. The researchers added genetic circuitry to the bacteria so that they produced a large amount of a red fluorescent protein once the concentration of glucose in their surroundings reached a certain level. In this case, however, the team’s strain of E. coli wasn’t injected into people first, rather simply added to urine samples, where they produced a color change. For now, this approach isn’t any better than a standard glucose meter. But because the detection scheme can be repurposed to detect other targets, it could serve as a platform for a broad array of future diagnostics.
“They are both nice advances for the field,” says Jim Collins, a synthetic biologist at MIT. But he cautions that both approaches remain years away from being approved for clinical use. Tim Lu, also a synthetic biologist at MIT, agrees. “Taken together this pair of papers demonstrates that synthetic biology will be useful not only for therapeutics but diagnostics as well.” That might just give bacteria a good reputation after all.