Risk Factor #1: Sweetened Drinks And Soda
Carbonated drinks are known to increase the occurrence of some lower urinary tract symptoms. Diet sodas alone contain four well-known bladder irritants: acidic carbonation, citric and other acids, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.
What You Can Do About It
If this is your only reason to give up sweetened and carbonated drinks, youre already doing better than most people. No one needs these drinks. Removing them from your diet will help with more than prevention UTIs. Water is the best replacement.
Preventing Yeast Infections And Utis
While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent a yeast infection or UTI from ever happening, there are some things you can do to ward off both types of infections.
Avoiding irritating feminine products, like douches, sprays, and scented tampons, can help prevent both UTIs and yeast infections, says the Office of Women’s Health. You should also skip long baths and hot tubs. And if you think the type of birth control you’re using is increasing your risk of yeast infections or UTIs, consider switching to another method.
There are also more specific things you can do to fend off yeast infections vs. UTIs, depending on which one you’re most prone to. You can further reduce your risk of a yeast infection by:
- wearing cotton underwear
- avoiding tight undergarments, like underwear or pantyhose
- not staying in a wet bathing suit or sweaty leggings for long
- avoiding unnecessary antibiotics
As for preventing yeast infections, you can try:
- taking cranberry supplements
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As far as treatment options go, doctors usually rely on antibiotics to rid your body of the infection. If youre regularly getting sex-induced UTIs, an M.D. can even prescribe post-coital antibiotics you take each time you get busy. Drinking cranberry juice or taking a cranberry supplement may also help stave off UTIs.
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Risk Factor #: Caffeine And Alcohol
In food or drink, caffeine is a stimulant that can cause irritation to the urinary tract. As a diuretic, it also promotes urgency to urinate and increases the risk of dehydration. Its important to maintain good hydration to flush infection-causing organisms from the urinary tract.
Alcohol also acts as a diuretic which can increase the risk of dehydration and in some people it can amplify lower urinary tract symptoms.
What You Can Do About It
Try a non-caffeinated herbal tea instead, or switch to water. Avoid all caffeinated food and drinks while you still have symptoms. Next time you reach for a coffee, weigh up that caffeine-y goodness against your goals to prevent UTIs.
Studies around alcohol show mixed results, so while reducing alcohol consumption certainly wont hurt, the results are likely to differ for each person. We hear mixed feedback from our community on this.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
The symptoms of a UTI depend on which part of the urinary system is infected. If the lower tract is infected, then the symptoms often involve abdominal pain, along with frequent, painful urination. Urine from an infected lower tract is typically cloudy, and has a strong odor.
Upper urinary tract infection involves the kidney. It is considered to be more dangerous, as there is a chance for the bacteria to enter the blood. The symptoms of this type of infection include fever, nausea, and chills. However, what most distinguishes this type of infection is pain in the upper back in sides, indicating an infection in one or both kidneys.
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Yeast Infection Std Or Something Else
If you suspect that you have a vaginal yeast infection, youre most likely in a hurry to get rid of it. Yeast infections are uncomfortable, and are usually accompanied by itching, burning, and thick discharge.
Before you run to the pharmacy, though, its important to determine if what youre experiencing is indeed a yeast infection or something else. Other causes of vaginal pain and discomfort include bacterial infections, sexually transmitted diseases , skin irritation, and more. While the symptoms are similar, the causes and treatments are very different.
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If Youre Experiencing Recurring Yeast Infections Youve Got Options
You can take an over-the-counter antifungal like Monistat. Earthman recommends using the three- or seven-day regimens instead of the one day. Its more of a hassle, but it tends to work better.
For more complex and long-term yeast infections, your provider might prescribe fluconazole .
If youd like to keep things natural, there are vaginal suppositories like boric acid that can sometimes provide relief.
Lily swears by Yeast Arrest. Ill put in a suppository like Yeast Arrest at the first sign of itching, and Ill use a three-day over-the-counter antifungal if it gets worse. I take that with me on vacation, just in case. And if I really cant kick it, thats when Ill call my doctor for Diflucan. Diflucan always seems to work, but I like to try other things first.
As Earthman puts it, Recurring BV is the bane of my existence! It probably keeps our office in business its all too common.
Symptoms of BV are fairly obvious. Discharge is thin white, grey, or greenish, and often comes with a fishy smell.
Could your partner have anything to do with it? Earthman says that, yes, occasionally there are bacterial strains that you and your partner can pass back and forth.
The only way to really know if you have these specific strains is to have a culture taken of vaginal flora, so that both partners can be treated. She doesnt advise taking cultures immediately for BV since they can be pretty costly and most strains will respond to one or two antibiotic types.
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Speaking of condoms, while they generally shouldnt boost your UTI risk, ones with a certain ingredient might make you more susceptible than youd like. Some condoms have the spermicide nonoxynol-9, which can cause small abrasions on or around the urethra, says Dweck. Those abrasions give the bacteria easy access to your urethra, which is how you wind up with pee pain. Its not a reason not to use condoms, says Dweck. Just be more careful and look at the ingredient list.
Oh, and you know that tip youve heard about peeing before and after sex? Yup, it really works. Using the bathroom regularly can help flush bacteria out, says Rosenblum. It can be annoying to take a bathroom break before you can commence cuddling, but youll appreciate the gesture later when it doesnt feel like youre peeing actual flames.
There may also be a genetic component to who gets UTIs.
Recent research shows some people have a certain receptor in their bladder wall that allows bacteria to stick more easily, says Rosenblum. Although experts arent sure how common the receptor is or what causes it, theyre hoping for more research into the possibility.
Gender also plays a role guys are less like to get UTIs because dudes’ anatomy makes them especially lucky in that regard.
Does Blood In My Urine Mean I Have A Kidney Infection
The internet told me if there was blood in my urine, my kidneys were affected and I HAD to take antibiotics. So I took them.
I didnt die in a little village in the middle of nowhere and I didnt even tell my parents how close they had come to organizing an international funeral.
I was alive, but I wasnt well.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Hindsight Tip #1:
I later discovered that blood in your urine doesnt always mean your kidneys are involved. For many people Ive spoken with, thats just a typical symptom of a bladder infection. And no doctor I saw was ever concerned about my kidneys.
UTI symptoms are different for everybody, and symptoms you think are a UTI may actually be caused by something else entirely. Learn more about UTI symptoms and what causes UTIs. It pays to document all your symptoms, and discuss them with a doctor.
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Causes And Symptoms Of Utis
UTIs most often impact the bladder, occurring when bacteria work its way into the urinary tract. They can be a painful nuisance, but can be serious if the infection impacts the kidneys. Bacteria is often introduced from stool, such as when you dont wipe from front to back after going to the washroom.
Symptoms may include an intense urge to urinate, but with minimal urine production a burning sensation when you urinate cloudy or foul-smelling urine and sometimes pain in the center of the pelvis or in your back.2
My Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Treatment Regimen
I didnt realize at the time that this was the beginning of my recovery. My regimen took me to a place where I no longer had any symptoms. I was able to stop taking supplements on a daily basis. It wasnt about managing my symptoms anymore, they were just gone.
I was basically back at square one and I wanted a fresh start. I wanted more information everything I could get my hands on. I started with a range of blood tests to check my general health.
I discovered I was quite low in a few essential vitamins and minerals. In speaking with clinicians I have learned this is very common in people who have been fighting long term chronic infection.
First, I began to take a range of supplements targeting my deficiencies. Then I created a regimen of strong herbal antifungals and antibacterials based on the advice of my new doctor.
These were teamed up with oral and vaginal probiotics that contained probiotic strains showing promise for urinary tract and vaginal health.
I had tried all of these separately after reading studies about each of them. But I had never tried them together, or with a plan and a timeframe in mind.
I started my new regimen.
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Special Care For Pregnant Women
When pregnant, hormonal and anatomical changes can increase the risk for urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Additionally, pregnant ladies and their babies tend to experience complications, even in the case of simple ailments. UTIs and yeast infections during pregnancy increase the risk of preeclampsia, low birth weight and premature labor.
Pregnant women who have symptoms of a UTI or a yeast infection should consult their doctor without delay. Such infections should be treated right away to prevent any severe complications. Your doctor will determine the best and safest treatment for you since some antibiotics and antifungals cannot be taken during pregnancy.
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Urinary Tract Infections: Causes
If indeed, your symptoms are urinary tract infections, you have to figure out why you became prone to them.
Many think that poor hygiene is the main reason for UTIs, but this is far from the truth. In most cases, your hygiene habits have little to do with your chances of developing a UTI. Its not even about bacteria in your bladder, since we now know that even healthy people often have similar bladder bacteria as do folks prone to UTIs.
If you are a woman, the secret to a UTI-free life could be in your . And if you have a prostate, get it checked.
If you keep experiencing persistent chronic UTIs, bacterial biofilms might be the ones to blame.
I grouped UTI causes into 5 main buckets to help you to remember what to watch out for. While the list is long, it is still far from being complete. Since chronic and recurrent UTIs are often systemic problems, many things could contribute to your UTI susceptibility, but this post is an excellent start to examining your risk factors.
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What Is The Difference Between A Uti And A Yeast Infection Is It The Same As Thrush
Thrush is a yeast infection, caused by a fungus known as Candida, that builds up on a moist area of your skin, causing itchiness, a thick discharge, and pain when urinating. Whereas a UTI is an infection caused by too many bacteria entering your urinary system.
What are the symptoms of each one and what do they mean? In some cases, the symptoms are so similar that it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two conditions.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Urinary Tract Infection
These are the most common symptoms of a UTI:
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Urine looks dark, cloudy, or reddish in color
- Urine smells bad
- Feeling pain even when not urinating
- Pain in the back or side, below the ribs
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Despite an strong urge to urinate, only a small amount of urine is passed
- Women may feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone
The symptoms of UTI may look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
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3. Your Immune Systems SuppressedCheck your medicine cabinet. Anything that suppresses your immune system, like corticosteroids and Prednisone or meds like Humira for rheumatoid arthritis can predispose you to yeast, says Johnson. Thats mostly because when your bodys defense system is not in tip-top shape, it cant keep everything in balance. You might also notice yeast elsewhere, like in your mouth , says Johnson. Talk to your doctor if you think this is the case. While anti-fungal medications can help, its best to address the root of the issue first . Consider probiotics, too, which can help build up your good bacteria, keeping issues at bay.
4. Youre Making Avoidable MistakesNo ones perfect. And while we know we shouldn’t do things like sit around in our stinky workout clothes, religiously wear thongs, forgo cotton underwear, or live in a bikini, it happens. So to kick yeast to the curb, start by nixing your own bad behaviors. Skip scented feminine products, always wipe front to back, make sure to change after that HIIT class, and let your legs breathe every now and then , says Johnson. Those are all things you have control over, she says. They can be modified to reduce your risk.
Diagnosing A Yeast Infection
An experienced doctor can often diagnose a yeast infection based on the history and symptoms you discuss. If you are seeing a provider in person, your doctor will examine you to evaluate the discharge and take a sample of vaginal fluid with a cotton swab to send to the lab. These lab tests can also be used to identify other causes of discharge, such as STIs.
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What Are The Causes Of Yeast Infection
The main reasons for this yeast overgrowth include:
- Hormone tablets or contraceptives that increases the estrogen level in the body
- Use of antibiotics that can disturb the natural vaginal components
- Diabetes which is not controlled properly
How is Yeast Infection Treated?
Yeast infection treatment is typically administered through antifungal medication. Your doctor will prescribe an oral tablet, a topical cream, or a suppository, depending on the severity. The duration of the treatment also varies accordingly.
How Are These Issues Treated
A large percentage of patients will be able to clear yeast infections on their own without additional treatment, said Kostov. If they go see a doctor and describe these symptoms, the doctor may do a test but its likely theyd determine the symptoms are synonymous with a yeast infection, she explained.
Over-the-counter treatments for yeast infections are found in most pharmacies and drug stores, which can help, she said.
For bacterial vaginosis, about half of all cases are asymptomatic where patients dont feel serious symptoms and the infection will go away on its own. The same can happen for people who are experiencing clear symptoms, like unusual discharge, said Kostov.
If its persistent and bothering you, seeing your family doctor would be helpful and the doctor may consider doing a swab to determine what the issue is. Treatment for bacterial vaginosis would be an antibiotic.
Patients that are coming in every one to two months with new symptoms, by that point doctors would have done more tests and examine underlying causes and whether a more rare fungus might be present. That patient may have an immune disorder they dont know about yet that could be causing frequent yeast infections, she said.
As for UTIs, about half of patients find these can resolve on their own, especially if they have a healthy immune system, she explained.
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How Long Does Each Infection Last
The severity of the infection and the treatment method determine how long both a yeast infection and a UTI lasts. A UTI generally goes away 1-2 days after starting antibiotics. A complicated UTI, on the other hand, can take several days to weeks to fully treat. Similarly, a mild yeast infection can go away after a few days.
How Utis From Sex Occur
To understand the connection between a new sex partner and UTIs, its important to understand how a UTI occurs from intercourse:
- When you have sex, it introduces bacteria into your urinary tract.
- These bacteria then climb up your urethra to your bladder, and start an infection.
It also doesnt help that women have shorter urethras than men, so these bacteria have less distance to travel and more time to begin an infection. Some women are also more prone to UTIs than others, and if you have a compromised immune system from an autoimmune disease, diabetes, or are postmenopausal, this increases your risk.
If you already have UTI symptoms seek medical attention as soon as possible. The only way to treat and cure a UTI is with antibiotics. UTIs do not go away on their own, ignoring these warning signs are dangerous as the infection could spread to your kidneys, or to your bloodstream .
Whether you are engaging with a new sexual partner or have had the same partner for years, UTIs from sex occur by introducing bacteria on the skin into the urinary tract.
Its critical to take your vaginal health into account to prevent potential UTIs from sex.
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