August 29, 2009
One of the more common reasons patient's visit my office is due to bladder infections, otherwise known as cystitis or UTI (urinary tract infection). These infections are much more common in women than in men until later in life and account for over 8 million doctor visits each year.
Symptoms of bladder infections can include:
-Pain or a burning feeling during urination
-A feeling of urgency, or feeling the need to urinate frequently
-An altered appearance of the urine, either bloody (red) or cloudy (containing pus)
-Pain or pressure in the rectum (men) or in the area of the pubic bone (women)
-Passing only a tiny amount of urine even when the urge to urinate is strong
The most common traditional evaluation for these infections include a history and physical exam, along with a urine sample that is tested for signs of an infection.
The most common traditional treatment includes antibiotics to sterilize the bladder contents. While antibiotic treatments usually work, they are not without potential side effects, which can include but are not limited to allergy to the medication, drug interactions, diarrhea and yeast infection.
But what can be done to prevent these infections from occurring in the first place?
-Everyone should drink plenty of water to dilute your urine and help flush out bacteria.
-Avoid coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks containing citrus juices and caffeine until your infection has cleared. They can irritate your bladder and tend to aggravate your frequent or urgent need to urinate.
-Empty your bladder frequently. "Holding in" your urine allows bacteria more time to cause trouble in your bladder before you empty.
For women the following is especially important:
-Wipe from front to back. Doing so after urinating and after a bowel movement helps prevent bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
-Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. Also, drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
-Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using deodorant sprays or other feminine products, such as douches and powders, in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
-Avoid wearing tight clothing such as swimsuits and leotards for long periods.
But if all the above has not worked to prevent an infection, is there something else that can be done without needing antibiotics?
To answer this question, first I must let you know that about 90% of bladder infections are caused by a bacteria called E. Coli.
E Coli causes urinary tract infections by attaching itself to the wall of the bladder. Once stuck, it can reproduce and cause an infection.
So other than antibiotics, is there a way to remove the E. Coli form the bladder wall?
There just happens to be a way to trick the E. Coli into detaching itself from the bladder wall, thereby allowing you to empty your bladder of urine and this pesky bacteria.
This solution is to use a simple sugar called D-Mannose.
This sugar, when ingested, is processed through the body and stored in the bladder. Once in the bladder, D-Mannose makes the bladder wall more difficult for E. Coli to attach to. It is also thought that bacteria enjoy feeding on D-Mannose and detach from the bladder wall to better feed in the urine. The next time you urinate, the E.Coli along with the D-Mannose is flushed out of your bladder.
I have used this treatment in about half a dozen patient's so far with excellent results. Further research has indicated that D-Mannose can be used not only for treatment, but also for prevention of bladder infections.
If you are interested in trying this natural treatment, we now have this nutritional supplement at our office.
Now what would a newsletter be without another opinion on healthcare reform. I would ask that you read the following opinion article linked here. It describes how the present healthcare reform bill WILL ration care, and will attempt to change the healthcare system to a population or community based system, instead of one that focuses on the individual.
In 2008 I terminated my participation with health insurers, and founded the Institute For Medical Wellness to provide patient-centered healthcare. Any system that puts more power to any third party, whether it be government or an insurer, and away from the individual is a system doomed to fail, as this type of government dominated system will put doctors and patient's on opposing sides. We need a more just system that will extend coverage to the uninsured without degrading quality for everyone, while keeping doctor's and patient's united for better health.
Throw the present proposals and bills in the trash.
The two political parties are diametrically opposed on too many aspects contained in the present bills under review.
Why not instead, have both political parties sit down and write a proposal in no more than 2-3 sentences that they both can agree upon.
Yes I said 2-3 sentences, not over 1000 pages!!
Read the 2-3 sentences, then vote!!
How about these four for starters:
1) End pre-existing conditions- Have the government start a high-risk pool for everyone with pre-existing conditions. Once individuals have health insurance, if they have a pre-existing condition, the government high risk insurance pool will cover those pre-existing conditions for one year, and after one year the private health insurer will again be responsible. This would bring some of the uninsured back to being insured.
2) Allow employers to give tax free money to employees to buy their own coverage. Employers can offer a company plan, but employees may group together with whoever they want to form their own group. This puts the individual in control of their own healthcare, without destroying employer participation. And this makes insurance portable, as it is owned by the individual.
3) Increase competition by allowing individuals and groups to purchase insurance coverage across state lines. If a policy in Nebraska costs $200/month and a policy in New Jersey costs $500/month, let people purchase the Nebraska policy. I do not know the actual rates for either state, but I have seen insurance rates differ dramatically between states.
4) Allow individuals the same tax benefits for healthcare that corporations have.
If we can start with areas we agree, it will be easier to find solutions to those we do not!!
To Good Health!!!
Steven Horvitz, D.O.
Board Certified Family Practice
Founder of The Institute For Medical Wellness
128 Borton Landing Road, Suite Two
Moorestown, NJ 08057
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