A woman imaging a glass of cranberry juice

Protecting Against a Future UTI

Last updated: March 2022

UTI stands for urinary tract infection. Typically with this type of infection, there can be pain, burning with urination, possibly blood in urine, a frequency to urinate, cloudy, dark, or strange smelling urine, fever, nausea and/or vomiting, pelvic pain in women and feeling tired or shaky. The most common cause of a urinary tract infection is e-coli.1 Hence, this is why women are told to wipe from front to back. You may or may not have all of these symptoms if you are suffering from a UTI. Unless you are me - I had a UTI that was so bad it caused sepsis, and I never had a single symptom!

An untreated UTI can be deadly

A urinary tract infection rarely affects the kidneys; however, without treatment, they can be, honestly, deadly - as in my case. I arrived at the hospital unconscious and was told I wouldn't make it through the night - which obviously I did, but it was a LONG road.

Cranberry juice

If you have any of the above symptoms, you need to call your physician immediately. To begin, they can have you urinate in a cup, and with a dipstick, they can tell you immediately if you have an infection. At this point, they may send it for testing to find out the exact organism causing the infection so that they can treat it with the most appropriate antibiotic. Many people drink cranberry juice from the minute they feel the first symptom, and it may have some credibility. Most research doesn't prove that cranberry does anything; however, according to my nurses, if your infection is from e-coli, cranberry juice may prevent it from adhering to the bladder wall. This is enough for me - I have cranberry juice in my fridge right now and have a glass a day!

Recurring UTIs

If you are a person who has many urinary tract infections, you may want to invest in the urine strip kit which can be found in your local pharmacy. A prescription is not needed. This may help eliminate any questions you may have once you feel an infection coming on. Another option is to speak to your physician who may recommend a low dose long term antibiotic to prevent you from further infections. People with bladder cancer may be especially at risk, and bladder cancer itself can also be misdiagnosed as a UTI, so it's important to listen to your body and consider a second opinion if you feel unsure.

Avoiding future infections

I have never had a urinary tract infection in my entire life, so I had no idea that there was even a possibility I could have had one 5 weeks ago. Imagine my surprise to find out that my sepsis was a result of a urinary infection. My nurses told me that in order to avoid future infections, they recommended I drink plenty of water and at least one glass of cranberry juice a day.

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