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Preventing Painful UTI’s: 3 Risk Factors

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WGEM) -- Up to 10 million doctors’ visits each year are for urinary tract infections.

If untreated, these infections can be dangerous.

In fact, famous actress Tanya Roberts who appeared in a James Bond film and the sitcom That 70’s Show recently died from complications of a UTI.

One in five women will have at least one urinary tract infection, or UTI, in her lifetime.

These common infections happen when bacteria gets in the urinary system.

They’re usually treatable with antibiotics, but they can be serious.

“They can turn into low back pain, fever, get into the kidneys and become a really serious infection that would require hospitalization,” explained Lora Plaskon, MD, MS, FPMRS, an urologist at Athena Urology.

So how can you prevent these unwanted infections? Dr. Plaskon said avoid the three big risk factors:

“It’s douching, spermicidal jelly, and constipation,” Dr. Plaskon stated.

Douching and spermicides can wipe out your body’s good bacteria. Constipation may lead to a greater colony count of bacteria when you pass a bowel movement, which could cause a UTI.

Also, other research shows staying hydrated is important. Aim for six to eight glasses of water a day.

Also, don’t wait to go if you need to urinate. This can encourage bacteria growth.

And some research has shown consuming probiotics and cranberries can ward off UTI’s. Dr. Plaskon also says a healthy, low-sugar diet is a key factor.

“It has to do with sugar. So, the excess blood sugar is going to be spilled into your urine,” continued Dr. Plaskon.

Dr. Plaskon also said increasing evidence suggests that drug-resistant bacteria are causing UTI’s in some women who eat antibiotic-treated chicken and meat.

She believes eating primarily local, organic meats will reduce this risk.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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