(WXYZ) — As antibiotic-resistant continues to be a threat to global health, another common infection is becoming harder to treat. And that’s urinary tract infections.
Urinary tract infections are so common that 1 in 2 women will have at least one in their lifetime
And many end up with repeat infections as well. Men also get them but not as often, with roughly 1 in 10 men being diagnosed with a UTI over a lifetime.
Now typically UTIs are treated with two common antibiotics, Bactrim or ciprofloxacin. But growing evidence shows that UTIs are becoming more resistant to these medications. Some reports point to 1 in 3 UTIs in women being resistant to Bactrim, and 1 in 5 UTIs are not responding as they have before to 5 other antibiotics. And this is very concerning.
Now anyone who’s experienced a UTI knows how painful and annoying it can be. Typically you’ll feel the urge to urinate a lot and feel burning pain when doing so.
Now the scary thing about UTIs becoming antibiotic-resistant is that if they’re not treated, you can end up with a kidney infection or permanent kidney damage. Women can have premature babies, men can have urethral narrowing.
And urinary tract infections in both sexes can potentially lead to sepsis, which can kill if not treated
So what can be done? Well, I have my prescriptions:
1. Please don’t ask your doctor for antibiotics when you have a cold or the flu. They don’t work for viral illnesses.
2. Do ask your doctor if there are other alternatives you could take first instead of antibiotics. Don’t assume that they’re the only thing that will cure you.
3. To help avoid UTIs, be sure to empty your bladder completely. And remember that hygiene is important. Women should always wipe front to back to help prevent bacteria from spreading to the urethra.
4. Lastly, keep hydrated. Drinking lots of water helps dilute your urine. And you’ll pee more often which can flush bacteria out of your urinary tract.
Now, the key takeaway is that everyone really needs to be informed about antibiotic resistance. Because UTIs used to be an infection that was once easily fixed. So it’s important that we only use antibiotics when needed so that we hopefully won’t lose effective antibiotics for all infections.
Learn more about a study of the effects of drinking water and UTIs here.
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Data pulled from WXYZ