During my initial hospital stay after my injury I was informed and explained procedures for “Self Catheterisation“. I was informed if the procedure was not carried out cleanly there was a rick of contracting UTI’s.
To make things worse I also suffered extreme muscle spasms which would throw me out of my wheelchair. (I undertook an operation to insert Intrathecal baclofen therapy to reduce the spasms) The slightest UTI to me would set off the muscle spasms so I was very keen to find some sort of preventative so this would not happen or at least reduce the rick of it happening.
Most urinary tract infections are bladder infections. A bladder infection usually is not serious if it is treated right away. If you do not take care of a bladder infection, it can spread to your kidneys. A kidney infection is serious and can cause permanent damage. Also if you are above spinal injury T6 having a UTI can Bring on Dysreflexia
Autonomic Dysreflexia, also known as Hyperreflexia is a potentially life threatening condition which is considered a medical emergency requiring immediate attention. The condition of autonomic dysreflexia occurs due to an exaggerated autonomic response to pain below the level of spinal cord injury resulting in the blood pressure becoming excessively high.
The most common symptoms of autonomic dysreflexia are sweating, pounding headache, tingling sensation on the face and neck, blotchy skin around the neck and goose bumps.
Not all the symptoms always appear at once, and their severity may vary. In untreated and extreme cases of autonomic dysreflexia, it can lead to a stroke and death.
UTI’s are caused by germs that get into your system through your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. The germs that usually cause these infections live in your large intestine and are found in your stool. If these germs get inside your urethra, they can travel up into your bladder and kidneys and cause an infection.
Women tend to get more bladder infections than men. This is probably because women have shorter urethras, so it is easier for the germs to move up to their bladders. Having sex can make it easier for germs to get into a woman’s urethra.
The first preventative medication I was given was called “Hiprex“.
Hiprex is a very old and good preventative as it basically keeps the walls of the bladder clean. However in order for Hiprex to work you need to take vitamin C.
The vitamin C activates the hiprex and with out it is non-affective.
In later years “Cranberry” was thought to be the new med to take. Some studies show that certain antioxidants in cranberries change the bacteria so that they can’t stick to the urinary tract. Another idea is that cranberries create a Teflon-like slippery coating on the urinary tract walls that prevents E. coli from getting a good grip.
However in order to have the required amount you would have to drink gallons of cranberry juice. I can tell you the combination of Hiprex an cranberry juice is very affective for those of you that like Hiprex.
I undertook a research trial for “Cranberry Tablets” verse “Hiprex” and as far as the results showed taking Cranberry Tablets was a very effective preventative.
Later research has now shown Cranberry Tablets are not as effective as first thought and are least affective on people with a spinal injury. The result showed that they were still a preventative for women but not for men. I believe this is basically due to the length of the urinary track.
The latest medical trials I have been involved in was taking “probiotics”.
The full results are not available yet but will update this page when made available. I can say from my experience I no-longer had to take “Colloxal with Sena” for bowl management and have not had a UTI for nearly two years.
Please note I am not a doctor and all the above information is my views and experiences only. As always consult your doctor before taking any medication.