Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
How to decect them
Unfortunately for most people with Spina Bifida, urinary tract infections are very
common. To prevent them, especially in hot weather, you need to look out for the
- Be aware of your body and the signs and symptoms you present for an infection.
- Is your urine smelly?
- Is the urine cloudy and making your skin sore?
- Is the urine a darker colour than usual?
- Are you experiencing lower back or kidney pain?
- If you have urostomy bag know what your usual output of urine is. If it is low or
non-existent seek medical help.
- Is there an excess of mucous in your urine?
- Are you running a temperature and feeling unwell?
- Do you have a headache and/or vomiting?
- All these and many more are symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Know Your Body
If you suspect a UTI seek medical advice, and the following points may be useful.
- Tell the doctor if you use a catheter or have a bag, as often the results read differently
to a normal urinary tract specimen. Make sure they take a urine sample before departing
the surgery. If this is difficult take a sample to the surgery. In fact always have
a spare sample bottle at home for these occasions. Once taken keep the sample refridgerated.
- Be patient yet assertive with your doctor. They may not have many patients with
Spina Bifida and therefore may suspect a virus for the cause of your distress.
- Always collect a clean specimen – if you have a urostomy bag then change the bag
first before collecting the urine specimen.
Lastly a couple of tips to help:
- Whilst not a new idea - however still the best advice of all, is to drink plenty
of water to help prevent Urinary Tract Infections. At least 2 litres per day - especially
in hot weather!
- Also, take Cranberry tablets or juice. These can be purchased cheaply at most health
food stores and sometimes your local supermarket.