Antibiotic resistance continues to be a threat to global health. Another common infection that is becoming harder to treat is a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Urinary Tract Infections Are Common
UTIs are so common that 50% of women will have at least one in their lifetime and many will have repeat infections. Though men also get UTIs, they do so with much less frequency – around 1 in 10 men will be diagnosed with a UTI in their lifetime.
The good news is UTIs are treatable with two common antibiotics: Bactrim or ciprofloxacin. The bad news is that UTIs are becoming more resistant to both medications. This is very concerning because some reports indicate 1 in 3 women is resistant to Bactrim as well as the infections not responding as they have before to 5 other types of antibiotics. This is alarming because if a UTI goes untreated, it can lead to kidney infection, permanent kidney damage, premature births, and, for men, urethral narrowing.
UTI Can Lead To Sepsis And Eventually, Death
You may be wondering what you can do to give yourself the best change to fight off a urinary tract infection should you get one. Here are my prescriptions.
- DON’T ask your doctor for antibiotics for a cold or flu. They don’t work well for viral illnesses anyway and the fewer antibiotic medications taken, the better.
- DO ask your doctor for antibiotic alternatives. Know all of your options before jumping into antibiotics.
- Prevention – Avoid UTIs. Make sure to empty your bladder completely during urination. Maintain proper bathroom hygiene through hand washing. Women should always wipe front to back to avoid bacteria migration.
- Stay Hydrated! Drinking enough water helps dilute urine making you pee more often. This will flush bacteria from your urinary tract and stave off infection.
Though it’s always a good idea to have tips and tricks to avoid infection, the main takeaway here is to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance. UTIs used to be an infection that was easily cured. So this reaffirms the need to use antibiotics sparingly to maintain effectiveness.