Speaking openly about having a urinary tract infection is embarrassing for many people. Yet they afflict around a fifth of the female population and are prone to coming back, again. They are also extremely painful.
Jodie Christie from Antibiotic Research UK’s patient support service explains why quack cures should be ignored and new drugs to replace our ageing antibiotics are required.
She also highlights a new private Facebook group where sufferers can talk in confidence about UTIs and receive support.
“For a condition that causes so many so much physical pain and drains the NHS of resources, it is amazing that urinary tract infections (UTIs) are rarely talked about openly.
We diagnose the same old antibiotics for treating adults with UTIs. The fact that they re-occur could mean multiple doses of antibiotics and the overuse of the drug is one of the main causes of resistance.
Need to be candid
Openness is something we could benefit from. A mature attitude to bladder conditions means that we can campaign properly on UTIs and talk about the importance of cleanliness and good sexual hygiene in an effective and adult way.
However, I understand the embarrassment and so would urge all people struggling with a UTI to make the most of a new private Facebook page set up by Antibiotic Research UK called, the Chronic Infection Support Group.
Moderated by qualified clinicians, it is subject to membership approval and is currently a sounding board for people to comment, educate and most crucial of all, support each other. Put simply, it tells you, “you are not alone.”
Patient Support has also set up a urinary tract infection page, which details symptoms, causes and case studies. What is best about this, is it is based on robust research and smashes fallacies.
We certainly need some of that! As we have seen with COVID-19, remedies based on scant research are often the vestige of the desperate. I am not going to dismiss every supposed cure outright, but everything from cranberry juice to wiping yourself in the right direction after going to the toilet, can only have limited impact.
Prevention lies in hygiene. Cure in proper treatment.
New drugs now
Many of the antibiotics we use today hardly differ from those utilised in the 1980’s. Our inability to invest properly in alternative solutions has left us in crisis; and antibiotics are increasingly ineffective at clearing up UTIs.
We must do more to badger the pharmaceutical industry and decision-makers to invest in new treatments, fast.
It is important to remember that a urinary tract infection can lead to urosepsis, a condition that can prove deadly especially in residential nursing homes.
So, join with us in the battle to find new treatments to defeat UTIs. Follow NHS guidance on avoiding them and if you need a friend to call upon, join our Facebook Group.
Together, we will beat this.”
To join the Chronic Infection Support group, go to their Facebook page.
For advice and support on urinary tract infections, go to the Patient Support section of this site.