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Preventative Ideas For Recurring UTI's: How You Can Help Your Partner

WAGSofSCIWAGSofSCI Moderator Posts: 384 Moderator
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Hey All!

I'm sure all of us can agree that UTI's are one of the most annoying health issues that come with a spinal cord injury. Not only do they affect him, but your life is impacted too from them. Who wants to watch their partner suffer with pain, be uncomfortable, and have life be stalled more than it is already? Not us. 

We have found over the years that it's the little things that add up to make the biggest differences when it comes to treatment and prevention. Its not "one thing cures all" for UTI's - and combining therapies and techniques will give you the biggest chance for success in preventing their return. Here are some tips we have found over the years on how to stop them from coming back again.. and again... and how you can do your part to help him in his quest for UTI prevention! *These tips are for prevention and maintenance. Consult your doctor if you have a UTI or symptoms*

Sterile Gloves
You want to prevent even the slightest amount of bacteria from getting on each catheter. If you assist your partner when cathing, use sterile gloves instead of regular latex gloves. These gloves are available from any medical supply vendor - They come in packs of 2, and are folded in a sterile package. One tip we have found is using one glove per catheter at a time, and not touching the other glove. Simply fold the pack open on one side, take one glove, and neatly fold back the packaging together using as little of your hand as possible for use when its time to do the next Cath. Touch the catheter with only the sterile glove and use one hand while using your other glove free hand to do everything else.Using sterile gloves is cheaper than using catheters that are specially designed as sterile to use without gloves - these can cost upwards of $15 per catheter!

Don't reuse your catheters either! Reusing them (even if you wash them) is an easy way to get more bacteria into your tract

Regular Cranberry "Cocktails"
Who doesn't love a good cocktail? Before bed or doing cocktail hour, make him a full glass of full strength ORGANIC pure cranberry juice (1/4 to 1/2 glass depending on how much of the sourness he can handle) mixed with Coconut Water (If he doesn't like that try Maple water) - something high in electrolytes that is natural. The cranberry actually does a great job to flush the Urinary Tract and the electrolytes help with hydration and natural body processes. Doing this daily actually does help a LOT. If he is getting symptoms early on that he could potentially be getting a UTI, get him to drink this cocktail all day every day to flush him out.

Increasing Showers/Cleansing 
Showering and cleansing regularly has a huge effect on the skin and the skins healthy bacteria/moisture balance. Try increasing his showers and using a natural soap that has antibacterial properties like Dr Brommner's Tea Tree Castile Soap (available on Amazon). It wont strip the skin or mess with the healthy PH of the skin - your skin needs its own "fighting force" to ward off bad bacteria. You want the skin to do its job to fight off bad bacteria, without stripping it all away with harsh chemicals. Tea Tree is a natural oil that kills bad bacteria and viruses and is also good for the skin when diluted. If he cant get into the shower more frequently, cleanse his area more often using Castile soap and water, washing thoroughly after. 

Regular Doses Of Cranberry/D-Mannose 
Make sure he incorporates daily doses of Cranberry/D-Mannose combination supplements into his routine. Taking them regularly, and then increasing the doses when symptoms are showing, helps to ward off bacteria. They're inexpensive to buy and are 100% natural. 

Regular Doses of Oregano Oil Supplements (Alternating With Probiotic)
Oregano oil in pill form is a great natural antibiotic and antibacterial. It works to kill bad bacteria in the gut, and helps to prevent the spread of it. Incorporate a good oregano oil supplement into his routine on a regular basis to keep the gut clean and healthy - and kill any bacteria lingering in the body. Don't take oregano in the pure oil form.. the taste is absolutely terrible (it will burn your mouth if taken straight up) and you will get better results from the herbal pill formulations (available at most good health food stores or online). Alternate between one month of oregano with one month of probiotics on a continuous basis and don't take them together. Oregano will kill the bacteria, probiotics will create a beautiful environment for a healthy gut to help the body to prevent infections naturally. 

Healthy Diet
Eating healthy on a daily basis is so important to increasing your immunity to bacteria, and gives his body it's best chance to defend itself. Make sure if you are the cook in the house to always incorporate large amounts of veggies at each meal, eliminate food additives (read labels!) and chemicals at all costs, and eat as organically as you can (google "The Dirty Dozen" and "Clean 15" to learn more about what to buy organic). Make your own sauces, and try and buy as few packaged things as you can. If he is very prone to infections and his immune system is struggling, google "The Wahl Protocol Diet" and consider doing this for a few months to really clean out his body and help him to fight off many ailments. This diet was designed by a woman who recovered from MS, and works to reset the body using nutrients. Its hard work but the diet can be life changing and the results will speak for itself. If you are both on it as well, you will feel better too in general!

If you have any more tips on how to prevent UTI's, and how you're helping your partner succeed, please comment below so we can all learn from what you know!

- Brooke (WAGS of SCI)

Your WAGS of SCI
(Elena and Brooke)


  • 619Drake619Drake Member Posts: 19
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    I have not had a UTI in many years (knock on wood!) I have to chalk it up to two medications: extra strength cranberry extract and potassium cl. I know the potassium changes the chemical nature of my urine and that has made the difference. I can even use the same intermittent catheter multiple days without an infection. Has anyone else tried this process/regiment? 
  • SterlionSterlion Moderator Posts: 104 Moderator
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    I used organic cranberry juice for awhile and never got use to it due to it not being the sugary goodness of normal juice. On the other hand, I have grown to enjoy blueberry. It taste 5x better and still gets the job done.
  • skosillsskosills Member Posts: 13
    Staying hydrated, lots of fluids helps. Our main preventative was investing in single use catheters and not attempting to sterilize or reuse them. When we had to do that, he was getting more UTIs. We had our doctor intervene with the insurance company to get a better supply. It was cheaper for them than all the treatments.
    Peer Mentor for able bodied care givers
    Wife of T7 Complete Para
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