UTI from Heat

Sharmi | 17:11

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"They treat the symptoms but they dont look into the root cause."

UTI Cranberry Yoghurt Buttermilk

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I am a 42 year old married woman, with two kids - nine and five. So, overall I would say I was very healthy from childhood. I cannot recollect running so many times to hospitals. Probably a couple of times, I had fever. I mean, this is, I'm talking until I was 15 or 18 years old, I have never had a fever until then. So I've been a very healthy kid since then. And, I was born and brought up in India. So,I moved to the US in 2007 and since I moved, I didn't even have a PCP. I did not even sign up for a PCP until 2016. So, I had a couple of pregnancies, one in 2011 and another one in 2015. But those I was directly visiting the gynecologist, I've had a couple of pregnancies. So I've never had any medicine and not visited hospitals at all. So, my hospital journey started in 2013. I think that was the first day when I started a new job, I was walking running to drop my daughter in the daycare and I slipped off on my back. didn't realize there was a concrete step when we get off from our doorway, I slipped in the black eyes and hurt the back off my head a little bit. I had a minor concussion for a few minutes, like I felt really dizzy. That is the first time I go around to the emergency, to check what happened and then follow ups were at Urgent Care. But, you know, after a week's time, it was all fine and there were no issues. And the same year I would say, this happened in March 2013 and in the fall of 2013, I started getting the cold and cough. I was thinking it is predominantly because of this. My body was getting sick because I fell down and I hurt my back because of that, I was falling sick. But that was the same time, my daughter started going to school, then daycare and possibly she was passing on the germs to me and that's how it was developing. So I was thinking like, what's really happening? Just because I hurt my back, doesn't mean I should get a cold and cough. So when I say cold and cough, it used to continue for 6 to 8 weeks. I mean, like, minimum two to three months it would take. So I would be coughing a lot in the office, people would be giving me water. They would be suggesting a lot of medicines and you know, it was not very comfortable at that point of time. So I had to run back to the Urgent Care to say, OK, what can I do? Because I tried the over the counter medicines and then they prescribed antibiotics. So that's where my antibiotic journey started. So I go to the Urgent Care, they give me antibiotics that would go to like two or three courses. One antibiotic they will give, probably I would feel better. Then again it would start and he would give me another antibiotic.

So every year since then, I saw the same pattern. In 2014 it happened, in 2016 it happened. There was no specific reason when I would start, it wasn't due to allergies, it wasn't fall, it wasn't summer, it wasn't winter. Suddenly, I would get cold and cough and when I get it, it would stay with me for 2 to 3 months, it would stay with me until everything goes away. The people used to suggest try the neti pot, try musinix [….] pills, I've tried all the medicines over the counter, prescribed medicines for cold and cough. My body was getting used to more antibiotics. That's when I started realising that the more antibiotics I am having I am also getting weaker, because my immune system is taking a hit because of the antibiotics. And then, back in 2016, I mean, I was trying out different Urgent Cares, till then I did not sign up for a PCP. Then in 2016, the same thing started again. I had a cold and a cough, and then I went to the Urgent Care and finally after one or two doses of antibiotic, I had slight UTI kind of symptoms. I went back to the hospital again. They said it is negative, but why don't you go to a PCP and have it checked out? So that was when I really started looking for a PCP. So it was 2016 that is when I went for a PCP. So, I looked into the best hospitals here and then looked in for the best doctor with good ratings, but unfortunately I got a male doctor and then I thought let me start with him. But the only concern when I went to him, I told him was, I'm getting cold and cough over a period of 4 to 5 years. And when it comes, it kind of stays with me for a long time. And I also started seeing UTIs at the end of it. I don't know what is [...] and I need your help to find it out. He said cold and cough is normal, UTI we will see what we can do about it. So he did a culture test and again prescribed me antibiotics. Okay, I thought, ok, probably that is the medication, will go with it.

Again in 2017 when I had the same problem, this falls anytime between June to December, right? Anytime I would start getting the cold and cough. Invariably how it starts is, my kids have cold and cough, but they would recover in a few days or weeks. But it would stay with me. So in 2017 then I thought, like I'm already having too much of medicines and antibiotics, so let me start some home cure as well. So I started drinking lots of hot water and then added some ginger tea and green tea, something that's gonna be really soothing, so my cough reduces. So I was continuing the home care and at the same time the doctor gave me prescription medicines. There was still antibiotics to stop the cough, that was going on. At the end of it, I started getting UTI again. I ran back to the doctor again. Then the doctor only said, I don't know why you're getting the UTIs. And the only reason he said was, is this is probably like, figure out if its at the end of the period, start of periods, or after an intercourse. He was consistently saying these three things. I had, like no, does not relate to all of this. He gave me the best practices. He said, you go wash after you've had intercourse and these were the only things he was repeating. And he gives me antibiotics, maybe I am feeling better during the course of antibiotics and again it would start. So at one point of time I told him, in 2017 I was having antibiotics for over two months, three courses of antibiotics I had. At the end of it he did a culture test and he said, you have E.coli and this is kind of dangerous. At that point of time, I didn't even know what E.coli is. Probably I had heard it in some of the rollbacks, when they have it on food, I've heard of E.coli. I literally started crying, is anything going to happen to me. Then I went back to the hospital, he said, no, lets treat with heavy antibiotics and he gave me I V (intravenous) antibiotics. So, I have to go to the hospital seven days a week, and they put me on I V. It was like, really dangerous. So I was thinking what's really happening with me because I have so far been healthy. Like what's really going on with my body? I didn't have fever and no symptoms at all, nothing. Just that I was UTI infected, along with a cold and a cough. Then again, after this, I was like really pissed off. I said to the doctor I signed you up as a PCP just to find out what is the root cause of this. Why am I getting all this? Is it due to allergy? Is it seasonal changes or something else? I really need you to find out. I was really pissed off at that point. Then he said, OK, let's go to a specialist. And they did the X ray. They did the scan, they did the ultrasound and they did the reflex test too. And everything came negative.

So that was the specialists from one of the hospitals here, a very good hospital here. So during the course, I met 2,3 doctors who were checking my reports and one lady came and told me, UTIs are not that dangerous. UTI is very common, especially for all women. And she said, Look, you didn't have to go through all of this and all of the medicines just for this. She said, the simple cure that you have to do is eat cranberry, have cranberry juice, have cranberry supplements. And the other thing she said was Azo. If you think you have UTI like symptoms, she said, you get the test trips from the CVS and you test it out, if you think you have a reflex or if it is positive, just try with Azo. Azo's kind of over the counter medicine. So when you drink it reacts on your body and you know it cleans out all of your urinary tract. So she said you follow this for a couple of days, and if you still see the symptom doesn't become better, then you can go back to the hospital. She said that even if you are absolutely fine and you give your urine for culture, they will definitely find out something. So there's always good bacteria and bad bacteria in your system and it might not always match with all of the tests. Sometimes it will come out negative, sometimes it will come positive. So until and otherwise it doesn't harm you in a significant way, you don't have to go treat it. And that's when I thought, Ok what's going on and I wasn't very convinced by what the doctor said, Okay, I'm going through all of this trouble and this doctor says just have supplements.

And then I met with another friend who is a PCP in another good hospital here, because I was always hesitant to talk about these matters to close friends. So I went to her and I showed all my reports. The moment she saw the report she said, this is nothing you didn't have to worry about it. I said, no but they said E.coli is dangerous….she said five out of ten patients come with the same problem, I'm giving medicine for all of this and I didn't even have to worry about it. And, the other tip she said was, that there are always good and bad bacteria living in your system, so you need to watch out which soaps you use, body wash you use in your body. She said you cannot use very heavy strong soaps especially in your private area, because there are always bacteria living there, so you should not be using harsh soaps. That was one of the tips, you said. And then she said the same thing, to use cranberry. Well, it was kind of both of them are very experienced, fifty plus year female doctors. Both of their suggestions are almost similar. Okay, let me try this out. That's when I tried it out. This was in 2018. When I got the cold and cough again, I tried out all of these measures and I was feeling better. I mean, like, I just started constantly looking at what I was eating. What was my [...] At that point of time, what could cause the UTI. It was sometimes travel, sometimes it was cold and cough, many different scenarios where I was getting the UTI. So I started keeping the cranberry and Azo handy with me, I'd have it for a couple of days and I would always feel better. So I stopped going back to the hospital at that point. Since then in 2018, I had no issues and I was feeling better after that.

And in 2019, it was very interesting that a couple of my friends had come home. And it was winter in December timeframe, so it was like, really cold and snowing. We wanted to have something warm and I had made Sukku Kapi, is what we call it in India. It's basically dry ginger. It's tea made with dry ginger, So I made it. It's like flavoured water and it's warm and really nice to drink. So we had it two to three times, when they were home, you know, and two days later, one of my friends was saying like I have to go to the hospital. I have UTI, like symptoms. Then another friend who came, she was actually a doctor from Australia. So she said, you know, it could be because we had a lot of ginger tea. Why don't you drink a cup of cold milk and you should feel better. And she drank a cup of cold milk in the morning and afternoon and she saw it was kind of getting better.

Back then, I think what happened to me, and all the scenarios that happened to me, was because I tried a lot of home cures that I wanted to follow. I tried a lot of ginger tea and green tea, but it was all new to my body, because I don't drink that very often. But what I had when I had the cold and cough was excessively high, on top of that I am also introducing all the foreign tablets and antibiotics, too many things in my body. It's basically increasing the heat of the body, excessive heat of the body is actually causing UTI like symptoms. It's not really a UTI. But you know, whenever we see a different color or when you have a burning sensation, immediately we think it's UTI, but it is not. It's all the food that I had. If I think back definitely the reason why I was getting so many UTIs was because consistently I was drinking ginger tea for the whole course, when I had cold and cough, because I wanted the cold and cough to go away. But, no doctor, could have found out that is the root cause. So in summary, these are the lessons learnt and, you know, that helped me last couple of years. I would say like, this is 2020 so far, since 2020 and 2019 also it was kind of okay.

But I learnt, looking back, all of the lessons learnt, I definitely think most of what you eat is the problem first of all, so watch out. It's not that Iam going to eat something today and I will have UTI tomorrow. It will take a course of time. Its the thing that you ate and what are the different things that you tried that could cause a UTI. And of course, all of these handle things together. You know, I'm feeling much better now. So one is to reduce excessive heat in your body, always drink milk or buttermilk is really really good for your health, if you can drink that. It helped me a lot. And the second one is yoghurt. It is basically an active culture and helps your immune system. The store bought ones are okay, but you know now they're putting a lot of preservatives and added flavors and all sugars. So I would really recommend eating yoghurt, that was one of the recommendations from one of the doctors, you get the culture from Amazon, mix it with milk and make your own home made yoghurt. That would be really, really good to improve your immune system. And lastly, you know, the kids, they bring in a lot of germs and bacterias from school, but since they have a good immunity system, they fight it. But, I being a 42 year old woman, I'm not able to fight against it. So we need to have healthy hygiene [practices] at home. Just to stay a little away from them, when they have a cold and cough. I always buy organic stuff for them, when they waste it I feel bad. So instead, you are tempted to go and eat it up. Fine, it's so expensive, why would I waste it. But the moment, I did that once and it happened to me as well. I just, you know, made something very nice for my daughter, she wouldn't eat it. She just took one spoon and then she just left it. Then I thought what is going to happen and then I had it. And three days later, and my cold started again. So maintaining healthy hygiene habits at home, kind of helped in a big way and definitely prevention is better than cure. These are some of the precautions that I took at home, which is like very much reducing the UTI now.

And the other main thing is cranberry is always very good for your health. Cranberry can be had in any form, dried cranberries, you just include it in oatmeal or cereal. It's like very, very good. I give it to my kids and have it myself too. And especially in winter, when we get fresh cranberries I just put a handful of cranberries in anything that I cook, whether its soup or rice, it gives a nice coloured flavour. All that kind of really helps. And then I moved from the PCP, that was one of the lessons learnt. For all these female related problems, I think we should go to a female doctor and not a male doctor, because of the experiences right. Not all the doctors... I would say, you know they treat the symptoms. But they dont look into the root cause. They should have had experience looking into similar cases, the same [...] they can suggest. Especially in my case the PCP I went to, the male doctor did not have any experience at all in this [he just looked at the books and gave his answer..] the other three female doctors whom I went to, they had experience in UTI cases and the advice they gave really helped me a lot. I really panicked a lot, I thought I am going to die because of UTI, something's going to happen. It was very tough during that time. But now I am feeling really better. I just thought I should share this with all of you and the best practices that will help you in your day to day life.