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Nov 12, 2015

Healthy Living and Urinary Tract Infections

Healthy Living is back tonight after a hiatus. And in the following segment, we look at what is called UTIs; that’s the abbreviation for Urinary Tract Infections. It’s not a life-threatening infection, but it is one that is common among women. Doctor Daniel Godinez explains the source and treatment for UTIs.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Urinary tract infections – or UTIs – are the second most common infections in humans, second only to respiratory infections. If you’re a woman, it is said that we are ten times more likely to develop UTIs than men; simply based on our anatomy. Internist, Doctor Daniel Godinez explains.


Daniel Godinez

Dr. Daniel Godinez, Internist/Intensivist

“UTI are caused by bacteria and the most common bacteria that cause the infection are bacteria that live normally in the area near the urinary tract or from the colon. In the case of woman, that area is always contaminated and so close to the urinary tract that that facilitates the infection on them. In the case of men the most common reason they develop Urinary infections is because of prosthetic problems and so that is something that happens; usually after the age of forty when the prostheses starts growing and make it more difficult for urine to pass. Also another common reason for urinary infections in men is the presence of stones – kidney stones – also a very common issue in Belize. Typically we divide urinary tract infections in two big groups: lower UTI which affect the bladder and the tubing taking the urine out of the bladder and what we call upper urinary tract infect that affect the kidney. Urinary tract infections, the lower ones are much more common than the upper ones.”


Upper urinary tract infections may be less common, but are also more serious.

Dr. Daniel Godinez

“Many times when UTI are nnot treated the patient can develop complication due to that. For example a person with a lower UTI may develop an upper UTI meaning that germs that were in the bladder move all the way upwards to the kidney and then you develop another infection which typically include fever. And the upper UTI are more serious. Also urinary infections that are left untreated can become chronic and recurrent and we do know from studies that patients who have recurrent UTIs end up having kidney disease such as chronic kidney failure.”


This is why the recommendation is that you should properly diagnose and treat all UTIs. The main symptom is feeling a constant urge to pee, burning or stinging pain when you pee, and lower belly or back pain. Testing for a UTI involves a simple urine test; and once diagnosed a doctor will prescribe antibiotics.


Dr. Daniel Godinez

“There are many antibiotics we can use, but another reason why a patient should make sure that what he or she has is urinary tract infection is that the persons doesn’t want to be using an antibiotic unnecessarily due to the risk of resistance. It may work in the beginning, but if you keep doing that repeatedly, you will end up with a nasty bug that doesn’t respond to antibiotics.”


There are several recommendations on preventing UTIs: some are as a simple as using the bathroom when you need to, hydrating and even a bit of bathroom 101.


Dr. Daniel Godinez

“Women many times they are trying to wipe from back to front, but when you do that you unwitting contaminate the genitals and urinary tract and that is definitely going to cause an infection. So the really should clean themselves from front to back. One of the easiest way that you can clean away bacteria that may end in the urinary tract is literally or physically washing them out. And in this case, drinking plenty water will facilitate that. Something that has been recommended also is drinking things like cranberry juice or anything else that acidifies the urine since bacteria has problems growing in acidic urines. Some also recommend coconut water as a cleansing agent of the urinary track. And that works.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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