I would like to share this Google review from Just For Tummies customer, Carol, who had begun to think that her recurrent UTIs were simply a symptom of her age. While age may increase the risk of UTIs, so much can be done to help reduce and prevent symptoms in the first place, including regular probiotic supplementation. Here’s what Carol had to say about our For Women probiotic capsules:
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) aren’t just a nuisance in the senior population – they can cause serious health problems. A UTI occurs when bacteria in the urethra, bladder or kidneys multiply in the urine. Left untreated, a UTI can lead to acute or chronic kidney infections, which could permanently damage these vital organs and even lead to kidney failure. UTIs are also a leading cause of sepsis, an extreme and potentially life-threatening response to an infection.
Seniors are more vulnerable for many reasons, including their overall susceptibility to infections due to a weakened immune system. As you get older, your immune response changes; it’s part of normal ageing, but it can be helped by supplementing with strain-specific probiotics like lactobacillus reuteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus, found in our For Women capsules and Live Bacteria capsules and which have been shown to help reduce UTIs. Here’s a scientific abstract on this subject.
I often recommend a Live Bacteria capsule before breakfast and a For Women capsule before bed to target stubborn UTIs.
The following conditions can make older individuals more susceptible to UTIs:
- Urine retention (weakening of the bladder and pelvic floor muscles can lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and incontinence). Read more about how to manage pelvic floor issues in my very informative blog post and video chat with highly experienced pelvic physio, Lizzie Smith here.
- Use of a urinary catheter
- Bowel incontinence (types of bacteria that are normally found in stool, such as E. coli, are commonly responsible for UTIs)
- Urinary incontinence
- Enlarged prostate
- Immobility (for example, those who must lie in bed for extended periods of time)
- Surgery of any area around the bladder
- Kidney stones
People with incontinence are at an increased risk for UTIs because of the close contact that adult briefs and other incontinence products have with their skin. While these products can help contain messes and prevent embarrassment associated with accidents, they can also introduce bacteria into the urethra. Women are more prone to UTIs because the female urethra is much shorter, allowing bacteria to travel to the bladder more easily.
The following lifestyle and personal hygiene changes can significantly reduce a senior’s risk of developing a UTI.
- Drink plenty of fluids – aim for two litres of water each day
- Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol, which irritate the bladder
- Do not douche or use other feminine hygiene products
- After visiting the loo, always wipe from front to back (for women)
- If incontinence is not an issue, wear breathable cotton underwear and change at least once a day
- Change soiled incontinence briefs promptly and frequently
- Keep the genital area clean and dry
If you are unsure about a health issue or would like advice on a supplementation protocol, please get in touch.