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Thread: recurring UTIs

  1. #1
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    Unhappy recurring UTIs

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    I'm relieved to hear I'm not the only cyclist who struggles with UTIs since my doctors have always insisted there is no correlation between cycling and UTIs. Here's my current issue. I have the butterfly saddle, do all the urinate before, after, during. I drink tons of water. I used to get UTIs all the time and then I started doing a low-dose antibiotic, which seemed to clear things up. Now, sadly, I am getting UTIs from taking a spin class--that lasts about 50 minutes. After four hours on the bike, I'd come to expect them, but after 50 minutes on the spin bike???? Any suggestions? Can you contract a UTI from someone else via a bike seat? Is there any chance that the pad inside my gear (always newly cleaned) could somehow cause this?

  2. #2
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    There are probably plenty of people who would be happy to weigh in on this topic; however, this is your first and only post and especially with a rather delicate subject matter, you might have trouble getting people to respond.

    So - Welcome to TE! It's always a good idea to introduce yourself on the "getting to know you" thread (marked as a sticky in open topic - cycling related).
    Sarah

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  3. #3
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    It probably has more to do with how much you are drinking vs how much you are sweating out IMHO. You might go to a doctor (a different one) for a problem like this.
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  4. #4
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    If you irritate things (and cycling can irritate, particularly if your saddle is not quite right), you set up pathways to infection (consider--scratch healthy skin and you might not even see a reaction; scratch dry irritated skin and it leaves a mark and may get infected). Yes, lots of water, shower right away, keep the shorts clean (hot water and a non-perfumed, preferably hypoallergenic cleaning agent) but also drink cranberry juice. 8oz every day.

    Cranberry and blueberry have compounds that can reduce the number of bacteria that will hang around in the bladder and cause infection. http://www.drmirkin.com/women/1335.html Years and years ago a nurse practitioner at a health clinic taught me about cranberry juice. Best advice I ever received. Some of us, due to anatomical variation, are just more prone to UTIs.
    Last edited by Thorn; 04-28-2009 at 06:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    The way my doc explained it to me is that once you get a UTI, the beasties that caused it try to find homes in the nooks and crannies to colonize. Then they hide there until you stop taking the antibiotics. Meanwhile the ones that survive in these hidden places are slowly developing resistance to the drugs. Then when you stop taking the drugs, they are fruitful and multiply, much to your pain and discomfort. Then if you hit them again with the antibiotics, you kill off all the weak slow ones and only the strong survive, hiding away in their colonies, waiting for the coast to be clear again.

    If you really want to hammer the beasties setting up house in your urinary tract, take Vitamin C.

    I suffered from repeated UTIs for years, to the point where I have so much scarring that they have difficulty catheterizing. I'm pretty sure the last time I had surgery they had to go to a ped's catheter. I know they had trouble finding one small enough to get past the scar tissue.

    I wasn't even riding a bike, I was a runner back then.

    Then my doc told me to take 2000 mg of Vitamin C a day, I think for a month? Anyway it doesn't hurt to take that much because it's water soluble and washes right out. And at that dosage, it REALLY super-acidifies things on the way out.

    I've had ONE, count it, ONE UTI in the 25 years since then. And I had so many of them before that by the time I was 23 or 24 I had actually developed an allergy to Pyridium.

    If I even think I feel like maybe there might be a UTI coming on - and even this has only happened once or twice in 25 years - I break out the Vitamin C and nip it in the bud. Only one full-blown UTI in that time.
    By charity, goodness, restraint, and self-control men and woman alike can store up a well-hidden treasure -- a treasure which cannot be given to others and which robbers cannot steal. A wise person should do good. That is the treasure that cannot be lost.
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  6. #6
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    If you're getting on the bike in the morning before your shower, sponge bathe your nether parts - all of them - before putting your shorts on.

    +1 on cranberry juice.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    I was getting uti's apparently because I was unable to completely empty my bladder.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
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  8. #8
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    Have you actually tested positive for a UTI or do you "just" have symptoms of one? It's possible that what you're feeling is superficial irritation of your uretha. you might train a pain reliever like Uristat if that's the case.

    If you are actually getting UTIs from spinning, I'd second the Vitamin C. Wear clean shorts and get out of them as soon as you're done with class. Empty your bladder before and after class.

    I have recurring UTIs but they're not from cycling. The same preventions apply. You want to discourage the bacteria from
    moving up your uretha to your bladder and to create an inhospitable environment for the bacteria, either with antibiotics, Vitamin C or cranberry. Take then at bedtime for the best results.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  9. #9
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    Mar 2009
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    Cranberry all the way!

    I've had a few of those things and cranberry always helps the most.

    Don't bother with the fake ocean spray types of cranberry juices, if you look at the ingredients, there's hardly any actual juice in those at all. Get something that says it actually contains large amounts of real juice in it. I always forego bottled juice and just squish up some cranberries myself, or eat them whole.

    Another thing that really helps in terms of cranberry is concentrated cranberry pills that you can get at any health foods store.

    I guess if antibiotics are not working properly then all you can do is keep yourself and your shorts as clean as possible, and try some of these hollistic approaches. but I can see how a combination of sweat and things rubbing together might create an attractive home for those horrible little bacteriums!

  10. #10
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    Please do not use antibiotics as prevention. You are paving the way for a nice, antibiotic-resistant infectoin.

    The irritation idea struck me - are you leaning too much on your urethra, rubbing it against the saddle or fabric?

    (Definitely can't catch it from a spin bike seat, but possibly from an infested pad...)
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  11. #11
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    +1 on Vitamin C and/or Cranberry juice. If it takes hold I use Azo's for a few days in addition to the Vitamin C.
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  12. #12
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    I wouldn't really worry too much about the chamois - the bacteria are there all the time, it's imbalances and vulnerabilities in your immune system and the particular tissues that allow an infection to develop - but the best way to sanitize a chamois is to dry your shorts outdoors in the sun.


    ETA: to echo what Indysteel and Alpinerabbit said, are you getting tested each time you have symptoms of a UTI? If all you have is frequent urination (and I DO know how awful that can be all by itself), perhaps you're drinking too much water without replacing electrolytes? taking another medication that causes spastic bladder? simply responding to stress?

    Have you been evaluated for interstitial cystitis?
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 04-29-2009 at 05:25 AM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
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    I've had a nightmare of UTIs since August. I think had one almost every month for about six months. I did finally go on a preventative dose of antibiotics. The persistent feeling of either having an UTI or feeling like I was about to get a UTI was absolutely draining. I tried cranberry tablets, Vitamin C, copious amounts of water, peeing after sex, peeing before sex. Nothing worked.

    When I finally visited a urologist, he explained that the bladder is a very sensitive organ. A low dose of antibiotics, taken nightly, can give the bladder a chance to fully heal. He was right on that count. I started that therapy in February and haven't had one since. The downside, however, is that the first antibiotic he prescribed--Macrodantin--caused some bad side effects. They don't occur in all people, but for those that can't tolerate the drug--the side effects can be quite serious. I'm tolerating the second drug--Proloprim--a lot better. It's not quite as effective, so I'm also taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C each night, too. Plus, yeast infections are more common.

    I was only supposed to be on the antibiotic for four months. From there, I'm not sure what we'll do if they recur. While the drugs have worked, I feel very uneasy about taking them.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    I'm not trying to be a buttinsky, but I would note that the dose of Vitamin C you're taking - 1000mg per day - is half what my doc had me taking when I had this problem.

    I was taking 2000mg every day, in ONE dose all at the same time, for at least a month. Taking it longer than that wouldn't hurt.

    Just food for thought, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet.
    By charity, goodness, restraint, and self-control men and woman alike can store up a well-hidden treasure -- a treasure which cannot be given to others and which robbers cannot steal. A wise person should do good. That is the treasure that cannot be lost.
    - Khuddhaka Patha

    The word of God comes down to man as rain to soil, and the result is mud, not clear water
    - The Sufi Junayd



  15. #15
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    Another fan of cranberry juice here, and I prefer the 100% unsweetened cranberry juice. Maybe you could even dilute some into your water for your ride.

 

 

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