UTIs

  1. UTIs could be triggered by supermarket chicken germs

    The unexpected cause of UTIs… and how to STOP it!

    Ladies, you know how it goes.

    One day, everything is just fine. You feel great!

    Then, it hits you -- that telltale hint of pain that lets you know another agonizing battle with a urinary tract infection is coming.

    And this time, the source might surprise you.

    It’s your chicken dinner!

    Many UTIs are caused by the E. coli bacteria, a germ that’s commonly found in raw poultry, especially chicken.

    But for years, scientists have insisted that the germs on your retail rooster were a different kind of E. coli, incapable of causing urinary tract infections.

    Well... they were wrong!

    New research finds that those chicken germs are a lot more dangerous than we’ve been led to believe.

    An Arizona research team found THE SAME FORM of E. coli on 80 percent of supermarket chicken from major chains -- the same chicken often shipped regionally or nationwide.

    In other words, you might find it in your own local supermarket.

    The study also shows how quickly and easily this strain of bacteria makes the jump to humans, turning up in 72 percent of the UTI patients tested.

    This doesn’t mean that the chicken was the cause of the infection in all of those cases -- or even most of them -- because you can get E. coli from a number of places.

    But it’s certainly a suspect in at least some of those infections.

    Fortunately, you can fight back. There’s a surefire way to prevent these infections, and all you have to do is cook your meat to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, which kills the germs.

    If you’ve been doing it for years, you might cook without a thermometer. You go by cooking time… the color of the meat… if the juices are clear… or just plain instinct.

    But if that’s how you do it, it might be time to buy a meat thermometer and double-check.

    These germs are getting stronger, tougher to treat, and harder to beat.

    And along with causing UTIs, E. coli can enter your bloodstream and cause infections elsewhere.

    Many of the germs in meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and pork can also cause other infections -- especially food poisoning, another condition that’s getting harder to beat and turning deadly in some cases.

    A decent food thermometer costs less than $10, and even a fancy one isn’t all that expensive these days. Consider it a small investment that could save you from major misery.

  2. Probiotics work as well as drugs at warding off UTIs

    Probiotics match drugs for UTI prevention

    With all the attention given to antibiotic overuse, you'd think docs would have gotten the message by now and started to cut back.

    Wrong.

    They're still giving these meds out left and right -- and women prone to urinary infections are often given a never-ending supply of the drugs as a "preventive" measure.

    But as the unmistakable burning sensation that marks the start of yet another infection shows, these "preventive" drugs don't actually prevent the infections.

    They can reduce the number of UTIs, but there are much safer ways to get the same results, starting with natural probiotics.

    In one new study, the probiotics Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 cut the average number of annual infections in half -- from 7 at the start of the study down to 3.3 after a year of supplements.

    Women in the same study given a daily dose of the antibiotic co-trimoxazole every day for that year brought their infections down from seven to 2.9. But in return for that tiny benefit -- just 0.4 fewer infections a year -- the women were quietly breeding their own microscopic army of superbugs.

    Tests on the women taken at the start of the study found that between 20 percent and 40 percent of E. coli samples were resistant to meds. After a year of antibiotics, that number shot up to as much as 95 percent.

    Among those on probiotics, on the other hand, the number of resistant samples actually fell slightly.

    In addition, antibiotics can cause stomach pain and diarrhea, and women who take them can even develop yeast infections. That's like trading one infection for another -- and that's never a very good tradeoff in my book.

    To me, it's no contest -- probiotics are the clear winner here. The urinary tract contains these friendly bacteria-fighting bugs, which increase your resistance to infection. And if you're prone to UTIs yourself, be sure to combine these natural gut-friendly bacteria with plenty of cranberry.

    I know cranberry is often dismissed as folk medicine, but science shows that this stuff is all "medicine" and no "folk" -- because cranberry can actually prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.

    If they can't stick, you don't get sick. One study even found that 500 mg of cranberry extract in capsule form worked as well as the antibiotic trimethoprim in women with a history of UTIs.

    Bear in mind that most cranberry drinks -- I hesitate to even call them "juice" --contain a lot sugar and precious little cranberry. If you can't handle the unsweetened juice, get your cranberry in supplement form.

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