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Cath and get a uti? Check your immune system.

Well well well. SO many years and no uti....and WHAM! Yep, got one.

Talked to the Urologist and she asked if I had quit taking vitamin c, how much I was drinking, etc...NOT am I cathing wrong. She noted that when you self cath there is ALWAYS bacteria present. What caused my bacteria to go nuts is the flu...ugh...haven't been that sick in a long time.

Turns out she said that apparently I had quit taking vitamin c, cranberry and other immune systme boosters and had slacked off on how much I was drinking. She was right on. She said this allowed the bacteria to "have a party" and go crazy. She really wasn't too concerned and said let's go with antibiotics and get it cleared up. Only if it does not clear up or if it comes back will we worry something's wrong.

SO, in short, keep your immune system up. THIS seems to be where uti start from when you self cath...NOT so much catheter induced infection necessarily.

Just thought I'd share.

Hope this helps someone.

Brian in Kentucky
One of the Moderators

Re: Cath and get a uti? Check your immune system.


It is funny you posted about keeping your immune system up.

When I started to self-cath I had three UTI's in three months with quite height counts.
With my disease I take a blood product by IV every three weeks and it last for four days it is called IVIg. This is supposed to mess my immune system up so it dose not attach the nerves, that is my problem or neuropathy is your immune system destroys the Millen sheath that covers the nerve.

I just had blood work done by another doctor ho did the blood test not my family doctor it was a Arthritis doctor and he complained my weight count was way down and in my case that is what the IVIg is supposed to do.

I don’t know how often you cath but I am only doing it three times a day but what about the other 4 to 6 times when my bladder fills to the limit and lets go with out warning which is somewhere around 1000cc way over normal.

My Arthritis doctor says I should be cathing every three to four hours apart or use a indwelling catheter. He says there is a lot of risk with an indwelling or Foley cath I know I have used them on many occasions.
One problem with my problem is I can not urinate on command my bladder emptey when it wants to.
I see my urologist next week and I have a list of questions that need answering before the Arthritis can help me if he can.

If you don’t think I am getting to personal what type of catheter do you use, by this I mean this is just a straight and you catch the urine in a container.
Or is it a complete closed system where it comes sealed in a sterile kit with everything needed to cath from sterile rubber gloves iodine prep a sterile under pad and the catheter is inside a sterile bag. You do this as a sterile procedure off one end of the bag there is a inch long tub you insert into the urethra then the catheter is inside the bag and you have to feed it through the tip while the catheter is in the bag up into your bladder. The bag then becomes a collection bag you never touch the catheter or anything that goes into you.

The kits I use are from Rusch and so far since I have been using them I had no problems.

I have to thank you for setting me looking for something better and this is what my urologist came up with.

Now the down side of all this life saving stuff they cost for a 30 day supply $750 this is the gorse amount. I can go up to 200 kits a month by insurance standards.

Are we having fun yet?
We are going to Disney World in about three weeks and I can’t imagine doing all this cathing in a small public restroom and taking that many catheters with me but then I will take two cases of briefs also.

I do have to admit cathing like this is not that bad but it is shore time consuming but I can not image doing it 24/7 every three hours..

Take care

Re: Cath and get a uti? Check your immune system.

Good Morning Lyle! :)

Wow, seems like the IVIg would really mess with you getting UTI. This was a new experience for me as I NEVER get UTI My urologist wasn't worried. Her attitude is she's surprised I don't get more and that as long as they stay at one or LESS per year to not even worry about it. I'm currently looking into homeopathic ways to prevent/treat them if I get them in the future.

I pay out of pocket for my caths, diapers, etc.. Let me tell you already's no small expense!! I have found a couple or few people who use the same caths I do whose insurance pays for them who end up with a huge overstock and they sell them to me very cheaply compared to what I would pay retail. I just got a new job (police/ems/fire 911 dispatch) and it comes with full medical insurance. YEAH!!! Not sure how much they'll pay for caths and/or diapers but anything will be a huge help.

Anyway, I cath three times per day. Right now, getting rid of this uti (thank God for Macrobid) I am cathing every 4 hours and downing a TON of fluid...primarily water or unsweetened cranberry juice. The caths I use are the Coloplast Self Cath Plus straight tip. They are regular caths without a collection bag. To lubricate them you pour water into the cath package and let it soak for 30 seconds. They get slick enough they are hard to hold onto! When at home I cath straight into the toilet. If my urologist wants me to measure my urine for some reason I cath into a urinal. Usually she doesn't though.

When I travel I use either the LoFric Cath kit (which is just a LoFric Catheter in a sterile collection bag you add water to) or the LoFric Hydro Kit, which is the catheter in a collection bag with a sterile water packet in it for soaking the cath, sterile gloves, an underpad and swabs. These kits are great for travel when one can't be certain about germs.

I tried the kits you're talking about hat have the insertion tip (a VERY good idea!) but I had a problem with not being able to keep the cath straight with the tip inserted and it would scrape the urethra and draw blood. So, I quit using the ones with the insertion tip and have had no problems since. I do not use sterile technique. I use clean technique which consists of scrubbing my hands with antibacterial soap for a minute, rinsing with hot water (hot as I can stand) filling the cath package with water, and washing my penis and hands again with an antibacterial wipe. Then I cath and then wipe off with an antibacterial wipe as well. So far this has worked great until I got this darned flu! :( Oh well...

I am so glad I could help you out! :) I am relatively new to cathing myself. Never have all my life but as I've gotten older my urinary system has changed and it became needed to make SURE I was empty all the way at least twice a day. I wear diapers full time as my bladder does empty without my knowledge/control. So, in that I"m in the same boat as you. My difference is my bladder empties at about 5 or 6 oz (180 to 200 cc) and then I dribble all the time. You're right, cathing isn't so bad. Had you told me that a few years ago I'd have told you you were NUTS. Like I told my urologist though...I wish hospitals used the coated caths when they are cathing you or teaching you to cath yourself. Heck, I would not have fought my urologist on cathing so long if they did! The coated caths are NOWHERE near as bad as the uncoated ones you put lubricant on.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. Those are my thoughts. Have fun at Disney! :)

One of the Moderators

Re: Cath and get a uti? Check your immune system.


Believe me you are not rambling I learn something new every time you post.

In my case I was using a Foley catheter for almost two months and not one UTI in fact I never had a UTI in my life even though I been incontinent a good deal of it.
The UTI's started when they had me self-cath and reusing the same catheter using the clean method. I even went thought it with a therapist and I was doing everything correct but the UTI's continued. Then through your post and a reading on the net I went to my urologist talked to him and the next thing I know I doing a sterile cath now for two months now no infections knock on wood.

My insurance doses pay for the catheters but not the diapers and you know how expensive they are. I figure we spend between $2000 to $2500 a year out of pocket I usually order six cases at a time.
The only way they will pay for diapers is if you are house bound and have a caregiver come in on a regular bases. I third to fight this but lost I just glad they pay for the catheter kit’s.

I do have a feeling though my urologist is going to either want me to cath every three to four hours apart 24/7 or go back to a Foley catheter 24/7.

Yes I do cath three times a day and depending when I lose my I am cathing be between 150cc to 1500cc and considering I use between four to six diapers a day I can only get one wetting using a Molicare means I holding a lot of urine most of the time.
I am not like you I only drip after cathing but just for maybe for 10mins I usually flood and I mean flood.

As for helping to stop infections I heard if you eat yogurt it will help and cranberry juice.
I have a unique problem my throat is partially paralyzed and I have a Schatzki’s Ring in my throat which I just has stretched out yesterday and they looked in my stomach for problems all came back good. But anyhow my main intake of fluids is Diets Pepsi caffeine free believes it or not I am prescribed this it is supposed to help food go down and help the throat.
But I also drink cranberry juice and other drinks and like you I do drink a lot. The trouble with having many doctors they don’t agree with everything another doctor are doing.

Good luck on your new job

Re: Cath and get a uti? Check your immune system.

Vitamin C (= ascorbic acid) and Coca Cola (phosphoric acid) are quite a good idea for cath users because, no magic in this, they tend to keep the urine acid. The most common UTI bugs prefer it alkaline - so get the pH down and stop their fun.