Is drinking Cranberry juice to prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTI’s) just a myth?

This Article provides some insight into Urinary Tract Infections, and the debate as to whether Cranberry Juice helps with UTI’s! We will also cover the risk factors, complications and most importantly the treatment options available.

For those people who are living with a long term indwelling catheter and CAUTI (catheter associated urinary tract infections) a breakthrough treatment is now available to safeguard you against many of the complications you can experience.

Urinary tract infections can be very serious for anyone but especially if you have an indwelling catheter.  UTI’s are caused by bacteria that enter the urethra (the urethra is a duct that moves urine out of the bladder) and infect a part of the urinary tract. They can also affect the bladder or even progress to the kidney, causing more serious problems.

Causes of UTI’s

  • Pregnancy
  • Conditions that block the urinary tract – such as kidney stones
  • Conditions that make it difficult to fully empty the bladder – such as an enlarged prostate gland in men and constipation in children
  • Urinary catheters (a tube in your bladder used to drain urine)
  • Having a weakened immune system – for example, from type 2 diabetes, chemotherapy or HIV

Symptoms of a UTI

  • Burning during urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Blood in your urine
  • Abdominal cramping

Women are more likely than men to get a UTI because of the location and structure of their urethra.   If you have two or more confirmed infections within six months, doctors label this as a “recurrent infection.”

UTI’s can be dangerous

It’s important to pay attention to the symptoms of your UTI and seek medical advice to avoid complications. One possible complication occurs when the infection moves into your kidneys and causes a kidney infection. Those symptoms may include fever, chills, lower back pain, nausea, or vomiting, and require prompt medical attention.

Preventing infections is where the debate starts.

The benefit of consuming Cranberry Juice for a UTI:

UTI’s are traditionally treated with antibiotics, but antibiotic resistance is a real problem so cranberry juice may be an alternative for people who are repeatedly prescribed antibiotics.  Drinking cranberry juice on a regular basis may help them prevent their next infection

If you have symptoms of a UTI, it’s important to contact your doctor. Besides getting appropriate treatment, you should be examined to determine the underlying reason for any repeated infections.

Natural remedies:

  • a supplement called D-mannose (a type of sugar)
  • cranberry juice or tablets
  • a probiotic called lactobacillus

Research does suggest that D-mannose might help prevent UTIs in women who are not pregnant.

These compounds prevent bacteria from sticking to the lining of the urethra and mucosa in the urinary tract, which prevents bacteria from infecting the tissue.

Be aware though that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar and its not clear if cranberry products or lactobacillus help.

Side effects of Cranberry juice

Some research has found that cranberry juice may interact with certain medications. One concern is that cranberries may intensify the effects of a blood thinners e.g. warfarin.  Research on other drugs is less consistent. Preliminary research, however, suggests the possibility of interactions between cranberries and:

  • cyclosporine
  • flurbiprofen
  • diclofenac
  • amoxicillin
  • cefaclor
  • midazolam
  • tizanidine

People taking these drugs, or any other medications should talk to a doctor before using cranberry juice. It may be necessary to monitor the doses and effects on medications rather than avoiding cranberry juice entirely.

Studies For & Against

For- A review of studies, published in 2017 in the Journal of Urology, found that consuming cranberry products reduced the risk of UTI’s by up to 33 percent. The cranberry products seemed especially effective for those who had recurring infections.

Against – Cochrane Collaboration has a new widely reported study that found, overall cranberry products did not reduce the occurrence of UTIs, such as cystitis, when compared with placebo, water or no treatment at all.

Indwelling Catheters and UTI (CAUTI)

Catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients.  Urinary catheters readily acquire biofilms after insertion and the longer your catheter remains in place, the greater is the tendency for the formation of biofilms (the bacteria adhering to your catheter surface) resulting in urinary tract infections. The established biofilm is highly resistant to antibiotics and to your body’s immune system.

The UroShield is intended to prevent bacterial biofilm formation by generating acoustic waves on the inner and outer surfaces of your catheter. The waves interfere with the attachment of bacteria (which is the initial step in biofilm formation) and increase antibiotic efficacy against biofilm bacteria.

The devise is low-energy, battery powered, and is designed for use on the outside of any type of urinary catheter, silicone or latex (urethral or suprapubic).  The UroShield is intended to minimize bacterial adhesion and colonization on the catheter surfaces.

  • The UroShield can be used with urinary catheters sized 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, or 22 French.
  • Replace the Actuator monthly at the time of catheter replacement.

The same acoustic waves that mitigate against biofilm formation on the catheter also reduces the friction between the catheter and the patient’s internal tissues. This decreases the pain, discomfort and spasm associated with indwelling urinary catheters.

Please refer to our product information page for more detailed information on UroShield.  Please contact our customer service team for any further questions or to order your device on: 0208 773 7844