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Please help! 10yo with recurrent UTIs and endless antibiotics

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am about to pull my hair out.  My 10 year old has had 7 rounds of antibiotics in the last year for recurrent UTIs.  The only symptom she ever has is she'll wet the bed.  Then I take her in for a urine culture, they prescribe antibiotics, it clears up for a couple months, then we start all over again. 

 

They've lectured her about proper wiping techniques, drinking more fluids, using the bathroom more frequently, and on and on.  She's been tested and passed at a urologist's.  With every round of antibiotics her appetite gets worse, she's increasingly picky, she complains of stomach aches, nothing tastes good, she takes two bites and declares she's full, etc.

 

I know the antibiotics are destroying her gut flora.  After every round I give her yogurt (we have a cow so lots of yogurt and raw milk products) and kombucha.  She just finished her last prescription and I just read that yogurt doesn't have enough probiotics so I ordered some expensive probiotic drops.  I'm picking them up today.  But I just went in her room and she's wet the bed again. 

 

So it's back to the doc's and I'm sure another round of abx.  Ugh!!!!!!!!!!  Is there any way off this treadmill?  Last time I tried to treat it naturally and it went into her kidneys and she got a bad kidney infection.  They were about to hospitalize her but finally decided not to.  Instead they injected antibiotics into both her thighs which was an unbelievable horror for both of us. 

 

I am so sick of the antibiotics I could scream.  She's looking very pale and very thin. 

 

Does anybody have any experience or advice for me?

post #2 of 19

DW suffered from frequent UTI's as a baby and small child.  They found out it was some sort of a defect with the tubes that ran from her kidneys to her bladder, I believe.  She had surgery to replace them, and she was much better afterwards.  She has always avoided drinking soda and bubble baths because of this issue.  I have heard cranberry juice is good as prevention, but not as a cure.  Grapefruit seed extract may also be used as a preventative.  These are the only things that come to mind.  I'm sorry she is feeling so badly, and I hope she is able to find some relief soon.

post #3 of 19

I would look into food allergies and then possibly IgA level.

post #4 of 19
I would strongly recommend D-mannose powder taken daily as a preventitive. The Now Foods brand is very effective and you can get it cheap at iherb and Amazon.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies.  I went to amazon and read hundreds of reviews on the D Mannose products.  That was eye opening.  So many people suffer from the same problem and found relief with the D Mannose.  We're going to try that, along with cranberry pills.  (Ironically, I canned 200 jars of cranberry sauce last fall but she won't touch the stuff.)

 

We've already done the ultrasound and urology testing to make sure it's not a structural defect.  I don't think it's allergy related or IgA but I will keep that in mind if the mannose doesn't pan out for her.  Thank you for the suggestions.

 

One other interesting thing I learned from reading about D Mannose is that UTIs are associated with acidic urine.  Some people are just more prone to have acidic urine.  So we are going to address that by giving her kombucha and apple cider vinegar.  Also I'm buying a juicer and will start giving her juices made with leafy greens.  Plus a good mineral supplement.

 

Thanks so much for the help.  At least I have hope now. 

Wouldn't you think in the two years we've been seeing doctors ONE of them might've mentioned D Mannose?  Cuss.gif That could have saved her so much pain and me so much heartache and stress.

post #6 of 19
I think you're on the right track. I hope the D-mannose works well for her. My DD had a UTI @ 11 mo old. It was horrible! We saw a nephrologist, but she said that with only one UTI, they no longer recommend the VCUG. I did a lot of research and we decided to try the D-mannose. We kept her on it as a preventative measure for about a year and then stopped. I still keep it in the house just in case, but she has never had another infection.
Good luck!
Edited by Katc8910 - 3/3/13 at 12:17pm
post #7 of 19

We have had success with D mannose as well.  We are looking at infrared sauna and use of oakie smoke as well.  We also avoid sugar, soda's, milk, and cheese... and use probiotics, kefir, kombucha, green smoothies, and increase intake of green veggies.

I think you are on the right track too.

post #8 of 19

How much d-mannose would you give a ~100 pound child? I am not having an easy time finding dosages for a child anywhere. She is 10 also. She is a bedwetter (like since birth, not suddenly) but I wanted to try this to see if it helps. We are also starting probiotics for an almost permanent yeast infection. I think that is being caused by the bedwetting though, the urine being kept against her skin.

post #9 of 19
We did 1/2 tsp in milk 1 or 2 x per day from about 11 months until DD was about 2yrs old. I don't remember how much she weighed, but she is an the small side. From what I've read, d-mannose is very safe so I wasn't worried about giving her too much. The Now brand says 1 tsp 1or 2 x per day - we decided half would be appropriate for a child.
post #10 of 19

Other factors that I think of with bed wetting and UTIs:  food sensitivities (often dairy sensitivity assoc. with bed wetting) and high blood sugars. 

 

If I had the finances I would take a child of mine to a well-trained herbalist to help with recurring UTIs.  It can be done with herbal support but you have to know what you are doing otherwise there is a large risk of kidney infection.  (I'm sorry you already have had experience with that.)  There is a narrow window of time to treat UTIs - I usually give myself 3 days and if there is no significant improvement then it's to the Dr.

 

Has your dd had a history of other infections or is this all completely new within the last year?

post #11 of 19

As a nutritional consultant and an herbalist I would recommend putting your daughter on sugar free whole food diet. When I say cutting out sugars, I don't just mean table sugar, honey, agave or HFCS, I mean foods that break down to sugar in your body: breads, grains (especially white/refined grains), pasta, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, low fat/no fat dairy products (if you give her dairy chose high fat content organic dairy products), whey, any sweetened drinks (soda, sport drinks, root beer, any sweetened milk (rice, soy, chocolate, hemp, almond, etc.), candy, chocolate bars. I highly recommend getting her completely off gluten.

 

So basically stick to high quality, without growth hormones or antibiotics, (preferably organic grass-fed or free range) meats, wild caught Alaskan salmon fish, vegetables (preferably organic), greeneries, low glycemic fruit/berries (avoid sweet fruit such as bananas, mango, instead stick to berries: cranberries (they are awesome for UTIs!), strawberries, blueberries (especially wild), blackberries). Occasional high quality high nutrients grain (quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, GF old fashion oats) are ok, but not often and not too much.

 

Since she has gone through rounds of antibiotics I recommend buying her a high quality very potent probiotic with HUMAN strains (Pharmax makes high quality probiotics with human strains). Give her a capsule or powder every few hours during the first week or two, sort of giving her a "good bacteria infection" so to speak. The reason is because if she has bad bacteria in large numbers, low probiotics doses won't do much good. You really have to flood her system with good bacteria at first and them gradually reduce it to 1-2 times a day for as long as needed. Plus learn how to make your own sauerkraut, it is very easy. I usually make it with purple cabbage and carrots to make it more nutritious and colorful and add coconut kefir probiotic to it as well to make it more potent good bacteria wise. Kids like colorful and sour stuff, and this has both. My kids love it.

 

If you don't already, learn how to bake grain free sugar free treats (with nut butters, almond flour, coconut flour, etc) with high quality sweeteners: xylitol (derived NOT from corn, but from birch tree bark), stevia. There are plenty of good recipes online. Look over bars, find those with good ingredients (Greens+, Nude Food, Raw Revolution have some bars with not too much sugar). This way your child will not feel depleted or weird emotionally.

 

And finally, short term you can give your daughter Uva Ursi leaf tea (order a good quality bulk herb, Mountain Rose herbs are reasonably priced and are usually pretty good quality). But don't give it to her for more than 3-5 days in a row. Take a few days break and give it to her again, if needed.

 

Unsweetened cranberry juice is also a good preventative measure.

 

But diet is by far more important. And there really is not easy way out. When your child has a chronic health condition it means that something in the diet and lifestyle fundamentally does not work for your child's body. So it needs to be changed. If you don't already, learn how to cook most of foods from scratch (meat/vegetable soups and stews are wonderful to always have in the fridge), think of healthy snacks and always have it handy (nut butters with apples, celery, carrots & hummus, berries, not too sweet variety of apples, etc). Be creative, bake good quality treats.

 

Hope it helps, let me know if you have any questions.

post #12 of 19

Totally forgot to mention: make sure your daughter gets a good night sleep, at least 10 hours a night, make sure she drinks plenty of good quality water, try to reduce her stress level as much as possible. All those factors are very important for healthy immune system and health in general.

 

Also when I cook my meat-vegetables soups and stews I always add a pack  of shitake or maitake mushrooms to it, they are wonderful in strengthening immune system. Also, if you don't mind the taste (for some people it might be a bit too sweet) you can add astragalus root to your broths/soups (you cook it in the broth but don't eat it). if you have Vitamin Cottage food store in your state they have astragalus root in their herbal bulk section. If not, you can buy it online; the more yellowish the root looks like the better quality it is. Make sure to buy sliced root, since you don't want to put too much of it to not spoil the taste of soup/stew. Astragalus root is a very powerful stimulator of immune system and is traditionally used in Chinese medicine as a welcome addition to soup/stews/broths. It should not be used when one is already sick, however, only when one is healthy it is used to stay healthy, if it makes sense. So should not be used during an acute stage.

 

So basically, to sum it all up, if it was my little girl, I would focus on:

 

1. Getting her "religiously" off gluten (this by itself often helps kids with bed wetting problem). This means reading ingredient list of pre-cooked foods very carefully, you would be surprised to find it in so many processed foods of all kind.

2. Clean up her diet: cut out all sugars and most carbs while increasing good quality animal protein, vegetables/greeneries, berries, nuts and seeds (I would be very careful with peanuts though, if I'd use them at all, I'd only buy unsweetened organic valencia peanut butter). try to cook most of her food from scratch. Pack her healthy lunches to school. Explain her that eating bad food is what makes our body unable to maintain its optimal health and eating good foods helps it.

3. Learn how to bake grain sugar free treats (from nut butters, almond flour, coconut flour, beans, bean flour sweetened with a minimal amount of coconut sugar combined with birch tree derived xylitol and stevia) so you have something to take with you for birthday parties, celebrations and just to satisfy her sweet tooth. Most recipes call for sugar and honey, improvise with that. take just the main idea of the recipe (main ingredients) while substituting sweetener with the one you want there.

4. Flooding her system with good quality human strain probiotic and home-made fermented foods.

5. Making sure she gets enough sleep (even if it means getting rid of some evening sports/activities), drinks enough water and does not have too much stress.

6. And lastly, employing immune system supporting herbs into her diet (astragalus, shitake or maitake mushrooms, cranberry berries and unsweetened juice) and using uva ursi tea short term when needed.

 

I had a great success with this regiment with clients suffering UTIs. Hope your little one feels better soon.

post #13 of 19

Hello, perhaps the cause of this problem is not very complicated. My first thought, and I'm very sorry to suggest this, is sexual abuse, and I really do hope that this is not the cause. Bedwetting can be symptomatic of sexual abuse as well as UTI in young girls. Also loss of appetite (anorexia) and mood problems. From your description it sounds as though the UTIs and antibiotics may be symptoms of another more serious problem.

 

Another cause may be masturbation or sexual play. It's also possible that she is wiping incorrectly after using the toilet or is washing her genitals too vigorously with too much detergent or soap. At the age of 10, body awareness and sexual awareness is beginning.

 

I would be most concerned about eliminating the cause of the infections in the first place. 

 

Best wishes and I hope that this problem is cleared up soon.


Edited by PumaBearclan - 3/10/13 at 3:07pm
post #14 of 19

The other thing to check is that your doctors are doing a culture and testing to see that the organisms causing the infection do respond to the antibiotics used.

 

I second the thought that it is important to find the cause of these infections.  Rather than:  "have you been masturbating or has anyone touched you there?" it could be shared like this: "I found out that sometimes UTIs are caused by soap or certain ways of touching in the yoni area . . . sometimes girls feel like they are dirty and want to wash with soap in there but yonis are very special and must be treated gently . . . you are at an age when people sometimes explore their body and that's perfectly normal . . . its for you to explore but not for someone else" . . . with a close eye to her body language and enough quiet space for her to respond and expand/change her response if needed.

 

Others might have a better way of wording things . . .I just want to offer options.

 

Not that I want to panic a parent with introducing the option of abuse, but that is an option . . . amongst many.  It could just be that her hormones are changing and she had 2 birthday parties in a weekend with lots of sugar, or wore a wet and sandy swim suit too long, or wiped the wrong direction, or has had a tough year and this is how her body says it's time for some extra support, or the antibiotics being given were not effective, or she's continually dehydrated.

 

I would want to rule out interstitial cystitis and make sure dehydration is not a contributing factor.

 

Good luck with all this.  Its so hard to have an illness linger and linger in our children.

post #15 of 19
Haven't read replies but have you checked into constipation? The book It's No Accident explains how UTIs can be related to constipation.
post #16 of 19

If she won't drink cranberry juice you can get it in chewable tablets or pills at whole foods or somewhere similar. 

post #17 of 19
There are so many wonderful suggestions here! I want to highlight something that Mightymama brought up about herbs. Uva-Ursi can be great as she suggested, when there are symptoms. I like to  combine Uva-Ursi with soothing herbs such as Corn Silk and Marshmallow in a tea, as they can really calm the irritation. Uva-Ursi has a very strong flavor that a 10 year old - or for that matter many adults - won't like drinking in tea. Also sometimes making tea and carrying it around all day just isn't practical. If that is true for you, Herb Pharm offers a liquid compound called Urinary System Support that contains Uva-Ursi, Goldenrod, Corn Silk, Horsetail and Juniper berry which all work on supporting urinary tract health and is easy to take  when you are on the go.  One thing that is important is to make sure to take the herbs throughout the day, whether it's  a tea or liquid extract, and to keep taking them for a few days after you feel better. Also be sure to drink plenty of water!
All the best,
Autumn

Established in 1979 and located in southern Oregon, Herb Pharm is a certified organic grower of medicinal herbs and a trusted manufacturer of...

Reply

Established in 1979 and located in southern Oregon, Herb Pharm is a certified organic grower of medicinal herbs and a trusted manufacturer of...

Reply
post #18 of 19

Something else to keep in mind: bubble/soapy baths can lead to UTIs.

post #19 of 19

Just another POV. 

 

From a homeopathic perspective, which looks at the whole person and treats the energetic aspects of our being,  chronic infections are a result of an internal imbalance and susceptibility. Repeated antibiotics and the resulting devastation of her gut flora are surely playing a part (one doc told me it takes 18 months to replenish natural gut flora after ONE DAY of antibiotics). Diet help keep things in check, but in addition you might consider some kind of energetic treatment- like acupuncture or homeopathy- that can strengthen her vital force (chinese medicine term is chi). She is susceptible to this infection, and supporting her from the energetic side will help minimize her susceptibility and strengthen her resiliency. It would be nice for a child to not have to be on such a restricted diet for an extended period of time. I would support her physically with the diet and herbs, but then treat her energy to help her strengthen from the inside out. 

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