Bladder problems used to cause me major problems and restrict my life and overall wellness. With infections and urgency as a common issue my life became a toilet to toilet journey. This was always front of mind and as a result my confidence started to decline.
After specialist visits with the Urologist, Botox was suggested for my bladder, to treat the urgency and to allow my bladder to fill properly without the feeling I need to go all the time, then to fully empty with the aid of a catheter. This stopped the urgency problem and allowed me to have a normal day not having to plan my day toilet to toilet!
Only down side was an increase in UTI’s due to the self catherising every time I needed to go. This has been pretty easy to manage with prophylactic use of MS-Bladder Boost (a little every day or two). If I suspect I might have an infection then I use test strips to determine if MS-Bladder boost would be effective at treating the infection. If the test strips show it is a Nitrite producing bacteria then I up the daily dose of MS-Bladder Boost. If it is not a Nitrite producing bacteria, then I monitor and if not getting any better I’ll go to the GP and get a sample tested properly (cultured) so that we know which antibiotic will be most effective.
The botox was a minor procedure with little discomfort under local anaesthetic. The results came on after about a week and lasted well over 20 months, I have recently had my 2nd botox treatment. The freedom this gave me was great. Suddenly walking, exercising and socialising was relaxing again, I was not on the look out for a toilet or excusing myself every 5 minutes.
The most common infection I get is ecoli, which is a Nitrite producing bacteria and is eliminate quite effectively by MS D-Mannose (MS-Bladder Boost). I made this part of my daily routine for 1 year, to protect against an ecoli infection getting a foot hold I took a scoop of D-Mannose in a glass of water morning and night. My ecoli infections reduced, I still had the odd other infection requiring antibiotics but it was a lot less.
Having recently had the Botox again, I have suffered again with infections. I’m back on the same routine; MS-Bladder Boost daily until I get back on top of the infections.
I also regularly test my urine at the moment as I am susceptible to infections. Maybe it is a side effect of the procedure? But a few extra UTI’s is well worth a year off racing between toilets. I do this with the MS urine test strips. The great thing about these is they give you an instant result and are super sensitive so any slight infection will show. If Nitrites are not present I then have a urine sample cultured at the lab, to check what infection it is and start antibiotics. You must instruct your GP to instruct the Lab to culture the sample so the most effective antibiotic can be selected. Don’t take “no it’s not required” for an answer. Otherwise you end up getting bombarded by antibiotics until your GP finds the appropriate one. All to save a little time and money on the testing!
With bladder infections it is important to be a step ahead. Don’t let yourself get chronically unwell so your MS symptoms are exacerbated and your function is low. If you're susceptible to infections test, if you are unwell or not yourself, test.
Bladder Problems and MS
Bladder problems occur in 80% of people with MS. Bladder dysfunction can limit independence, reduce self-esteem, increase fatigue and impact upon long-term health. Therefore here at Multiplesupplements.com it is no wonder that we are frequently asked for advice on how to manage this debilitating condition better.
Bladder Dysfunction occurs due to the damage to nerves signals and their inability to communicate the correct message from the brain to the bladder and urinary sphincter.
Identifying what kind of bladder dysfunction you might be dealing with helps in order to take the right steps towards limiting the effects it has on your daily life. Unfortunately some of us have more than one issue to deal with.
Urinary Urgency - People with this problem feel the need to urinate frequently and urgently. That familiar “tickle” and pressure that help us recognize the right time to head to the restroom is unusually intense. When urinary urgency takes place, the signals that synchronize urination are disrupted which creates an uncontrollable urge to urinate—the very definition of incontinence.
Nocturia - People with nocturia must wake frequently during the night to go to the bathroom. There are a number of causes for this type of incontinence, but persons with MS may experience nocturia due to the interruption of brain impulses that travel up and down the spine to coordinate urination.
Urinary Hesitancy - This refers to difficulty initiating urination. With multiple sclerosis, this problem may be caused by interruption of brain impulses that control that part of the urination process.
Sphincter Dyssynergia - Another common problem seen in a bladder affected by MS is sphincter dyssynergia (SD). This occurs when there is both a storage dysfunction and an emptying dysfunction. The bladder is trying to contract and empty, and the urethra is contracting instead of relaxing, therefore allowing little or no urine to pass. This phenomenon is usually due to nerve damage in the spine as opposed to the brain.
Underactive Bladder - The nerve damage occurring from MS can cause the bladder to weaken, and as a result, the bladder may not contract to release the urine. If nerve signals from the bladder cannot tell the brain to empty, the bladder continues to fill and expand. Eventually, it overflows, with leakage of urine (i.e., overflow incontinence). Even if urination occurs, the bladder usually does not empty completely, resulting in urinary retention.
If left untreated, bladder control problems can cause other health concerns, including:
- Repeated urinary and bladder infections or kidney damage
- Personal hygiene problems
- Interference with normal activity, leading to isolation
- A Urinary tract infection is an infection of the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra. Abbreviated to UTI.
Why are people with MS more prone to UTI’s?
As discussed the bladder is not functioning correctly resulting often in the bladder holding onto urine and never fully emptying the bladder. This then creates a “stagnant pond” effect, which allows infections to grow. Catheter use also increases the risk of introduced bacteria. Steroid drugs can also weaken the immune system and make it harder for the body to fight the infection.
What are the Common signs of a UTI?
- Urinary incontinence/leaking around the catheter
- Cloudy urine
- Back pain
- Bladder pain
- Painful or difficult urination
- Sudden, high blood pressure
- Increased weakness
- Any worsening MS symptom
If you have a UTI or suspect one, go to your GP that day and discuss your options, most likely you will need antibiotics.
Urinary Track infections are debilitating when you have MS, and once you have had one the likelihood of having more increases. Preventative measures can help with stopping re infection.
Be aware of the symptoms of a UTI and watch for them. If in doubt do a self bladder test from Multiplesupplements.com. A supplement to help maintain the healthy binding ability of E. coli bacteria in your bowel is essential. MS Bladder Boost will provide this. (A prescription is not needed)
Drink plenty of clear fluids, maintain high levels of personal hygiene, avoid tight fitting underwear and pants, and eat a diet high in fibre to maintain bowel function.
Treatment options for Bladder Dysfunction
There are a number of options available to make living with MS bladder dysfunction manageable. Incontinence clothing and pads have drastically improved and are available in most supermarkets and online. MS Biotin Boost supplement has been identified to help people who suffer from this debilitating condition manage their bladder control more effectively. (A prescription is not needed).
Prescription medications to manage symptoms are also available and improving. It is important to discuss these with your specialist.
Where to start?
Take control of your bladder an accept that it isn’t working properly. Be aware that options are available to help you manage this condition and regain confidence. To do this you could start a bladder diary to record what is happening. Download the PDF here: Bladder Diary - Urology Ca#1DF3.
Book an appointment with your specialist, they may refer you to a Urologist who will run tests to establish a treatment plan. Once you have established that something can be done you will feel lot better. Be mindful that as your MS changes so could your bladder dysfunction which could mean that you may need to see your specialist more than once.
Great informative article thank you, but I couldn’t get the PDF Bladder Diary to open so I could download it.