Living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a complex journey, filled with ups and downs. Over the last four months, I've been on a rollercoaster of follow-up appointments and consultations with specialists as part of my annual review to gauge how I'm doing. One issue that has consistently plagued me over the years is my bladder and the recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) that come with it. But recently, I had a revelation during a zoom appointment with a neurologist specializing in MS in New Zealand. The key takeaway: small changes can have a huge impact on managing MS-related bladder issues.
The Bladder Challenge
For those of us with MS, bladder problems are nothing new. They're often a part of our daily lives, creating discomfort and frustration. It was during my consultation with a leading MS specialist in New Zealand that I was pointed in the direction of a neuro-urologist, someone who specializes in the complex interactions between the nervous system and the urinary tract.
The Zoom Appointment That Changed Everything
The consultation with the neuro-urologist was a game-changer, and it was conducted over Zoom, which made it even more accessible. The biggest lesson I learned was this: small changes can make an enormous impact on managing my bladder problems.
The Power of Small Changes
Here are some of the small but impactful changes I implemented after the consultation:
1. Hydration Matters: I started drinking a lot more water, but I ditched soda water. Staying well-hydrated can help keep the bladder functioning smoothly.
2. Regular Catheterization: I began catheterizing every three hours during the day. This simple routine helps empty the bladder efficiently, reducing the risk of infections.
3. Keep Things Moving: I incorporated a stool softener into my daily routine to ensure I have a daily bowel movement, aiming for a "sausage shape." A regular bathroom schedule can reduce pressure on the bladder and minimize the risk of UTIs.
4. Antibiotic Hiprex: I started taking an antibiotic called Hiprex daily. This medication helps prevent UTIs by making the urine more acidic and less hospitable to bacteria.
5. D-Mannose and Orange Juice: I introduced D-Mannose into my daily routine, typically with a glass of orange juice. D-Mannose is a natural supplement known for its ability to prevent UTIs by preventing harmful bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
The Incredible Impact
The results have been astonishing. I've been UTI-free for months, and my overall bladder health has seen a remarkable improvement. The simple yet effective changes I made have significantly contributed to my quality of life and comfort.
Don't Hesitate to Seek Help and Share
If you're facing bladder issues related to your MS, I want you to know that you're not alone. Reach out to specialists and don't hesitate to seek help. Small changes can make a substantial difference in your life. I encourage you to take these small steps to heart and try them out. They might just help you gain control of your bladder and, in turn, get your life back on track.
I'm here for anyone who needs advice or someone to talk things through. Managing your bladder issues can be a game-changer on your journey with MS, and I'm living proof that small changes can bring big results.