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A guide to reduce or even prevent Urinary Tract Infections in our Elderly

By 1st November, 2017 Medical Comments Off

Pneumonia and Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are the two of the most common infections seen in our elderly population today.  Infections account for 33% of all mortalities.  In the majority of the cases the infections are found at a late stage (when the infection has reached the bloodstream) and the risk of complications and mortality increases.  This is due to the absence or subtle signs and symptoms commonly seen among the young population.  In fact, sometimes the only sign present is a change in mental status or decline in their daily functions (eat, weakness, difficulty completing tasks, etc).

UTI’s are the most common bacterial infection among the elderly.  Early detection becomes more difficult among the elderly because the typical signs and symptoms such as fever is often absent.  Changes caused by an infection in the elderly are often subtle and nonspecific complaints.  According to an article published in the American Family Physician on D-Mannose and UTI infections “frank delirium occurs in 50% of the older adults with infections…anorexia, functional decline, falls and weight loss may be the only signs indicating an infection in older adults”.

So how do we prevent or help reduce the reoccurrences of urinary tract infections? I am here to tell you that I have witnessed the wonderful benefits of D-mannose with some of my residents in our assisted living facilities.  D-Mannose is a supplement that helps improve bladder health and has been found to decrease the occurrences of UTI’s among the elderly.  It works by attaching itself to the E.coli bacteria and flushing it out through the urinary tract preventing from an overabundance of bacteria aligning itself to the bladder wall.

Many may ask how do you know when you should consider starting D-mannose?  The answer is anyone who has had 3 or more urinary tract infections in a year.  Of course consulting with your primary care physician before starting any supplement or medication regimen is always advised.