Author: Chronic UTI Australia

In 2023 England’s National Health Service (NHS) responded to public pressure by finally recognising chronic urinary tract infection (UTI) as a distinct condition requiring specialist diagnosis and treatment. The development could pave the way for patient advocates in Australia and other countries who are campaigning their own authorities for major improvements to UTI guidelines.

The Hearing Patient Voices project surveyed 410 people from around the world with chronic urinary tract infection (UTI).  The online survey measured the impact chronic UTI has on quality-of-life and focused on symptoms, various life domains, emotional wellbeing, healthcare experiences and avoidable costs to the health system.  You can read a summary, and download the full Hearing Patient Voices survey report, below.

A common urinary tract infection left Danielle with chronic symptoms that doctors misdiagnosed as interstitial cystitis (IC)—an incurable, yet questionable, urinary syndrome that is now under heavy scrutiny.  Once she found a doctor who understood her condition, she began a treatment that targeted her infection.  Read more about Danielle's story.

Carly was 21 when she had her first UTI.  She was treated with antibiotics and a week later her symptoms were back.  This pattern continued. Her doctor believed each episode was a new infection but she wasn't so sure.  She decided to take to the internet to learn more.  She first heard about Hiprex when reading through some chronic UTI websites and decided to buy some and give it a go.  After 10 months taking Hiprex daily, along with a three-month trial on antibiotics, she feels completely well and is excited to be planning her wedding.

 

After frequent international travel for work, Julie developed a series of complex symptoms that were badly impacting her health.  Her symptoms were put down to an auto-immune condition that she had to live with.  Six years on she developed further symptoms – this time relating to her bladder.  Her doctors explored and treated several problems that were identified, but her bladder symptoms persisted.  After eight years of managing bladder pain and incapacitating reduced capacity and frequency, and undergoing various disappointing treatments, she decided to use her academic skills to find a proper solution.  She consulted with an Australian urologist who recommended she read 'Cystitis Unmasked' by the late Professor James Malone-Lee. They both agreed she would trial a treatment for chronic bladder infections.  Within weeks, Julie's bladder symptoms started to vanish and her life finally took to a turn for the better.  Read more about Julie's journey to reclaim her health.

Online information and support groups can be great places to link with others who are in a similar situation. This can help reduce feelings of isolation often experienced by people suffering silently with persistent lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).  Online groups allow for the sharing of information and personal experiences and are good places to access support—or to support others. We had a chat with the administrators of the Chronic and Recurrent UTI Support Group (Australia and New Zealand)—a Facebook group focused on science-based discussions around diagnosis and treatment for chronic UTI. The group has a strong emphasis on exploring solutions to overcome the challenges of accessing treatment in our region.  Online support groups are not for everyone but they can play a helpful role for many people who are seeking information and support.

Jean shared her story with us in May 2019.  After menopause things had started to go wrong.  Among her worries, Jean had developed UTI symptoms but her urine tests kept coming back negative and she was prescribed antidepressants to deal with her increasing anxiety.  She refused to accept her problems were psychological and she continued to search for answers.  Eventually she was diagnosed and treated for a chronic UTI.  Jean found Hiprex and Chinese herbs was the answer for her and she improved in leaps and bounds.  Three years after completing her combination treatment, Jean remains happy and well.  Read Jean's updated story.

People experiencing chronic pain and illness, like chronic urinary tract infection (UTI), often find their condition has as equally devastating an impact on their mental health as it does on their physical health and well-being. In a society which overwhelmingly focuses on health and ‘good’ health behaviour—you go to the doctor, follow their instructions, and get better—the impacts of having a chronic health condition are often completely unexpected, and rarely discussed.

Elizabeth was struck with gastroenteritis while holidaying in Hawaii. Within days she had also developed a urinary tract infection (UTI) and was treated with antibiotics.   She responded well to the treatment but several weeks later some mild urinary symptoms returned.  Although the subsequent test from the lab was positive for a UTI, she was not informed and did not receive the necessary follow-up treatment.  Her UTI symptoms continued to get worse and by now her urine tests were negative.  This is when she was told she had interstitial cystitis (IC).  Elizabeth could not get past the feeling that her UTI in Hawaii had never fully cleared. Although her doctors insisted she was wrong and there was no infection, she was determined to find the answers she needed to get better.  Read more about Elizabeth's chronic UTI story here.