Áine started experiencing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) at the age of 12. As she grew older, her recurrent UTIs became more frequent. She always responded to antibiotic treatment, but sometimes she would need a repeat course to fully clear her symptoms. In her early 30s, she came down with UTI that didn't clear up with the usual treatment. After a year of suffering persistent and painful UTI symptoms, she was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC) and advised to try and manage her symptoms through diet changes. Another year on, Áine discovered her diagnosis had been wrong and was diagnosed with a chronic UTI and endometriosis. After being prescribed appropriate antibiotic treatment targeting her embedded infection, and having a laparoscopic excision of the endometriosis, she fully recovered in 12 months.
While on summer holidays, a simple UTI was the start of a horrid year of illness, pain and anxiety for British woman, Clare. Short-courses of antibiotics quickly cleared her UTI symptoms, but they returned each time. Repeat dipsticks and culture tests confused her doctors because they were unable to confirm an infection was present. Being a nurse practitioner and understanding her symptoms and her own body, she knew an infection was what she was dealing with. Clare was referred through the healthcare system, had the usual tests and was offered many of the standard treatments for managing her symptoms. Before embarking on this route, she found a specialist with the expert knowledge to diagnose her condition and treat the infection that had become embedded in her bladder. This is Clare's story.
To be diagnosed with a chronic UTI in Australia is no mean feat. Chronic UTI is a largely unrecognised and misunderstood condition. It is common for people with these chronic infections (who are predominantly women) to be referred through the medical system—sometimes for years and even decades. They see numerous specialists and have multiple tests, often walking away with a urinary syndrome diagnosis. Ongoing symptoms and pain management is usually the best that can be offered. For these people, the future can be bleak. This month we talk to five Australian women who have long-suffering UTI histories of between one and 35 years. Through their perseverance, each of these women found their way off the medical merry-go-round and were finally diagnosed and properly treated for a chronic UTI. Read more to find out how they reclaimed their lives and found their way back to health.
Christine is a British woman whose recurrent UTIs started at the age of 12. Being prescribed the usual treatments, and offered routine UTI prevention tips and homeopathic remedies, her regular infections persisted. After complications brought on from successful breast cancer treatment, her recurring UTIs became worse and began dominating her life. Now out of options, Christine's practitioner referred her to a specialist clinic for recalcitrant UTIs based in London. Here she was diagnosed immediately with a chronic UTI. Her severe embedded UTI has required several changes in antibiotic therapy to bring her symptoms under control. Now that her infection is being properly managed and she's feeling better, she is cautiously optimist about completing treatment in the near future. You can read more about Christine's story here.
Olivia is a British woman whose battle with recurrent UTIs started decades ago. What first began as occasional, seemingly uncomplicated acute UTIs, eventually turned into frequent, severe recurrent attacks. When her acute attacks tested positive, she would receive the usual UTI treatment. When the tests failed to identify bacteria, she was abandoned by her doctors. After jumping through numerous medical hoops, being repeatedly offered derogatory advice and receiving painful surgical procedures that did more harm than good, Olivia eventually found a specialist who knew what was going on. She was finally diagnosed and treated for a chronic UTI. Olivia is a 'long hauler' and healing from her embedded bladder infection has been a test of endurance. After more than five years in treatment, she is ecstatic to finally be free from her UTI symptoms and looks forward to the day her treatment is complete. You can read more about Olivia's experience here.
Libby's life came crashing down when her recurrent urinary tract infections suddenly became constant and stopped responding to treatment. Being forced to drop out of work and university, she was no longer able to rely on doctors and knew it was up to her to find a solution. While on university placement, a chance encounter with another chronic UTI sufferer led her to discover a unique chronic UTI treatment protocol being used successfully at a clinic in the United Kingdom. She asked her doctor for help and within months she was responding to the new treatment. In just over a year, she is almost cured and says she is firmly committed to seeing her treatment through to the end.
Olimpia is a young Italian woman who suffered constant bladder pain for 12 years after initially delaying treatment for an acute UTI. Frustrated from years of being put through the mill by doctors and specialists who had little to offer, she embarked on a health experiment that radically changed her life and cured her bladder symptoms for good. Now that she's back living a happy and pain-free life, Olimpia established an online forum where she helps others who are following similar health regimens to heal their chronic bladder symptoms.
At 28-years-of-age, Beth developed a simple UTI that she would go on to endure for the next 10 years. Living a life in unbearable and debilitating pain, she was eventually diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC). To help manage the symptoms from her ‘incurable’ condition, she was prescribed serious pain medication and had a Medtronic Interstim surgically fitted to her spine. Refusing to accept this life-long sentence, and desperately wanting a baby, she gathered her strength and continued searching for answers. After the initial step of discovering and correcting an underactive thyroid condition, in 2015 she travelled overseas to see ‘Dr Lovely’ and was properly diagnosed and treated for a chronic UTI. Since being properly medicated, Beth has slowly regained her health and finally become a very proud, first-time mother to a healthy, gorgeous, happy baby. Here is her story.
Lindyloo is a Dutch woman with a history of bladder problems spanning three decades. She was treated for monthly UTIs, until short-course antibiotics no longer had an effect. By now she was in constant pain. Bedridden and in emotional turmoil day after day, she had the choice of giving in to her painful illness, or gather the energy to find a solution. When Lindyloo took to the internet and learned of a UTI specialist in England, she knew she had to get to the clinic if there was any hope of improving her quality of life. Lindyloo made the painful journey and her treatment has been life changing. Read more about her story to find out why.