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Aside from bedwetting, or sleep wetting, urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most-common infections in children, and its prevalence is higher in the first 2 years of life. According to a conservative estimate, by the age of eleven, 3 percent of girls and 1 percent of boys have had a detected UTI.
But your child doesn't have to be a statistic! If you take good care of his or her urinary tract you can help to avoid infections that have been affecting so many kids.
Recognizing early the symptoms and properly treating childhood urinary tract infections is of the utmost importance. If left untreated, they can lead to serious, sometimes life-threatening kidney problems.
The urinary tract is well protected against pathogenic, infection-causing bacteria. Our bodily self-defense systems include:
Many substances, such as soap, bubble bath, synthetic clothing can cause soreness of the urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to invade.
This can increase stool and harmful bacteria around the urethra.
This allows more time for the bacteria, such as E. coli, to get to the bladder and multiply in there.
Large amounts of stool sitting in the colon can press up against the bladder and urethra, thus making it more difficult for the bladder to drain completely. This allows uropathogenic bacteria to grow.
Because it is less solid than a normal bowel movement, diarrhea can allow fecal bacteria to spread more easily across the perineum (the area between the anus and the scrotum or vulva) and into the urinary tract.
During development in the uterus, the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder, or the urethra, may not develop properly or may not hooked up right. This increases the risk of bladder infections.
It is only true that an uncircumcised male has a higher chance of bladder infections during the first year of life. This risk goes away after age one. Therefore, it is no longer true that circumcising males leads to a significant decrease in the risk of bladder infections.
In most cases, urinary tract infection in children is caused by a variety of pathogens, infectious bacteria normally present in the intestines, especially in the rectum.
Nearly all infections of the lower urinary tract are caused by a few strains of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), or E. coli for short.
Various strains of E. coli bacteria ordinarily reside in the lower gastrointestinal tract and do not belong in the urinary tract. However, they have multiple little hairs called cilia that function like little feet that allow them to climb from up the urinary tube (uterer), then into the bladder.
If E. coli bacteria get into the bladder, or the urethra, the body has ways of fighting them off. This includes the obvious methods of simply flushing them out with the urine.
Unfortunately, these bacteria have evolved ways of anchoring themselves to the cells of the urinary tract. The invading E. coli take advantage of receptors naturally found on the cells of the mucosal lining of the urinary tract.
These receptors are like molecular "docking bays" for substances which the cells need for their normal growth and development. E. coli use the "grappling hooks", called type I pili, to first hook on to these receptors, and then to invade the cell. These hair-like appendages found on the surface of E. coli bacteria are composed of long, fibrous chains of a molecular "glue" called adhesin.
Once inside the cell, E. coli can live and reproduce in safety, shielded from many of the body's defensive immune responses. These responses are so sophisticated that when the body detects that cells have been infected, it activates the cell suicide program. This process called apoptosis helps to destroy the bacteria.
Unfortunately, E. coli can flee the dying, self-destructing host cell before it is flushed out. And look for new cells to invade!
Here’s another problem: E. coli do return in as many as 30 percent of children apparently “cured” by antibiotics! Although within several days of medical treatments, the number of bacteria reproducing drop to zero, not all the bacteria are killed. They are able to survive by reverting to an inactive state.
When you bring your child into the doctor's office for a possible bladder infection, checking a urine sample is the only way to diagnose it. Especially, when there are no outward signs on the penis or vagina that indicates an infection.
This is the most accurate test to determine for sure whether or not an infection is present. The lab puts the urine sample in an incubator. If any bacteria are in the sample, they will multiply and show up. However, it takes 24 to 48 hours for the bacteria to grow enough to be detected.
If only one type of bacteria grows in the culture, the lab will expose the bacteria to a variety of antibiotics to see to which ones the bacteria are sensitive. This usually takes one day after the culture is positive. It helps to decide which antibiotic is best for the infection.
This test is commonly performed in the doctor's office or in lab. It takes a few minutes. A dipstick is placed in the urine sample and up to ten different substances can be detected.
A doctor may also wait a few hours for the lab to run a microscopic urinalysis. A drop of urine is examined under a microscope to help in the decision whether or not to start an antibiotic treatment while the urine culture is running (see above).
Instead of going through the trouble of checking a urine sample, for older children with a known history of bladder infections (who have had several bladder infections with common symptoms) usually an antibiotic treatment is elected. In these children, a urine may be checked perhaps every other infection.
Current standard medical care for a UTI includes taking oral antibiotics - a 5 to 7-day course (or longer for recurrent cases). If a kidney infection is suspected, a shot of a strong antibiotic can be given in the muscle to hit the infection harder, then continue with an oral antibiotic.
After an antibiotic treatment, in about two weeks you should check another urine culture to make sure the urine has cleared up.
If your child has recurrent bladder infections, a urine culture should be checked every one or two months to monitor for infections.
If your child goes for six months without an infection, you can space out these urine checks per your doctor's advice.
For children who have recurrent bladder infections, a daily prophylactic, low-dose of antibiotics is usually given to control any bacteria that may get into the bladder.
Prophylactic antibiotics are also given, if your child has known anatomic abnormality that makes him/her prone to infections.
Prophylactic antibiotics are given, if your child does not have abnormality, but continues to have infections despite the non-medical preventions.
Typically, these children will be taking an antibiotic for six to twelve months, then come off of it. The urine will be monitored with periodic urine culture checks (see above).
Medical establishment also the following measures considers useful:
Although antibiotics are not ‘cure-alls’ for all, they have become a worldwide medical standard for urinary tract infections.
It is a well-known fact, however, that common antibiotic treatments do NOT successfully kill all the bacteria participating in the infection. Even after the antibiotic treatment, the number of bacteria reproducing drop to zero. This may, in fact, encourage many of the bacteria to persist in a resting, inactive state.
Even after a month of antibiotic exposure, about 10 million of the original 1 billion bacteria may remain.
Therefore, current standard drug treatments for bladder infections are not adequate and this phenomenon may account for many of the repeat urinary tract infections or non-responding to antibiotics.
Besides, children whose mothers are prescribed antibiotics during pregnancy have been found to have up to 20 percent increased risk of being hospitalized to serious infections.
Although routinely used, standard antibiotic treatments have many drawbacks as they:
Therefore, due to the hazards, especially of prolonged antibiotic therapy, the need for antibiotics should be reduced. They often carry with them the risks of developing:
Even low use of antibiotics in children can have a negative impact on their life.
Sometimes, aside from having ordinary bladder infection during their childhood, children can have anatomic abnormalities in the way the kidneys, bladder and urethra are hooked up. These abnormalities by themselves can cause recurrent bladder infections.
There are four possible abnormalities:
Neurological conditions like a spinal cord injury or impairment (SCI), usually result in neurogenic bladder - an unstable or atomic bladder, with no muscle tone.
Children with this condition have lost, partial or complete, control over their bladder and sphincter due to the compromised nerve receptors. These receptors are responsible for:
As a result, most paraplegics are exposed to the regular use of catheters and drugs. Unfortunately, catheters often increase the risk of urinary tract injuries and repeated bladder infections. It is a common problem in children with spinal cord impairment.
Exposed to repeated or long-term courses of antibiotics, in time, they also develop resistance to drugs what makes maintaining healthy urinary tract for them even more difficult.
Contrary to a popular belief and common medical practice, children with spinal cord injuries or spinal cord impairment do not have to suffer from chronic bladder infections and be exposed to vicious antibiotics.
Spina bifida is a birth defect of the backbone and spinal cord. It is the most common cause of neurogenic bladder in children. In this condition, the bones of the spine do not close all the way during fetal development. With this opening, the spinal cord, nerves, tissue and spinal fluid are exposed and may protrude through the opening as a small sac.
The lower the spina bifida happens on the spine, the less severe child’s symptoms will be from the defect.
In children with spina bifida the bladder dysfunction can lead to high-pressure bladders and urinary tract infections (UTIs). The last ones are a common source of morbidity among children with this condition that can damage the kidneys over time and may lead to kidney failure.
Children with spina bifida often lack feeling and control of their bladder and bowel in the same way as they may lack feeling and control of their feet and legs. This is because the nerves in the spine connecting the brain to the bladder (or bowel, or legs) have been interrupted, or disconnected.
In children with this condition UTIs are mainly due to the bladder not emptying properly. Only about 5% of them are able to empty their bladders without help.
The result is that they cannot usually feel when their bladder is full. And, after they have tried to empty it, it may still contain the residual urine.
The stagnant pool left in the bladder gets smelly and easily becomes infected. And over a period of time the stones (urinary calculi) may develop as well.
Bladder infections may affect the kidneys causing pyelonephritis and kidney damage, making the child ill. It may also happen with ureteric reflux when the infected urine travels up towards the kidneys.
Because of the lack of feeling, many children with spina bifida do not know when they have an infection. They do not suffer from the scalding pain, which other children feel when they get cystitis.
The best way to prevent UTIs is to be sure that the bladder empties regularly and completely. One way of doing so is by clean intermittent catheterization (CIC) along with being vigilant with a hygiene program and following strict hygiene guidelines.
There are different length catheters available suitable for either boys or girls. The urine flows out of the bladder through the catheter into the lavatory, or into a container, and then the catheter is removed after complete emptying. This should be done 4 – 5 times a day, but for those who have a smaller bladder this may need to be increased to 6 times. With practice catheterization becomes quite easy and may take less than five minutes.
Unfortunately, children with spina bifida are often constipated and pressure from an overfull bowel may add to the difficulty of emptying the bladder. They may also have poor control over their bowel movement.
Since most urinary infections are caused by bacteria which normally live in the bowel, mainly E. coli, it is important to wash this part of the body carefully. Girls should be taught always to wipe from front to back.
When necessary, antibiotics and other drugs are given in small doses for months or years to prevent urinary infections. They are mainly used for children who have reflux. In spite of this, urinary infections may still break through and need a course of a different treatment.
Doctors also recommend such preventive measures as:
*Based on various available sources and studies, our research and practical experience. Last modified on March 16, 2020.
And because it gets rid of the bladder infection-causing bacteria without committing "bactericide," children who use it suffer none of the unwanted side effects of antibiotics:
It is ideally suited for children. Because it tastes so good, children actually enjoy taking it.
When faced with a potentially pathogenic germ like E. coli, conventional, pharmaceutically based medicine typically confronts the problem by throwing the most potent poisons it can find at the bugs - antibiotics.
Unlike virtually any conventional pharmaceutical medication, supplemental D-mannose has no known drawbacks.
Happily, "bacteria-cide" is not the only possible avenue of attack. Years of clinical experience have shown that supplemental D-Mannose is just about as effective at curing bladder infections caused by E. coli as antibiotic drugs.
Many research reports have demonstrated its mode of action and effectiveness against E. coli. There is no argument at all about this among researchers who have studied it.
Natural medicine-oriented physicians have been recommending D-mannose to people with bladder infection since the mid-1980s with great success.
One of the best-documented applications of probiotic supplements is in the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections.
Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir. Many of these foods rich in probiotics are still of great importance to the diets of most of the people in the world.
Scientists, however, have found a way to freeze-dry these beneficial bacteria and put them in capsules. The specific microorganisms found in these capsules are usually lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which are the major probiotics found in the human intestinal tract.
The repetitive use of antibiotics leads to multiple adverse health effects, as these drugs:
Therefore, due to the hazards, especially of prolonged antibiotic therapy, the need for antibiotics should be significantly reduced.
As for almost all friendly, good bacteria it takes six months to recover after exposure to antibiotics, probiotic supplements are a simple and effective way to get them re-established in the gut microbiota, or "gut bacteria".
The efficacy of probiotic supplements is based solely on the number of live organisms present. Therefore, desired therapeutic results can be achieved by taking the minimum of 50 billion viable bacteria per day.
My daughter, now 9, was born with multiple complications, which had led to many surgeries and a lifetime of having to catheterize to urinate.
Because of the catheterizing, she was plagued for about 3 years with UTIs which involved being on a daily antibiotic and huge doses of very strong antibiotics about every 2-3 months...
It was a downward spiral, which just kept getting worse.
I have always looked for alternatives from Western medications to heal the body and bring it back to homeostasis. In my long and desperate search I found Uribiotic Formula.
I knew this would help my daughter, so I told her urologist about what I was putting her on. They were very happy to help out.
Since her infections were so huge and she had been on daily antibiotics for so long it has taken about 9 months of working very diligently with Andrew at Full of Health.
Now, my daughter's urologist says that she is antibiotic-free!
She has been off daily antibiotics for 2 months now and without a full-blown infection requiring high dose antibiotics for 4 months.
This is so amazing and such a benefit for her future! This is one more huge piece of the puzzle for bringing my daughter into optimal health throughout her life.
Thank you, Andrew, from the bottom of my heart for creating Uribiotic Formula!
La Mesa, California, USA
I'm so excited to email you once again about the progress of my daughter, now 10. She has been on your Uribiotic Formula for almost a year and a half and has been doing amazingly well!
A few weeks ago, she had her yearly urological checkup and ultrasound to keep tabs on everything. What the doctors found amazed them!
In the past ultrasounds she already had signs of nephrosis (kidney damage) and thickening of the bladder wall (also not good). Each year the tests showed more and more damage.
BUT, the test a few weeks ago showed that the damage to her kidneys was almost undetectable and her bladder wall showed no signs of thickening. Both hard to reverse the damage! Of course, we are going to "continue what we are doing."
When I found on the Internet the Uribiotic Formula for my daughter I was just hoping to put a stop to the damaging antibiotic cycle happening to her body. I never expected it would reverse the damage already done!
Once again, from an overjoyed parent, thank you, Andrew!
La Mesa, California, USA
It has been 2 years since my last review and my daughter is doing wonderfully! She was 9 when I first found your URIBIOTIC... She is now 12.
She has not had a full-blown infection needing antibiotics for a bladder infection for years now.
Her urologist and nurse refer others to me at times for information and I am happy to tell them the miracle your products have accomplished with my daughter. I hope that we can help others find these healthy ways to heal the body.
Once again, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
La Mesa, California, USA
Your child might have a urinary tract infection?
Interested in getting a second opinion?
The UTI symptoms can develop quite rapidly - over a matter of hours, or more slowly - nagging for several weeks. Although not everyone with a urinary tract infection has symptoms, most children get at least some, especially:
It should be noted, however, that some mild cases of acute urinary tract infection may disappear spontaneously without any treatment.
All UTIs, though, should be thought of as the warning signs of something going on inside the urinary tract. They may seem unimportant at first, but they should never be ignored.
Please fill in our five-part questionnaire below, answering all questions thoughtfully, to the best of your knowledge. By doing so, you will be much better prepared for an eventual doctor’s appointment. It might also help your doctor determine if your child needs a urine test, which is not always a routine practice.
As for the symptoms, they are sensations or perceptions of changes in health experienced by your child and/or most likely observed by you as a parent.
Within 12 to 24 hours, you will email* you back the results along with our brief recommendations (if necessary) that may help you get your child’s urinary health back on track. The information given, however, is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or replace the advice of a physician or other healthcare professional.
As privacy is one of the most important issues for all of us on the Internet, please rest assured that all your answers in this questionnaire are strictly confidential. We do not share any part of the completed questionnaire with anyone. Also, your email address is safe with us. We will never rent, sell, or exchange your contact information with anyone.