snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Old Wives' Tales

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19 September 2007, 11:03 PM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,553
Default Alka Seltzer and Cranberry juice for UTI's

Okay a little background... My 5 year old daughter was born 3 months premature and her uriters were not properly formed, or rather not properly tipped. This causes urine to flow backwards into her kidneys(known as reflux) which has causes kidney damage at grade 4 on both sides. When she was first released from the hospital we nor the doctors were aware of this. Everynight she spiked a fever and screamed nonstop (she was not my first newborn so I knew this was not normal) and everynight I bundled her up and brought her to the E.R. As it took almost an hour to get to the E.R. I always gave her tylenol first so that she would not have to suffer during the trip there. Without fail by the time we we got there, registered, and waited for sometimes hours to be seen her fever had come down and she was happily sleeping. Without fail they sent us home saying she was fine. This went on for over a week. Every night the E.R. and every day her pediatrician's office. I was so worried and frustratd and was getting nowhere fast. The last night I brought her to the E.R. they sent me home with a pamplet on postpartum depression and basicaly told me I was imagining my child had symptoms that were there most likely due to depression, and that it was common for new mothers to unconsciously invent symptoms in their child becuase of the let down after birth and no longer being the center of attention. WTF?

I left the E.R. and my friend drove us almost 3 hours away to a pediatric hospital. As soon as the doctor talked to me he asked if her urine had been tested which it had not. Turns out that she had had a UTI and a kidney infection all along and was at that point also dehydrated. She was admited to the hospital for weeks that first time (it took a bit to find an antibiotic that worked). Since then she has been on preventative antibiotics, with a few med vacations which always resulted in severe infections. Even on the antibiotics she has a few breakthroughs each year which result in hospital stays. The reason they admt her is with grade four damage to both kidneys they can't risk her developing anymore scar tissue on her kidneys so they start intravenus antibiotics at the first sign of infection before the urine results are even back. In this case its better safe than sorry.

This past year they discovered she also had kidney duplication on both sides, or rather confirmed it. This means that on both sides she has 2 kidneys grown together, kind of like 2 in 1. The doctors are not positive on what causes this.

Okay now that you have the background, the reason for this post is that many family members as well as friends are constantly offering up old wives tales and I want to bring up a few that come up the most often.

1. Her kidney duplication was caused by her early in formatiom of the fetus actually being a set of twin tat merged during development. (None of her doctors have EVER suggested this possibility or even anything remotely similar)

2.Mixing two tablets of Alka Seltzer with cranberry juice will cure a developing UTI. (I do give her a cup of plain cranberry advice each day to PREVENT UTI's on her urologists advice but have only heard the Alka Seltzed part from family and friends)

3.Bathing in a bath of water and Baking Soda can prevent and sometimes cure UTI's.

4.Drinking beer can help with UTI's.

5.Drinking apple cider vinegar with half water over ice can prevent and cure UTI's.

6.Boil 10 stalks of asparagus till mushy then eat stalks and drink juice to cure UTI faster.

These are the most common I have heard many many more but these come up the most often...

-Nonnieyrissa
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23 September 2007, 01:59 AM
inkiemouse
 
Posts: n/a
Icon220

I'm not really sure... I've only had one UTI in my life, and that was last year. It started in the morning and I drank cranberry juice and a lot of water for the whole day and the next. By the time I got to the doctor's the day after it started for some antibiotics, he said, "Well, it's almost gone, but I'll give you this anyway."

...so I know lots of liquids work, because UTIs don't go away on their own. Cranberry juice really is the best thing, but I've never heard about the Alka Seltzer deal. Better to check into that before doing it...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23 September 2007, 02:28 AM
Cervus's Avatar
Cervus Cervus is offline
 
Join Date: 21 October 2002
Location: Florida
Posts: 19,644
Default

I tried cranberry juice for my UTI, but it didn't seem to do anything. The doctor I visited was pretty snotty, though, and treated me like I was an idiot for using a home remedy rather than Real Medicine.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23 September 2007, 02:37 AM
MisterGrey's Avatar
MisterGrey MisterGrey is offline
 
Join Date: 26 September 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,944
Default

I've had some mild UTIs in my life-- I seem almost prone to them--and cranberry juice always seems to do the trick in clearing them up. Then again, maybe it isn't so all-saving if I keep getting them.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 23 September 2007, 02:46 AM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,553
Default

I don't doubt that cranberry juice can help prevent UTI's, as can drinking alot of fluids on a regular basis, like I said in the OP I give Angelina a cup everyday on her doctors advice. It was the Alka Seltzer part that I was questioning, and I would not try any of them. Not saying they don't work, but I am not willing to test them out on my daughter. I just thought they would fit in here.

-Crystalshine
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 23 September 2007, 02:48 AM
geminilee's Avatar
geminilee geminilee is offline
 
Join Date: 02 December 2005
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 11,229
Default

Whether or not cranberry extract can reduce UTIs seems to be a bit disputed. One study shows a reduction in chronic UTIs among women taking cranberry extract. Another study done on spinal cord injury patients shows no benefit, although the spinal injuries could have some factors that confound the effects. I found a lot of stuff from natural health articles, but it seems that there has not been a lot of rigorous testing of the claim.
My mother swears by it and used to make me drink the stuff all the time as a kid.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 23 September 2007, 02:49 AM
Auntie Witch's Avatar
Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
Join Date: 22 October 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 12,599
Default

Cranberry juice, and I seem to recall reading blueberries, work well for UTIs. Check and make sure it's got actual juice in it and isn't a cocktail with mostly apple/pear juice, and 100% juice instead of watered down corn syrup with a tad bit of juice for color and flavor. The berries themselves work well, too, but good luck getting a little one to eat them - they're a little tart! I have seen that you can buy a supplement with whatever it is that cranberries have in the vitamin section of Walmart, so that might be something to consider if she's not drinking the juice.

I would not do ANYTHING to do with a bath. Give her showers, instead. Baths can aggravate or cause UTIs, depending on the soap you're using.

Teach her to wipe front to back, and whenever you can, give her a wipe yourself. I use wet-wipes on Rina, but you'll want to see if there's something without soap if she's aggravated by things like that.

I would be seriously pissed at the hospital for ignoring her needs. Rina just had a UTI recently, and the school nurse told me that UTIs can be fatal in small children and the elderly, particularly because the symptoms aren't always obvious, or can't be communicated. I know that Rina's fever stayed up no matter what I did, and thankfully I've got a wonderful doctor, who tested for a UTI before anything else!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 23 September 2007, 03:30 AM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,553
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Witch View Post
Cranberry juice, and I seem to recall reading blueberries, work well for UTIs. Check and make sure it's got actual juice in it and isn't a cocktail with mostly apple/pear juice, and 100% juice instead of watered down corn syrup with a tad bit of juice for color and flavor. The berries themselves work well, too, but good luck getting a little one to eat them - they're a little tart! I have seen that you can buy a supplement with whatever it is that cranberries have in the vitamin section of Walmart, so that might be something to consider if she's not drinking the juice.

I would not do ANYTHING to do with a bath. Give her showers, instead. Baths can aggravate or cause UTIs, depending on the soap you're using.

Teach her to wipe front to back, and whenever you can, give her a wipe yourself. I use wet-wipes on Rina, but you'll want to see if there's something without soap if she's aggravated by things like that.

I would be seriously pissed at the hospital for ignoring her needs. Rina just had a UTI recently, and the school nurse told me that UTIs can be fatal in small children and the elderly, particularly because the symptoms aren't always obvious, or can't be communicated. I know that Rina's fever stayed up no matter what I did, and thankfully I've got a wonderful doctor, who tested for a UTI before anything else!

I used babywipes for a long time but her new Doc said just plain warm water and clean face cloths each time so that is where we are now. I have taught her the proper way to wipe but I still do it for her when she is not in school. I also don't let her take baths, but thankfully she loves showers. What your nurse told you if correct. My daughter spent weeks in the hospital with that first UTI and for the first few days they would not guarentee she would make it. Like your Rina my daughter has high fevers, with them if her fever goes over 105 she gets really shaky and no matter how many times we have been through it still scares me to death. Usually for the first few days the fever is pretty much nonstop and usally hovers at just above 104, coming down for short spurts of time after fever reducer but not for long.

Yes I was pissed and I still am because of the Doctor (he was who they were calling for instructions each night and who she saw each day through this) she will now be going through surgery in 5 weeks to tunnel the uriters under her muscles to support them in the right position. Her Urologist feels that if she didn't have so much scar tissue they would have been able to allow her to outgrow the reflux. The worst part is the very same doctor( Dr. Greitzer from Chatham, NY) is also responsible for my nephews death this past January. My SIL came home from work in the evening and picked my nephew, about 4 mths old, up from her Mother's (both her and my brother worked evenings) to find out he was getting a cold. When she got home he spiked a high fever, was weazing badly, and his skin way bluish white she said. She brought him to the ER and the Ped on at the time just so happened to be the same Doc. This was on a Friday evening and Dr. Greitzer examined him and told her that he might be developing Bronciolitus (spelling?) and to go home and bring him to his Ped on Monday. SIL asked if he needed an antibiotic to which Doc replied that he didn't think prescribing antibiotics for every little thing was a good idea "Every little thing" this was a 4 mth old baby who was having trouble breathing. They were sent home and it got worse so SIL again headed to the ER but his heart stopped on the way and even though they were able to revive him, he was brain dead and died later. After the person who did the autopsy later was given copies of his records from the ER and saw that he had been having trouble breathing and that and the bluish tint to his skin were recorded by the nurses he changed the cause of death from heart failure to heart failure due to phsycians error.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23 September 2007, 03:59 AM
Esprise Me's Avatar
Esprise Me Esprise Me is offline
 
Join Date: 02 October 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 5,538
Default

Cranberries and blueberries stimulate the production of mucous in the urinary tract, which makes it difficult for bacteria to get a toehold, according to my doctor. Therefore, if you're prone to UTIs and you can feel one coming a mile away, you can usually fend it off with a hefty dose of one of those fruits, plus lots of liquids (to keep you peeing almost constantly to help flush it out.) However, if you're already at the state where there's blood in your urine, you definitely need antibiotics.

None of those other home remedies makes any sense to me, but I'm not a doctor. You should definitely discuss any home treatments, whether curative or preventative, even a steady diet of cranberry juice, with the pediatrician. The problem with home remedies like this is that they can often ease the symptoms without really solving the problem (kind of like taking half the antibiotics in the bottle, then stopping because you feel better, leaving the few resistant bacteria to take over.) It's especially difficult to know when a UTI is developing into something more serious, such as a kidney infection, when the patient is not yourself but your five-year-old child.

Given her history, I wonder if it would be feasible for her to undergo regular urine tests, the way diabetics routinely test their blood sugar? In any case, I'm glad you finally found a competent doctor who can treat her effectively. He might be able to recommend some literature for further reading on the subject, if you're interested.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 23 September 2007, 10:28 AM
Auntie Witch's Avatar
Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
Join Date: 22 October 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 12,599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Given her history, I wonder if it would be feasible for her to undergo regular urine tests, the way diabetics routinely test their blood sugar? In any case, I'm glad you finally found a competent doctor who can treat her effectively. He might be able to recommend some literature for further reading on the subject, if you're interested.
Ooh, good idea. First response makes (made? I haven't seen them in a while) a home UTI test: it was about $8 for two kits.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 23 September 2007, 10:37 AM
wanderwoman's Avatar
wanderwoman wanderwoman is offline
 
Join Date: 29 December 2004
Location: Elkhart, IN
Posts: 7,353
Default

Lots of good advice here, I just wanted to add that you shouldn't give a little one Alka Seltzer without explicit instructions from your doctor, because it contains aspirin.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 23 September 2007, 11:40 AM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,553
Default

Yes she has weekly urine tests that way it is easier to catch them(infections) before they get to bad. It has helped alot but a bad one still comes out of nowhere from time to time.

I aleady know more than I ever cared to know about UTI's and kidney infections. I have several books and plenty of medical handouts. Thankyou though, because the first step in taking care of a sick child is knowledge.

Let me just point out again that I neither believe nor use any of these (barring plain cranberry juice), I posted them for their relevance. I thought that was clear in the OP but after rereading it I see it really isn't, but thankyou anyways for the advice.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 23 September 2007, 11:45 AM
nonnieyrissa's Avatar
nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
Join Date: 16 July 2007
Location: Brooklyn/Hudson, NY/Rancho Cordova, CA
Posts: 2,553
Default

I honestly didn't know that their was aspirin in Alka Seltzer. I have used it myself in conjunction with tylenol or motrim. I will nnot be doing that again!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 23 September 2007, 04:48 PM
We'veBeenHad
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonnieyrissa View Post
The last night I brought her to the E.R. they sent me home with a pamplet on postpartum depression and basicaly told me I was imagining my child had symptoms that were there most likely due to depression, and that it was common for new mothers to unconsciously invent symptoms in their child becuase of the let down after birth and no longer being the center of attention. WTF?
Wow wow wow. GOOD for you for not giving up and for insisting that she get proper care. They miss deadly things in the ER many times (I know that for sure.) You did the right thing, and your daughter is lucky to have you.

Quote:
1. Her kidney duplication was caused by her early in formatiom of the fetus actually being a set of twin tat merged during development. (None of her doctors have EVER suggested this possibility or even anything remotely similar)
Like a chimera? Pretty doubtful. It would seem more likely that maybe she was trying to split into identicals but didn't get very far. But even that doesn't seem right. I'd ignore this one - maybe just say "The doctors say no" and move on.

Quote:
2.Mixing two tablets of Alka Seltzer with cranberry juice will cure a developing UTI. (I do give her a cup of plain cranberry advice each day to PREVENT UTI's on her urologists advice but have only heard the Alka Seltzed part from family and friends)
They probably find the Alka Seltzer helpful because the aspirin relieves pain. I doubt it has anything to do with helping the actual infection, as there's nothing in it that would help.

Quote:
3.Bathing in a bath of water and Baking Soda can prevent and sometimes cure UTI's.
Like Auntie Witch said, I wouldn't try that.

Quote:
4.Drinking beer can help with UTI's.
Probably this came about because it makes you pee a lot.

Quote:
5.Drinking apple cider vinegar with half water over ice can prevent and cure UTI's.
People think vinegar can cure just about anything. In the case of a UTI who knows if the acidity does anything.

Quote:
6.Boil 10 stalks of asparagus till mushy then eat stalks and drink juice to cure UTI faster.
I bet this one came about because asparagus makes your pee smell funny. Therefore it does "something" so it must be a cure. Like the beer or the vinegar.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 23 September 2007, 06:33 PM
Esprise Me's Avatar
Esprise Me Esprise Me is offline
 
Join Date: 02 October 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 5,538
Default

We'veBeenHad, I think your theories on the origins of these myths make a lot of sense. I think the idea behind the baking soda bath is that baking soda and water is a pretty good solvent and can be useful for household cleaning, so hey, why not personal cleansing?

Who was it that said, "Mankind, while unique for his powers of reasoning, is also remarkable for his disinclination to use them?"
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 23 September 2007, 06:42 PM
We'veBeenHad
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks, I like to make sense once in a while Baking soda neutralizes acid; maybe they're thinking (maybe it's true) that part of why a UTI burns is that it is the acidity in the urine. Maybe more acidic what with cranberry juice and vinegar. It might make you more comfortable in that sense. I don't know. Still doesn't seem a good idea. I might try it next time someone has diarrhea - the doctors have told me that the reason you feel such burning on the rectum with diarrhea is the acid in the excrement. Perhaps a baking soda bath would help relieve that burning. Though Tucks and Preparation H also help. Or even a drop of tea tree oil on the toilet paper.

Last time I had a UTI I did a drop of Tea Tree Oil on the TP...burns slightly (well more like ice) but it helped. I was comfortable for some hours, and the infection went away pretty quickly. But from what I've read, in addition to anesthetic properties, TTO actually does have bacteria-killing properties.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 24 September 2007, 02:53 AM
Auntie Witch's Avatar
Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
Join Date: 22 October 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 12,599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by We'veBeenHad View Post
I might try it next time someone has diarrhea - the doctors have told me that the reason you feel such burning on the rectum with diarrhea is the acid in the excrement. Perhaps a baking soda bath would help relieve that burning. Though Tucks and Preparation H also help. Or even a drop of tea tree oil on the toilet paper.
My MIL swears by baking soda on a really bad diaper rash, to neutralize it. She told me to sit the kid in a baby tub full of baking-soda water and it will clear the redness up and get rid of the pain. Perhaps that's where the UTI theory came from, as well.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 24 September 2007, 04:38 AM
We'veBeenHad
 
Posts: n/a
Default

That makes sense. They also attributed diarrhea-diaper rash to the acidity of the diarrhea. Wish I'd thought to try the baking soda then. I do use it for heartburn and it works instantly - a lot cheaper than antacids, too. Who knows but that it might help with the discomfort of UTIs but I wouldn't try it without a doctor's OK because baths and UTIs are a risky thing.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 25 September 2007, 03:25 AM
Spamamander's Avatar
Spamamander Spamamander is offline
 
Join Date: 01 January 2006
Location: Central WA
Posts: 4,383
Default

On the topic of acidic diaper rashes... this one sounds funny but it works well. Pepto-Bismol works at neutralizing acid in the stomach, and is cool and coating. It's a little odd to spear the pink stuff on baby butts but I had really good luck with it, when the rash was caused by diarrhea burning tender baby skin.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 25 September 2007, 11:03 AM
Auntie Witch's Avatar
Auntie Witch Auntie Witch is offline
 
Join Date: 22 October 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 12,599
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamamander View Post
On the topic of acidic diaper rashes... this one sounds funny but it works well. Pepto-Bismol works at neutralizing acid in the stomach, and is cool and coating. It's a little odd to spear the pink stuff on baby butts but I had really good luck with it, when the rash was caused by diarrhea burning tender baby skin.
Pepto can cause the same problems in kiddos that aspirin can, as it contains a derivative. I don't think it has aspirin itself, but the salicyte (?) is similar enough that it's not recommended in little ones. I may be remembering that wrong, so feel free to correct me, but I do know that you can't take Pepto under 12 for the same reasons that you can't take aspirin.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.