Casey: How can MSers avoid getting UTIs?
Matt Justin, MS Nurse: That’s a good question. Urine infections can happen to anybody whether they have MS or not, but sometimes some people with MS are more prone to urine infections than others. A lot of that’s to do with the fact that sometimes people with MS have problems with their waterworks, so they need to go more frequently, they sometimes have difficulty going to the toilet in the first place and sometimes they don’t quite empty their bladder properly. And in those cases sometimes they’re more likely to have urine infections and the advice is very much to make sure you have a healthy bladder. The best way to do that is to make sure you’re drinking enough fluid, which is often quite against the idea, especially if you feel that you’re going a lot, but if you’re drinking fluid you’re keeping your kidneys flushed, you’re keeping your bladder healthy and hopefully you’ve got less chance of running into problems. There are other things that can make things worse, such as caffeine and alcohol, but in moderation these things are not too bad. But basically, try and keep your bladder as healthy as possible.
Casey: Is medication a trigger for it, or can it be?
Matt Justin: Yes certainly, medication can be a trigger. Probably Tecfidera less so than other ones, but certainly Tecfidera and other medications alter your system, they don’t make you more likely to get infections, but you just need to be more aware of the potential for infections if you’re on medications such as that.
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