Urinary Tract Infection Specialist

Preventive Medical Center of Marin

Integrative Family Medicine located in San Rafael, CA

While women are more likely to contract urinary tract infections (UTIs) than men, anyone of any age can get a UTI. At Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, Elson M. Haas, MD, and his team of integrative health specialists offer natural treatments to heal your UTI and reduce your risk of chronic infections. If you suspect you have a UTI, call the center or schedule an appointment online today.

Urinary Tract Infection Q & A

What is a UTI?

Your urinary tract extends from your kidneys to the exit of your urethra in your genitals. A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria enter your urethra, and your body isn’t able to flush it out on its own.

UTIs cause a variety of disruptive symptoms including:

  • Painful urination
  • Lower back and pelvic pain
  • Strong, persistent urges to urinate
  • Cloudy or discolored urine
  • Urine with a strong odor
  • Fever

UTIs usually occur in your urethra, but when left untreated the infection can spread to your bladder, ureters, and kidneys.

What causes a UTI?

In most cases, UTIs are caused by bacteria, such as E.coli, that travel from your digestive tract into your urinary tract. This is often due to sexual activity or incorrect wiping habits after urinating or having a bowel movement. Women are more likely than men to contract a UTI because of the proximity of their urethras and anuses.

As a woman, your risk of contracting a UTI increases when you reach menopause as it the decline in estrogen can change your urinary tract making it more vulnerable to infection. In premenopausal women, the risk for UTIs may increase if you use a diaphragm or spermicide as birth control.  

How are UTIs diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of a UTI, make an appointment at Preventive Medical Center of Marin. Dr. Haas and his team diagnose UTIs with a physical exam and urine testing. If you experience recurring infections, they may use diagnostic imaging studies or a cystoscopy to examine your urinary tract for blockages that could contribute to your frequent infections.

What treatments are used for UTIs?

Dr. Haas and the team at Preventive Medical Center of Marin take a holistic and natural approach to treating and preventing UTIs, only prescribing antibiotics when other treatments have failed. They consider your lifestyle and overall health before recommending strategies such as lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, herbal therapies, and acupuncture to help your body fight the infection and reduce your risk of future UTIs.

For example, your provider recommends drinking more water. While some people say that cranberry juice helps your body flush out the infection, most juices are full of sugars that simply feed the bacteria and allow it to thrive. But drinking filtered water, on the other hand, helps your body remove bacteria and other toxins.

If you think you have a UTI or suffer from chronic infections and want to reduce your risk, call Preventive Medical Center of Marin or schedule an appointment online today.