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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 Haas, MD and his team of integrative health specialists offer natural treatments as well as antibiotics when needed to heal your UTI and reduce your risk of chronic infections. If you suspect you have a UTI, call the center to schedule an appointment 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 them 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 shortness of their urethras. 

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

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 for acute infections or when more natural 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 may recommend 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. There are also cranberry capsules without added sugars as well as a supplement called D-mannose, which helps lessen the UTI. Still, drinking filtered water also 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 to schedule an appointment today.