Women, especially older women, are prone to often painful and sometimes deadly urinary tract infections or UTIs. In fact, UTIs represent the second most common form of infection and account for approximately 8 million hospital visits per year. E coli bacteria is often the culprit and until recently it was believed the E Coli bacteria in question was native to the woman’s own intestinal flora. Researchers in Canada, however, have begun to dispel that theory and link the particular strain of E Coli common in UTIs, to chicken. It appears that commercial farming practices make chickens repositories of the strain of E Coli often seen in UTIs.
What is worse, US researchers have seen a dramatic increase in antibiotic resistant UTIs over the last decade, perhaps also due to the common practice of using prophylactic antibiotics in commercial farming. Treatment resistant strains of bacteria are also linked to the over-use of antibiotics in healthcare.
Over the coming weeks, we will be exploring the causes and treatments of UTI. If you have had problems with UTIs, we’d like to hear from you; what worked, what didn’t.