My mom seems to have a chronic issue with Urinary Tract Infections. Just as soon as she would finish a round of antibiotics to take care of one infection, another would come back within days.
The tell tale sign of an infection, the smell, an indelible odor that will never leave my olfactory sensors. Like clock work, within 2 days of finishing her antibiotic, infection would return.
Diapers surely contribute to the infection woes of every Care Giver. UTI's have a silent approach, ambushing good days from our lives as quickly as a hawk can strike its unsuspecting victim.
Personally, I've noticed that my mom's UTI's come with more agitation and confusion. Infections surely usher in vivid hallucinations and difficult behaviors; redirecting is nearly impossible. My mom forgets how to use the toilet when she has a UTI, pooing or peeing on the floor, in closets or in buckets; a special surprise to clean.
My mom doesn't care to eat nutritious foods when she's got a UTI. Her dementia is amplified and all logic is flushed down the proverbial toilet. She craves simple carbohydrates like cookies, bread and other snack foods. She turns her nose up at protein rich foods; beans and lean meat.
It's much more challenging when my mom has a UTI; she tends to hate me because I say "NO." She doesn't know who I am or that I'm here to help her. I become the enemy. It's frustrating; I need to remind myself that this too will pass.
My mom's craving for simple carbohydrates and her increased consumption of this food helped me to realize that this could be the root of my mom's chronic infections. I did a little research and discovered that with Chinese Medicine (which I am a big believer), carbohydrates and sugar create the perfect breeding ground for a UTI. No wonder my mom's been having issues and driving me completely out of my mind.
Our Naturopath Doctor did recommend that my mom take Mannose every morning; this natural remedy wraps itself around the bacteria and flushes it out of ones system before it creates a problem. My mom eats Greek style yogurt every day for the probiotics and I've cut down on the amount of cookies and snacks that she has every day.
My mom loves eating cookies with her tea. Seeing her happy, especially after a round of "I hate you!", gave me approval from my mom, even if it was false. I kept giving her treats; it was a high for me to get a smile of approval from my mom. Only now do I realize that I was creating the issue by feeding my mom the type of food that harbors infections.
Based on Chinese Medicine, protein is a good preventer of UTI's because it make an acid environment; a hostile environment for an infection to take hold and raise havoc.
Since I've cut back on my mom's simple carbohydrates, added the Mannose and stick to lean meat with lots of vegetables; life has been calm. Pee and poo are landing in the toilet, my mom is having more enjoyable days at the Adult Day Program and when she gets home she is chatty and able to tell me all about the fun she had while at "school."
Food that we feed ourselves and the seniors in our care, really does matter.