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Daily Dose Ep44. How To Treat Thrush (Vaginal & Penile)

https://youtu.be/CFUHhuSgpIo

Busy Bee? Tune into the podcast here

Embarrassing but it happens! If you’re a women over the age of 16 years, you’re likely to get thrush at least once in your lifetime. Men you’re not off the hook either it can happen on the tip of your penis

Now to be clear, thrush is NOT a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and is more a result of a compromised immune system. 

What’s that mean? Well when your not good on the inside, you can start having problems on the outside. E.g. you’re dehydrated, you’ve been sun tanning for hours, you’re physically overworked at the gym or on some project, you’re underslept, you’re running on more than 3 cups of caffeine-containing drink. IMO these are 50% of the time the cause for the thrush.

The other 50% cause is being on antibiotics in the last few days. See antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria (e.g. causing that skin boil), but also the good bacteria. Yet the good bacteria help maintain a balance of acidity in the vagina. Without good bacteria, yeast aka thrush take advantage and explode in numbers causing serious itching, a white-cheesy discharge. Gosh you think! You were just doing the right thing by going to the doctor for antibiotics but end up with thrush! Yep, happens all the time. That’s why I always feel remiss if I don’t tell my female patients to consider getting a probiotic (good organisms) with their script. A favourite of mine is Saccharomyces boulardii. There’s many brands of it around, ask your local pharmacist for one-it drastically reduces getting thrush (as well as side effects from the antibiotics like diarrhoea). 

Fun fact: “SB is a tropical species of yeast first isolated from lychee and mangosteen fruit in 1923 by French scientist Henri Boulard.” – Wikipedia

So to loop back to my earlier point about your immunity, taking good care of your fundamentals will mean you’re also less likely to get thrush. Stay hydrated on hot days, go gym or stay active couple times a week, eat your veges – they have fibre which nourishes your good bacteria and acts like a detox sponge for your insides, and if you drink coffee/tea drink double the number of cups in water to balance out their diuretic effects. 

Finally, treatments for thrush are all behind the counter so ask your friendly pharmacist for help on these. 

xoxo Smiling Pharmacist

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Men

UTIs are a common occurence in women but what about men?

Young men are 30x less likely to suffer this problem but as men age past 50, the occurance rates catch up to that of women.

In fact a UTI in men is viewed at more seriously than if it were in women purely based on the physical differences between the two sexes. Men have a longer urethra (passage for urine), men also have greater distance between rectum and urethra (bacteria have less chance for cross-contamination). Thus a UTI in men is rare and when noticed, is treated with a higher level of suspicion for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

  • burning pain when urinating
  • frequency: running often to the toilet
  • urgency: sudden urges to pee
  • blood in urine (slightly pink)

UTIs are an umbrella term that covers infections stemming at different locations including: the urethra, bladder, kidneys, prostate. As such, the symptoms can vary and this helps doctors on their diagnosis.

Symptoms of a more serious infection:

  • dribbling urine (could be sign of blockages at prostate)
  • pain in pelvis
  • chills
  • side/flank/back pain
  • fever
  • nausea and vomitting

Bacteria have a knack for spreading. They will spread given the food and the path. Unfortunately for men and women, the path is through the urethra, into the bladder, across to the prostate and epididymis, and even up to the kidneys via the ureters. Have I lost you?!

Don’t fret. It’s rare that these things happen but here’s my rule of thumb: if you’ve got flank pain and fever, its probably spread to your kidneys. If you’ve got pain in the pelvis and dribbling at the urinal, it’s probably in the prostate. See your GP either way.

Word of warning: men get familiar with the “digital examination”. I’ve been there before lool. It’s when doc puts on his latex gloves with a snap, lubes up, then inserts his/her finger into your butt hole to feel for the prostate. Men as we age our prostate can enlarge putting undue pressure on the outflow of urine. Sometimes the prostate can become cancerous and this is one one for docs to keep a finger on the pulse. Ahem.

Treatments:

Antibiotics. Whilst this sounds straightforward enough, there are a spectrum of bacteria (sometimes even viruses) and so a urine and blood test are required to know what the culprit is before a doctor can prescribe anything.

Treatment is usually for 7 days.

Things your doctor ask you:

Do you have:

  • a history of diabetes?
  • nocturia (peeing at night)
  • prostate issues
  • urine sample
  • blood sample maybe

Know your own risks

  • Are you immobile? patients stuck in bed often find their bladders filling up and overtime the stagnant urine can foster bacteria.
  • Dehydrated? Drink one too many cups of coffee? Coffee has a diuretic effect causing build up of urine in the bladder too
  • Uncircumcised men can potentially harbour bacteria under their foreskins
  • Engage in unprotected anal sex? Use a condom
  • Aged 50+ and Male? Your prostate enlarges with time and can put undue pressure on your urethra causing backlog of urine
  • Finally Go when you feel the urge to go. Holding back on urinating puts you at risk too

Alright men, remember if you have ANY symptoms, get it checked!

xoxo

Vien