URINE INFECTIONS/ CYSTITIS
This is common in ladies (pain/burning passing urine, or going to toilet frequently). Often it will get better by drinking plenty of water to flush out the system and taking relief sachets from chemist. Reasons for seeing a doctor are if it doesn't go away after a day or if there is temperature or kidney/back pain or vomiting. Bring a sample with you in a clean container (ideally a specimen from chemist). The urine needs to be collected properly. About one in 3 samples are spoiled by bacteria/germs that live quite happily in the front passage/vagina. Unfortunately the urine has to pass through the front passage to get into the bottle, so we ask that the sample is taken after a bath and you catch the middle of the stream. That is that you pee a little, then put the specimen bottle in the way to collect the urine. And avoid the end of the pee. Unless you do this, the specimen that is sent to hospital risks coming back as 'contaminated' and tells us nothing.
We may have a clue as to whether it is a urine infection by dipping the urine in surgery with our testing strips, but they are not accurate.
The best answer is to send your carefully collected clean MidStreamUrine to StHeliers lab for analysis. They will grown which particular germs are causing the urine infection and will tell us which antibiotics to use. We will usually have guessed and given you an antibiotic whilst we wait for the definitive test result which will either confirm the correct antibiotic has been used, or sometimes even tell us that it wasn't an urine infection at all (?thrush or even Sexually transmitted disease).
Usually the doctor reading the results will only ring if you have been given the wrong antibiotic, so if symptoms persist, do contact us
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTIs)
steamer can save you a fortune in cough linctus! These are basically 'colds' which can also cause coughing, but which antibiotics do not help. Taking antibiotics 'just in case' weakens your immune system, which in turn makes you prone to infections in future.
Your immune system is your defence against germs. VitaminC+zinc tablets 2grams/day whilst you have the cold has been proven to boost your immune system. But generally, looking after yourself by eating fresh fruit and veg, and exercising regularly, is the only real way to keep your immune system strong.
Examination of the chest/lungs is useful to exclude chest infections that may require antibiotics.
The difference between colds and influenza is not easy to make: patients often think that they have the influenza.
Patients traditionally at risk, who should have had the Flu Vaccine in any case, should see the doctor for an examination.