Tracy’s experience is not unusual. Her problem, a urinary tract infection, is one of the most common reasons that teens — especially girls — visit a doctor.
He seems more amused than annoyed; again, he understands. Still, “it’s hard to get in the habit of washing my hands literally after everything I touch,” he says.
This is the sixth post in the series Understanding UTIs. The goal of this seven-part series is to provide easy-to-understand, scientifically grounded information about UTIs. Patients referenced are composites, compiled from actual patient experiences.
Robert, a retired 86-year-old man, was outside gardening when he noticed pain in his lower abdomen; and throughout the day, he had difficulty urinating. When he asked his wife about the symptoms, she suggested he might have a urinary tract infection. “I can’t have a UTI,” he said. “Men don’t get UTIs!”
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Although antibiotics begin fighting the infection right away, they can’t stop all the symptoms immediately. If someone has a lot of pain from a UTI, the doctor may recommend a medication to help relieve the spasm and pain in the bladder. This will turn urine a bright orange color, but it’s harmless and will usually make a person much more comfortable within hours. In the case of a kidney infection, a doctor may prescribe pain medication.
A 38‐year‐old Japanese man presented to the outpatient department of orthopedics with sudden onset of back pain without radiation for 4 days followed by a 3 week history of multiple joint pains. The joint pains were involved with the major joints, including left ankle, left wrist, right knee, and right second proximal interphalangeal joint of the foot. The pains became worse with movement. Due to increased joint pains along with plantar pain, he gradually developed difficulty in walking. During this period, the patient also had intermittent fever with a range of 37‐38.6°C at daily maximum temperature. He had no significant past medical history such as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, asthma, trauma, or major surgery. He worked as a system engineer. For 17 years, he had been smoking one pack of cigarettes and drinking two cans of beer a day. He had no known drug or food allergy.
African American women, like Miss Bee, as she asked to be called for this story, are 20 times more likely than white women to contract HIV, mostly through heteros_xual contact. Overall, African Americans, though only 12 percent of the population, account for an estimated 44 percent of new infections. Just under a third of these are in women.
Following Tyler’s example, Pancheau had long been public about her diagnosis as part of a “moral obligation to try to destigmatize this whole thing.” The July after he died, around his birthday, she found a new way to take action. She heard on NPR about a study of long-time nonprogressors. She joined the Fred Hutch study.
In the fall of 2013, the staff held the first and only public meeting of the entire study group, which hadn’t been done before because of confidentiality limitations. Gary was surprised at how many other nonprogressors there were, and also at the group’s diversity – “not just white guys like myself.” He was also impressed by the scientists who spoke, whom he described as “the top people in the field.”