Can Ra Cause Frequent Uti Infections?

Question

Asked by ~Suzanne~

Can Ra Cause Frequent Uti Infections?

Does anyone find that their RA causes frequent UTI's? I have only had one UTI in my life until I was diagnosed with RA. If I don't take the Macrobid nightly, I find I get a UTI infection a few months later.

When I was on methotrexate; I thought maybe that had something to do with it. Since it did lower my immune system, I could have easlily picked up an infection somehow. I'm wondering if that could have been the culprit.

Believe me, I take my personal hygiene very seriously, so it isn't from any sort of neglect on my part, wiping the wrong way, etc.

I've taken herbal cranberry supplements in a capsule form, tried drinking more water, cranberry juice etc. seeing if that would help prevent an infection, but that didn't always do the trick.

I'm just wondering if any others out there notice any connection with the UTI's and the RA?

Answer

I'm going to throw a bit of extra information into the ring here. I assume that when you say you have a UTI, it is confirmed by a urine testing a doctors office? I don't mean to be insultingly obvious, there's a reason I'm asking.

When I started methotrexate, I got a lot of UTIs. It turned out that some of them were, but quite a lot of it was bladder spasms. There seems to be something about methotrexate that your bladder just doesn't like. As well, I've found that one of the symptoms of my fibromyalgia is - you've guessed it - bladder spasms. It feels very much like a UTI, but isn't. I found it got better once I started taking Flexeril (a muscle relaxant) before I go to bed. It helped my fibro-related muscle pain by sort of resetting the clock, so I wouldn't have tension on top of tension every day, but sort of start over with the fibromyalgia tensing my muscles, something I's described as "micro-spasms". Not only did it help the pain my arms, legs, etc., but it also helped my bladder.

Like you, for a long time I took antibiotics every day because I thought it prevented UTIs. In reality, I think it seemed to calm the spasms in my bladder. As you undoubtedly know, it's better for you not to take antibiotics, so I would recommend talking to your doctor about other ways of dealing with this. You may also want to consult a licensed naturopathic doctor who will be very knowledgeable about certain supplements, etc. that may help you keep your UTI at bay

Answered by Lene Andersen, MSW