Whitesburg KY

Infections differ



DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My mother was discharged from the hospital this past week. She was admitted for a urinary tract infection. She has had many urinary tract infections in the past, and they were all treated as an outpatient. Why was hospitalization needed this time? — J.J.

ANSWER: The term “urinary tract” covers a considerable amount of ground. The kidneys, the ureters (the tubes that carry urine to the bladder), the urinary bladder and the tube that drains it — the urethra — are the four parts of the urinary tract. Your mother’s past urinary tract infections most likely were bladder infections. The official name for those infections is cystitis. People usually are treated for cystitis as outpatients.

Kidney infections, on the other hand, are much more serious, much more difficult to treat and carry with them the possibility of permanent damage. These infections most often are treated with intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. Such infections have the name pyelonephritis (PIEuh low-neff-RIGHT-iss).

Bladder infections make a person uncomfortable, require frequent urination and might induce a slight rise in body temperature.

With a kidney infection, people take to their bed, have a high temperature, often develop shaking chills, and suffer flank pain. This is the kind of urinary tract infection you mother recently had.

The booklet on urinary tract infections provides the details of these illnesses, which are more common in women than men. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue — No. 1204W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I love sweets. I also have diabetes. Can I use honey as a natural sweetener? — L.V.

ANSWER: Sugar is a natural product, too. You have to use honey as you would sugar. One teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories, and one teaspoon of honey, 21.


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I take flaxseed each morning with my breakfast. It works wonders for me after having constipation for many years.

My question is, Will the residue of flaxseed settle in my colon and cause a greater chance of diverticulitis or some other type of stomach disorder? — P.N.

ANSWER: Flaxseed keeps you from constipation. That reduces the risk of diverticulitis greatly. It isn’t linked to any digestive tract disorder. Stick with it.

©2013 North America Synd.

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