I think I have a urinary tract infection (UTI). How can I tell for sure, and what should I do?
Getting treatment for a UTI as soon as possible is vital to avoid the infection spreading to your kidneys. Knowing the classic signs and symptoms so you can seek help early is really important. These include:
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Feeling like you have to urinate all the time, even though no urine comes out when you go to the toilet
- Strong-smelling urine
- Urine that’s cloudy, dark or bloody
- Fever or chills
- Pain in your back or abdomen
If you notice any of these, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can, because the earlier you start treatment for a UTI, the better.
If you get UTIs frequently, you can take preventative action by drinking plenty of water, wearing cotton underwear and keeping your glucose levels within your target range as much as possible. Also talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether taking a cranberry supplement or a probiotic that contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Lactobacillus reuteri may be of benefit.
The skin on my feet is often really dry. As a diabetic, I know I need to tread carefully around my feet, so what’s the best solution?
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Make this a daily habit, using it as a chance to carry out a daily foot check at the same time. The ideal moisturiser is one that’s pH balanced, fragrance free and is specifically formulated for dry, sensitive skin.
While you’re moisturising your feet, there are a few things to keep an eye on and look out for. If you notice any broken skin between your toes; calluses or corns; cracked skin; or nail-colour or foot-shape changes, make sure you see your doctor or your podiatrist within seven days. If you see redness; blisters; ulcers; any unusual swelling; bruising or cuts; or an ingrown nail, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible – ideally within the next 24 hours.