Welcome to the Dr. B Newsletter, a curated healthcare email that delivers vetted reads on whole-body health. Springtime temperatures are rising nationwide. But this week, we focus on another heat source—the burning sensation of a UTI. Scroll on for recent findings on UTIs contracted via meat sources, advice about having sex with a UTI + how our re-launched Dr. B blog delivers everything you need to know about UTI prevention, symptoms and treatment. Plus, the latest healthcare news connects our lowered U.S. mortality rates with preventative care issues + gun violence.
Researchers have long known that E. coli in meat can trigger a UTI. But a new decades-long study reveals how often that happens.
For the study, researchers collected E. coli-positive samples from hospitalized Flagstaff, Arizona patients over one year. They analyzed those samples against samples of raw meat collected bi-weekly from local supermarkets. Comparing E. coli sequence types (there are hundreds of E. coli serotypes), the researchers concluded that foodborne zoonotic E. coli causes around 8% of UTI infections. Most E. coli serotypes do little harm. But when the bacteria travels from our digestive system to our urinary tract and multiplies, the burn begins. To reduce the odds, wash your hands after touching raw meat + cook it thoroughly. Here’s more from CNN.
Are UTIs contagious? Health experts in this recent Cosmo article confirm they’re not.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) travel through fluid during sex. And, yes—bacteria that makes its way from our digestive system to our anus and then our urinary tract during sex can cause a UTI. That bacteria can come from our partner’s digestive system + genital area, too. Bacteria that live (harmlessly) on our skin + our partner's skin can also migrate + multiply. But just because that bacteria can get to our urinary tract during sex doesn't mean a UTI is contagious in and of itself.
So, is it safe to have sex with a UTI? Technically, yeah. But UTIs are painful and can recur easily. So it’s safer to wait until the infection's cleared up before jumping back in the saddle..
We’re thrilled to announce that our re-launched Dr. B blog now has everything you need to know about conditions like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and... urinary tract infections! So if you’re going about your day distracted by itching, burning or other annoying symptoms—or you just wanna stay in the know—we’ve got your back with...
'Live free and die?' The sad state of U.S. life expectancy (NPR). Americans of all ages are dying younger than those in comparable wealthy countries. While those countries bounced back from their pandemic lows, the U.S. is down to a life expectancy of 76 years. Maternal + pediatric mortality rates have increased, too. Why? We eat more calories, have less healthcare access + have higher rates of child poverty, racial segregation + social isolation. We’re dying before 50 because of car crashes (we drive more), drug overdoses + gun violence (amongst other things). Read the article for what we’re getting right + how we can get back on top.
Obamacare coverage mandate blocked for preventative care for HIV, cancer, diabetes and depression (Reuters). A Texas judge blocked an Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate that requires health insurers to offer free preventative care. This includes cancer and diabetes screenings and preventive HIV medications (PrEP). The conservative Texas plaintiffs argue that the mandate encourages businesses and individuals to financially cover medication that encourages “homosexual behavior, prostitution, sexual promiscuity and intravenous drug use" that goes against their religious beliefs. Read the article for more on how this will complicate our healthcare system (and those mortality rates) even more.
Children and teens are more likely to die by guns than anything else (CNN). No other country can list gun violence as one of the top four causes of child mortality. In the U.S., it’s number one, causing 19% of deaths in those 1-18 years old. We’ve seen 130 mass shootings in 2023—the highest level in a decade. Mortality in this group surged during the pandemic. But firearms were responsible for almost half of the increase—not illness. So, circling back to that top article… Live free and die?