Ask HER: UTIs, Codependency & Best Diet for Someone Undergoing Chemo

From the Show: HER
Summary: Listen in as Pam and Michelle answer your personal health questions.
Air Date: 4/30/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Ask HER: UTIs, Codependency & Best Diet for Someone Undergoing Chemo
It's YOUR time on HER Radio. Be a part of the show... make your comments and ask your questions by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

It's time to Ask HER. Today, on HER Radio you wanted to know:

Can I go swimming with a UTI? And, are antibiotics the most efficient way to get rid of a UTI?

A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), is a bacterial infection that happens when there's too much bacteria in your urinary tract system. UTIs are not that serious and may cause some uncomfortable symptoms like a constant urge to go to the bathroom, burning while urinating, inability to fully empty your bladder, and soreness in your abdomen.

There are several treatment options for UTIs, like drinking lots of water and taking certain antibiotics. Depending on your comfort level, you can go swimming in the lake or pool.

What is the best diet for someone going through chemo?

If you or a loved one is going through chemo, it isn't uncommon to lose your appetite. However, getting the proper nutrition is crucial while undergoing chemo. You may want to consider eating wholesome, nutritious foods like fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

What is codependency?

Codependency is when one person fully supports or enables the other person. This could be an addiction, mental health, or irresponsibility. There are many ways someone could be codependent and they are all very unhealthy.

If you have a personal health question that you want answered, Pam and Michelle encourage you to send them in to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

RadioMD Presents:HER Radio | Original Air Date: April 30, 2015
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD

It's your time on HER Radio. Be a part of the show. Make your comments, ask your questions by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 877-711-5211. It's time to Ask HER.

PAM: So, you're asking HER. I'M Dr. Pam Peeke. Michelle is off today. Alright. We've got some really great questions today, so thank you so much for submitting them to Ask HER radio. Let's go to the first one:

"Can I go swimming with a urinary tract infection and are antibiotics the most efficient way to get rid of a UTI?"

Well, heck, yeah. They are! Because it's caused by a bacterium and there are some very common ones out there. Women are especially much more vulnerable to urinary tract infections than men are. It's just because of the placement of the opening of where we pee from--the urethra. It's just so close to the opening and into that vaginal wall that all kinds of things can happen. You can put in a tampon the wrong way; definitely through sexual intercourse. Some women are just much more prone to this and so it's important that you get in to your doctor.

Give that physician or the primary care provider a little sample of your urine so they can culture it and then, they'll probably go ahead and put you on something that will relieve the tendency to feel like you "gotta go" every 5 seconds. They'll also probably put you on an antibiotic right at that time—one that's little bit more comprehensive and that usually grabs of the more common bacteria.

Now, let's go to this whole issue of "Can I go swimming with it?" Well, it turns out, that was an old wives' tale out there. "You can't go swimming with the urinary tract infection because all of that evil water will go right back up into your bladder and we got problems." Well, as it that turns out, the American College of Family Physicians actually published a study that showed that that was completely incorrect. There's no backwash, as it were, and so it's fine to go swimming.

There's no question. However, where you are you going swimming? Are you going swimming in a lake somewhere back and forth because bacterium can definitely go back up there and so, I if I were you, I would just use extreme caution. Watch what you're wearing, too. You know, sweaty clothes and where you are, especially when it comes to exposure to more water. Just use common sense with that. Drink like there's no tomorrow. You know what? It's very important hydrate and flush your system through. Alright.

So, there you go.

The next question is: "What's the best diet for someone going through chemotherapy?"

Wow! I get this question a lot as an expert in nutrition. We're going to go through some baseline steps, here. First you know, chemo can do a real number on your taste buds, making certain foods and drinks taste metallic or unpleasant. Water and meat are the two most common items that become distasteful.

Bet you didn't know that. So, you want to try to do everything you can to try to keep baseline protein and water as pleasant. That's why fruit infused water is so wonderful and it's really easy to make. It's really important to get some of that, as it were, more naturally flavored mineral water on board. Even adding a little sliced lemon or citrus helps so much. And we want to get that protein in, too. So it could be eggs or low-fat dairy, beans or fish or even smoothies. Constipation or diarrhea can occur and, you know, when it comes to constipation, again, trying to get in as much fiber. I'm a prune girl, between you, me and walls.

Works like a charm and the diarrhea is a real problem. For crying out loud, avoid greasy and fried foods, caffeine, sugary drinks, fruit juices and a lot of those kinds of products that will increase the propensity for diarrhea. You know, you weight is going to go up and down and all over the place.

This is not the time to be hitting some strange fad diet or whatever. Whole foods and excellent hydration is what you want and you really want to be able to try to improve your appetite as best you can. That's why keeping it simple like some hot cereals, toast with peanut butter or any other kind of nut butter, pita bread with a little bit of hummus, yogurt in some blended soups work like a charm and, you know, at the end of the day, what you really want to do is try to keep a little food diary, too, to see where you might be running into problems.

You can make it through and work with a registered dietitian. I'm such a believer in these extraordinary individuals who can really, really help you be able to choose what you need to do to get through this.

Then, finally, our third question is: "What is code dependency?"

Well, it's generally when one person fully supports or enables the other person to their own detriment and that means that they're giving up on themselves. What's going on here? What's a co-dependent relationship? I bet that's what you're really talking about. Well, you know, it's important that...I know we all have a give and take here, but do you ever find yourself making lots of sacrifices for your partner's happiness but not getting much in return? It's sort of a one-sided thing that starts taking place.

And people run into all kinds of problems with this and there are some red flags. Do you have a low self-esteem? Are you a people pleaser, doing everything you can but kind of knocking yourself off your own radar? Is it hard for you to establish boundaries and limits so when someone says, "I need you. I need you. I need you," you always say, "Yes, yes, yes," instead of saying, "You know, I have a x, y and z going on that day. I've got to get over to that gym class or that Zumba dance thing and can we hit it a little later on because I'm got to take care of myself, too." It's hard for some people to say that, especially women. And then, you know, the caretaking thing. Honey, women will caregive anything, even if it's something or someone we don't even know. We just sort of inherently do that, but do we do it to own detriment? What about control?

Control helps codependents feels safe and secure. Everyone needs some control over events in your life. You wouldn't want to live in constant uncertainty and chaos, but for co-dependents, control kind of limits their ability to take risks and share their feelings. They're really kind of, "Oh, my gosh," and sometimes, it also leads to problems like addiction because in order to feel not so tightly wound, you've got to eat a bunch of comfort food, do some drinking, or maybe drugs to be able to loosen up enough to really let yourself hang out. Uh oh! There's a stress issue there. Stress resiliency--we need to deal with that better.

Dysfunctional communication is another issue.Co-dependents have trouble when it comes to communicating their thoughts, feelings and needs. They get anxious about that. Are they going to lose control? What are you really going to think about me? Uh oh. Back to that people pleasing thing. Sometimes you can get obsessional, too. Co-dependents have a tendency to spend their time thinking about other people or relationships all the friggin' time. We're talking 24/7.

This is caused by their dependency and anxieties and fears. They can also become obsessed when they think they've made even the slightest little mistake. "Oh, my gosh. What are they going to think?" "What did I say?" Hey, newsflash. You're human. You know? We all make mistakes but people who have co-dependency have a real problem with this because they get so wrapped up in it, it just becomes a major issue that interferes with all of the functions in their life. Many people are in denial about this, too.

They've got problems with intimacy, painful emotions, You know what I say? I say. "Get help for crying out loud." You know why? Because this affects everything in your life. Let's unravel all of this. Maybe if there was stress or trauma, put it on the table with a trained therapist, a counselor, who can help you, guide you to be able to reestablish, build a stronger foundation for being able to just survive on a day by day basis. So, hey, and if you think you're the only person out there who's co-dependent, you can bag that idea.

Oh, my goodness gracious. It's everywhere. Co-dependency is found in families, among friends and all kinds of relationships, so just seek help and I know you're going to be able to rebuild this and this time, not to your detriment but to your happiness and to your joy.

Thanks so much for all the great questions on Ask HER.
I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michelle King Robson. You're listing to HER radio on RadioMD.

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