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Mystery Solved - TMI WARNING!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Parts of this post may fall under the TMI category, so consider yourselves warned!!

Starting over a year ago, I've had a slew of icky urinary tract infections. Conversations with my then-ObGyn initially convinced me this was due to "Honeymoon Cystitis," AKA UTIs from having a new partner. But the honeymoon ended (the boy and I have been together for almost 2 years now), and the UTIs did not.

So, I was not surprised, but a little irked last week when - out of the blue - I started feeling the telltale signs of a UTI. (We hadn't had any recent "honeymoon action," if you know what I mean.) My mood plummeted as I contemplated leaving work to run to a doctor, tell him all about my personal life, pee in a cup, convince him to write me a prescription, and run to the pharmacy to have it filled. I tried to stave it off myself, taking several pure cranberry capsules and drinking gallons of tea.

The doctor's visit took half as long as I expected, but it was twice as embarrassing (male doctor w/ zero bedside manner). I left with my prescription, got it filled, and got back to work. I started taking it right away, along with those crazy pills that make your pee Illinois orange. All the while, I'm still drinking my tea, buckets and buckets of it. Gotta stay hydrated!

For the next several days, I agonized over whether I was getting better or not. I kept drinking my tea, thinking, "I've just got to flush out all the bacteria." I whined to my co-workers (yeah, I don't have much shame), convinced that this UTI was resistant to the Cipro I was prescribed. I called the doctor back, pleading with them to call in a different antibiotic. (Against their policy...I'd have to see the Dr. again.) Meanwhile, my urine culture came back "inconclusive," meaning they couldn't tell what kind of bacteria was causing the "infection." I went through periods of feeling fine, only to be followed by periods of "WTF...it's back?!?!?"

Long story short, I FINALLY figured out yesterday what was going on. I woke up feeling great, got through the first couple hours of work feeling spectacular. Then, I drank my tea...with SPLENDA. Splenda that I had been consuming at the rate of 6-8 packets/day (in my tea, on my strawberries, etc.). Almost immediately, I was running to the bathroom, entirely convinced the raging UTI had returned. For the next 20 minutes, I searched the Internet and found MANY stories of other women who have suffered from SPLENDA-induced "UTIs."

So...I have just thrown out my entire supply of Splenda, and I've returned to using a sweetener I bought about a year ago. It's made of Luo Han Guo, a Chinese fruit. It's supposed to have sweetening AND medicinal properties, but we'll see. At this point, having been recently BURNED by a sugar substitute, my hopes are not high. I know that the best solution would be to get accustomed to drinking my tea plain, unsweetened, and in its natural form. But, really? Bleh.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sorry to hear you were having so many problems. But i'm glad that you discovered what the problem was. Thank you so much for sharing the much appreciated info.
    Keep up the hard work with your weight loss.
    4265 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/24/2009 3:24:47 AM
    Girl, I'm so sorry! That sounds like it really sucked! I'm glad you found the culprit though and that you have an alternative! Hopefully everything will clear up quickly now and you'll be back to normal soon.
    4274 days ago
    OH NOS! I would die without my Splenda. Splenda is in so many low calorie foods too. Well at least you have found the culprit.

    I hate going to see the ObGyn too. Ive had many different doctors due to many different jobs and subsequently many different insurance plans. I've never liked any of them until the guy I got a year ago. He's an older guy in his 60s and probably the nerdiest guy ever. One time I got this "younger" guy. He was maybe in in his late twenties and he freaked me out because he seemed nervous, like he didnt want to touch me, and then I got all self conscious, it was a BAD experience.

    Anyhoo, best of luck on leading you're now Splenda free life. There's got to be some other sugar substitutes out there... I've heard Stevia is a good option. Stevia is sort of hard to get though, you have to buy it at health food stores because the FDA labels it as a food "supplement". I'm sure if you just google it you might find some places. Stevia actually comes from an herbal plant related to sunflowers!
    4277 days ago
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