Vesicouteral reflex (VUR) is a condition wherein the urine flows back up to the bladder and uterer (the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and back to the kidneys. It is a birth defect found in about one percent of children. Instead of the normal flow of urine out the body, it goes back in the kidneys where bacterial infection can grow.
It is diagnosed in infants and children, usually indicated by recurring urinary tract infections (UTI). There's no one single way to prevent vesicouteral reflex but you can manage it until it goes away. Prevent UTI infections to lower the discomfort associated with VUR. Here's what you can do.
- During pregnancy, keep your body healthy. Make sure you get enough folic acid in your body to ensure the proper development of your baby.
- Watch for symptoms. If your child complains of a painful burning sensation when peeing, pees frequently or has difficulty peeing, has abdominal pain or fever tell your doctor immediately. If there is blood or pus in the urine, your child may have VUR. Children are usually diagnosed between ages two to five. Bed wetting and difficulty in toilet training are other symptoms in older children.
- Increase your child's fluid intake up to eight glasses of water and drink cranberry juice. The juice helps prevent e.coli bacteria from sticking to the uterine walls and prevent infection.
- Drink Vitamin C supplements to raise the acidity levels of urine. Also, increased anti-oxidants in the body help raise immunity levels in the body. Consult your doctor before mega dosing your child on vitamin C. A better option is to get the vitamin C from food sources such as fresh citrus fruits and broccoli.
- Teach your child to urinate frequently. He should not hold in his urine because he is busy with work or is distracted. Even if it is painful because of a UTI infection, he must pee frequently to help flush out the body of toxins. Have him go to the bathroom every three to four hours. Drinking extra water and cranberry juice should help.
- If your child is diagnosed, follow the doctor's instructions carefully. He may prescribe antibiotics to kill any bacteria. In severe cases when VUR symptoms are not responsive to oral medication, surgery is an option.
- Have your other children tested if one child tests positive for VUR. There seems to be a genetic component to VUR. There is a 40% chance that the child's siblings will also have VUR. Also, women who had VUR as a child are more likely to bear children who have the condition.
- Keep monitoring your child's condition every six to twelve months. Annual or semi annual sonograms of your child's urinary system may be done. Urine samples may be taken during doctor visits to test for bacterial infection.
It is important any medical condition is accurately identified immediately. VUR can cause hypertension in children and kidney damage. When treated with antibiotics, and as the child matures, the condition can go away on its own.