"It only takes 20 to 30 minutes for the bacteria to double its count in the pouch!"
"6.5 pH alkaline level is above normal"
"This alkaline condition may indicate a urinary infection"
Usually the urine has
a darker yellow color. Sometimes calcium deposits can be
seen on the appliance, stoma or the peristomal skin.
One of the easiest
ways to do this is with Nitrazine paper. If you do
not already have a Nitrazine Test Packet, you can obtain
this item from your medical supply pharmacy. One packet
will last for about 2 years. The paper is best stored
in a dry place, (not in the bathroom or where there may
be high humidity).
Take a fresh sample of the urine
The best way is to do this is when you change your pouch and the pouch is off. Lean over and let a drop of urine drip onto a small strip (1 ½"- 2") of nitrazine paper. Do not let the nitrazine paper touch the stoma and do not use urine that has been in the pouch, as they will give false readings. An alternate method is to let a little urine drip into a clean dry container and dip the end of the paper into the urine. Shake off any excess urine and immediately compare the paper to the color chart on the packet.
Compare this color immediately against the Color Scale on the Paper Dispenser. Avoid color comparison in fluorescent light. Use daylight or incandescent light.
When the color of your urine test sample corresponds to the purple-blue end of the color scale (above 6.5pH), the alkaline level is above normal. This alkaline condition may indicate a urinary infection. It is important to check with your doctor. It may very often be only a simple matter of body chemistry that is easily corrected by a change in diet or an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor
If the urine test shows too
much alkaline or too much acid, the first step to usually correct the problem is to increase your water intake. If you are not
on fluid restrictions by your physician, you should drink
six-to-eight, 8 oz glasses of water daily. A good practice is to drink one glass over the period of one hour, and continue until you feel hydrated (no dry lips or eyes) Then, continue to drink one glass over the period of two to three hours, depending on how hydrated you feel. Another good way to tell if you need more water is when you have dark-colored urine. On the other hand, very light colored or colorless urine may mean that you are over-hydrating by drinking too much water. In addition, introducing some cranberry,
plum or prune juices to your diet (10 ounces daily) may
help to decrease high alkaline urine readings. Most other
fluids and juices cause an alkaline urine response.
Note: Check the juice
labels. Frequently the contents do not contain what the
front labels state and have more juice or sweeteners than
the declared values. Fruit juice can be high in calories/carbohydrates
and can contribute to weight gain. They can be diluted to
one part juice and one part water. Also, too much prune
juice has a laxative effect.
Taking Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), may help decrease the alkalinity of the urine. The dose should be based on your pH level. Try to keep the reading on the nitrazine paper close to the ideal 6.0, (between 5.5 and 6.5). Below 5.5 means too much acid. This means you are taking too much Vitamin C. Above 6.5 means too much alkaline, and you may need more Vitamin C in your diet. Try doses of 250 mg. of Vitamin C. three times a day (morning, mid-day and evening) or 500mg twice a day, (a.m. & p.m.). Time release, one a day doses, are not so good, as the body eliminates Vitamin C in 6-8 hours (even the timed released). High doses do not assure better absorption and could cause gastric/intestinal irritation. Vitamin C should not be taken if you are taking sulfa drugs (Bactrim), as taken together can cause kidney damage. An alternative and/or in addition to the Vitamin C, are cranberry tablets,(usual dose 400mg. twice a day). Before taking any of these drugs consult with your physician.
Sufficient water intake
is most important (in hard water regions, distilled drinking
water may be recommended as distilled water contains no minerals or additives - just the distilled vapor from boiling water at the distillery).
Use soft cloths soaked
in a 50/50 solution of warm water and distilled white vinegar.
Apply gently to affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. This
will remove calcium deposits and help neutralize any pH
imbalance where urine has contact with the skin. Allow to
air dry. Consult your local E.T. nurse for any further treatment.
Check for leakage around
the base of your appliance. Make sure the appliance opening
closely matches the stoma size. If not, remeasure this opening
to minimize skin exposure to effluent.
If skin irritation
continues, consult your enterostomal therapist. He or she
can suggest additional treatment to meet your individual
It is good hygiene
to irrigate the pouch daily with a 50/50 solution of warm
water and distilled white vinegar. A deodorant may then
be used in the pouch. However, keep in mind the use of a
deodorant - while providing a pleasant scent - should not
be misconstrued as a solution to a persistent urine odor.
When the infection or body chemistry condition is corrected,
a few drops of deodorant can be added to the pouch daily
There are a number
of excellent deodorants formulated especially for ostomy
use. You can select the one you find most effective and
pleasing to you.
If you have any questions
concerning this subject please call Nu-Hope Laboratories toll-free 1-800-899-5017
(or by toll, 1-818-899-7711) and ask to talk with Mickey Galindo, Nu-Hope Laboratories' WOC/ET
Nurse on staff.