Letter: Better to prevent than to cure

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The Independent Online
MAYBE Dr Tony Smith is happy to upset his gut with antibiotics on a regular basis (Second Opinion, 24 April), but I am not. Suffering from cystitis is a recurrent problem for many women. Recommending regular treatment with antibiotics as a cure-all without mentioning side-effects - in my case an upset stomach and a general feeling of lethargy and nausea - was misleading. Making disparaging comments about self-help measures which can help to prevent the attacks in the first place was irresponsible.

After many years of taking the kind of advice Dr Smith doles out, I have found the most effective way to manage the problem is by means of a few sensible precautions: a reasonable standard of hygiene, drinking plenty of water at the first sign of a 'twinge', and urinating after sex to wash out the urethra.

This kind of preventative management is surely more desirable than waiting for a painful attack and then bombarding your body with drugs. And cheaper.

Anne Green-Armytage

Dereham, Norfolk