Do you or someone you know suffer from recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)? There are particular groups of people who are predisposed to UTI’s. One of the common factors in those who suffer from recurrent UTI’s is that they have antibiotic -resistant bacteria in their urine when it is cultured in a lab. What is the main conventional treatment for a UTI? An antibiotic. What is the solution? Breaking the cycle. This is why prevention for UTI’s and early treatment with something other than a strong antibiotic is the only way to build your immunity so you don’t need the antibiotic.
What else is there for treatment? What can you do to prevent UTI’s? Ideally you would have a visit with a Holistic practitioner who is has taken a high level of training in natural medicine so they can create an individual treatment plan that would be most effective for you. But let’s discuss a few facts about UTI’s to arm you with some basic knowledge so you will be empowered to make the best health decisions for yourself.
Most UTI’s are caused by E.coli bacteria. This is not the same strain that causes deathly food poisoning and hospitalization. It is a mutant strain that is found in the intestine but when overgrown and found in the bladder an infection may occur with symptoms that are unpleasant such as burning, pressure above the pubic bone, the urge to urinate frequently with little output and sometime a fever, chills and body aches.
How do these bacteria flourish in the bladder? Well, they feed on sugar, thrive in an acidic environment, travel to the bladder when hygiene isn’t optimal and when our beneficial flora/bacteria is low than these bacteria that are pathogenic have an easier time multiplying.
One group of people who are at a greater risk of experiencing recurrent UTI’s are our elderly in long term care facilities. They may be physically not able to go to the bathroom themselves so they can’t void when needed, or they wear personal hygiene products that increase the risk of infection if left unchanged for a long time. Other reasons are neurogenic dysfunction which may affect bladder control.
There some natural safe ways to build your defence against UTI’s. One of these is D-Mannose which is a simple sugar found in beech and birch trees. It is extracted from them and made into a powder. It is similar to glucose so it tastes great however we absorb very little of it in the upper intestine so it doesn’t raise our blood sugar. It can be used acutely or ongoing to break the cycle. D-Mannose is found in cranberries, apples and some other fruit but in much lower amounts than in the supplemental form of D-Mannose. It is supplemented in doses as high as 6-9 g per day to treat mild-moderate infections and lower doses to prevent UTI’s.
To compliment D-Mannose, an alkaline diet rich in greens and gluten- free grains and low in acidic foods such as sugar, alcohol and caffeine can help to create a less friendly environment for pathogenic bacteria. Also supplementing with a multi- strain high dose probiotic to prevent pathogenic bacteria from multiplying easily and causing infections and inflammation.