UTI’s is an infection in any part of the urinary system; kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra and can be caused by poor hygiene, impaired immune function, the overuse of antibiotics, the use of spermicides, and sexual intercourse and affect more women than men. About 80 to 90 percent of UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria. These bacteria normally live in the intestines, but they sometimes get into the urinary tract.
Upon onset of symptoms which feel like burning feeling when urinating, pressure or pain in your lower abdomen with the increasing need to use the bathroom, go to the doctor. The burning pain may progress fast and become a reason for an emergency room visit in the middle of the night, especially if the bacteria spreads into kidneys. When that happens you may also experience pain in your lower back, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. A culture of the urine will tell which bacteria are present and the doctor will know which antibiotic will be most effective. A variety of antibiotics are used for the treatment of urinary tract infections causing a growing concern of the increasing antibiotic resistance of UTI pathogens for those suffering from recurring infections.
Attempting to treat the UTI naturally while experiencing the symptoms can be not only extremely painful but lead to further complications from bacteria traveling to the kidneys. There is however a lot you can do to avoid recurring infections.
1. Reduce chances of contamination with E.coli and other bacteria present in the large intestine and preventing its spread to the urethra, the tube that moves urine from the bladder located by the anus, by wiping from FRONT to BACK and not back to front after using the bathroom. Women get more UTIs than men. This may be because women have a shorter urethra which makes it easier for bacteria to travel up to the bladder. A UTI in a man may be caused by an enlarged prostate gland, which can block the flow of urine. Better yet, invest in an attachable bidet widely available online. Water is more sanitary because it gently cleans the area instead of smearing with toilet paper increasing chances of infection. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom – this time tested advice works as the preventative measure for myriad of infectious diseases.
2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to not only hydrate but tohelp dilute your urine and ensures that you’ll urinate more frequently — allowing bacteria to be flushed from your urinary tract.
3. Christiane Northrup, a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness brings attention to the emotional cause underlying the symptoms of the urinary tract infection especially for those who have recurrent urinary tract infections. It is good to ask yourself what makes you unhappy or who makes you angry and stressed out. “When you can speak about it with your upper lips, your lower lips will not have to get your attention.”
4. Cleanse the genital area every day and before having sex. When having a lot of sex, especially in new relationship during the “honeymoon” stage or while in long-distant relationships, when sex is increased during short period, women can get UTI’s because of the suddenly highly acidic pH. While the vaginal pH is low at around 5, semen has a very high pH of about nine. To lower the vaginal pH a woman can douche with a solution of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar per quart of warm water, but only if her UTI’s are triggered by increased sexual activity, not as a common practice warns Dr. Northrup.
5. Empty your bladder completely before going to sleep.
6. Take probiotics and eat probiotic rich fermented foods including quality yogurts with live bacteria, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented vegetables that strengthen your overall immune system and help fight and prevent infections. This is especially important if you have been experiencing recurring UTI’s and was put on extensive antibiotic treatment that wipes out friendly bacteria. While the antibiotic is killing the problematic bacteria, probiotic is replenishing healthy bacteria your body needs to be strong.
7. Drink unsweetened cranberry water made by adding one part of unsweetened cranberry concentrate to three to four parts water or by blending in a ¼ cup of frozen cranberries with water. Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which prevent E. coli bacteria from attaching to the lining of your urethra and bladder. Cranberries contain high amounts of phenolic compounds acting as natural antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body that are linked to most chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
8. Take Vitamin C daily. It is water soluble, therefore excreted with urine and is thought to have an effect in UTIs by acidifying the urine. For more information on Vitamin C benefits, including intravenous therapy read more on our blog right here.
9. Research suggests that D-mannose supplement stops certain bacteria from sticking to the bladder walls sticking to the sugar instead. This helps the bacteria leave the body through urine. D-mannose can be found in the powdered form or naturally in apples, blueberries, raspberries and oranges. The typical dose of D-mannose for UTI treatment is 500 mg, in capsule or powder form, taken in a glass of water or juice every two to three hours for five days. It can be continued if you suffer from recurring infections.
10. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which reduces inflammation and swelling from infection and can help minimize pain that accompany a UTI.
When infections become recurrent it is important to treat the biofilm formed by the bacteria, an accumulation of microorganisms and their byproducts forming structured communities attached to a surface such as the lining of the urogenital tract. Biofilm then becomes quite powerful and requires stronger elimination approach. With frequent antibiotic use the bacteria becomes resistant and you might find yourself facing infection after infection. For recurrent infections, antibiotic treatment becomes ineffective. In this case it is wise to explore using enzymatic biofilm disruptors with your doctor like Klaire Labs InterFase Plus.
For UTIs not caused by E. coli, which account to anywhere from 10-20%, Lauricidin pellets offer anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity by disturbing the biofilm, blocking replication and making it easier for the immune system to destroy the pathogen.
It is important to treat the infection as soon as symptoms arise and take steps towards preventing its recurrence. In order to help you further, try incorporating some of the above fruits into a smoothie as part of your prevention plan.
½ cup frozen or fresh cranberries, source of proanthocyanidins
3 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry concentrate diluted in ¾ cup water
or 3/4 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
½ cup of fresh or frozen pineapple chunks, source of bromelain
½ cup wild blueberries or raspberries, source of D-mannose
1/2 cup quality dairy or non-dairy yogurt, source of probiotics
Blend it all together and drink immediately.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom – Christiane Northrup, M.D.
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