Painful burning, running back and forth to the toilet, bad smelling pee are all signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI). While some people may only have one in a lifetime, for some, typically women, UTIs can be a reoccurring problem.
Typical treatment includes antibiotics like ciprofloxacin or amoxicillin. Some UTIs really do need to be treated with antibiotics. But minimizing the use of antibiotics via natural therapies prevents bacterial resistance and is better for your health in the long run.
Wearing cotton underwear, wiping front to back and urinating after sexual contact are preventative strategies. For some these lifestyle changes are not enough.
Ensuring your body is populated with healthy bacteria is your first defense against recurring urinary tract infections. Healthy bacteria crowd out pathogenic bacteria preventing their survival. Populating your body with good bacteria starts in the digestive tract. Those friendly bacteria eventually migrate and populate in the genital area.
Probiotic supplements are the best way to quickly improve the quality of your body’s bacteria. Once you’ve been on a supplement for a few months you can try to maintain with foods like kefir, yogurt or sauerkraut.
You can also purchase vaginal probiotic suppositories. Placing good bacteria directly in the vaginal canal ensures a strong population of healthy bacteria in the entire region, including the urethra and bladder. This is especially helpful if you have a tendency to get yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
Pure, sour cranberry juice has long been promoted as a method of preventing urinary tract infections. The active ingredient in cranberry is D-mannose. D-mannose is a type of sugar that prevents bacteria, especially E. Coli, from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. D-mannose has been shown in some research studies to prevent the reoccurrence of UTIs. If you get a UTI after intercourse, try taking D-Mannose before or after sex to treat the infection before it begins.
D- Mannose is available at many health food stores and typical doses are around 2 grams per day. D-mannose does not increase your blood sugar, however people who have diabetes should always check with their physician or naturopath before beginning a new supplement.
If you are going to try a natural remedy to resolve a UTI it’s important to see myself or your health care provider to do a urine dipstick to ensure the infection is properly resolved.