What is a UTI?
A UTI refers to a urinary tract infection. The urinary tract is made up of the kidneys, bladder, urethra, ureter, and penis . Most UTIs occur in the bladder or urethra. Symptoms of a UTI are pain and burning when urinating, blood in the urine, cloudy urine and an urge to urinate but not much urine comes out.
While men do get UTIs, they are much more common in women.
The cause of UTIs
About 90% of UTIs are caused by an overgrowth and reallocation of the E.coli bacteria to the urinary tract. E.coli naturally occurs in the gastrointestinal tract but not in the urinary tract. This type of bacteria is not the variety that leads to disease outbreaks however.
The walls of each E.coli are covered by finger-like projections which allow the bacteria to stick to the walls of the urinary tract. This can make it difficult to get rid of the infection and these bacteria can also “climb” upwards to the kidneys.
The transfer of E.coli from the intestinal tract to the urinary tract can happen accidentally, from poor hygiene and sexual activity.
Treating UTIs with antibiotics
Antibiotics are often a standard treatment for UTIs, and there is certainly a place for this, but they are perhaps used too readily.
There are many other natural options that work just as well, or better, than antibiotic therapy in the case of UTIs. In the long term, frequent antibiotic use actually tends to make the body more prone to UTIs because antibiotics kill of good and bad bacteria. The good bacteria are needed to keep the bad bacteria in check and keep the immune system strong.
Treat UTIs naturally
The E.coli bacteria cling to the urinary tract, they cannot simply be washed out by urinating. These finger-like projections need to be unhooked.
One ingredient that can bind to the bacteria and help it to be washed out of the bladder is D-mannose. D-mannose is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in some plants, like cranberries. This is why cranberry supplements and cranberry juice is such a well-known remedy for UTIs.
• Drink plenty of fresh water to clear out the infection
• Urinate when you feel the urge and don’t hold it
• Use showers and not baths
• Avoid scented soaps and body washes around your genitals
• Wipe from front to back or rather wash with water after you use the toilet
• Eat more fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha tea
• Stop eating sugar and refined foods as these feed the bad bacteria in the body
• Consume more herbs like garlic, buchu and uva ursi
If your symptoms do not resolve or you begin experiencing a fever, severe back pain, groin or abdominal pain, please your doctor.