When I was a young child I had frequent bladder infections, but I thought it was just something was I prone to and had to deal with. The more I have learned about holistic health in the last few years I’ve begun to understand that these constant trips to the doctor were very related to the food I was eating. I ate tons of sugar as a kid in the form of cereal, orange juice, bread and whatever else I could find, all of which wore down my immunity. I also probably had a dairy sensitivity all my life too, but I ate tons of it anyway.
I took mountains of antibiotics as a child which helped the pain right away, but in another month or so I was back at the doctor with another bladder (or ear infection). The sad fact is that powerful antibiotics kill all of our good and bad bacteria in the colon making us less able to fight a pathogen the next time around. These prescriptions didn’t help with my constant sugar cravings and some research shows that multiple rounds of antibiotics make kids prone to obesity. I changed my diet a few years ago and I have not had a bladder infection since, which I don’t think is a coincidence.
Natural Urinary Tract Infection Prevention and Relief:
- Drink 6-8 glasses of pure, filtered water every day
- Urinate when you feel the urge, do not hold it
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra
- Avoid public pools and jacuzzi’s to avoid pathogenic bacteria
- Go to the bathroom immediately after intercourse
- Avoid fragrant cleaning creams and lotions that have harmful chemicals that can disrupt flora
- Use only white unscented toilet paper to avoid potential dye reactions
- Add fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, beet kvass daily to improve your good flora which helps fight infection
- If you do not like fermented foods you can take a good probiotic like Essential Formulas Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics but fermented food is always a better source of beneficial bacteria
What to do if you get a UTI:
If you do get an infection there is an alternative to try before jumping into antibiotics called D-Mannose.
D-Mannose is a fruit sugar that can be taken for a short time to clear a bladder infection. Take 1000 mg three times day for the first two days then 1000 mg once a day for 4-5 more days. If no improvement is felt after the first 72 hours then consult your doctor. UTI’s can be very serious if ignored.
D-mannose occurs naturally in many plants, including cranberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, and apples. It is very safe for most people and won’t raise blood sugar the way cranberry juice can. The supplement serves as a kind of magnet in the urinary tract, attracting the E. coli bacteria and keeping them from attaching to the bladder lining. Then the D-mannose and the harmful molecules are flushed out with the normal urine flow.
For those women who suffer from “honeymoon cystitis” (bladder infections linked to sexual intercourse), D-mannose can be taken before intercourse, and a little more immediately after, can help prevent infection.
Diet: If you get a lot of urinary tract infections it is a good idea to take a look at your diet. A diet high in sugar and carbs can feed harmful bacteria which will run down the immune system, opening the door for UTI’s.
When our bodies are overtaxed and over programmed it will also cause imbalances in beneficial and protective bacteria. It will also wear down our linings of defense such the gut, lungs, and skin making us more prone to invaders. Try to get plenty of sleep (8 hours) and engage in yoga, meditation or walking to manage tension and anxiety.
One of the most stressful things on our body is a nutrient poor diet. Improve your immune system with a lower carb paleo diet.
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Chrystal Shelley says
Just a question – why would real cranberry juice (the kind with just the juice of cranberries without added sugars or other juices) be high in sugar? Its incredibly tart!