Urinary tract infections can be extremely uncomfortable and easily ruin your week. I’ve put together a series of recommendations on how to go about your time with a UTI.
As our body will do its best to fight off the infection, we want to give it all the help we can to make the process as fast as possible.
If you act early, here is a series of treatment steps and recommendations you can follow to help treat a urinary tract infection before it gets out of control and you have to resort to harmful antibiotics.
Step 1: Eliminate sugar and refined starch
Step 2: Eliminate foods which can potentially irritate the urinary tract
Step 3: Hydrate and boost alkalinity
Step 4: Build up your natural defence force
Step 5: Supplement support
Combining as many of these steps as you possibly can within 48 hours of developing a urinary tract infection will help your body to a speedy recovery.
Good nutrition plays an important role in not only managing symptoms but also in strengthening your immune system. A strong immune system supported by the right nutrients and balance of healthy gut bacteria is important for reducing the likelihood of ongoing or repeat infections.
We’ve developed your UTI support blueprint for minimising pain and discomfort and for supporting your body’s natural defences. Over this initial short period, it’s about altering the urinary tract environment making is less favourable for bacteria to grow. Once symptoms improve, it’s then about focusing on building up your immune system to continue fighting residual infection and prevent reinfection.
It is best to avoid sugar and refined starch totally when in the midst of a UTI because certain bacteria use sugar for food. Avoid refined sugars and white flour in foods such as cakes, biscuits, sweet drinks, sugary food, dried fruit, chips, crackers, pasta, and noodles. These foods create an environment in which bacteria thrive and multiply, making infection more likely.
Foods that have a high acid content or contribute to forming acidic urine can make your symptoms worse by irritating the bladder and urinary tract. Eliminate the following foods for the next 24-48 hours while experiencing UTI symptoms.
For the next two days, swap out caffeinated hot drinks for herbal, green, white, or fruit teas. A squeeze of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit in icy water makes a refreshing cold drink without significantly influencing urine acidity. Be mindful of the sugar content in fruit juices as increased blood sugar can promote bacterial growth.
Research has shown that women how regularly consume fermented milk products have a reduced risk of recurrent UTI infections. However, bear in mind dairy products can contribute to increasing urine acidity and best used as prevention once the symptoms of infection have cleared.
The effectiveness of D-mannose for treating a UTI relies on the premises that most UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria which climb up through the urinary tract using finger-like (feels like claw-like!) projections.
For few cases where a UTI is caused by bacteria other than E. coli or a combination, supplements which help disrupt biofilms can be useful. We suggest taking your health care practitioner if you have chronic or recurring infections which may not be E. coli-related.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by the migration of bacteria up the urinary tract. About 90% of UTIs are caused by E. coli bacteria which use claw-like extensions move upward through the urinary track.
Common symptoms associated with a UTI include primarily pain or burning during urination, the need to urinate more often than usual, and a feeling of urgency during urination. The progression of a UTI may also lead to blood or pus developing in the urine, cramps or pain in the lower abdomen, chills or fever, strong smelling urine, pain during sexual intercourse, as well as nausea or vomiting. If you experience any of the later symptoms, it’s important to consult your doctor as if the infection isn’t managed it can continue to infect the kidneys and create lasting damage.
Who is at risk, what causes a UTI
Urinary tract infections are ten times more common among women than men. Irritation from frequent or intense intercourse as well as the use of irritating products, such as harsh skin cleansers or contraceptives, such as diaphragms and spermicides can increase the risk of a UTI. Hormonal changes in pregnancy and perimenopause, as well as birth control pills, also play a role in influencing the health of the urinary tract in women.
Incontinence and having an indwelling catheter in place can also encourage the growth of bacteria. People with elevated blood sugar levels or diabetes are also at greater risk as high blood sugar creates an environment in which infectious bacteria can thrive.
Finally, anyone with a history of antibiotic use either from treating UTI’s of from other infections, there is an increased risk due to the effect antibiotics can have on our natural barrier of protective bacteria. If some friendly bacteria have been killed off by antibiotics, this can make one vulnerable to infection or re-infection following initial treatment.
While antibiotics certainly have a place in the medical treatment of infectious disease, there is growing concern about the frequent use of antibiotics for treating UTIs. The ongoing use of antibiotics is believed to lead to antibiotic resistance which can make further treatment with antibiotics less effective over time and therefore increasing the risk of ongoing infection.
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Lüthje, P., & Brauner, A. (2016). Novel Strategies in the Prevention and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections. Pathogens, 5(1), 13. http://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens5010013
Nabavi, S. F., Di Lorenzo, A., Izadi, M., Sobarzo-Sánchez, E., Daglia, M., & Nabavi, S. M. (2015). Antibacterial Effects of Cinnamon: From Farm to Food, Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical Industries. Nutrients, 7(9), 7729–7748. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095359
This guide is copyrighted with all rights reserved. The author does not assume any liability for the misuse of information contained herein. The information contained within this guide is offered to provide you with beneficial concepts regarding your health and well-being. The author is not a doctor, nor does she claim to be. Please consult your primary care physician before beginning any program of nutrition, exercise, or remedy. By consulting your primary care physician, you will have a better opportunity to understand and address your particular symptoms and situation in the most effective ways possible.
While every attempt has been made to provide information that is both accurate and proven effective, the author and, by extension, the guide, makes no guarantees that the remedies presented herein will help everyone in every situation. As the symptoms and conditions for each person are unique to individual histories, physical conditioning and body type, and the specifics of the actual urinary tract infections, successes will vary.