Some people seem to get one UTI after another. They take a round of antibiotics, then a few months later, they are on them again. Isn’t there another option rather than taking so many antibiotics over and over?
Cranberries contain an ingredient, D-mannose, that makes the lining of the bladder and urethra too slippery for bacteria to latch onto and set up shop. If you’re prone to UTIs, a daily dose of 1-2 cranberry capsules will do the trick to keep the bacteria at bay and your urine flowing painlessly. I remember my grandmother constantly drinking cranberry juice in her late 80s; it must have worked because, unlike another elderly great aunt of my youth, she did not leak urine all over the house.
Sigh. The tribulations of being a mother never end.
D-mannose is the extract of the active ingredient in cranberry thought to provide the magic, but since I’m a believer in the power of whole-foods over isolated extracts, I’d rather take pure cranberry capsules (the whole food) rather than an extract. Drinking enough cranberry juice can be tough; the capsules make it easier to quickly get enough to make a difference. D-mannose has been studied and proven effective, however, so you can take your pick.
Why do urinary tract infections happen?
When contamination gets into the urinary tract and the bacteria take up residence and multiply in the hot, moist environment. Women experience more UTIs then men for the simple fact of a design flaw in the female body that places the opening of the urethra so close to the entrance to the vaginal canal and lots of opportunities for contamination
What does it feel like to have a UTI?
Frequent, burning urination is the hallmark of a UTI in both genders. Left untreated, it can feel like you are peeing splinters of glass, except that you can hardly squeeze out enough pee each time you feel the urge because you feel the urge constantly and relentlessly. Eventually you may start seeing dark red blood in your urine. This is a bad sign, but I’m sure that if you’re experiencing this you’re feeling that way already.
What should you do to treat a UTI?
Try this natural treatment first: Take 6 cranberry capsules with 12-16 oz of water. You should start feeling some relief within a few hours. 6 hours later, take another 6 capsules with water. Continue only if you are feeling somewhat better and on the road to recovery. Before bed, take 4 capsules with water. The next day, take 4 capsules with water 3 times: when you first wake, at midday, then before bed. You should be feeling almost fully recovered by now. Drop down to 2 capsules three times/day the next day. Continue with 1-2 capsules twice daily, morning and at bedtime until urination is pain-free. Continue on this schedule indefinitely for continued protection against UTIs.
If the above regimen does not have any effect, go to a medical office to get urine and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing. At this point, if you’ve been suffering this long, the pain is probably constant and intense. You’ll probably want to run rather than walk to get tested.
How can you avoid getting a urinary tract infection?
There are a number of things you can do to avoid getting UTIs, especially if you are a woman:
- Always empty your bladder completely at every urination. Leftover urine can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Always wipe from front to back to avoid contamination with fecal matter.
- Wear underwear with breathable cotton panels.
- Don’t sit around in wet bathing suits or sweaty leotards.
- Pee religiously after sex. Take this seriously.
- Avoid colored or fragranced toilet paper.
- Don’t douche or use sprays or scented sanitary napkins or tampons.
- Avoid using soap on your genitals, as it can irritate. Try cleansing with coconut oil instead.
- Pee after removing a tampon or other genital activity.