Curatives for UTIs

 Image: Glow Gathering

Image: Glow Gathering

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well as bladder infections (cystitis) refer to an infection and inflammation of the urinary tract.  In 80-90% of cases, the infection is due to E. Coli bacteria. Urinary infections are more common in women than men because of their shorter urethra. UTIs may be caused due to poor hygiene, incorrect wiping (important to always wipe from front to back, especially after a bowel movement), not urinating or cleansing properly after intercourse, pregnancy, the use of a diaphragm, and systemic disorders such as diabetes.  Also, if there is a structural abnormality or obstruction of the urinary tract which results in restricting the free flow of urine, the changes of developing a UTI or cystitis are greater.

UTIs and cystitis are characterized by an urgent desire to empty the bladder.  Urination is also typically frequent and may be painful or give a burning sensation; even after the bladder has been emptied, there may be sensations of a need to go again.  Children in particular often complain of lower abdominal pain and painful burning on urination.


Signs and symptoms:

Increased urinary frequency

Lower abdominal pain

Off-smelling urine

Bacteria, pus, and white blood cells found in the urine test (cloudy urine)

Blood in the urine

 

If the infection is left untreated, other symptoms may include:

Fever (common in many conditions)

Chills (common in many conditions)

Nausea/vomiting (common in many conditions)HWhile UTI and cystitis is more of an annoyance than a serious health problem, if left untreated it can potentially lead to kidney infection. Many people reach for antibiotics to heal UTIs but they are often not necessary if the infection is treated promptly, many natural treatments are available that eliminate the condition while preserving the gut microbiome. Here are some popular solutions:


Supportive herbs & supplements

 

D-Mannose (for treating E. coli infection): D-Mannose is the active ingredient in cranberry juice and very effective for acute treatment. It coats and sticks to bacteria and helps eliminate it with urination. *Best taken in capsule form.

Cranberry Extract: Helps block bacteria from attaching to urinary tract lining cells and forces them out of the body through the urine.

Note: Avoid cranberry juice because it is usually full of sugar. Use the concentrate with no other additives.

Vitamin C: Can be preventative and helpful for clearing the infection. It enhances immune function and inhibits E.Coli growth - Dosage: Lypo Spheric Vit C 1-3000 per day *depending on bowel tolerance. 

Probiotics (Lactobacillus species): Probiotics are highly beneficial always but especially when the body is fighting infection as they increase the colony of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics can be used preventatively or as a treatment combined with other therapies.

Also include plenty of fermented food like coconut yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.

Stinging Nettles: Young leaf clusters with tiny stinging hairs help to bring blood flow to the area of infection, strengthen and tone damaged tissue as well as flush out harmful bacteria.

Dandelion and burdock: both diuretic and liver cleansers which help to reduce bladder discomfort and clear the infection. *best used in combination with other remedies. *Drink as a decoction for maximum medicinal potency.

Grapefruit Seed Extract: This natural extract from grapefruit seeds is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and very effective at eliminating bacteria. Add drops daily to water until the infection has cleared. 

Pine Bark Extract: A strong antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals and increases circulation due to its high bioflavonoid content. Pine Bark is also antibacterial and helpful for UTIs. *not suggested for long-term use.
 

Uva Ursi: A small shrub that is effective in relieving irritation, soothing inflammation, flushing out bacteria and a diuretic which promotes more urination pushing out the bacteria.


Lifestyle Support

Include celery and parsley in your diet. You can add them to smoothies, salads, and juices. Both contain diuretic and healing properties of the liver and urinary tract. 

Avoid caffeinated beverages and refined foods + sugar.

Include raw garlic in your food as it has antibacterial properties.

Drink plenty of water- ½ your body weight in ounces.

Avoid intercourse until the infection has cleared.

Use pads over tampons until the infection has cleared.

Use cotton underwear and avoid nylon underwear, thongs, and tight pants.

Avoid douches, bubble baths, and harsh soaps. Simple soaps like dr. bronners are helpful for cleansing.

kristin dahl