Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are very uncomfortable. I describe them as peeing thru razor blades and if you have ever had one you know exactly what I am talking about. When you get into a cycle of recurrent UTI’s, then it is time to step back and work on the underlying cause.
Several factors play a role in recurrent uti’s:
- Not adequately treated prior infection
- Change in pH of the bladder/vaginal area
- Change in hormones which can alter the normal flora
- Kidney or bladder stones
- In men, an enlarged or infected prostate
- Diabetes can increase your risk
- Sexual activities
- Interstitial cystitis – which is not an infection at all but sure feels like one
READ ON to learn how to prevent and treat UTI’s….
First of all, if you have bacteria in your urine then you must treat this with antibiotics before it travels up into your kidney’s and creates a bigger problem. I am going to share several things to try to avoid future infections but even with doing these things there is always the risk of getting another infection that will require antibiotics.
If you already have an infection:
Step 1: Ask for a culture and sensitivity: When you have a UTI, always have the clinic send it for a culture and sensitivity which means they are looking to see what bug you have and what antibiotic it is sensitive to. This way you will be taking the best antibiotic for that bug. Just because it is sensitive to an antibiotic one time does not mean it will be sensitive to it the next time. If you have all the symptoms of an infection but the urinalysis is clear then go see a Urologist and have them do a catheterization urinalysis to see if you are harboring bacteria in the bladder. If this is normal, then you might have something called interstitial cystitis. I will write about this next week so tune in!
Step 2: Take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed and finish them.
Step 3: Add in a probiotic specifically for the urinary tract and take it while you are on the antibiotics but not at the same time. I look for two strains specifically: lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus reuteri. I have two different products that I like: UltraFlora women’s by Metagenics or Promote by Uqora. (more about the Uqora line in a minute). In addition, if you are taking a strong antibiotic then add in Saccharomyces boulardi probiotic, also.
Step 4: retest your urine in 3-4 days after stopping the antibiotic to make sure the infection has cleared.
Now let’s talk prevention!
- Recolonize the urinary tract: like above this is very important and needs to be done long term for best results. If you are menopausal and are prone to UTI’s then just get on these and stay on them. Again, I like the UltraFlora Women’s by Metagenics or Promote by Uqora.
- Help heal the bladder wall. D mannose is really good at decreasing the irritation. When you are trying to prevent UTI’s it is important to work on this. The longer you do it the healthier the bladder. In addition, other ingredients can be helpful like green tea extract and curcumin. I recommend Uritrax by Xymogen for just D mannose and Control by Uqora for a combination product that has D mannose, curcumin and green tea extract.
- Flush when bacteria are introduced. This is usually after any sexual activity. Urinate as soon as you can after activity. Some people need might need to take a low dose Macrodantin antibiotic after intercourse to help break the cycle. A non-antibiotic product that does an amazing job is Target by Uqora. You mix this powder in 8 ounces of water and drink directly after sex. You can even use this every 3 days as a preventative measure which I highly recommend.
- Avoid frequent hot baths and hot tubs if you are in a UTI cycle as this can make it worse.
- If you are post-menopausal, then use a low dose estrogen cream to help improve the health of the tissues. I like compounding estriol because it is a very weak estrogen, reasonably priced and does a really good job. I even use this when someone has had breast cancer. The hormones help with the pH as well.
- Wipe front to back (women obviously). I’m sure you already knew this but just in case it is very important.
- If oral sex is a frequent part of your practice and you keep getting UTI’s then have your partner’s mouth tested for bacteria. There is a special test by a company called OralDNA that looks at all the bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria are transmissible and often need to be addressed.
I have mentioned in several of the steps a new line for UTI’s by Uqora. I love that they have provided a comprehensive and easy to use prevention kit. The kit comes with Promote (the probiotic), Control (to help with the irritation) and Target (to help flush bacteria on a regular basis). I don’t carry these (but might in the future) so for now you can order them directly on line. I do have a special discount code for you though. Just click this link to their website and enter the code MILESMD for 50% off your first order!! This way you can try it for a very reduced price. I have found the longer you use their program the better it works.
To your health,