Anybody who’s had a urinary tract infection will remember it. It’s very hard to forget! If you’ve been unlucky enough to have had them regularly you’ll probably be aware of some protocols to help prevent them. If one pops up the trick is to quickly recognise the signs and act quick.
What are the symptoms?
Burning with urination, Frequent urges to urinate, Lower abdominal pain or aching, Blood in your urine (sometimes, but not always), Cloudy urine, Weird smelling urine, and also a cold feeling in your lower back.
Why do they happen?
Most UTI’s happen because E.coli bacteria sneaks up into your urinary tract and hangs around causing havoc. Other reasons can include stress, dehydration, eating a lot of certain acidic foods like grapefruits, orange juice and tomatoes, wearing tight undies or pants, wearing polyester undies or pants.
Why are they dangerous?
UTI’s can affect any part of your urinary tract, but the lower urinary tract is the most common, specifically your bladder (cystitis) and urethra (urethritis). If left untreated, a UTI can progress up to the kidneys (nephritis or pyelonephritis), which is a serious infection and requires a trip to your doctor. Kidney infections can cause permanent kidney damage and kidney failure if not treated quickly, or can spread to your bloodstream.
In addition to the classic UTI symptoms listed above, symptoms of kidney infection can include: Fever (hot and cold); Shakes; Back, side or groin pain; Abdominal pain.
Prevention of UTI’s and Cystitis
Prevention is the best method and the following protocols are easy:
1) Drink plenty of fresh, filtered water (to keep the tubes flowing). Don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
2) Urinate when you need, don’t hold on!
3) When you poop, wipe front to back. And this piece of advice is vital, use WaterWipes to get your butt squeaky clean. I say this because dry toilet paper alone is not enough to ensure those sneaky E.coli bacteria are properly eliminated from migrating northwards (only a couple of inches away) into your urinary tract. I am serious when I recommend that you want no lurking germs hanging around. I wish I knew this ‘technicality’ earlier in my life (as it would have saved me a lot of stress and repeated doses of antibiotics). To put it bluntly your butt and your wee-hole reside in close proximity and share a dark, sweaty space and it’s your job to keep it all extra clean, especially if you’re prone to UTI’s. Make sense? Good! 🙂
4) Be sure to urinate immediately after sexual intercourse, and for that matter beforehand if you can.
5) Don’t use perfumed soaps, body washes, sprays or chemical laden cleansers on your bits, as these are known to irritate the urethra (your wee-hole).
6) Wear cotton undies and don’t wear tight pants. Your bits need to breathe.
7) Have showers instead of baths. Don’t wallow around in hot, perfumed bath water.
8) Maintain a healthy diet low in sugar, and includes probiotic bacteria. Research shows fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, natural yoghurt and fermented vegetables are beneficial.
9) Keep stress at a minimum. For some reason stress has always revealed itself to me by popping up in the form of a UTI. Job stress, horrific deadlines, toxic situations, and whammo! Do your darndest to steer clear of these. Easier said than done, I know – but if you do the other stuff mentioned above you’ll be helping yourself stay UTI-free.
What to do if you get struck by a UTI or Cystitis?
Firstly, all of the above points still apply, especially drinking lots of fresh, filtered water. I also say, ‘throw the book at it’ because you definitely want to get on top of it ASAP:
1) Drink LOTS of water (so you wee lots). Keep must keep flushing out your tubes.
2) Drink full-strength, non-sweetened Cranberry juice, NOT the supermarket sweet juice variety (that’s nice with vodka on hot summer days), but the full-strength, organic variety. There is a HUGE difference in taste, and price! Have half a glass of cranberry with half a glass of water, drink it with a straw. It’s harsh going on the corners of your mouth without a straw. The full strength cranberry juice is available through quality health food stores. I use Lakewood, it comes all the way from the USA and costs about $26.
3) To help ease the burning drink molasses (1 tablespoon in a cup of hot water). It’s a bit yucky but it works. I also eat molasses licorice (molasses must be the main ingredient, like old fashioned, high quality licorice). Available from the supermarket.
4) Rest and keep a hot water bottle on your lower back. The heat eases the urgent symptoms for me. Stay warm.
5) Test your urine for infection using ‘Siemens Reagent Multistix 10 SG’. Here is where you can carefully watch, learn about and manage your UTI. I use these to check if I have any leucocytes (white blood cells) present in my urine. If your urine is non-infectious you won’t have leucocytes. If you do have leucocytes (recognisable by a purple reading on the strip) then you have an infection. If you do then attack the infection with everything you have. Over the course of a day (up to 2 days) you can watch the infection go by watching the leucocyte reading reduce every time you urinate. If the infection stays the same or gets worse (more purple on the stick) then get to your doctor. If the infection goes away then you’ve successfully managed it yourself. Yay! 🙂 Siemens Reagent Multistix 10 SG can be purchased online for about $60.
6) Use ‘Fusion Cystitis’ tablets. For an infection take 2-3 tablets, 2-3 times a day. Fusion Cystitis tablets are a unique combination of medicinal Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs together with Cranberry and Uva Ursi to assist in the management of the symptoms of both acute and chronic cystitis. They work a treat! I always keep them on hand and I use them if I feel iffy. They are available through quality health food stores.
7) Take ‘D-Mannose’ capsules. Dose is 1 capsule, 2 times a day. D-Mannose attaches to bacteria better than bacteria attaches to human cells in the bladder and urinary tract. When we take a large quantity of D-Mannose, almost all of it spills into the urine through our kidneys, literally coating any bacteria present so they can no longer attach to the inside walls of the bladder and urinary tract. The bacteria is then flushed out with normal urination. I have not tried D-Mannose yet but it gets fantastic reviews and I am going to try it the next time any UTI symptoms arise.
8) See a recommended Naturopath. I have a great one and seeing my naturopath really turned my frequent UTI situation around. I keep a bottle of ’emergency herbs’ that I take if a UTI starts to take hold. It has a long shelf life and has saved me a trip to a doctor (and antibiotics) a number of times.
9) Bathe your bits in diluted white vinegar. This helps relieve the burning, stinging sensation. I keep a travel sized spray bottle with vinegar and water. If its a strong solution it’ll sting a little so you can dilute as you need. I don’t mind it being quite strong as I find it combats the burning if it’s stronger. This vinegar solution is a good protocol to use after sex too. You can also use cotton balls dipped in vinegar and water rather than a spray bottle. Squoosh (or spray) the solution right up in and around your wee-hole.
If all of the above fails and your symptoms get worse, see a doctor. If the infection progresses you may need antibiotics. Consider antibiotics as your last resort.
If you are a frequent and chronic sufferer of UTI’s I recommend that you keep an emergency kit as they typically show up either last thing at night or first thing in the morning (when you’re a bit powerless to act quick).
For Further Reading:
I hope you found this info helpful!
♥ Kelly Lynne
Like this post? Come and see me on FaceBook and share the love with a ‘like’ or a ‘share’! Mwah!
Disclaimer. I am not paid for my reviews. My opinions are my own based on the research that I have conducted over many years. I use various resources to find my information. An excellent resource is an app called ‘Chemical Maze’, other resources include the Good Guide, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), as well as the internet. You can find lots of information if you scratch beneath the surface. My aims are to clean up my life and home and to share what I find with you so you can do the same if it’s that you want to do.