Do You Ever Find It Ironic . . .
That the side effects of some prescription medications are worse than the conditions they’re supposed to treat? Seriously, what man wants to stop hair loss only to grow breasts? What woman trying to cure acne wants to grow hair on her face? And that little blue pill? Turns out the men that take it may stop seeing that particular color altogether, or else see it on everything!
Of course, not all side effects are quirky twists that make us want to say “WHAT???” Some are serious, even if their effects may not be apparent for a long time. For example, we now know that our bodies may never fully recover from antibiotic use, and that the loss may extend to future generations. And in cases when they’re really needed antibiotics are starting to fail us due to to the rise of resistant strains.
So what can we do? Of course the first thing is to not prescribe medications unnecessarily. In the case of urinary tract infections, they are sometimes necessary to avoid kidney damage, BUT before I went that route here’s what I’d try first:
#1 ~ D~Mannose
Found in cranberries, blueberries, apples, and even birch trees, d-mannose is a simple sugar that acts as a magnet for e. coli, the most common cause of UTI’s. Because it is indigestible to us it simply grabs as much e. coli as it can and then flushes through the body without affecting our blood sugar. The best part? It’s considered safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children if consumed in moderate amounts. (source)
How to choose a D-Mannose supplement: Though I’m usually a fan of taking supplements in their whole form, D-Mannose is most effective as a concentrate. Natural D-Mannose is derived from corn, potatoes or birch/beech wood using a solvent-free separation process and is a white, sweet powder. It has no known side effects. On the other hand, synthetically produced D-Mannose may use potentially harmful chemicals in its manufacture. I recommend taking this in powder form to avoid potential GMO additives.
Contraindications: D-Mannose can bind to sperm, so couples that are trying to conceive should avoid this supplement. Also, D-Mannose only works for infections related to e. coli. If another strain is the issue it will not have a therapeutic effect.
#2 ~ Cranberry Extract
Cranberry extract works well as a preventative measure because it prevents e. coli from attaching to bladder wall and urinary tract lining. It can also be used to assist D-Mannose in flushing out e. coli. Though pure cranberry juice with no added sugar is a good second choice, the naturally occurring fructose it contains will diminish it’s healing properties.
#3 ~ Probiotics
Actually, I recommend the whole trifecta for intestinal health that Weston A. Price chapter leader Katherine Atkinson mentions here. Fem-Dophilusby Jarrow may be a good choice for short-term use because it contains two strains of bacteria specifically designed to help with UTI’s.
#4 ~ Natural Vitamin C
Vitamin C stimulates immune function by increasing our levels of interferon, a protein which block the replication of pathogenic microbes. (source)
How To Choose A Vitamin C Supplement: About 99% of all vitamin C products on the market today are synthetically made ascorbic acid or something similar, and some studies show that these synthetic versions can actually weaken the mitochondria and possibly cause kidney stones. (source) Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to tell what’s what just by reading labels:
Almost all of the vitamin C in supplements is made in a laboratory, despite labeling that implies otherwise. For example, the label might say, “ascorbic acid from sago palm.” Dextrose, a form of sugar that contains no vitamin C at all, is extracted from sago palm and used as the base molecular material for a complex laboratory process that synthesizes vitamin C. Or the label might say “vitamin C derived from the finest natural sources.” True, but the vitamin C was synthesized. It might also say “with rose hips and acerola,” which are then used as the base material for the tablet or capsule. But a tablet of rose hips or acerola can contain only about forty milligrams of truly natural vitamin C; the rest is synthesized.
When looking for a quality Vitamin C supplement I recommend you look for something in which the Vitamin C is derived from 100% rose hip or acerola powder. If you are unable to find the powder you may be able to find rose hip tea. (Note: Rose hips are recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, there is not much research on acerola powder so talk to your trusted healthcare provider before using it)
#5 ~ Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar – preferably raw with “the mother” culture – is thought to help flush out bacteria by dislodging “clingy” bacteria from the urinary tract.
#6 ~ Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Unlike industrially processed cod liver oil, fermented cod liver oil is rich in naturally occurring vitamins A & D.
“Vitamin D, it turns out, is necessary for the production of anti-microbial peptides, substances that fight off infection-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses when these pathogens try to move into organs and through mucous membranes.” Some of these peptides, called cathelicidins, work specifically in the bladder. (source) Vitamin A helps cells maintain their integrity, making them for resistant to bacterial infection. (source)
# 7 ~ Homeopathic Remedies
The five most popular remedies for UTI’s are:
Joette Calabrese, HMC,CCH,RSHom has covered everything you need to know about them here.
And A Few More Things . .
Like take showers instead of baths (#8), wear loose, cotton underwear (#9), and DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! (#10).
What I Didn’t Include: Baking Soda
Though baking soda won’t cure a UTI, it will lower the pH of urine so that it doesn’t burn. Though pain relief is a good thing and possibly appropriate at times, some folks think it’s a better idea to raise pH and kill the pathogenic microbes rather than lower it and ease discomfort.