Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) – admit it. We’ve all had them and they suck! They’re painful, they make you want to pee even when you can’t, you don’t want to have sex while you have one, they make you nauseous. All in all – pretty horrible. Some people are more susceptible to them then others, so this week’s blog I am delving into the world of UTI’s to hopefully give some advice to avoid them. The information provided in this blog is from personal research and experience.
What causes UTI’s? Long story short, bacteria moving from your large intestine to your anus and up your urethra, making its way to your bladder and eventually your kidneys if not treated properly.
Symptoms of a UTI include:
- Burning feeling when you pee
- Feeling like you have to pee so badly but when you go, there’s barely anything there
- Pain or pressure in your lower back or across your lower stomach
- Changes in your urine including it being dark, cloudy, having blood in it or a different scent
- Fever or headaches (although this tends to mean it has made its way up to your kidneys)
Antibiotics are an option if you feel you have a UTI. I personally try to avoid antibiotics so want to provide a few suggestions of what you can do once you feel one coming on, and as well how to prevent them from happening completely.
If you feel you are having a UTI coming on, my personal best defense is to flush your system out. Drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice is key. I also like to double or triple up on my multi-vitamin and probiotics. Vitamin C is also my best friend – high doses of vitamin C works great. I was recently introduced to CAMU-C which I am finding to work wonders as well for my body.
In terms of how to prevent UTI’s, many women experience UTI’s from not peeing right after sex and holding their pee for too long. While this might be a good defense, I also would say that if your body is functioning really well and in balance with good bacteria, you should not have to pee immediately after sex to avoid a UTI. As well, ensuring that when you wipe you go from front to back – even if you’re just urinating. The bacterial from you bum then has less of a chance of making it up to your urethra that way.
To ensure your body is balanced, I find there are numerous supplements and nutrition additions you can include in your day to ensure your system is clean as a whistle. I would suggest the following:
- Drink lots of water! Even better – cranberry infused water
- Drink a glass of warm water with an ounce of apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon every morning
- Avoid fried food, sugar and sugar substitutes as much as possible. Bacteria love them!
- A spoonful a day of aloe gel. You can purchase this from any health food store for about $8.
- Take a magnesium supplement each day. This keeps my digestive system moving exceptionally well. I take 500 mgs per day. You may need to play with the amount as it can cause diarrhea if you’re taking more than your body can handle
- Keep you immune system in check by adding phytosterols to your day. Again, this is a supplement you can purchase from most health food stores
- Other supplements to ensure you have (but may be covered in your multivitamin) are Vitamins A, B6, C and E. As noted above, CAMU-C is my new favorite addition for vitamin C dosing
- Good bacteria is key. Taking a probiotic at each meal will be exceptionally helpful. It is important to point out that your body can get used to probiotics so taking the same one time and time again will not be as useful. Switch them up so that the good bacteria in your body remains on your side
Two other items that have been suggested to me by Integrative Health Coach Autumn Bree Fata are a UTI Cleanse tablet and d-Mannose powder. I have not tried either of them yet, but intend to. Again, both can be purchased from your favorite health food store. If you can’t find them, I would always suggest asking them to order it in for you. Most stores are open to trying new products especially if they already have a customer base for them.
It is important for each of us to listen to our bodies and do what feels best for us. I would strongly encourage everyone to have an Integrative Health Coach to talk to and discuss your personal health concerns in order to be the healthiest and strongest we can be.