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How To Tackle Chronic UTI's

When UTI's strike, it can leave us doubled over in pain and desperate for relief... even more so when they just keep on coming. You might have chronic, or recurrent, bladder infections if you have two or more bladder infections in six months or three or more infections in a year. The issue with these types of UTI's is that they can increase the risk of antibiotic resistance, as well as bladder and kidney issues - but there are ways to minimize our risk and maintain bladder health!

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection is a very common type of infection in your urinary system. It can involve any part of your urinary system. Bacteria — especially E. coli — are the most common cause of UTIs. Symptoms include needing to pee often, pain while peeing and pain in your side or lower back, cloudy urine, strong smelling urine, pelvic pain/aches, and blood in the urine.

Studies have found that UTI incidence increases by 55% in menopause; this is often due to the decline in estrogen causing weaker cells in the urethral tract.

What Are the Top 5 UTI Triggers?

  • Female anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra than men do. As a result, there's less distance for bacteria to travel to reach the bladder.
  • Sexual activity. Being sexually active tends to lead to more UTIs. Having a new sexual partner also increases risk.
  • Certain types of birth control. Using diaphragms for birth control may increase the risk of UTIs. Using spermicidal agents also can increase risk.
  • Menopause. After menopause, a decline in circulating estrogen causes changes in the urinary tract. The changes can increase the risk of UTIs.

D-Mannose - Supplement Science

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI's) are painful, dangerous, and frankly - a total pain in the (front) butt. But, with antibiotic resistance on the rise, and chronic UTI's a common part of menopause, what can you do to actually prevent them BEFORE they happen? Well, the answer may be D-Mannose - a sugar that helps make the urinary tract slippery. Check out the latest science...

This was a comprehensive review of all the other scientific studies on D-Mannose, so it was wide ranging and included results from over 600 women who were tested using D-Mannose. The results were very straightforward:

  • D-Mannose reduced likelihood of contracting a UTI
  • D-Mannose increased time between recurrent UTI's
  • D-Mannose improved quality of life for those who had chronic UTI's

D-mannose is a kind of sugar that is related to glucose. It's found in many fruits, and also occurs naturally in the human body. It can prevent certain kinds of bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and causing infection, thus helping UTI issues. How? Well, when excreted in urine, D-mannose potentially inhibits Escherichia coli, the main bacteria that causes UTIs, from attaching to urothelium and causing infection. In addition, d-mannose occurs naturally in some cells in the human body and is thought to be a prebiotic, because consumption of d-mannose stimulates and fosters the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract - double win!

You can buy D-Mannose supplements, and it can be found in foods like apples, oranges, and peaches, as well as blueberries and cranberries. Vegetables, including green beans, cabbage, and broccoli, are also a common source.

You can view the study!

Keeping the Urethra Healthy

  • Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Drinking water helps dilute the urine. That leads to urinating more often — allowing bacteria to be flushed from the urinary tract before an infection can begin.
  • Try cranberry juice. Studies that look into whether cranberry juice prevents UTIs aren't final. However, drinking cranberry juice is likely not harmful.
  • Wipe from front to back. Do this after urinating and after a bowel movement. It helps prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urethra.
  • Empty your bladder soon after having sex. Also drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
  • Avoid potentially irritating feminine products. Using them in the genital area can irritate the urethra. These products include deodorant sprays, douches and powders.
  • Change your birth control method. Diaphragms, unlubricated condoms or condoms treated with spermicide can contribute to bacterial growth.

Following a vegetarian diet, increasing your fluid intake, and removing potential bladder irritants like soda, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, and coffee from your diet may help prevent UTIs and ease symptoms.