Does this sound like you?
I thought UTIs were a thing of the past for me (I really associated them with my honeymoon a few decades ago). But now that I’m post-menopausal, they suddenly reared their ugly head again and I couldn’t understand why.
I should be living my best years, spending time with family and friends (or in my garden). I’d suddenly get a UTI and have to go on antibiotics again. I was beyond frustrated. Until I found out women my age are FAR more likely to get UTIs, and if I get one, there is a 55% chance I’ll get another one within a few months! Say what?!
We’ve all probably experienced a UTI at least once in your lives, but we will never forget the feeling…the feeling of thinking you are going to wet your pants only to produce a few droplets, while feeling you could still go, but in reality, you can’t. When you can go, it literally is like you are going to shoot razor blades out of your lady bits. OUCH!
As if those symptoms aren’t enough, we can also experience:
- Delirium or hallucination
- Confusion or slow thinking
- Agitation and restlessness
- Social withdrawal
If you’re over 65 and having brain issues … the first thing doctors check is whether you have a UTI! What in the world?! As if UTIs weren’t bad enough, they can sneak up on you, give you brain fog and make your kids think they need to take away your car keys…or worse start thinking they might need to put you in a nursing home! YIKES!
What’s a UTI and why do we get them?
To put it simply, a UTI– urinary tract infection– is an infection within the urinary system. (bladder, kidneys, urethra, or ureters)
UTIs happen when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra and begins to spread into the bladder. Our mostly reliable urinary system is designed to keep out bacteria– but sometimes its defenses fail. If that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown hellacious infection in the urinary tract.
Unfortunately, UTIs have a track record of being repeat offenders. They can be set off by the smallest triggers, such as:
- Constricting “non-breathable” underwear (Yes, anything remotely sexy can invite in an UTI apparently)
- Not peeing after intercourse
- Wiping in the wrong direction (Pat front to back)
- Not peeing enough
- Hot tubs/pools
Why am I more susceptible to getting recurring UTIs anyways?
Reason #1: Female anatomy. It’s the physical structure of our urinary tract. We have a shorter urethra than men. This means it’s much easier for bacteria to travel the shorter distance to reach deep into the urinary tract. Bacteria from the rectum or intercourse have a much easier time getting into the short urethra further causing a urinary tract infection.
Reason #2: Menopause changes things. The huge hormone shifts create changes in the urinary tract. Post-menopausal women may not have the ideal pH in their vagina. Your tissues have become thinner with lack of estrogens to plump them up and give them strength. When your whole system is out of balance, we can become more susceptible to urinary tract infections. Between 9–36% of premenopausal females experience recurrent UTIs. Post menopause though? That recurrence rate jumps up to 55%!
Reason #3: Repeated UTIs make you more vulnerable to recurrent UTIs. Depressing I know, but each UTI you get makes it harder for you to fight off the next. That’s why prevention is so important.
There are simple things you can do to help prevent UTIs. Make sure you are drinking lots of fluids, keep your genital area clean, wear cotton underwear (or even go commando!), and wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom, ALWAYS, and last but not least, go to the bathroom before & after sexual activity. It’s not the most romantic thing in the world to do right after doing the deed, but it certainly helps!
Why clearing up UTIs with antibiotics can be bad
Antibiotics are typically prescribed for a UTI, but it messes with your guts, vaginal bacteria, and just plain makes you miserable because not only does it kill the bad bacteria causing the UTI, but also the good bacteria present in your gut & vagina, too. If you’re like me, and have had to go take dozens of doses of antibiotics … you know how horrible it makes you feel. The list of side effects alone is a bit daunting.
The side effects can include rash, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections. Who wants a UTI AND a yeast infection AT THE SAME TIME?! Not me & I bet you don’t either…brings a whole new meaning to the term “fire crotch”. No, thank you! This is why prevention is key.
It’s estimated that up to 6 in 10 women (more than 20 million) in the United States will experience a UTI. In addition to age and gender, risk factors of UTIs include sexual activity, menopause, indwelling catheter, diabetes, pregnancy, spermicide use, and kidney disease.
Menopausal women are at high risk of getting a UTI because the loss of estrogen causes thinning of the tissue of the bladder and urethra. A thinner lining is more prone to infection with bacteria.
D-Mannose is a natural sugar monomer that helps to maintain urinary tract health. D-mannose is a type of sugar that is related to glucose, but it doesn’t behave like normal sugar in the body.
It’s a natural molecule that is found in cranberries, apples and some other fruits. It is the active ingredient in cranberries, minus the sugar that usually accompanies cranberry products like juice. If you have a bladder infection, normal sugars are the last thing you should consume because they can encourage the growth of harmful bugs and fuel an infection! But not D-Mannose.
It’s used to help prevent urinary tract infections because it can inhibit bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. If bacteria can’t latch onto your bladder, it’s less likely to cause an infection
It binds undesirable microorganism cell wall lectins, preventing their colonization of the urinary tract mucosa and encouraging their prompt excretion through the urine. Additionally, this product contains cranberry extract and vitamin C to further support healthy urinary tract function.
Apart from D-mannose, the other beneficial component of cranberries is a type of antioxidant called proanthocyanidins. These types of antioxidants were first identified in pine bark and grape seeds, but they are also very concentrated in cranberries. They have also been found to reduce the ability of bacteria to adhere to the urinary tract.
How do bacteria cause a urinary tract infection?
Most cases of UTIs are caused by the bacteria E. coli. This bacterium is normally present inside the digestive tract and on the skin surrounding the anus. In women, it is easier for the bacteria to travel to the urethra because the urethral opening is a lot closer to the anus than in men.
To cause an infection, bacteria must first adhere to the cells lining the urinary tract. They do this using hair-like fimbriae that protrude from their surfaces. The fimbriae attach to specific receptors on your cells. D-mannose helps to prevent infections by interfering with the ability of the fimbriae to latch onto your cells.
How long does it take for bacteria to colonize and create the infection?
It takes three hours for bacteria to colonize. You should be emptying your bladder during waking hours at least every three hours. And you should be drinking enough fluids every day that you feel like you do need to empty your bladder at least every three hours and if you don’t have that then you’re not drinking enough fluid.
I know if you drink less you have to urinate less frequently and therefore you might have less pain, if urinating triggers pain at the end of urination, or during urination, and so you tend to avoid it. That’s a bad idea just from the standpoint that if you don’t void frequently enough you are more likely to have more bacteria colonizing and therefore getting into the bladder.
We have the opposite problem of people drinking too much, this is seldom discussed. You’re told if you have a urinary tract infection you should drink drink drink drink drink and flush the infection out of your system.
Now that may work as an initial step for some people but if you’re on an antibiotic it is possible to over dilute the urine. And once again you’re only getting a sub-therapeutic dose of the antibiotic and it’s not going to work as well. So there needs to be a balance there. You know, we say drinking sufficiently that you need to void every two to three hours is helpful.
Is it true that women have RECURRING UTI’s? Or is it something else?
I’ll try to dispel the myth that someone with a recurrent UTI is actually getting re-infected each time. The most likely scenario is that you have a biofilm problem, that the bacteria have never been fully eradicated and that periodically, like any biofilm when it reaches a certain size, pieces of it break off to go form a new colony somewhere else and are free-floating in the urine.
Or your own thrombin / anti-thrombin complexes have been successful in breaking down a piece of the biofilm or you’re taking a biofilm disruptor. Certain things like Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener, is known to have good biofilm disruption properties. (This is another reason why we have Xylitol in our UTI SUPPORT). So just through the normal life cycle of the bacteria, they will shed anyway.
People with recurrent UTIs are most likely having a biofilm infection that periodically surfaces, it’s not a re-infection.
Taking a biofilm disruptor, and hopefully you can get the testing to tell you which one is the best one for you based on your genetics, and breaking down the biofilm so that the infections found can be adequately treated and the bladder wall can heal, so you don’t have an environment that fosters the continuation of these biofilm communities, will ultimately prevent recurrent UTIs. And getting the sexual partner tested also could be a part of this.
Other recommendations for preventing urinary tract infections
After you have a bowel motion, make sure you wipe from front to back, to avoid spreading bacteria toward your urethra.
Women should urinate after sexual intercourse.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water or herbal tea each day, to keep the urine dilute and to flush the walls of the urinary tract. Increase your water intake during an infection. This helps to reduce the risk of the infection traveling upwards to the kidneys.
Try to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruit each day, as they contain nutrients to strengthen your immune system, as well as antioxidants to keep the lining of your urinary tract healthy. Incorporating raw vegetable juices into your diet will provide even more benefits.
Try to avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates that are rapidly digested into sugar. This includes foods like bread, pasta and breakfast cereals. Diabetics are prone to all sorts of infections; this is because sugar acts like a fertilizer for harmful microbes in your body.
Caffeine and alcohol can irritate the bladder. Keep your intake of them low and avoid them entirely if you have an infection.
Probiotics help to keep your urinary tract healthy by discouraging the proliferation of harmful microbes. You can take a probiotic supplement or include fermented foods in your diet regularly, such as sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.
Your UTI Support has Xylitol as an ingredient. Why?
Xylitol is known for washing away streptococcal bacteria. If you haven’t heard then xylitol has a myriad of health benefits including supporting bladder health. It can help to control glucose, reduce bacterial growth, fight off dangerous viruses, eliminate ear infections, protect oral health and so much more.
Researchers have also discovered that xylitol combined with certain medication can increase its potency. When it comes to bacterial infections – such as UTI’s or bladder infections the antibiotics combined with the sugar tricks the bacteria that would usually lie dormant – also known as persisters. Persisters can last months in someone’s systems, even after it appears that the patient has recovered. This is because they survive by “playing dead” therefore by-passing the antibiotic that was designed to poison them. However, mixing it with a sugar such as xylitol tricks them in to consuming the antibiotic and therefore killing it completely. It does this by bringing the bacteria back to life, so to speak, and allowing them to consume the antibiotic.
How to take UTI SUPPORT:
Our UTI SUPPORT is best taken on an empty stomach. 1 serving daily, to help prevent urinary tract infections. 4- 5 servings daily to treat an active infection for 14-21 days.
D-mannose is safe for long term use.
Each scoop is 1,500mg of D-Mannose and 800mg of Cranberry concentrate. Simply mix with cold water and drink.
Free of all milk/casein, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, gluten, soy and yeast. Contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
UTI – SUPPORT
1,500 mg D-Mannose
800mg Cranberry concentrate (fruit)
Other ingredients: Xylitol, natural mixed berry flavor, citric acid, silicon dioxide, and stevia leaf extract.
The information provided is not intended as a means of diagnosis or treating illness or as a replacement for any medicine or advice from a competent physician. Individuals having serious health problems should consult a competent licensed physician specializing in their condition. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. We assume no responsibility for anyone choosing to self-administer any suggestions in this publication; they do so on their own determinism. The information in this publication is for educational purposes only.
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