Are You Suffering from Reoccurring Urinary Tract Infections?
“AHHHH I’M ITCHY, BURNY AND TOTALLY UNCOMFORTABLE DOWN THERE!”
Most women will experience urinary tract infections (UTI’s) in their life. It’s a common condition and can be treated with minimal side effects naturally.
Conventional medicine will often utilise antibiotics as a first line of treatment with UTIs. They can be very effective and sometimes the infection will disappear with little to no side effect – woo hoo! Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. We find that sometimes antibiotic treatment can have serious health repercussions for women and cause the infections to come back twice as bad.
Prolonged antibiotic use is a common approach to this solution; however, it can further cause harm to your body systemically and not actually treat the root cause to the problem. Education is an important part of the healing journey and we like to empower clients to take control of their health by doing their own research, particularly with bacterial resistance.
Currently, the research stipulates that UTI’s are generally synthesised due to imbalanced ratios of bacteria; Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Proteus mirabilis, Klebsiella pneumonia e, or Enterococcus faecalis the remainder (Brusch, 2018). These pathogens infiltrate and embed themselves into the bladder epithelial cells (your bladder lining). Bacterial overgrowth can additionally penetrate the bladder facet cell cytosols, generating clonal and bio-film masses synthesising intracellular bacterial communities (McLellan, 2016).
This means that they are reproducing within your bladder wall lining and infiltrating your bladder cells to reproduce further.
Often the first line of therapy for UTI’s is antibiotics, this protocol, however, has a high recurrence rate and increase to bacterial resistance. Prophylactic treatment for recurring UTI’s and cystitis has alternating clinical evidence, with a high risk of bias due to insufficient tracking post-treatment.
A meta-analysis stipulated that whilst on the protocol this did decrease UTI recurrence but increased side-effects of skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues, and further vaginal symptoms (Ahmed, 2017). A randomised, open-label trial published in 2018, reviewed that although a 12-month protocol may provide short-term benefits, antimicrobial resistance and pathogens are likely to increase and proliferate further long-term systemic implications (Fisher, 2018).
It's absolutely essential to investigate the why’s and how’s of your health issues.
Natural ways to help recurring UTI’s:
Ensure you urinate after sex
Avoid tight clothing, prolonged and continuous use of bubble baths/pools/spas, and spermicides all affect the urinary bacterium.
Remove all processed foods/drinks, reduce caffeine, reduce refined carbohydrates and limit natural carbohydrates for 1 month. I would be putting the client on a candida diet, increasing hydrating to excrete pathogens.
Increase: ginger, turmeric, garlic, parsley, oregano, thyme and ensuring 90% of the diet is wholefoods based, increase plant proteins and reduce red-meats or over consumption of animal products.
Evaluate mental health status, are you overly stressed? Stress significantly increases sympathetic nervous system activity which has a major link to bacterial imbalances (Nansel, 2006).
Specific anti-fungal and antibacterial initial protocol to eliminate the pathogens (This may include herbs, minerals, vitamins or other lifestyle changes)
Increase nutritional polyphenols, polysaccharides, glucans, lectins to modulate gut bacteria.
Re-establish healthy gut bacterium through pre-and probiotic foods and high-quality practitioner range supplements.
Provide nourishment and support for the gastrointestinal and urinary systems, particularly for cellular epithelial wall integrity to avoid colonisation biofilm integration (Bone, 2007).
It’s important to see an educated natural health practitioner ensure your treatment protocol is the best it can be for you and ensure it is safe with no contraindications to your health. Many times with reoccurring UTIs there is an underlying health factor that needs to be addressed. A naturopath will spend time to evaluate what’s happening on a biochemical level and investigate these pathways to provide specific and meaningful treatments.
Ahmed, H. D. (2017). Long-term antibiotics for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infection in older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised trials . BMJ Infectious Diseases Research, 7.
Bone, K. P. (2007). The Ultimate Herbal Compendium. Warwick, QLD, Australia: Phytotherapy Press.
Brusch, J. M. (2018, Jul 19). Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Cystitis (Bladder Infection) in Females. Medscape.
Fisher, H. P.-F. (2018, Sept 01). Continuous low-dose antibiotic prophylaxis for adults with repeated urinary tract infections (AnTIC): a randomised, open-label trial. The Lancet - Infectious Diseases, 18(9), 957-968.
McLellan, L. K. (2016). Urinary Tract Infection: Pathogenesis and Outlook. Trends in molecular medicine, 22(11), 946-957.
Nansel, T. R. (2006). The association of psychosocial stress and bacterial vaginosis in a longitudinal cohort. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 194(2), 381-386.