How to Deal With Urinary Tract Infections Naturally: The Answer May Surprise You!
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is the commonest infection in women in the world. Millions of women suffer from UTIs every day and while they are easy to treat, some UTI can indicate danger.
In this case study, you will discover:
✅ What urinary tract infections are and what causes them
✅ How to know the difference between vaginal yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis (Something about Yogurt)
✅ Why you should NEVER take antibiotics for yeast infections! This is a big one!
✅ What your partner needs to apply on his penis - else, you will still get another yeast infection
✅ Why men don't get yeast infection UTI. The reason is quite unfair.
✅ Why you should suspect immunocompromise (like HIV/AIDS) if your partner has this UTI.
A recent client conversation:
So, the other day, a client in Nairobi, Kenya reached out to us online regarding supplements to take for recurrent UTI infections.
As trained medical professionals, we make sure that we get all the pertinent data before we can recommend any supplements.
So, we had to get as much information as possible before recommending anything
…And she revealed a lot[caption id="attachment_21969" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Urinary Tract Infection. Image Source: Mayo Clinic
With a lot of misleading information on Dr. Google or in Google University, everyone has become a medical practitioner in their own right.
The information this client revealed to us, as she confessed, was not revealed to the healthcare provider she visited.
While it is not easy to know who to blame, most (not all) medical practitioners in Kenya are overloaded with work and have no time to ask all the necessary questions needed to formulate a safe and effective therapeutic (treatment) approach.
In fact, in this case, my recommendation was – go and see a doctor ASAP because your UTI needs urgent attention before things get worse.
Then as I continued, I realized she had already been to a medical practitioner.
The client with UTI I was talking to is a very young lady, barely 20.
She had been having these recurrent UTI infections that seem certain, every month just before periods.
Someone had told her it could be hormonal imbalance [Likely if you always get UTI before periods] and that is the reason she found us.
As a sexually active young lady, we went back and forth on what had been happening and a few links seemed missing or needed immediate attention.
✅ She is sexually active – the boyfriend could be the one re-infecting her every time if he has never been treated.
✅ She and her boyfriend had already seen a doctor and had a dose of broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungal medications ordered.
✅ During this attack, her right side of the body was very painful and sensitive to touch. This is alarming – read on to discover- why the right side!
✅ When she was at the Doctor’s office, it was noted that her blood pressure WAS LOW 😱.
Danger – keep reading why this is dangerous
✅ No labs tests were done or reported. The treatment she got basically was targeting any bacteria or a fungus.
Causes of UTI
The phrase Urinary Tract Infection is broad and without getting into the specifics, it can be caused by either a bacterium, yeast or a fungus.
The commonest forms of UTI are caused by yeast. Nearly every woman on planet earth at some point in their lives have experienced a yeast infection
UTI caused by yeast infections are very easy to treat, usually with antifungal medications.
In the United States, there are so many over the counter treatment options for UTI.
1. Vaginal Yeast Infections
How can you tell?
The only way to tell for sure is through a very simple test. It should reveal you are dealing with a yeast infection and not a bacterial infection.
Vaginal yeast infections are usually very itchy with a yogurt-like whitish or creamy vaginal discharge.
If you are having a yeast infection, there is NO REASON to take antibiotics.
The health risk of taking antibiotics while you don’t need them is incredibly high!
Why? You Ask,
Broad-spectrum antibiotics like the ones this lady got sweeps through anything and everything they come across.
That means they kill good and bad bacteria, without discrimination.
What are the good bacteria?
Good bacteria in the body are called normal flora.
Different body areas or compartments carry different types of good bacteria that protect us from common diseases.
Example 1, Our skin contains a form of good bacteria called Staphylococcus Aureus. This is just an example.
When you take broad-spectrum antibiotics for something like UTI, the antibiotics also kill these good bacteria.
You might start noticing skin fungal infections after a strong dose of antibiotics.
This is because yeast (very common if you eat sugars) grows fast and these healthy bacteria that prevent it from growing have been wiped out.
Example 2, There are different types of bacteria that reside in our small and large intestines. These are super helpful and are some of the strongest immunity modulators in our bodies.
So, when you take a dose of broad-spectrum antibiotics, these good normal flora bacteria are killed as well.
When they are killed, the commonest and the first sign is diarrhea. It is very common to almost everyone taking broad-spectrum antibiotics.
If you took antibiotics and had diarrhea, it is the most likely reason – not an allergy to antibiotics.
These bacteria are meant to regrow but even after they regrow naturally, the fact that they had been wiped out means that their population and right proportions might never be achieved without taking probiotics.
🤔 What conditions thrive when your intestine bacteria are wiped out by antibiotics?
I will just talk about the commonest like:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
- recurrent constipation
- food allergies especially bloating after taking milk products, just to mention a few.
Example 3, The vagina contains colonization of many helpful bacteria. These bacteria are essential in regulating the vaginal PH and protecting the birth and urinary tract against infections.
The commonest infection women suffer after a broad-spectrum dose of antibiotics is – YEAST INFECTION.
Isn't that crazy?
Think about this lady’s case. Without testing, if she was having a bacterial urinary tract or a simple yeast infection, she got a full broad-spectrum antibiotics dose and anti-fungal dose.
What is likely to happen to her? Guess
At the time she’s taking these antibiotics and antifungal, her body is literally being sterilized. Everything good or bad is being wiped out.
Her UTI will likely disappear and because she’s also on antifungal, if it was a yeast infection, it will disappear.
But… wait till she gets the slightest exposure to yeast – and she will, even from foods. She will get yet another yeast infection because her good bacteria were wiped out by unnecessary antibiotics.
So, next month, she might get yet another blow of “recurrent UTI”
So far, I have only addressed the issue of getting broad-spectrum antibiotics for UTI without testing what is causing it.
For this lady, it probably was not necessary, was damaging to her health, made her recurrent infection even worse and it is expensive.
2. Bacterial UTI
There are many bacteria that can cause UTI. Since this is a very wide and deep topic, I will shallowly talk about the commonest forms of bacterial UTI
Vaginosis. This is super common. Healthy vaginas come with healthy bacteria in them as we discovered above. But changes in the balance (usually caused by acidity, alkalinity or hormone levels) of the different kinds of bacteria in your vagina can lead to bacterial vaginosis (BV)(3).
Vaginosis may not have any symptoms and most women who have had broad-spectrum antibiotics in the past, birth control, drinks or swims in chlorinated water likely have it.
A few may notice a whitish, graying or greenish discharge without any pain with a fishy smell.
The majority may not even notice the discharge, just a strong smell after sex – that they may get used to and think it is normal.
It is not!
A dose of specific probiotics can make all the difference in the world.
Vaginosis isn’t necessarily a sexually transmitted disease, but it can be cross-infected across different partners if having multiple unprotected sexual encounters.
2. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
Before I even get deeper into this:
If a male has UTI that is not sexually transmitted disease, and they are not elderly (80+), or has urinary retention diseases, they are likely to immune compromised and should be tested for HIV/AIDS.
Why? Other than bacterial STDs that can survive in men urinary tract, male prostrate glands product an antibacterial and antifungal fluid that kills infections.
This explains why men do not get yeast infections like women do.
Men can carry the yeast outside the penis without ever getting an infection but if you have unprotected sex with him, you will get it and leave him smiling.
So, back to STD.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common causative agent of Chlamydia, a bacterial sexually transmitted disease (4).
On the other side, the causative agent that causes gonorrhea disease Gonorrhea is Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
While these diseases are specifically not UTI (they are STDs), I had to mention them here so that one does not miss to get tested.
If untreated, the complications are severe, including blocked fallopian tubes and infertility (5).
Back to our case study – what happened to this young girl
1. She was put on broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungals without testing!
The practitioner had to use the tools he/she had at hand to cover her for everything and anything.
While it saved the day, insist on getting a basic & cheap urine lab to determine whether it is bacteria or just a simple yeast infection.
Insist on getting tested to avoid unnecessary and damaging medications that will put you in a recurring cycle.
2. Her boyfriend also got the same broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungals.
While this was likely very unnecessary to do, him too was wiped clean with drugs. He may not re-infect her next time but a simple over the counter cream like Candid-B or Canesten cream could be all he needed if it was a yeast infection.
If it was a bacterial infection the lady had and the boyfriend had no signs or symptoms, there was no need for those drugs.
Remember we discovered that the prostate gland in men produces anti-infections fluid.
3. Her right side of her kidneys was very painful.
I am sure you are curious to know, why the right side was painful and not the left.
To explain this, I need to explain that if urinary tract infection goes untreated for even two days from the onset of the first symptom, it will go up to the bladder and then up to the kidneys.
When the infection gets to the kidneys, it causes a potentially life-threatening condition called Acute pyelonephritis.
So, why the right kidney?
The right kidney sits a little lower than the left one in the body. That means infection will get to the right one faster – affecting it.
Pyelonephritis requires immediate treatment as it can cause kidney damage or even death.
4. Her blood pressure was low when she went to the hospital.
This is a potentially deadly sign, and this could be the reason why she was put-on broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungal medications.
In a situation where one has an infection in the body/blood resulting in fever, high heart rate, high white blood cell count and low blood pressure, the condition is called SEPSIS (7)
Sepsis rapidly causes multiple organs and systems failure leading to septic shock (8) and/or death if left untreated (ASAP).
Sepsis is a medical emergency and may require hospitalization in an intensive care unit (ICU).
How to prevent recurrent UTI
1. In case of a known yeast infection.
Follow your prescribed antifungal medications, either oral or vaginal suppositories or pessaries.
Make sure your make partner gets an anti0fungal cream to apply on the penis
Taking a dose or women health probiotics can help prevent recurrent UTIs.
2.In case of vaginosis or foul vaginal odor,
A lot of times, probiotics are enough to take care of balancing vaginal good bacteria and more than likely, the smell will disappear after probiotics
In situations where there is a vaginal discharge, you need to see a doctor and you are likely to get a dose of antibiotics.
To avoid recurring or getting a yeast infection after antibiotics, take a broad-spectrum dose of probiotics. You will be amazed by what other things go wrong when your good bacteria are out of balance.
3. Take Cranberry juice or cranberry supplements
Why? Cranberry makes your urine very acidic. So acidic that you feel it when urinating. This cleans out your urinary tract from disease-causing organisms. See Cranberry supplements.
4. Take the D-Mannose Supplement.
D-Mannose in some areas is used instead of antibiotics or as a urinary tract antiseptic/detergent. D-Mannone prevents bacteria from attaching together in your urinary tract – thus preventing the infection.
Even better, there are supplements that have Cranberry & D-Mannose, D-Mannose and Probiotics or Cranberry, D-Mannose + Probiotics - all in one
5. Avoid douching – it is dangerous.
Douching alters the vaginal PH to a strong alkaline state, allowing the bacteria that thrive in alkaline condition thrive.
6. Use sanitary pads, not tampons.
Tampons are very potentially very dangerous and unhygienic. In fact, in the United States, they are rarely used due to increased risks of infection.
7. Avoid bathtubs baths – use shower instead.
While bathtubs are fun and can be romantic, sitting on stagnant water can introduce dirt and bacteria into your vagina. This can cause an infection
8. Drink a lot of water. It cleans you inside out as you pee.
9. Wipe yourself from the front – back, not from the back – front.
This prevents feces from getting into your vagina.
10. Take a shower before sex – Yes.
It is safe and appealing to be clean when having sex. Or – just have sex in the shower!
11. Fermented milk or Greek yogurt (not commercial sweetened yogurts) can help keep normal vaginal bacteria at a balance
Who needs Probiotics?
- Anyone who has drunk or swam in chlorinated water – who hasn’t or birth control pills.
- Anyone who has ever taken any antibiotics, sulfa drugs, anti-malarial drugs or has been hospitalized.
- Anyone who gets bloated after drinking milk or consuming milk products
- Anyone who suffers from chronic constipation or diarrhea
- People suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or small intestines bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
Hormonal Imbalance and UTI Infections
Towards or just before monthly periods, estrogen levels drop rapidly. Low estrogen level can cause UTI (9,10)
Taking DIM Hormonal balance supplement can help regulate estrogen levels and prevent recurrent UTI that comes just before periods. DIM has been shown to be effective in dealing with fibroids, infertility, and PCOS.
Urinary tract infection is the #1 commonest women infection in the world affecting almost all women in the world at some point in their lives.
Urinary tract infection should be treated after testing the causative agent – not with a broad blind approach
Basic hygiene can prevent UTI from happening. Observe proper hygiene all the time – you will be happy and those around you
It is advisable to take probiotics after taking antibiotics to prevent superinfections like yeast from happening.
Over to you!
Which question(s) do you have about:
- Urinary Tract Infections?
- Probiotics use?
- Abnormal vaginal smell?
- Or anything covered in this article?
Waiting for your comments and also, share this article with a friend.