Q&A: Why do I get reoccurring bladder infections?

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), are infections anywhere along the urinary tract including the bladder and kidneys. These infections can be caused by poor hygiene, impaired immune function, the overuse of antibiotics, the use of spermicides, and sexual intercourse. Also low oestrogen for women or low testosterone for men can also be another driver of bladder infections. The most common cause however, accounting for about 90 percent of all cases, is the transfer of E. coli bacteria from the intestinal tract to the urinary tract. 

For those of you who have experienced a UTI, there isn’t much you wouldn’t do to avoid another one. The pain, burning, nausea, and even bloody urine can be debilitating, and for those who get chronic UTIs, the fear of infection can be enough to prevent engagement in any activities that could trigger one.

Standard treatment of UTI’s is antibiotics, however this may cause more problems in the future by destroying the beneficial bacteria that prevents pathogenic bacteria from growing. Long term use of antibiotics can also lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria like E. coli developing in the gut, and a UTI caused by these bacteria will be even more challenging to eliminate and can cause more serious infections like a bladder or kidney infection. Furthermore, antibiotics do very little to prevent the infection from happening in the first place. 

Fortunately, there are a few methods of natural treatment and prevention that have worked extremely well for my clients. My favourite is D-mannose.

D-mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in a number of fruits, including apples, blueberries, and cranberries. This sugar is the reason that cranberry juice has been commonly recommended as a UTI treatment, though it is far easier to get the recommended dosage from a supplement. D-mannose is effective because it attaches to E. coli bacteria, causing them to stick to each other and preventing them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. The bacteria can then easily be eliminated from the body during urination.

Symptom relief can be seen as quickly as the following day, and most symptoms are generally resolved after 48 hours of treatment. Additionally, taking D-mannose during a time where you feel you are most prone to UTIs, such as prior to intercourse or during prolonged antibiotic treatment, can help prevent a UTI from ever developing in the first place. 

The typical dose of D-mannose for UTI treatment is 500 mg, taken in a glass of water every two to three hours for five days. It is a good practice to continue taking the supplement even after symptoms have diminished to ensure complete elimination of the bacteria in the urinary tract. This dose can also be taken as a preventative method.

I use this one ~ https://www.vinkasupplements.co.nz/products/d-mannose-powder (use password myhealth)