Are You Suffering from Reoccurring Urinary Tract Infections?
“AHHHH I’M ITCHY, BURNY AND TOTALLY UNCOMFORTABLE DOWN THERE!” Okay, sister, we understand, 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 antibiotics are 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 the bacterium; 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). These pathogens 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.
As previously discussed, conventional medicines 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).
We specialise in investigating the why’s and how’s of your health issues. We understand how AWFUL AND ANNOYING they can be! Girlfriend, we got you.
Natural ways to help recurring UTI’s:
- Education on how post coital hygiene, avoid tight clothing, prolonged and continuous use of bubble baths/pools/spas, and spermicides all effect the urinary bacterium.
- Diet: 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.
- Dietary interventions to 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.
- It’s also important to review the client’s mental health status, are they overly stressed and increasing sympathetic nervous system activity? This can cause bacterial imbalances (Nansel, 2006).
Treatment routes your Naturopath may take:
- 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 to 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.