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Home > URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

Dave Foreman

URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS


by Dave Foreman
Volume 7, Issue 4
- Repair And Recovery
- Homeopathy May Be The Relief You Are Looking For
- Antioxidants For Serious Health Concerns
- Acne (And Other Acne Related Skin Issues)
- Arrhythmias
- Using Tonics To Improve Your Health
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
Archives
- Herbal Pharmacist Health Update
- Smart Weight Loss Options
- Allergy Relief Alternatives
- Focus: Women's Health
- Menopause Symptom Relief
- Focus: Men's Healths
- Ask The Herbal Pharmacist
- Antioxidants for Blood Sugar Control
- Bone Health 101
- The Basics for Healthy Eyes
- Uterine Fibroids (revisited)
- Wait Before You Cut!

- Holiday Travel Tips
- Time for a Tune Up
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Energy: Who needs more?
- PCOS-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
- Heavy Legs
- Stay Hydrated this Summer
- Lower Back Problems-Sciatica
- Antioxidants for Cardiovascular Health
- Prostate Health: not just an old manís concern
- Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Fats? Good for you?
- Prostatitis
- Superfoods
- Timing your Training Supplements
- Juice Up Your Life with Superjuices
- Infant Corner-Homeopathy
- Foundational Health
- Top Toxins
- Fall Cleansing
- Heart Health
- Protein Recovery and Repair
- High Blood Pressure
- Tart Cherries
- Infant Corner: DHA
- Healthy Digestion: Is it possible?
- Holiday Gift Ideas
- Herbal Tea
- Tired, moody, canít sleep? It might be STRESS.
- Infant Corner: Healthy Digestion
- Healthy Aging
- Breast Cancer
- Get a Jump on the Winter Cold and Flu Season
- Children's Essentials: No-Guilt Popsicles
- Infant Corner: Breastfeeding - Energize Yourself
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Hot Health Tip: Swimmer's Ear
- Infant Corner: Teething
- Understanding Homeopathy
- Green Foods Supplements
- Amino Acids
- Dry Eyes
- Infant Corner: Diaper Rash
- Blood Sugar Control
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Blood Sugar Concerns & More
- Sciatic Issues?
- Separating Myths From The Facts About Probiotics
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Infant Corner: Cradle Cap
- Swine Flu and Flu Season Worries:
- The Herbal Pharmacist Consultation:Weight Loss
- Quick Tips For Hypertension
- New Year's Resolutions
- A Natural Approach to Ear Infections
- Unraveling The Vitamin D Story
- Infant Corner: Prenatal Care
- Protein-Hype Or Hope
- Drug-Nutrient Interactions
- PMS-Something New
- Guide To Designing Your Supplement Regimen
- Why Can't I Sleep?
- Infant Corner: Developmental Support
- Hints for a Clearer Complexion
- Dental Tips
- Infant Corner
- Breast Cancer
- Healthy Aging
- Infant health corner
- Immune Support
- Secrets of Healthy Fats Revealed
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 4
- Chia seeds part II
- Healthy fats revisited
- Prostate health
- Infant health corner
- Fish oil & coq10
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 3
- Quick Tips for Women
- Bone Health
- Skin Health
- Quick Tips for Men
- Quick Fix For Allergy Sufferers
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You–Step 2
- Beauty Sleep
- Eye Health
- Weight Loss
- 4 Steps to Building a Healthy You
- Holiday Digestion
- Winter Dry Skin Tips
- Alzheimer's Disease
- TMJ Syndrome
- Breast Cancer Facts
- Bone Health
- Healthy Aging
- Children's Supplements
- Chia Seed the new superfood
- Understanding Chromium
- Water perhaps the most critical nutrient
- Stress! Tips to relax
- Allergy Tips
- There's A New CoQ10 In Town
- Tired? Quick tips for getting your energy level up
- Fats: Good For You?
- Flu Season
- Go Away Aches & Pains
- Oh!!My Aching Back
- Ear Infections
- How Sporty Are You
- No Bones About It
- Nattokinase
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- IBS
- Fiber
- Skin Cancer
- Sleep Problems
- Specific Herbs For Men
- Cleansing
- Nails
- PMS
- Probiotics
- Specific Herbs for Women
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Your Breath Stinks
- Blood Pressure
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS)
- Colorectal Cancer
- Uterine Fibroid
- The Eyes Have It
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
-Putting Out the Fire
- Solving America's Energy Crisis
- Natural Gum Care
- Jazz Up Your Life with Juice
- Natural Relief for SAD
- Immunity Know-How
- Stop Smoking!!
- Let's Talk About Irregularity
- Free Radicals
- Asthma
- Memory Problems
- L-Carnitine
- Men's Health
- Women's Health
- The Four Pillars of Great Health
- Blood Sugar Control
- Probiotics
- Supplement Interactions
- Are You Consumer Smart?
- Digestive Blues
- Taking Control of Stress
- Heart Health
- Pycnogenol®
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Greens
- Is Beauty Only Skin Deep?
- Happy (and Healthy) Trails to You!

Dave Foreman, RPh, ND is a pharmacist, Naturopathic Doctor, author, television commentator, radio host and practitioner of natural living and holistic approaches to better health. His weekly radio program is broadcast throughout North America. Dave is currently a contributing columnist for Pharmacy Today magazine and several other natural health publications.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common and the majority of them occur in sexually active, middle-aged women. It is estimated that just over ten percent of women have this type of infection each year. It is also estimated that over half of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime.

What is even more serious are about ten percent of women over the age of 70 will have chronic problems with UTIs.

To better understand what a UTI is and how it may be treated or prevented, you need to know what makes up your urinary tract. The urinary tract is the system in the body that carries urine out of the body. It is comprised of the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most UTIs occur in the bladder and are called bladder infections. Bladder infections are usually not serious, but if left untreated or occur chronically can become dangerous. If the infection makes its way to your kidneys, your situation is more serious and permanent damage can be done.

Symptoms of UTIs vary depending on your threshold for pain, and the severity and location of the infection. I always advise people to consult with their health care provider when there is any question or symptom. The following is a brief list of some of the more common symptoms:

• Pain or burning when you urinate
• The feeling of having to go often, but not much urine comes out when you do
• Tender or heavy feeling in your belly
• Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
• Pain on one side of your back under your ribs
• Fever and chills
• Nausea and vomiting
• Reddish-colored urine

What causes these infections?

In most cases bacteria gets into your system through your urethra – the tube that carries urine from your bladder to the outside of your body. These bacteria often originate in your large intestine and are found in your stool (hence the reason that good hygiene is needed when using the bathroom). If these same bacteria make their way up the urethra, they can cause you to have a bladder or kidney infection.

One of the reasons women tend to get more bladder infections than men is because women have shorter urethras. The bacteria have a much shorter distance to go before entering the bladder. Regretfully, sexual activity can make it easier for these little buggers to get into your urethra too. Other contributing factors include not drinking enough fluids, being pregnant, and health challenges like diabetes, enlarged prostate, low estrogen levels and kidney stones. Using spermicides, diaphragms and scented feminine hygiene products can also increase your risk of developing a UTI.

So how do you treat a UTI?

Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce the likelihood of getting a UTI. Many of these may seem like common sense, but I have learned that there are a ton of smart people who still don’t have any common sense.

• Drink lots of water or herbal teas
• Urinate frequently (don’t hold it)
• Wipe properly (proper hygiene)
• Avoid sugar, honey and refined “white” foods
• Avoid allergic/sensitive foods (dairy, gluten, etc.)
• Avoid being constipated (see my past articles on digestion)
• Replace suger and honey with sweeteners like Stevia, Xylitol, Lo Han Kuo and Erythritol

Can supplements help?

Besides those helpful preventative tips, the following supplement recommendations can be used either as a way to address a UTI if you have one, or as a preventative course.

Cranberry – the main line of defense One of the most popular supplements for UTIs (even modern medicine recommends this) is the use of cranberry. A great one to try is Vitamin Shoppe brand Cranberry with D-Mannose, a blend of CranRich™ cranberry extract, and D-mannose (a plant-derived, low-glycemic simple sugar that helps to support healthy blood sugar within the normal range, and also promotes a healthy urinary tract.

What makes cranberry work?

Cranberries are full of many beneficial nutrients such as anthocyanidins (antioxidants), tannins, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, glutathione, alpha-tocopherol, etc. The belief is that cranberry inhibits the bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall. If these bacteria cannot cling to your bladder wall, they won’t be able to multiply and cause an infection. In addtion to preventing bacteria from clinging to your urinary tract system, the nutrients found in cranberries also provide immune support benefits. Sort of a one-two punch.

What about cranberry cocktail and other grocery store juices? In my opinion, using these juices is not as effective and in some cases may lead to more problems. The sugar content found in most store juices will negatively impact your immune system (the system you need to be functioning optimally when you have an infection). If you purchase a sugar-free version, you then expose your body to artificial sweeteners and other toxins.

Herbal remedies

Other herbs like asparagus, birch, nettle and parsley have been shown to be helpful. The fact that these herbs increase urine production may be their mechanism of action. This in turn will increase your need to urinate, which will help flush your urinary tract more regularly. Uva ursi is another popular herb that is used around the world for the treatment of bladder infections. An active compound found in this herb can be converted in the body into a natural antibiotic specific to the urinary tract. As with any and all natural health programs, please consult with your health care provider prior to committing to your regimen. Boosting immune function short term for an acute UTI, or supporting it for the chronic cases is another great idea. You can learn more about immune health supplements in my past newsletters. Using supplements like elderberry, vitamin C, echinacea, etc. can boost immune function quickly to help the body fight off infection. For long-term use, I prefer the medicinal mushrooms like Maitake (Maitake D-fraction) or Reishi because these supplements support the immune system and are considered safe and effective for extended use.

Finally, because a majority of UTIs are caused by bacteria that get into the urinary tract system from the large intestine (this typically happens in cases of improper hygiene) I recommend using a probiotic. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that I have found useful for those concerned with UTIs.

 
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