Urinary Tract Infection

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UTI – Urinary Tract Infections are becoming more common, but there are natural ways to deal with this unpleasant condition with correct nutrition.

 

8 ways to avoid urinary tract infections naturally

Reproduced from original article:
https://www.naturalhealth365.com/urinary-tract-infections-3257.html

urinary-tract-infections(NaturalHealth365) No doubt, urinary tract infections are unpleasant, painful and (sadly) too common for many people.  As a general rule, the chances of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI) are higher among females with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimating that up to 60 percent of all women will experience a UTI at some point in their lives.And, while Western medicine addresses UTIs with antibiotics, these can cause toxic side effects – as well as contributing to the emerging public health crisis of antibiotic resistance. Clearly, non-toxic, natural methods of prevention and treatment are needed.

Today, we’ll focus on a variety of natural nutrients, herbs and simple strategies that can help you to avoid a UTI – or help prevent a recurrence.

Warning: Untreated UTIs can progress to serious kidney infections

UTIs are primarily caused by pathogenic bacteria, with two types – E. coli and S. saphrophyticus – accounting for about 80 percent of all cases.

UTIs generally fall into two categories – lower and upper. While lower urinary tract infections may clear up on their own, untreated lower UTIs can occasionally lead to more serious upper urinary tract infections – which involve the kidneys and ureters. These can, in turn, lead to life-threatening sepsis.

Symptoms of a lower UTI include burning pain on urination, frequent urination and urine that is cloudy, dark, reddish or odorous. Pelvic pain and fever may also be present.

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Symptoms of an upper urinary tract infection include vomiting, fever and pain in the flanks.

It should be noted: The above symptoms call for an immediate physician to a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. Don’t stop taking any prescribed medications unless advised to do so by your healthcare provider – and check first with a trusted, integrative doctor before adding any of the following supplements to your health routine.

Don’t overlook the value of cranberry juice

Studies have shown that cranberry juice consumption is linked to fewer UTIs – and that it combats infection by multiple mechanisms.  First, cranberries are rich in disease-fighting anthocyanins – which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.

In addition, studies suggest that quinic acid in cranberries increases levels of hippuric acid – a natural antibacterial agent – in urine.  But cranberry juice’s main gift to urinary tract health is that it prevents the adhesion of bacteria to mucous membranes, allowing them to be flushed harmlessly from the system.

This quality also helps to prevent large communities of bacteria from accumulating, thereby preventing the growth of treatment-resistant biofilms.  For maximum benefit, seek out unsweetened, pure, organic cranberry juice. Avoid cranberry juice “cocktails,” which may be composed of inferior juices.

In addition, natural health experts advise drinking around 12 ounces a day of cranberry juice to help prevent UTIs.  By the way, if fresh cranberry juice is too pricey for you, cranberry tablets can be just as effective for some people.

Eliminate the threat of UTIs with vitamin C

Having optimal vitamin C levels is one of the keystones of disease prevention and good health, as this water-soluble essential vitamin is absolutely vital for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, fights disease through its remarkable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Vitamin C is a particularly valuable ally when it comes to warding off UTIs – which it does by acidifying the urine, a process which converts bacterial nitrites into bacteria-killing nitric oxide.

Many natural health experts recommend vitamin C amounts in the range of 1,000 mg to 2,000 mg a day – but check first with your integrative doctor regarding supplementation, as individual vitamin C requirements may vary.

One health tip you may find useful: liposomal vitamin C tends to deliver much more vitamin C into the cells without any bowel issues.

Get proactive with probiotics

Probiotics, live organisms that help to promote the survival and function of beneficial bacteria, can be your best friend when it comes to urinary tract health.  Many studies show that probiotics can perform a “hat trick” against UTIs, combating them in three different ways.

Simply put, probiotics prevent bacteria from adhering to uterine cells, while producing natural antibacterial chemicals (bacteriocins).  And, finally, probiotics compete with pathogenic bacteria for resources.

For maximum effect, your probiotic blend should contain bacteria in the Lactobacillus family, as these have been shown in clinical studies to specifically prevent UTIs.  In fact, a study comparing Lactobacillus bacteria to the antibiotic combination trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole showed that the probiotics performed almost as well as the antibiotics – without increasing the risk of antibiotic resistance.

You can help ward off UTIs by eating healthy amounts of probiotic foods, such as kombucha, miso, fresh sauerkraut, raw cheeses and yogurt with live cultures.

For probiotic supplementation, look for a high-quality formulation containing at least 100 billion CFUs (colony forming units).  But, no matter which brand you choose, most natural health experts will suggest at least 10 to 20 billion CFUs per day.

Get help from hibiscus

Colorful hibiscus blooms are more than just eye-catching additions to subtropical landscaping. The flowers and leaves of the hibiscus plant contain antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant compounds that can help discourage UTIs.

Hibiscus extracts also have a diuretic effect, helping to flush out bacteria and cleanse the urinary system.

But hibiscus’ own special superpower against UTIs may be its content of the strong natural antibacterial agent gossypetin – which has been shown to be effective against common UTI-causing bacteria.

Note: In one impressive study, researchers found that women taking hibiscus extracts experienced a whopping 77 percent reduction in UTI occurrence.  And, yes, hibiscus extracts are available in tablets, capsules or, if you like, tea form.

Protect urinary health with pumpkin seed extracts

Snacking regularly on pumpkin seeds – or taking pumpkin seed extracts – may offer some protection against UTIs.

It turns out that the fatty acids in these tasty little seeds have disease-fighting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Not only that, but they have been shown to improve bladder tone and support healthy bladder function and urination.

Natural healers typically recommend amounts of 500 mg a day of pumpkin seed oil to fight UTIs.

Are you going to the bathroom like you should?

Some days are so overwhelmingly busy that it even seems difficult to find the time for bathroom breaks.

However, “holding it” is not the best policy for bladder health. Simply put, when you feel the need to urinate, it’s time for a visit to the lavatory.  In fact, it’s ideal to be urinating at least once every 2-3 hours per day to ensure the proper removal of unwanted waste products.

This is a particularly important caveat if you are female. Studies have shown that women who delay urination for more than one hour post-urge have an increased risk of UTIs.

Healthful hydration: Use “liquid therapy” against UTIs

Here’s a low-tech, simple strategy for defeating UTIs: drink plenty of purified water throughout the day.  The reason, of course, is that this helps to flush bacteria from the urinary tract.

And, it’s scientifically sound: the opposite of good hydration – low fluid intake, and resultant infrequent urination – is directly linked to an increased risk of UTIs.

Get comfortable with the clothes you wear

Experts also advise promoting urinary tract health by avoiding tight-fighting, restrictive undergarments and opting for comfortable, “breathable” (organic) cotton underwear.

Note:  although it might feel luxurious to lounge in mountains of artificially-scented bath bubbles – avoid commercial bubble baths, which can have distinctly uncomfortable consequences. The harsh chemicals can trigger allergic reactions, causing irritation that often sets the stage for the entry of bacteria.

One final tip: after using the bathroom, wipe from front-to-back—the “gold standard” of old-fashioned (yet practical) advice for avoiding pesky UTIs.

UTIs are uncomfortable, unpleasant events that can pose serious health hazards. Fortunately, these non-toxic nutrients, herbs and strategies can help you dramatically cut your risk of experiencing them.

Sources for this article include:

LifeExtension.com
Healthline.com
NIH.gov

See also:

https://www.leanmachine.net.au/healthblog/4-herbal-remedies-designed-to-eliminate-the-threat-of-urinary-tract-infections/

4 herbal remedies designed to eliminate the threat of urinary tract infections

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/urinary-tract-infections-3143.html

urinary-tract-infections

(NaturalHealth365) Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common form of bacterial infection, triggering emergency room visits for roughly a million Americans every year.  Women are far more susceptible than men, with fully one third of women experiencing a UTI by age 24.

Western medicine attempts to treat UTIs with broad-spectrum antibiotics – which can cause a variety of toxic side effects, as well as contributing to the growing global epidemic of antibiotic resistance. These dangerous drawbacks have caused many scientists to stress the urgent need for alternate, natural therapies for UTIs.

Below, you will find four time-honored herbal remedies, the benefits of which have been validated by recent scientific research.

Discover the leading natural preventative option for urinary tract infections

Cranberries have a well-earned reputation for helping to ward off UTIs. Extensive scientific studies are now revealing their intriguing method of action.  And, while researchers used to credit the benzoic acid in these tart berries with creating an environment in the bladder that is unfriendly to the growth of pathogens, many now believe that benzoic acid must share the infection-fighting credit with the proanthocyanidins.

Proanthocyanidins, a group of natural pigments and antioxidants, are found in intensely-colored fruits and vegetables – and are in particularly good supply in cranberries.

The primary cause of UTIs – a bacterium known as E.coli – makes its way from the anus to the urethra, where it then adheres to mucosal cells in the urinary tract.  Researchers have discovered that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries actually attack and disable the structures on the surfaces of the bacteria that make cell adhesion possible.

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Without attaching to the urethral lining, the infection fails to take hold.

In one impressive study involving female adult participants with chronic urinary tract infections (an average of six a year), 400 mg of cranberry extract a day completely eliminated UTI incidence – with no side effects.  How’s that for effectiveness?!

Cranberry appears to be equally beneficial when taken in the form of juice.  In recent research, cranberry juice performed nearly as well in preventing UTIs as trimethoprim, an antibiotic.  If you decide to go the “juice route,” opt for unsweetened, organic cranberry juice – in the amount of at least two cups per day.

Cranberry extracts, however, have the advantage of being more cost-effective than fresh juice.  But, ultimately, the best way to access the benefits of cranberries depends on your personal taste – and your financial situation.

Marshmallow root is a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and diuretic

Revered in herbal medicine for its ability to ease sore throats and coughs, marshmallow root is also gaining traction among integrative healthcare providers as a treatment for UTIs – and for good reason.

This natural herb is high in mucilage, a natural tissue-soother.  It also has potent anti-inflammatory effects to alleviate swelling in the mucous membranes lining the urinary tract – thereby making tissues stronger and less susceptible to toxins, infections and damage.

In addition, marshmallow root increases urine flow, helping to flush toxins, and also combats bacteria – making it a useful ally against E. coli.  And, finally, marshmallow root contains high levels of antioxidant glucuronoxylan – which helps to protect against disease-causing oxidative damage.

While marshmallow root is indeed an ingredient in the sugary white confection roasted over bonfires, you need a more concentrated supply to get the herb’s full benefits.  An integrative physician may recommend addressing UTIs with one to two teaspoons of powdered marshmallow root per day, taken with at least 8 ounces of liquid.

Alternately, marshmallow root is available as a tea, which can be sipped in the amount of one-half to one cup, four times a day.

Uva ursi contains a host of infection-fighting phytochemicals

Uva ursi, also known as bearberry, has been used by herbal healers for close to two thousand years to treat infections and inflammations of the bladder and kidneys.  A natural diuretic and antiseptic, uva ursi alleviates inflammation and strengthens the lining of the urinary tract.

But that isn’t all.

The herb is also rich in tannic acid – which has proven antifungal and antibacterial properties – and contains a compound called arbutin that helps regulate the pH balance of urine.

Finally, uva ursi contains allantoin, which is often used as a healing, skin-soothing ingredient in lotions and ointments.  Uva ursi is available in capsules (or powders) and natural health experts advise a formulation standardized to 400 to 800 mg of arbutin.

You can also make uva ursi tea by simmering a tablespoon of dried leaves in 2 cups of water for 40 minutes, then straining and cooling. Drink three to four times a day.

Keep in mind: Uva ursi should not be used long-term, or in high dosages. As with the other three remedies, always consult your integrative doctor before taking it.

Corn silk: An old-fashioned herbal remedy exhibits therapeutic powers in clinical studies

Corn silk, long treasured in folk medicine as a home remedy for UTIs, has some serious scientific credibility backing up its low-tech, homey image.  In fact, it turns out that these silky fibers have powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

In a study published in Journal of Complementary Medicine Research, 42 adult participants with UTIs were treated with an aqueous extract of corn silk, and followed up after 5 days, 10 days and 20 days.

The patients experienced significant reductions in the pain and in the frequent, urgent urination that can accompany UTIs – along with a decrease in the number of pus cells (a sign of infection) in the urine.

There were no reports of side effects, leading the team to characterize corn silk as “effective and safe.”

Corn silk can be easily brewed into a tea. Simply add a tablespoon of dried strands to a cup of almost-boiling water, let the mixture steep for 15 to 20 minutes, then strain, cool and drink.  Plus, natural healers may advise drinking one or two cups of corn silk tea, two to three times a day, to combat UTIs.

Remember, don’t attempt to treat urinary tract infections – or any other medical condition – with these natural remedies without first consulting an experienced healthcare provider.  UTIs can sometimes progress to serious kidney infections, manifested by fever, chills and lower back pain – which require immediate medical attention.

To prevent UTIs from taking hold in the first place, natural health experts advise staying well hydrated, avoiding antibiotic overuse, wearing cotton underwear and avoiding irritating bubble baths and commercial vaginal hygiene products.  Of course, eliminating refined sugars from your diet can also lower the risk of these uncomfortable infections.

Marshmallows, cranberries, corn silk and bearberry (uva ursi) may lack the multi-syllabic, official-sounding monikers of the latest drugs cooked up by big pharma.  But, these herbal strategies can still offer wonderful results.

Sources for this article include:

GlobalHealingCenter.com
Bibliomed.org
HerbalWisdomInstitute.com
LifeExtension.com

Grapefruit Seeds Treat Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs

© August 13th 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here: www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
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This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019

Grapefruit Seeds Treat Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs

Antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections are increasingly common, leaving many looking for natural alternatives. Grapefruit seed extract may be an effective treatment that is safe, affordable and easily accessible

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common nuisance, disproportionately afflicting women, most of who will have a UTI at some point in their lives. UTIs when left untreated or when conventional treatment with antibiotics fail, can progress to more serious kidney infections. They are also of great concern for pregnant women, as the changes in prostaglandins and cytokines they induce can contribute to preterm delivery.

Conventional antibiotics are notorious for killing both the “good” and the “bad” bacteria within the body, as well as leading to the overgrowth of fungi like Candida albicans, which can lead to yeast infections. Moreover, even when conventional antibiotics suppress acute symptoms of infection, they can drive the survival of even more virulent antibiotic resistant bacteria. These surviving colonies form biofilm enabling them to lay dormant and grow back with even greater virulence when the infection recurs post-treatment.

This is why natural alternatives are becoming increasingly popular, especially those within the food category, like cranberry, whose safety is assured relative to what are often highly toxic conventional antibiotics such as the fluoride-based ciprofloxacin.  You can view our Urinary Tract Infection database for over 20 natural substances that show promise as anti-urinary tract infection agents.

Grapefruit is perhaps the most interesting anti-urinary infection agent we have yet stumbled upon in our research. A remarkable case study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2005 titled, “The effectiveness of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) seeds in treating urinary tract infections,” found that the seeds of the grapefruit were highly effective in killing antibiotic-resistant UTIs:

“Three middle-aged males and one female were diagnosed as having urinary tract infections (UTIs) between 2001 and 2003 in the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa, a unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Of the 4 patients, only the female was asymptomatic. The 3 males had Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella species, and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively, in their urine samples, while the female had Escherichia coli. All 4 patients were treated with grapefruit seeds (Citrus paradisi) orally for 2 weeks and they all responded satisfactorily to the treatment except the man with P. aeruginosa isolate. However, the initial profuse growth of Pseudomonas isolate in the patient that was resistant to gentamicin, tarivid, and augmentin later subsided to mild growth with reversal of the antibiotic resistance pattern after 2 weeks’ treatment with grapefruit seeds. These preliminary data thus suggest an antibacterial characteristic of dried or fresh grapefruit seeds (C. paradisi) when taken at a dosage of 5 to 6 seeds every 8 hours, that is comparable to that of proven antibacterial drugs.”

The authors concluded that based on these case studies, “The adequate clinical response of these patients suggest that the 8-hourly dosage of 5 to 6 seeds of grapefruit seeds taken for a 2-week period may have an effect that is comparable to other proven antibacterial drugs.”

They also referenced research on grapefruit seed extract’s effectiveness at inhibiting bacteria:

“Recently, it has been confirmed that grapefruit seed extract (GSE) has antimicrobial properties against a wide range of gram-negative and gram-positive organisms at dilutions found to be safe. With the aid of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), the mechanism of GSE’s antibacterial activity was revealed (Heggers et al., 2002). It was evident that GSE disrupts the bacterial membrane and liberates the cytoplasmic contents within 15 minutes after contact even at more dilute concentrations. It has also been found that GSE appeared to have a somewhat greater inhibitory effect on gram-positive organisms than on gram-negative organisms; however, its comparative effectiveness against a wide range of bacterial biotypes is significant  (Reagor et al., 2002).”

Indeed, our database contains a number of citations on grapefruit seed extract’s anti-microbial activity, including against MRSA. Also, the more salient difference between GSE is that it also has potent anti-fungal activity, making it superior to conventional antibiotics.

The really amazing thing here is that even if conventional antibiotics were safe, effective, available and inexpensive (which they are not), not everyone in the world has access to them. Grapefruit, and related “medicinal foods,” are far easier to acquire, and also provide significant nutritional benefits, which supports the underlying immune system whose status is responsibility for determining susceptibility to infection. We’ve reported on a similar case study on the use of black seed (nigella sativa) in putting an HIV patient into remission, as well as a case of temporary remission of incurable leukemia using cannabis.

Case studies always provide a powerful window into the role of ancient food-based healing interventions, which, owing to their non-patentability, will likely never receive the massive capital influxes required to fund the RCTs needed to legitimize them in the eyes of a medical model beholden to pharmaceutical interests.

Article originally published: 2015-08-04

Article updated: 2019-08-13

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.