Without getting into TOO much detail, natural UTI treatment is an area in which I have become quite the expert over the years. UTI’s (urinary tract infections) suck, hard. And the worst part is, once you’ve had one, you are that much more likely to get them chronically. Unfortunately, chronic UTI’s aren’t just an inconvenience — they are one of the leading causes of over-prescription of antibiotics in women, and overuse of antibiotics can lead to even greater health problems: antibiotic resistance, digestive disorders, and candida, just to name a few. I myself was once hospitalized with a severe case of colitis after using antibiotics on and off for several months, upon my doctor’s urging.
After years of needing to take antibiotics several times a year for UTI’s, and even more years dealing with the long-term effects of overuse of antibiotics, I said enough is enough. I developed a protocol of natural treatment for UTI’s that works, and 98% of the time, eliminate the need for antibiotics. This is big news for those of you out there who are prone to this not-so-fun affliction. I’ve also perfected a strategy for preventing UTI’s to begin with, and am happy to say that I haven’t needed to take antibiotics for a UTI in several years!
5-Step Best Natural UTI Treatment
Start this 5-step protocol of natural UTI treatment the moment you get that tingly, pre-UTI feeling and nip it in the bud. Symptoms should start to improve within 12-24 hours. Follow the protocol for a few days, even after symptoms ease up, or up to a week if it was a more severe case.
This natural UTI treatment protocol is safe for breastfeeding moms.
1. D-MANNOSE: 2 capsules 2x/day for 2 days, then 1 capsule 2x/day for another 5 days
This is your first line of attack against an oncoming UTI. D-Mannose is a nutritional supplement (technically a type of sugar) found in cranberries. You may have heard about the use of cranberry extract or cranberry juice for treating UTI’s. Well, D-Mannose is like cranberry extract on crack and works so much faster than the cranberry capsules. In clinical trials, it has been shown to work just as well antibiotics for preventing recurrent UTI’s, without any of the horrific side effects of antibiotic use. If for some reason, you can’t get a hold of D-Mannose, you can take concentrated cranberry capsules (at least 400 mg) every 2 hours for 48 hours, then every 4 hours for another 4-5 days. I DO NOT recommend drinking cranberry juice unless you can find an unsweetened variety (in which case it will be gross and you won’t want to drink it) — the sugar will actually make the UTI worse.
2. PROBIOTICS (lactobacillus species): 2 capsules 2x/day for 2 days, then 1 capsule 2x/day for 5 days
Keeping your gut and vaginal flora in balance is key for preventing and treating UTI’s. But not just any probiotic will do. It’s got to be lactobacillus specific to prevent E. Coli from proliferating (a main cause of UTI’s). There are lots of great lactobacillus probiotics out there for women, but I particularly like the one from Garden of Life, a high quality supplement brand I trust and love. After you’ve treated your UTI, I recommend staying on probiotics (1x/day) indefinitely as a preventative measure.
3. VITAMIN C: 1000 mg 3x/day for 2 days, then 500 mg 3x/day for 5 days
Higher levels of vitamin C have been shown to have an antimicrobial effect specifically for the type of bacteria that cause UTI’s. Plus, the immune boosting effects of C are hugely supportive when beating an infection! For the first 2 days, give your system a big ol’ infusion of vitamin C (see above), then take the dose down for another 5 days.
4. WATER: drink half your body weight in ounces per day
Staying extra super hydrated is crucial when treating a UTI, especially when you’re taking high doses of natural supplements. You need to flush all these powerful nutrients through your system and into your urinary tract, which requires LOTS of water. So drink up. An 8 oz. glass every hour or two (that you’re awake) should do the trick.
5. DIET: cut out foods that feed UTI bacteria and irritate your urinary tract
There are foods that can cause a proliferation of bacteria in the nether regions, which can lead to and exacerbate UTI’s. When you feel a UTI coming on, eliminate sugar and alcohol for at least 5 days (or up to a week if you want to really decrease the odds of recurrence). Caffeine can also exacerbate UTI symptoms, so it’s best to avoid it as well. However, increasing naturally probiotic foods like sauerkraut or other facto-fermented veggies, organic yogurt or kefir, can be helpful during the treatment period.
WHEN TO TAKE ANTIBIOTICS:
This protocol works wonderfully, and eliminates the need for unnecessary antibiotic treatment. However, sometimes antibiotics are recommended. If you follow this protocol (to a T) and are still experiencing irritation after a week, then you may want to get a urine analysis to determine if you need antibiotics. For pregnant women or girls under the age of 10, a course of antibiotics may be recommended (check with your doctor). However, for girls and pregnant women that are prone to recurrent UTI’s, the preventative measures below will definitely help!
How to naturally prevent UTI’s:
- Urinate right after sex (like within a couple of minutes) — every single time.
- Get off oral contraceptives: these have been shown to double the risk of recurrent UTI’s. Use alternate methods of contraception.
- Don’t use chemical lubricants or spermicides. Use a natural lubricant like Sliquid Organic Lubricant instead.
- Avoid bubble baths and feminine hygiene products (like douches).
- Eat a diet high in plant foods, fiber, and naturally fermented foods, and LOW in sugar, processed foods, and additives.
- Take a lactobacillus probiotic daily.
- Take 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily.
- For chronic UTI’s, keep taking D-Mannose, twice daily.