UTI’s have a very common rate of occurrence, especially for women. It is a blanket term for an infection of any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. A UTI is most commonly found in the bladder and urethra, moving on to the kidneys if the infection is left to worsen. For many women suffer reacurring or chronic UTI’s, with the only treatment option being antibiotics. While this works for some, a whole population of women are often left without options when antibiotics don’t work. To make matters worse, more aggressive antibiotics are often prescribed when others don’t work, causing massive damage to the digestive tract and getting rid of good bacteria in the urinary tract.
There are many natural compounds that we have been using for millennia to deal with infection. These plants and plant extracts are backed by research and historical use, and come with none of the harmful side affects of antibiotics. We will get into those further down, but first another issue has to be covered.
We now have research showing why antibiotics are not always effective at getting rid of infections. A study was done looking at the polysaccharides, protein adhesins, and fibers that E.coli secrete while in the urinary tract. It turns out that the bacteria work to create what is called a biofilm to stick together and provide adhesion to the wall of the urinary tract. This film not only help the bacteria stick together but protects them from antibiotics. Unfortunately, this concept is generally not recognized by most doctors and is therefore not considered when prescribing antibiotics. If you have an N.D as your primary, they may be aware or open to the concept of bacterial biofilms and therefore could help in constructing a plan to deal with the issue. Luckily there are many over-the-counter products that are know to deal with bacterial biofilms.
There are a whole range of enzymes that work to erode at a biofilm. Some I have had first hand success with, and others are known through research, clinical, and anecdotal success.
Nattokinase is a thoroughly studied enzyme. It is an extract of the Japanese fermented soybean dish, natto. It has been shown to digest the biofilms of bacteria, allowing further antimicrobial interventions to work. I have had success in recommending this enzyme to clients. I like this brand. Follow the directions on the bottle and take until empty to ensure full removal.
Other enzymes to consider include proteases, plasmin, and streptokinase, and lumbrokinase. Another product to consider is Kirkmans Biofilm Defense, a mix of enzymes. Many have had success with this product.
Natural Remedies For Infection
Now that we are taking care of the biofilm, lets look at some tried and true methods for tackling a UTI. D-Mannose is one of my favorite supplements for this purpose. D-Mannose is a simple sugar found in cranberry, and is the reason for the urinary health boosting effects of cranberry. It works by inhibiting the attachment of bacteria to the urinary tract wall. However, the amount of D-Mannose found naturally in cranberry is not nearly enough to treat a current infection. Large doses are needed, and are proven to provide protection against recurrent infection as well as treat infection. This product is formulated with the clinical dose needed as well as other herbs and extracts known for boosting urinary tract health.
Another favorite of mine is oil of oregano. This oil has been used through out history to treat infection, and is still known today through study to be highly effective against infections of all types. It has been tested and shown to have antimicrobial effects against the most common form of bacterial infection, E.coli.
While it is important to get rid of the infection, it is equally important to repopulate the urinary tract with healthy bacteria. Taking probiotics has been show to repopulate the urinary tract and vagina with beneficial bacteria. When good bacteria are in place it is much more difficult for bad bacteria to take hold. Fem-Dophilus from Jarrow Formulas has both of the most clinically clinically researched strains in high concentrations.
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Elliot Steele is a Primal Health Coach based in Chelan WA. He strives to empower those looking to regain their health after a lifetime of misinformed practices. This is the essence of Steele Back Your Health, to truly learn how to be healthy with sustainable habits. Check out the coaching and blog page for more info!