When I was younger urinary tract infections (UTI) were very common. I got my first one as a teenager before I became sexual. I was appalled to be accused by the emergency room doctor to be having sex at 15 when I wasn’t. Of course, this sensitive creature of a doctor said all this in front of my mother. Not only was the urinary tract infection painful as it had started to spread into my bladder and kidney systems, but I was also embarrassed in front of my mother. After having at least two urinary tract infections treated through antibiotics in my early twenties, I began to look for alternative treatments. From working with an amazing chiropractor (Dr. Guy Gunter in Atlanta), I got some tips about drinking more water and eliminating acidic drinks such as soda and coffee. Just tweaking my drinking pattern just a little bit completely eliminated urinary tract infections for me for years to come. In my thirties when I felt the urinary tract infection coming on I could easily stave it off with a couple of home remedies. These preemptive measures protected me from urinary tract infections all the way into my 5th decade.
Last year, at 51, I got a urinary tract infection that landed me in the emergency room and I reluctantly took the antibiotics to kill the excess bacteria that causes the UTI. Beware there are different types of bacterial UTIs and they respond to different antibiotics. I would not agree to take one until my urine is cultured. Why take an antibiotic that will not help your situation? This may sound common sense, and yet everyday women are given the wrong course of antibiotics. There is no way a doctor can know which one to prescribe until they know what bacteria is overwhelming your system. Antibiotics should be your last resort as I have loved ones who have become resistant to antibiotics in their older years as a result of taking too many over time. When nothing else works, you may get Cipro. This is what is used to treat anthrax.
For this most recent UTI, My symptoms were different this time and I realized that this particular bacteria was a whole different strain than I had experienced before. Nevertheless, the important point is that you catch it early and treated fast and hard. Sometimes the symptoms are elusive but are on the lookout for a change in the color and smell of your urine, pain or heavy or crampy feeling in your lower back, legs, and thighs. Dehydration can be a big factor. Some women feel a burning sensation when they urinate, although I never did. Also, be out on the lookout for low-grade fever and or chills and fever this could be a sign that the body is fighting a bacterial infection. A need to urinate frequently can also be associated with a urinary tract infection as well as painful urination. Discolored urine, cloudy urine, and blood in the urine are indications that an infection may be developing.
Here are my 10 Ways to Naturally Treat a UTI without Antibiotics (unless its an emergency):
- I flood my body with water and flush the bacteria out of your bladder. Clean your body with at least 2 quarts of water, if you weight 120 lbs, 3 quarts if you weight around 180lbs and 4 quarts of water a day if you are over 200lbs. Dehydration can ramp up the activity of unwanted bacteria that cause UTIs. I take even more when working with UTI symptoms.
- I clean my colon. Gaining the power of your immune system removing excess toxins from the colon is a good move. Lingering waste wastes the resources of your immune system in killing bad bacteria. Enemas, colonics and or herb solutions such as magnesium citrate work great.
- I drink unsweetened cranberry juice and each fresh cranberries. The unsweetened juice is easy to find, even fresh, but the berries are seasonal. I also take a cranberry concentrate powder that you find at a health food store.
- I take D-mannose power I find at the health food store. The D-mannose (sugar from cranberries is legendary in fighting UTIs).
- I alkalize my body with raw foods such as spinach, kale and minimize the acidic carb-based foods such as sweets, bread, and potatoes.
- I take high doses of vitamin C.
- I take a couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and water.
- I take 1 teaspoon of baking soda and water.
- I take frequent breaks to urinate. The first cases of UTI were first called “lazy secretary disease” as these eager and dedicated newly arrived women in the workforce often held their urine and consequently developed UTIs. So much for dedication, as they still were labeled by their doctors as “lazy”.
- I dap organic melaleuca (tea tree) oil on my urethra to weaken the bacteria that have traveled my urethra causing the symptoms.
Bonus Natural Treatment Method: I incorporate yoga poses that activate my bladder and kidneys. I do squatting poses as well as poses that require me to stretch my back such as a forward bend and downward dog and also in the opposite direction like upward dog known as Nun in Kemetic yoga.
Seriously, though, don’t let the symptoms get out of hand. Take care, be well!