Is it really a urinary tract infection….. or a pH imbalance?
You know those nasty symptoms of a urinary tract infection:
- urgent and frequent urination
- pain upon urination
- never feeling like your bladder is completely empty
Sometimes you need an antibiotic but sometimes you don’t.
First, here are some tips on how to prevent UTI’s:
1) Make sure you’re well hydrated: drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds drink 75 oz.
2) Take 1000 mg of vitamin C immediately before or after intercourse.
3) The acidic pH of the vaginal area is unfavorable to bacteria. Ejaculate is very alkaline and changes that delicate balance, so you want to keep that area slightly acidic.
4) Sometimes the hormonal changes of menopause create more infections. With less estrogen, the bladder lining becomes thinner and more frail. Bacteria can settle into the micro tears. A product called d-mannose is very helpful for making the walls of the bladder slippery so bacteria cannot adhere and irritate the bladder. Menopausal women often benefit from vaginal estrogen creams to prevent recurrent UTI’s, especially if there was no history of them prior to “the change”.
The traditional bladder tonic, cranberry juice, is high in d- mannose, but also in sugar. So while it prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, it may also feed them. One alternative is to buy cranberry juice concentrate at the health food store, add water, and sweeten with stevia, which will not feed the bacteria.
Our favorite product for preventing and treating UTIs is called UT Synergy. It contains d-mannose as well as the classic bladder tonic, bearberry/ uva ursi which kills bacteria and reduces stickiness, aloe to soothe the irritated membranes, and a variety of other botanicals with similar action. We recommend 4/day while treating an active infection and 1-2 each day for maintenance and prevention.
Next, how to sort out whether you have a UTI or not:
Sometimes the urine itself is overly acidic or alkaline, both of which cause irritation and burning. You can check the pH of your urine by using special pH paper that is scaled from 5.0-9.0. Check it first thing in the morning before eating or drinking.