In my 33 year career as a pharmacist, I would fill at least one prescription every shift for an antibiotic that was specifically used to treat a urinary tract infection (UTI). Studies show that 50% of all women will experience a UTI at least once in their lifetime. While UTIs can occur at any age, as women enter midlife, hormonal changes can increase chances of developing a urinary tract infections as well. Symptoms of urinary tract infections include pain in the bladder or groin, foul smelling urine, frequent urination, bladder spasms, fatigue and possibly fever.
Traditionally UTI prevention methods include staying hydrated, proper hygiene (wiping front to back) , voiding after intimacy and avoiding irritating soaps and cleansers. However, there are also additional steps that can be helpful in avoiding urinary tract infections.
1. Look at Your Sugar Intake
Sugar is a "food" for bacteria; and can increase the acid level of urine creating an environment where bacteria can thrive. It is essential to read labels to start reducing sugar in your diet. The American Heart Association recommends 25g per day of sugar for women and 37.5g per day for men. Many so called "healthy" foods can have a high amount of added sugar. Protein bars, yogurt and granola can have 15-16 grams of sugar per serving ,it is very important to read labels.
Women who experience recurrent UTIs should include lower sugar fruits like berries in their diet. Fruits that are higher in sugar include dried fruits and fruits such as mangos, cherries and bananas. Fruits are an important part of a healthy lifestyle but if you are prone to UTIs, enjoy high sugar fruits in moderation. Fruit juice can be very high in sugar so be sure to also look at sugar labels on fruit juices .
Sugary foods and drinks can exacerbate symptoms of overactive bladder. As you may also be experiencing more frequent urination due to an irritated bladder from a UTI, it is advisable to avoid excess sugar to prevent UTIs and also decrease UTI symptoms.
2. Improve Your Gut Health
Improving gut health will help with boosting immunity. Taking a probiotic can introduce good bacteria into your system that will allow your body to fight off the bacteria that cause UTIs.
Eating a diet high in fiber filled foods like low sugar fruits, vegetables, oats, and beans can help improve regular bowel movements thus improving gut health as well. Including collagen supplements and also bone broth can help heal the gut lining and improve gut health . You may want to consider eliminating inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy and sugar as well. Improving gut health boosts immunity and improves optimal wellness.
3. Include Helpful Supplements
D- Mannose is a a natural sugar that can help prevent UTIs and is not absorbed by the body like traditional sugars. D-Mannose provides a preferred surface for the bacteria that cause UTIs to adhere to while in the urinary tract. The bacteria adhere to the D-Mannose as opposed to the bladder wall. The bacteria are then urinated out of the urinary tract. I love the West Coast Mint brand of D-Mannose for its purity. West Coast Mint's D-Mannose comes in both a powder or a tablet form. You can use code FP15 for 15% off your order. www.westcoastmint.com D-Mannose is one of the top products that I recommend that I hear very positive feedback on from women who share how helpful it is for them
While many women will use cranberry or cranberry tablets to prevent UTIs, I prefer D-Mannose because it is also very soothing to the bladder and the bladder can become extremely irritated after experiencing a urinary tract infection.
If you are experiencing bladder irritation, head to my free ebook "Say Goodbye To Bladder Pain In Five Easy Steps" which can also be helpful for those who have bladder irritation from a urinary tract infection . www.thefulfilledpharmacist.com You will find here a full list of foods to avoid that can be irritating to the bladder such as caffeine, spicy foods, acidic foods and more.
Tiny changes truly can lead to big results in better health! If you are experiencing UTIs or any medical issues, please consult a physician. This post is informational only and not medical advice. This post does also contain an affiliate link .
Lisa King RPh can be found on all social media channels as The Fulfilled Pharmacist. Please follow along for more information on bladder health and also ways to revitalize your health to look and feel your best at any age!