I’m not AS vocal about this on the VF Instagram (where I often show my day to day), but I’ve written about it in the past.
UTIs have plagued me since I was a baby. I was born with a messed up bladder (not seen unless you do an MRI) but let’s just say it has put me through the damn RINGER my entire, entire life.
***This is NOT professional nor medical advice
When I wrote about UTIs five years ago– there is something that jumps out at me and scares me. Up until October 2018- I was told to take an antibiotic EVERY SINGLE TIME after I had sex. That I would never have a normal sex life -because I would get a UTI every time after sex- unless I took regular antibiotics.
So that’s how I dealt with it. Can you imagine right now having taken antibiotics every single time after you had sex? What kind of state do you think your body would be in? Heck– I worry about people who have had even ONE round of antibiotics! One!!
During all this, not ONCE did I have a Doctor tell me, “you know what? this might mess up your gut long term.” Or, “You know… if you mess up your gut bacteria, you will be unsuccessful most of the time when you try to prevent or fight off future UTIs”
How f*cked up is that? I’m sure you can hear it in my voice: I am still angry. Countless doctors- not ONE of them looking out for my health in the long term. Not ONE of them bringing up gut health and how detrimental antibiotics can be. (Antibiotics DO have a place but I think gut health needs to be part of the conversation… ESPECIALLY if you get reoccurring UTIs.)
And yes I did everything in the book: kept perfect hygiene, drank the water, peed after sex, etc etc. I still got them. My bladder is ROGUE.
It wasn’t until I finally saw a functional medicine doctor, who I firmly believed saved my life in the long run, that I got answers. When I came to her I was deeply depressed, sleeping 14 hours a day, and didn’t understand why someone who lived such a healthy lifestyle was struggling so much. What we found out is that I got to the point where I absorbing practically NO nutrients. I had severe malabsorption issues. (Read more about that here.)
Your gut is your second brain. A lot of serotonin is produced in the gut so it’s no wonder I was so fatigued and depressed. I had finally hit a wall.
I don’t want to sound negative- I underwent a very in-depth gut protocol and the last year and a half have successfully NOT used antibiotics when I get UTIs! If you COMMIT to health, and you are rigid in your goals, you’ll achieve them! It can be a lonnnnnng road but man is it worth it!
I do still have at least a year left of gut repair- but I feel SO MUCH better. Things are on the up and up and I don’t have to be AS rigid as time goes on.
Again- if you are experiencing a full-blown UTI, you need to go to the Doctor. If you experience reoccurring UTIs, I would totally look into a functional medicine doctor who can help you get to the root cause. (My doctor is virtual! Dr. Villaneva of Modern Holistic Health. I invested a lot of money and it was best thing I could have done. Not one regret.)
So after I did some major healing on my gut– here are things I do now that help me when I start to get UTIs. (I still get them often but I’ve no longer had to treat them with antibiotics.)
I do A LOT of preparation and prevention but if I didn’t, I would revert right back.
How I Treat A UTI Naturally
1. D-Mannose on the regular (every day)
D-Mannose has been my lifesaver. It has replaced my antibiotic. Before AND after sex- I take a scoop of d-mannose dissolved in water. I also double up on it when I do have a UTI. (Again- none of these make me 100% cured against getting UTIs. But they do help.)
So the majority of bacteria found in UTIs are from E. coli. D-mannose attaches to E. coli and carries it out and helps it from sticking to the walls. D-mannose is a kind of sugar that is related to glucose, btw.
In this study– 308 women were tested for UTIs over a 6 month period. Those who were treated with d-mannose saw just as good of results as those who took antibiotics in preventing UTIs.
Here is another similar study but with 60 women.
I cannot, CANNOT, live without D-mannose.
2. Eat parsley or drink parsley tea during a UTI
This is one of those things where I was like, “nah”… lol. There isn’t much scientific proof to back it up. But the thought behind it makes sense to me: parsley is a natural diuretic. It’s known to help flush out toxins that are mingling around in the kidneys– and as we know, the bladder and the kidneys are very much connected. (Ask anyone who has had to go to the hospital for a kidney infection that started out as a UTI.)
Here is what I do: When I feel like my bladder is “fragile” or experiencing some early on-set pain, along with my other remedies… I’ll put a handful of parsley into hot water. Let it steep. I like to put everything but the bagel seasoning in it and sip it like a broth. Then I’ll often eat the wilted parsley afterward too!
I try to eat parsley regularly. I try to drink 1-2 parsley “broths” a week to help with prevention.
3. Get yourself an incredible probiotic
This helps me tremendously. I cannot go about my day without my daily probiotic. One, I am still healing my gut so I need to do this but TWO… healthy gut bacteria really helps keep a stronger bladder and urine tract.
The best kind of probiotic is one with lactobacilli in it. Lactobacilli dominate the urogenital flora– so it’s important!
One of the first things my functional medicine doctor had me do was get on a strong probiotic. Because probiotics help populate good bacteria in the gut, it can help keep bad bacteria at bay when it comes to UTIs.
4. Get in your Vitamin C
I will double up on Vitamin C when I have a UTI. Vitamin C helps make your urine more acidic- thus making it tougher for bad bacteria to survive. I will take around 1000mg a day when I have a UTI. I’m also eating high vitamin C rich foods daily to help with prevention. (Doesn’t hurt that it also helps build collagen hehe.)
5. Use Colloidal Silver
I use this in my nebulizer (it’s like an air mask with a tiny machine attached to it)- along with food-grade hydrogen peroxide. Basically 1/2 teaspoon of the silver and about 5 drops of the food-grade hydrogen peroxide. THIS IS A GAME CHANGER FOR ME! I use my nebulizer the second I feel something coming on (if I catch it early enough) and especially DURING a UTI.
Colloidal Silver can help with infections. Getting it in this way (breathing it in) makes it travel all over my body. It’s highly effective for me. If I have a UTI and I do this twice a day, I feel some relief by the end of the day.
SO VIOLETS— those are five things I do! I could certainly do a part 2 as there are DEFINITELY other foods I incorporate to keep infections at bay. But I think this is a pretty good start! Let me know your thoughts!
Written by your home girls at The Violet Fog