A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections among women. This doesn’t stop it being a nuisance, with what can sometimes be unbearable pain. And while a UTI may start as a seemingly harmless condition you need not worry about, it can quickly turn into a nightmare when not managed well. In extremely bad cases, you may suffer from persistent abdominal pain, uncontrollable urges to go to the bathroom often, and painful, burning urination.
In many cases, UTIs are a one-off and clear up quickly. However, I know from my experience as a natural health practitioner that there are a lot more women who are plagued by recurrent infections. While UTIs can cause mild problems for young women, they can have more severe consequences as we get older. If left untreated, a UTI can lead to kidney failure or sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection in the blood. It’s important that we try and nip in the bud any UTI to prevent it re-occurring again and again, requiring more and more antibiotics that can have a devastating impact on gut health and on immune health.
Why are we more likely to get a Urinary Tract Infection as we age?
I talk a lot about dysbiotic intestines, where an imbalance in the gut bacteria can cause IBS, but you can also have a dysbiotic bladder and a dysbiotic vagina, where there is also an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, causing inflammation and pain, and increasing your risk of developing a Urinary Tract Infection.
Unfortunately, along with all the other symptoms of menopause that women have to contend with, UTIs can also become more common. As oestrogen levels fall, this can affect the pH balance of the tissues within the urinary tract. The tissues become thinner and drier which means they are more vulnerable to damage and infection.
Unless you put back what is missing in your bladder and vagina, you will always periodically suffer with recurring UTIs and thrush. This can often be caused by antibiotics in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s very important to take antibiotics when there is a UTI, especially as the last thing you want is the infection getting into the kidneys. However, the antibiotics do not discriminate in their quest to kill off bacteria,. They will leave your levels of good bacteria in the vagina and bladder severely depleted. This is why I always recommend taking a course of Live Bacteria probiotics following a course of antibiotics. It helps to replenish levels of friendly bacteria killed off by the antibiotics.
Other factors to consider
Lifestyle habits change
As we age, for example, working patterns, changes in our daily routines, and perhaps some new bad habits set in. Sweet treats may become more common, and teas and coffees often take priority over water. Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in and around the urinary tract. This will only encourage infections, whilst caffeine acts as an irritant to the bladder.
Use of antibiotics
I have already mentioned, antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight a UTI. As we get older, antibiotics may also be prescribed for a number of other reasons. The more courses we have to take, the more harm we inflict upon the balance of friendly bacteria we have in and around the urinary tract. We need the good bacteria to help keep bad bacteria at bay. So, overuse of antibiotics can make this process more difficult.
Kira is a fine example of how, when we replenish the levels of friendly bacteria, her UTIs became a thing of the past.
“I spoke with Linda around a year ago. I had suffered with chronic UTIs for years. With her amazing products and advice, I have not had a single UTI for over 6 months now! Linda’s products helped save me, something which numerous urology doctors could not do. During this period, I have not needed to take a single antibiotic. I think the emphasis on ‘we must put back in what antibiotics take out’ is paramount for our health! I would just like to thank you again Linda, from the bottom of my heart. The work you do is amazing. I always recommend your products, so keep up the good work!”
How to reset the balance of bacteria
Whether your levels of friendly bacteria have been decimated by antibiotics, or depleted through hormonal changes, they won’t come back at the wave of a magic wand. We need to put those good bacteria back into our bodies. You can either eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir or miso, or by taking probiotic capsules.
The ever-increasing number of women who were contacting me about their recurrent UTIs, thrush and BV infections were the very reason I expanded my probiotic range to include one ‘For Women’ – each capsule contains 3 billion units of friendly bacteria, including lactobacilli reuteri, proven to reduce UTIs and thrush.
The capsules also include extra Vitamin C to support the immune system. The recommended dosage is one capsule before breakfast and one before bed, with a small glass of water, not with hot drinks.
A coating of friendly bacteria will help to prevent any opportunistic bacteria (in 90% of UTI cases, the criminal is e-coli) from attaching themselves to the bladder wall and causing a UTI. Furthermore, probiotics can positively influence the immune system, which is all the more important in these post-Covid times, A strong immune system means we are better equipped to fight any infection in the body, including those that occur in the bladder.
Introducing our Women’s Health Duo
To further support the thousands of women whom I believe are suffering needlessly with one urinary tract infection after another, there is also the option to try my Women’s Health Duo. The For Women probiotic capsules teamed with a pot of my aged high-strength Garlic tablets, as garlic has been used for decades as a traditional natural antifungal and antibiotic.
The Duo is a 30-day plan. You take two For Women probiotic capsules daily before breakfast and two Garlic tablets daily with meals to help keep UTIs and thrush at bay. It will turn your ‘lady bits’ healthy, and any pain and discomfort ‘downstairs’ a distant memory.
In addition to Women’s Health Duo, Omega 3 fish oils and Vitamin E should be staple supplements for chronic UTI sufferers.
Take a high dose of these supplements for 48 hours as soon as you feel the symptoms of a UTI. Take one of our Just For Tummies Omega 3 capsules twice daily with food.
Also important at the first sign of symptoms is to encourage the bladder to do what it does best – expel urine. So increase fluid intake, doubling your average daily fluid intake, aiming for 3-4 litres of fluid. This will encourage the bladder to empty, and the fluid will dilute the effects of the infection.
A few more tips to keep your lady bits healthy
- Drink a minimum of two litres of water daily
- Wipe from front to back after visiting the loo
- Empty the bladder after sexual intercourse
- Wash ‘down below’ after sexual intercourse
- If you are prone to getting a UTI after sex, insert a probiotic pessary – download my Probiotic Pessary recipe here: https://justfortummies.co.uk/probiotic-pessary-recipe-download/.
- Drink lemon water – juice 6 lemons and add 500 mls of water. Drink throughout the day. Lemons have a natural diuretic effect, which can speed up the clearance of bacterial cells.
- Try parsley tea – brew a large head of fresh parsley with a cup of hot water. Let the tea rest for 10 minutes before drinking (note that it’s an acquired taste.)
- Follow a low sugar diet (e-coli and candida have been found to love sugar)
- Cut back on or eliminate alcohol and fizzy drinks (both high in sugar)
- Use soaps and shower gels that contain natural ingredients
- Use unbleached toilet paper, natural tampons and sanitary products