A burning desire to urinate and lower abdominal pain can make you feel very unwell – but if you’re prone to UTIs there are things you can do to prevent them recurring.
Linda explains UTIs
A UTI is simply an infection of the urinary system, which can occur in either the upper or lower urinary tracts.
Infections of the bladder, called cystitis, or urethra (the tube which transports wee from your body) are classed as Lower UTIs. Symptoms include:
- a frequent need to wee, sudden urges to wee, and small amounts of wee being passed
- pain or discomfort when weeing – often described as a burning sensation
- pain low down in your tummy
- feeling generally unwell, achy and tired
Infections of the kidneys, called pyelonephritis, or ureters (the tubes which connect the kidney to the bladder) are known as Upper UTIs and can be a lot more serious, requiring medical attention. Symptoms include:
- a fever of 38C or above and shivering/chills
- pain in the back and sides
- feeling and being sick
- agitation, confusion and restlessness
UTIs are extremely common in women and a frequent cause of abdominal pain. It is estimated that up to 50% of all women will suffer a UTI at some point in their lives, making it crucial that you understand how to prevent them occurring – or recurring.
UTIs are often caused by e-coli bacteria migrating from the bowel to the bladder, therefore supplementation with high-strength, multi-strain live bacteria (sometimes called a probiotic) can help prevent the e-coli from sticking to your bladder wall. My For Women capsules are specialist live bacteria probiotics formulated for women, containing 3 billion live bacteria in each capsule. For Women probiotics capsules contain female-specific strains of bacteria (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri) proven to reach the vagina and urinary tract alive. Recent studies have shown that these specialist bacteria are a safe and effective treatment for recurrent UTIs.
Getting plenty of Vitamin C is also important, because large amounts of Vitamin C make urine more acidic, and this inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract. For this reason, my For Women probiotics also contain Vitamin C.
Taking my potent Garlic tablets complements the action of the probiotics – recent studies show that the E.coli bacteria which causes UTIs is weakened by the action of antimicrobial garlic.
Bearberry Leaf and Goldenseal are herbal remedies for UTIs – however they are potent and should be used under the supervision of a medical herbalist.
Linda’s tummy tips
- One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is drink plenty of water. That’s because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria that’s causing your infection.
- If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, make sure you are taking my For Women probiotics three times a day to recolonise your gut with “friendly” bacteria in order to avoid additional problems following a UTI.
- Avoid tight jeans, wear cotton underwear, wipe yourself from front to back after going to the loo, and choose only fragrance-free personal hygiene products, soaps and shower gels. All of these actions will help prevent a UTI from developing.
- For years, cranberry juice was the old wives’ remedy for cystitis as it was believed to stop bacteria sticking to the bladder wall. This has now been found to be a myth, and you’re just as well drinking water – or try my refreshing Tummy Tea for a change.
If you have sudden onset abdominal pain, make an appointment to see your doctor – your symptoms could be masking something more serious.
For more in-depth advice, our Diet Plans section includes nutrition plans and lifestyle tips, including my UTI Plan.