A Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections among women, but that doesn’t stop it from 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, but 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 adults, they can have more severe consequences as we get older. If left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure or sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection in the blood.
Why are we more likely to get UTIs 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/or a dysbiotic vagina. This is where there is also an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, causing inflammation, pain and infection, and increasing your risk of developing a UTI.
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 run the risk of suffering from periodically recurring UTIs and thrush. This often results in repetitive antibiotic treats, which cause a bacteria imbalance 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, antibiotics do not discriminate in their quest to kill off bacteria and, as a result, 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, to help replenish levels of friendly bacteria killed off by the antibiotics.
Other factors to consider
- Lifestyle habits change as we age – this can include changes to working patterns and our daily routines, as well as, in some cases, 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 which will only encourage infections, whilst caffeine acts as an irritant to the bladder.
- Use of antibiotics – as I have already mentioned, antibiotics may be prescribed to help fight a UTI or, 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 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, UTIs become a thing of the past.
“I spoke with Linda around a year ago. I’d suffered from chronic UTIs for years, but with her amazing products and advice, I’ve not had a single UTI for over 6 months now! Linda’s products helped save me. Something which numerous urology doctors couldn’t do.
I’ve not needed to take a single antibiotic during this period. 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, either via 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 my ‘For Women’ capsules. Each capsule contains 3 billion units of friendly bacteria, including lactobacilli reuteri, documented to help 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 a hot drink as it kills the live bacteria).
A coating of friendly bacteria will help to prevent any opportunistic bacteria (which 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.
To further support the thousands of women who are, in the majority of cases, needlessly suffering from one UTI after another, there’s also the option to try my Women’s Health Duo kit. This contains the For Women probiotic capsules which are teamed with a pot of my aged high-strength Garlic tablets. Garlic has been used for decades as a traditional natural antifungal and antibiotic so works perfectly in conjunction with the For Women capsules to keep infections and unwanted bacteria away.
The Duo kit is a 30-day plan where 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, your ‘lady bits’ healthy, and any pain and discomfort ‘downstairs’ a distant memory.
In addition to For Women capsules and Garlic tablets, Omega 3 fish oils and Vitamin E should be staple supplements for chronic UTI sufferers.
At the first sign of symptoms, it’s also important to encourage the bladder to do what it does best – expel urine. To do this increase your fluid intake, ideally doubling your average daily fluid intake and building up to 3-4 litres of fluid a day. This will encourage the bladder to empty, and the fluid will dilute the effects of the infection.
More tips to keep your lady bits healthy
Here are some more tips that will help you to keep your vagina 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 afterwards. You can download my Probiotic Pessary recipe so you can make your own here.
- Drink lemon water every day. My recipe is the juice 6 lemons mixed with 500 ml of water. Drink this over the course of the day. This is beneficial because lemons have a natural diuretic effect, which can speed up the clearance of bacterial cells
- Drink parsley tea. You make this by brewing a large head of fresh parsley with a cup of hot water. Let the tea rest for 10 minutes before drinking (though I have to say 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 only contain natural ingredients. You’ll be surprised how little some of them contain when you look at the ingredients
- Use unbleached toilet paper, and natural tampons and sanitary products