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The urinary tract is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that cling on to the walls of the bladder, leading to an infection. As the second most prevalent type of infection in the United States, UTIs can be debilitating, especially when they are chronic or recurrent infections.
The fear of a UTI for those who have experienced one is enough for them to be extra cautious when it comes to engaging in activity that could lead to it. And also take precautionary measures to avoid another one. Fortunately, there are natural antibiotic-free treatment and prevention methods that have proved to be safe and effective in the long run.
A natural approach to UTIs
The body naturally gets rid of the pathogen responsible for urinary tract infections (UTIs), namely E. coli, in 85-90% of cases by simply flushing it out. However, certain conditions like lack of hygiene, urine retention, wiping patterns, douching, use of tampons, wearing tight pantyhose or tights, overuse of antibiotic can trigger an infection.
Today, natural and alternative/complementary medicines are gaining popularity. They have little or no side effects and are safe for children, adults and elderly. Also, they offer an almost instant relief in symptoms and fewer chances of recurrent infection compared to using antibiotics. Antibiotics not only harm or kill the pathogenic bacteria but also destroy the “friendly or useful” bacteria. Prolonged use of antibiotics, can not only result in antibiotic-resistant strains but are also unsafe for use during pregnancy.
How does D-Mannose work?
A naturally occurring sugar, D-Mannose, found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables, acts by boosting the body’s natural defense mechanism of getting rid of pathogenic bacteria. Over the years, an inexpensive and completely drug-free method for combating pathogenic bacteria is the use of supplemental D-Mannose. There is substantial evidence to prove its efficacy and clinical trials have been successful in treating and preventing UTIs.
D-Mannose is not metabolized like other sugars; hence this supplement is safe for diabetics as well. It can be taken as a preventive measure. It is advisable to continue taking D-Mannose even after the symptom no longer presents themselves. This will help to ensure complete elimination of the bacteria from the urinary tract. D-Mannose is safe and effective. It also helps the growth of “good bacteria” making the urinary tract healthy.
Natural substances that can help:
The effectiveness of D-Mannose increases trifold if taken in combination with vitamin C and cranberry. Citrus fruits contain high levels of vitamin C which boosts overall immunity. Additionally, it also increases the pH of the urine, killing harmful bacteria. Cranberry juice helps to prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Dandelion, rosehips and hibiscus extract, too work in synergy to enhance the effect of this natural sugar. Probiotics, help keep the level of good bacteria higher than the bad bacteria, enhancing the natural defense against infections.
Prevention is better than cure
Did you know that every time you have sex, you are at risk of developing a UTI? However, taking D-Mannose, prior to intercourse, can help prevent a UTI from ever developing in the first place. It can be taken in capsule or powder form; the usual dose is 500 mg, consumed with water 3-4 times a day. Or up to 2 grams, once daily for 6 months.
Finally, a few lifestyle changes can also drastically reduce or prevent UTIs. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol, caffeinated drinks and soft drinks. Hence, a practical and sensible approach can prevent recurrent infections.