Urinary tract infection, or UTI, is one of the most common infections in the world. According to studies, about 150 million people suffer from UTI every year and most of them are women. Women are more susceptible to UTI than men, with up to 10% of them having urinary tract infection in any given year and 50% of them having at least one infection at some point in their life.
For mature athletes, UTI can cause a handful of rather painful problems. It is characterized by the need or urge to frequently relieve oneself. It can also cause pain, bloody urine, and nausea in certain instances. UTI can affect any part of your urinary system. It is often caused by the transfer of E. coli bacteria from your intestinal tract to your urinary tract. However, poor hygiene, a weak immune system, the use of spermicides, and sexual intercourse have also been known to cause UTI.
Antibiotics are often prescribed to patients with UTI. However, overusing antibiotics can also lead to UTI, thus, creating a vicious cycle. Good thing there are alternative ways to treat and alleviate its symptoms. Here’s how you can effectively deal with UTI without using antibiotics.
D-Mannose is a supplement that is known for treating and preventing UTIs. It is basically a naturally occurring sugar that is similar to glucose in structure and is found in certain fruits such as apples, blueberries, and cranberries. D-Mannose is one of the reasons why those with UTI are often told to drink cranberry juice.
This naturally occurring sugar works by attaching itself to E. coli bacteria, causing the latter to stick to each other. This prevents the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and thereby causing UTI. D-Mannose is generally safe, even when taken in large quantities. It doesn’t cause any negative side effects. It is safe even for diabetics, children and the elderly.
- Biofilm disruptors
Another way to treat and prevent UTI is through the use of biofilm disruptors. A biofilm is basically a group of microorganisms that have accumulated and attached themselves to a surface, such as the lining of the urogenital tract, making treating infections hard. Biofilm disruptors help prevent chronic UTIs from occurring by destroying them with specialized enzymes.
Lauricidin is a supplement that can also help treat UTIs, especially those caused by bacteria other than E. coli. It has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties and it targets pathogenic bacteria so it won’t affect good bacteria in your gut. Lauricidin works by disrupting the integrity of the bacterial cell membrane, preventing them from replicating. This makes it easier for your immune system to destroy the bacteria.
Nattokinase is another enzyme that has been found to be effective at dissolving biofilms. It is produced by good bacteria found in natto, a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Because it’s proteolytic, nattokinase can help weaken the fibrin protein that maintains the structure of biofilms.
Also known as lactoferrin, apolactoferrin is a multifunctional protein that is a component of the immune system. It has antimicrobial properties and has been shown to prevent pathogenic biofilm development. It attaches itself to iron and prevents bad bacteria from developing into cell clusters and biofilms.
Other Options You Can Try
According to research published on the Indian Journal of Urology, probiotics can help prevent UTI. They support the human body’s normal flora that serve as a line of defense against infections. They also re-colonize the bladder with good bacteria. Probiotics can be obtained by eating fermented food such as kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Vitamin C helps treat and prevent UTI by making urine acidic. This prevents the growth of E. coli bacteria while boosting your immune system. According to a 2007 study, taking 100mg of vitamin C everyday can help treat UTI among pregnant women.