Chronic UTI Treatment in Women
Most women will get a UTI at some point in their lives. They may, in fact, get multiple UTIs.
And though they are much less common in men, they do still happen. So after a round of antibiotics, most people are good to go and won’t have to worry about getting another any time soon.
But then we have those who suffer from chronic UTIs, also called recurrent bladder infections. These are the people who get one painful UTI after another.
What was a simple (though painful and annoying) infection now becomes an ongoing problem. And women are really the only people dealing with this. Somewhere around 5% of women who have gone for medical help for one UTI in a year will end up with chronic UTIs.
Sometimes older men with prostate infections other complications may deal with this chronic infection, but it’s extremely rare. If you are frustrated from dealing with these recurrent bladder infections, I completely understand and want to help.
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Here is the information you need to know exactly what to do about chronic UTIs.
How To Know You Have Chronic UTIs
A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria – normally E. coli – enters your urinary tract, multiples, and infects. Symptoms include:
- Burning when you urinate
- Pain when you urinate
- Frequent and intense urge to urinate though barely any urine comes out
- Bloody urine
- Dark urine
- Cloudy urine
- Foul-smelling urine
When this continues to happen time and time again, you have chronic UTIs. A doctor will normally confirm the diagnosis by performing an exam, which includes a urinalysis.
Why You Have Chronic UTIs
So what makes some people susceptible to recurrent bladder infections? Well, there are quite a few different reasons. Here are some of the most common:
Some people do not realize what’s giving them their UTIs, so they keep on going with the behavior. This happens commonly with sex. Bacteria can easily enter a woman’s urethra during intercourse and lead to a UTI. The simple fix is going to the bathroom right after sex each and every time. Other lifestyle choices that lead to UTIs include – using spermicide or spermicide-coated condoms, wiping from back to front, or not drinking enough water. Reverse these and see if the UTIs go away.
Sometimes people have urinary tracts that are unique – sometimes the anatomy is unusual, sometimes there are blockages, sometimes the function is abnormal.
If you have any congenital abnormalities, you may be super susceptible to infection.
Probably one of the most frustrating causes is genetic predisposition because there are often few things (but there are still things, so read on!) that you can do to remedy the problem.
Women who are going through menopause often have UTIs as their estrogen levels change.
Other hormonal shifts can lead to UTIs as well.
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If you are prone to kidney stones or bladder stones, you are more likely to have UTIs that come along with them.
If you are frequently catheterized, you are at risk for frequent UTIs.
People with diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis can often have recurrent bladder infections as well.
I know this will be frustrating, but there may not be an obvious cause as to why you are getting so many UTIs.
Sometimes doctors just can’t tell why you are dealing with them. But just because you don’t know why they are popping up does not mean you cannot remedy the problem.
Treatment Options For Chronic UTIs
The very first thing to consider is lifestyle changes. If you are doing any of things I listed above that could lead to chronic UTIs, try stopping. You also need to:
- Make sure you are drinking enough water to encourage adequate urinary flow
- Take showers instead of baths and remove any wet clothing immediately
If you bladder infections go away with these changes, you should be good to go.
However, chronic UTIs are often much more complicated. Perhaps you need to deal with the causes of your stones, or go on estrogen therapy, or get your diabetes under control.
If you have some anatomical abnormality, your doctor can tell you whether or not it is fixable through surgery.
Sometimes these things take care of the problem, but many people who are dealing with recurrent bladder infections will end up on low-dose, long-term antibiotics. This solution is still problematic for many reasons:
- Too much antibiotic exposure can lead to antibiotic resistance – which means your future infections, anywhere in the body, may be able to stand up against antibiotics
- Too much antibiotic exposure can cause health problems, especially related to the gut – these include diarrhea, yeast overgrowth, and more
- Once you get off the antibiotics, the UTIs may start coming back right away
There is another treatment option that many doctors do not talk about nearly enough. Two all-natural substances have been tested and shown to combat E. coli, as well as the other types of bacteria that lead to UTIs: D-mannose and hibiscus extract.
Using Natural Supplements For Chronic UTIs
Studies have shown the effectiveness of D-mannose and hibiscus extract time and time again. If you are dealing with chronic urinary tract infections, you have nothing to lose by taking these two supplements.
Plus, neither one will have the same negative effects as too many rounds of antibiotics will.
This is actually a type of sugar that is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, particulary for combatting E. coli and aiding those with urinary tract infections.
In fact, a study was done with over 300 women who have recurrent bladder infections. One group was given D-mannose every day. One group was given antibiotics. The final group did not receive any treatment.
After the treatment 98 of the 308 patients got another UTI. 62 of them had no treatment, 21 had the antibiotics, and 15 had the D-mannose.
So not only can D-mannose be considered a viable option, it may be even better than antibiotics.
Let that sink it.
This extract comes from the hibiscus plant – the one with the beautiful, tropical flowers. It has been traditionally used as a urinary tract support.
Multiple studies have put the power of hibiscus extract up against E. coli and the results show the properties in this beautiful flower are actually an effective antimicrobial against the bacteria – as well as staph bacteria and candida albicans.
Treating Your Chronic UTIs
So let’s go over everything you need to do for these chronic UTIs.
- Visit your doctor and see if there are any problems that he or she can address – maybe you will need some testing to learn if you have another problem leading to the bladder infections
- Make sure to follow all the necessary lifestyle changes
- Try taking the D-mannose or Hibiscus Extract.
Know that this condition is painful and frustrating, but there is hope for many people.