(NaturalNews) Conventional medicine has little to offer in the way of treating chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) other than to prescribe heavy doses of antibiotic drugs and perhaps recommend that patients get more rest. But oftentimes these commonplace methods are not enough to provide lasting relief, and in the case of antibiotics; may actually make the problem worse. For many UTI patients, a combination of dietary changes and supplementation, not more drugs, is what is actually needed to achieve real relief from this persistent and oftentimes painful condition.
Here are seven alternative ways to fight back against recurring UTIs without the need for even more prescription drugs:
1) Get plenty of vitamin D. There is no shortage of health conditions that can be remedied by increased vitamin D, and UTIs are no exception. A 2011 study published in the journal PLoS One found that vitamin D helps increase production of special antimicrobial peptides in the body that ward off bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including those implicated in triggering UTIs. Researchers from Sweden found that boosting vitamin D levels, which can be achieved through supplementation with vitamin D3 or regular exposure to natural sunlight or ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from tanning bed bulbs, is an effective way to both prevent and treat chronic UTIs. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
2) Take cranberry. Numerous studies over the years have found that eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice regularly can help prevent the bacteria and other pathogens responsible for causing UTIs from taking hold inside the body. One of the more recent studies to come to this conclusion, which was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine back in 2012, revealed that UTI patients who regularly drink cranberry juice are nearly 40 percent less likely than those who do not drink it to develop UTIs such as cystitis. (http://www.npr.org)
3) Supplement with D-mannose. A naturally-occurring, healthy sugar compound found in cranberries, D-mannose is another powerful weapon in the fight against UTIs. Believed to be the primary active ingredient in cranberries, isolated D-mannose is up to 50 times stronger than cranberries at targeting UTIs, which means it may even be a preferred treatment method over just cranberries alone. D-mannose not only helps prevent harmful bacteria from accumulating in your urinary tract, but it also nourishes the beneficial bacteria in your intestinal tract, which further deters UTI-causing pathogens from forming. (http://www.integrativehealthreview.com)
4) Avoid excess carbohydrate intake. If you are serious about ending the reign of UTI terror in your life, you may need to cut back on your carbohydrate intake. White bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, and other common snack and "comfort" foods are typically high in simple carbohydrates and refined sugar, both of which fuel the bacteria and fungi responsible for causing UTIs. The common yeast overgrowth Candida albicans, for instance, which can lead to outbreaks of thrush, thrives in high-sugar environments, and many other UTI infections feed off sugar and carbohydrates.
5) Drink baking soda mixed with water. One thing in particular that these bacteria and fungi do not like; however, is a high-alkaline environment. And drinking baking soda, or bicarbonate of soda, mixed with water at the first sign of a UTI attack can quickly neutralize your urine and kill any bacteria living in it. Mixing as little as one tablespoon of baking soda into water and drinking it several times throughout the day can treat minor UTIs and prevent them from spreading. Drinking this same solution can also help with general health maintenance and disease prevention, as its alkalizing properties create conditions inside the body that are unfit for the survival of viruses, bacteria, and fungi. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
6) Take herbal antiseptics like uva ursi and dandelion leaf. A common treatment option employed by naturopaths and herbalists, herbal antiseptics like uva ursi and dandelion leaf are another effective way to treat and prevent UTIs. Uva ursi, an herb also known as bearberry, has been extensively studied and shown to promote renal circulation, stimulate tubular function, and ultimately maintain a healthy urinary tract, particularly in conjunction with alkaline-forming foods. Similarly, dandelion leaf has been shown to increase urine flow and help cleanse the urinary tract, particularly when taken in conjunction with uva ursi. (http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21411)
7) Supplement with probiotics. The Langone Medical Center at New York University (NYU) recommends supplementing with living probiotics to help prevent UTIs, and particularly those originating in the bladder. Based on the results of a double-blind trial involving 453 women who experienced regular and recurring bladder infections, probiotic blends containing a unique and harmless strain of Escherichia Coli (E. coli) were found to be especially effective at treating and curing UTIs, with a reported success rate of about 34 percent.