Today I want to address a health issue that’s actually pretty common – urinary tract infections (UTIs). According to the National Kidney Foundation, around 1 in 5 women will experience a UTI in her lifetime. I’ve personally had plenty of personal experience with UTIs over the years. Many of those experiences have gone the same way: calling the doctor to make an appointment, going to the appointment, peeing in a cup, receiving a prescription, getting it filled, and then taking antibiotics until the UTI finally goes away. (Unfortunately for me, this process is often followed closely by a YEAST infection, because the antibiotics killed the “good” bacteria that keeps yeast levels in check. Ugh!)
The point of all of this is to drive home the message that UTIs are the worst, and the process of getting rid of one can be nearly as bad! So a couple of years ago I went searching for information that would help me find relief at home, without needing a course of antibiotics. (After all, doctors agree that you should only take antibiotics when you absolutely need to!) I came up with a natural 3-step solution that I’ve used to successfully treat several minor UTIs, and that’s what I’m sharing with you today!
Author’s Note: I would only recommend this method if you’re sure that you’re suffering from a run-of-the-mill UTI. If you have intense pain, fever, nausea, or vomiting, it may be a sign that the urinary tract infection has spread to your kidneys. If you suspect you may have a kidney infection, you should seek medical treatment immediately!
My 3-Step Remedy For Urinary Tract Infections
Step 1: Essential Oils
The first thing I did was turn to my essential oils. After reading about several different protocols, I came up with my own blend of oils that I have been taking 3 times a day. (I call it the “Bladder Bomb,” but you can call it whatever you want.) ;-) Fill a gel capsule with the following oils, and take one capsule 3 times a day.
A few more essential oil remedies for UTIs and the associated pain:
- Drink lots of water, and add 1 to 2 drops of lemon essential oil to each glass of water.
- Rub Shield or oregano on the bottom of your feet.
- For discomfort or pain, combine one drop Shield with one drop oregano; apply as a hot compress over abdomen.
Step 2: D-Mannose
I’d never heard of this before, but after reading several articles about D-mannose, I decided it was definitely worth trying. D-mannose is a type of sugar found in a number of fruits (including cranberries) and is available as a dietary supplement. I found a bottle at our local health food store, but you can also find it online!
It doesn’t kill any bacteria (good or bad) — it just helps to flush them out and keep them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Take the D-mannose capsules according to the package directions.
Step 3: Vitamin C
Vitamin C increases the acid content of urine, which helps chase bacteria away and strengthens the immune system. It’s recommended to take 1000mg of Vitamin C daily to help fight off an infection. (Stop taking it if you experience an upset stomach or loose bowel movements.) If you suffer from frequent UTIs, taking 1000mg of Vitamin C per day has been shown to be effective at preventing recurring infections.
Do’s And Don’ts For UTI Prevention
Knowing how to treat a UTI is great information to have, but knowing how to prevent one is even better! Here are a few DO’S and DON’TS to consider:
- DON’T try to “hold it.” When you’ve got to go, go! If you hold your urine, you’re more likely to experience a backup of bacteria which can lead to infection.
- DO wear cotton. Women should wear breathable cotton underwear or cotton-lined panty hose to help stay fresher and dryer. Guys should go for boxer shorts.
- DO make a habit of urinating after intercourse.
- DO practice good bathroom hygiene.
- DO supplement your diet with probiotic-rich foods (or capsules). These friendly bacteria can reduce your chances of a repeat infection.
- DO drink LOTS OF WATER! If you tend to get urinary tract infections, be sure to drink plenty of water — about 8 cups per day. You should be urinating at least every four to five hours.
For those of you who have experience with UTIs, do you have any tricks for treating them? Please share!