Are chronic UTI’s ruining your life?
I remember it like it was yesterday – I was 21, in college and supposed to be having the time of my life partying and having lots of irresponsible sex. Haha! Instead, I was sitting in the ER because I had yet another urinary tract infection (UTI), and get this, was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I had been prescribed a day earlier.
I was in a state – my entire body was bright red and itchy, and I felt like I was going to pass out because I was having trouble breathing. Not a good look.
When the ordeal was over, I vowed that I would do whatever it took to never get another UTI again. Obviously, I was acutely aware of the problem, but I wasn’t informed enough about the actual solutions outside of the “conventional round after round of antibiotics” approach or the “drink a ton of cranberry juice” approach.
So, naturally I did some digging. As afflicted people tend to do.
And I found out A LOT!
But before I get into that, I want to talk about what UTI’s are and how they come to be.
What is a UTI?
A UTI is basically an infection that occurs anywhere along the urinary tract, including the bladder and kidneys. Unfortunately they occur more often in women because we have a shorter urethra than men, which means it’s easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder.
In fact, they are the most common medical complaint among women during their reproductive years, and they are the second most common infection after the flu/common cold.
What are the main causes or triggers of UTI’s?
- Frequent or increased sexual intercourse can introduce bacteria into the urethra, increasing the risk of UTIs
- Urinary Retention – Incomplete bladder emptying or the inability to fully void urine can lead to stagnant urine, providing an environment for bacterial growth.
- Weakened Immune System – Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as diabetes, viruses or infections, or immunosuppressive therapies
- Urinary Tract Obstruction: Any blockage or obstruction in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones, tumors, or anatomical abnormalities
- Escherichia coli (E. coli) – This bacterium is the most common cause of UTIs. It normally resides in the gastrointestinal tract but can enter the urinary tract, leading to infection.
- Other Bacterial Pathogens – Besides E. coli, other bacteria like Klebsiella, Proteus, Enterococcus, and Staphylococcus saprophyticus can also cause UTIs.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – In some cases, STIs such as Chlamydia or Mycoplasma can lead to UTIs.
- Vaginal Microbiome Imbalance – Alterations in the vaginal microbiome can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria, making the urinary tract more susceptible to infection. For example, a decrease in Lactobacillus species, which are beneficial bacteria, may increase the risk of UTIs.
- Gut Microbiome Imbalance – The gut microbiome can indirectly affect UTIs. Disruptions in the gut microbiome, such as through antibiotic use or gastrointestinal infections, can lead to alterations in the overall microbial composition. These changes may influence the immune system’s response and alter the balance of bacteria in the urinary and vaginal tracts, potentially increasing the risk of UTIs.
There are a number of contributing factors to gut and vaginal microbiome disturbances. Some of these include:
- IUDs – this is a particular problem if the IUD has migrated
- Harsh soaps and chemical-laden vaginal care products (they can cause skin irritation and microbiome disruption leaving you more susceptible to UTI’s)
- Conventional pads and tampons – always try to use organic cotton period products if possible
- Menopause, amenorrhea, low estrogen states – low levels of estrogen changes the vaginal microbiome and can cause thinning of the vaginal walls (making one more susceptible to infections)
For any of you reading this who have had a UTI, I know you’d do anything to avoid getting another one!
What are the main treatments for a UTI?
Sadly, the most common treatment for UTI’s is antibiotics. They are nothing more than a short-term quick fix, and oftentimes, you’ll have another infection within six months (or sooner), because they don’t treat the actual cause of the UTI. If you’ve been taking round after round of antibiotics for your UTI’s, I suggest you start to explore other options because they are doing way more harm than good.
How to treat your UTI naturally
The goal with UTIs, especially if they are chronic, is to treat the underlying cause, which is often a bacterial imbalance as I described above. The next step is to re-populate the vaginal microbiome to shore up the body’s defenses so that UTI’s stop recurring.
One of the products I’ve found to be extremely helpful for my clients is Uqora. In fact, I have clients and friends who have had chronic UTIs for most of their lives who have seen them completely disappear after using Uqora.
Since UTIs are caused by unhealthy bacteria growing in the urinary tract, Uqora’s products have a 3-pronged approach to dealing with this.
- First, they remove new bacteria introduced to the urinary tract with a product called Flush.
- Second, they break up old bacteria (a biofilm) from a previous infection that may be hiding in your system, with a product called Defend.
- Third, they support the good bacteria in the vaginal microbiome that naturally protect from UTIs with a product called Promote.
Uqora uses ingredients like D-Mannose, certain vitamins and minerals. If you’re experiencing chronic UTI’s or just one UTI, then the bundle of all three products might be for you or you may just need one. They have a quiz on their website that you can take for more specific guidance.
D-mannose is a type of sugar that is closely related to glucose. It is naturally found in some fruits, such as cranberries, which is why cranberry juice and capsules are often suggested for UTI’s.
You may just want to take D-Mannose on it’s own if you don’t experience chronic UTI’s. This was the first solution I found when I was suffering from almost monthly UTIs that sounded promising. Well, actually I found a product called UT Vibrance, which has D-Mannose in it.
This stuff was like the magical cure I’d been searching for all my life for my chronic UTI’s. A total game changer!
D-Mannose is considered to be the most effective supplement for preventing and treating UTI’s when they come on. Several research studies have suggested that D-mannose may be beneficial in preventing and treating UTIs. These studies have shown that D-mannose can help reduce the adhesion of E. coli to the urinary tract lining, thereby flushing out the bacteria through urine. It is believed to be a safer alternative to antibiotics for UTI prevention and may help in recurrent UTIs.
What’s great about D-Mannose is it’s absorbed by your body slowly, so it won’t interfere with your blood sugar, even if you’re diabetic or have insulin dysregulation. And, even in high amounts it doesn’t cause any adverse side effects.
How does D-Mannose work?
Most UTI’s are caused by E. Coli bacteria. D-Mannose works by attaching to the E. Coli, which causes them to stick to each other and prevents them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.  Think of it like a lint roller for the E. coli bacteria in your urinary tract!
In addition to taking it when you have a UTI, you can also take it when you feel you are most prone to getting UTI’s – like when you are taking antibiotics or having lots of sex (the latter being the preferable scenario!)
Keep in mind, D-mannose may be more effective for preventing UTIs caused by E. coli, but it may not be effective against UTIs caused by other bacteria.
How to take D-Mannose
- I recommend UT Vibrance if you can find it near you. Follow the dosage instructions on the label.
- You can also buy D-Mannose powder or capsules. The recommended dose is:
- 1000-2000mg taken every 3-4 hours for 7 days for acute infections. Symptoms should subside in about 1-2 days but it’s important to keep taking it.
- 500mg-1000mg taken once a day to put an end to chronic/recurring infections.
- 1000mg before sex and then 1000mg after sex, to prevent UTI’s caused by intercourse.
You’ll find D-Mannose recommendations along with vaginal probiotics in my UTI Prevention & Treatment Protocol in my Fullscript Supplement Dispensary. You’ll get 15% off all orders when you create an account!
Biofilms and UTI’s:
A biofilm is an accumulation of various species of bacteria along the surface of the urinary tract and bladder, that has the ability to survive even in unfavorable conditions. When I think of it, I picture a basketweave pattern that is strong and unbreakable.
Not only does this seemingly impenetrable wall of bacteria make it difficult to treat UTI’s, it also makes them come back over and over again because the biofilm does not go down easy. I know, every woman’s worst nightmare.
How to get rid of biofilms
There is a solution to biofilm growth known as a biofilm disruptor.
How does a biofilm disruptor work?
A biofilm disruptor is exactly as it sounds. It contains enzymes that break down and dislodge the complex structure of the biofilm, thus improving the chances of getting rid of the UTI once and for all, and reducing their recurrence. I think of those ads for Dawn dish soap where it literally breaks through a wall of grease. HA!
Best Biofilm disrupters for UTI’s
I recommend Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Interfase Plus which contains a unique enzyme formulation that breaks up biofilms. Uqora’s Defend product is another option (as described above). The ingredients work to break up the biofilm to prevent recurrence. You should follow the dosage instructions for both products on the label.
You should use either the Interfase Plus in conjunction with D-Mannose to really knock the UTI out. Or use the bundle of three Uqora products to have the same effect.
You’ll find D-Mannose, Interfase Plus and a vaginal probiotic in my UTI Prevention & Treatment Protocol in my Fullscript Supplement Dispensary. You’ll get 15% off all orders when you create an account!
Other natural solutions for UTI’s
As I said before, D-Mannose doesn’t work for everyone because it is only effective against E. coli bacteria, which accounts for 90% of UTI’s.
My dear friend who inspired this post is actually part of the remaining 10%. D-Mannose didn’t totally work for her because her chronic UTI’s were likely linked to another type of bacteria.
Lauricidin for UTI’s
First, you might want to try something called Lauricidin, which is a product that is very helpful for women who have bacteria that are not E.Coli, and are not responding to D-Mannose treatment. These bacteria are known as gram positive bacteria, whereas E. Coli is known as gram negative bacteria. Gram positive bacteria families include, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Listeria, Bacillus, and Clostridium.
How does Lauricidin work?
Lauricidin contains monolaurin, which is a medium chain fatty acid derived from coconut oil that is anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial. Monolaurin is actually found in breast milk, and it provides immune support to babies.
Unlike antibiotics, it specifically targets pathogenic bacteria so it won’t mess with beneficial bacteria, which is a major deal. Lauricidin will disrupt the cell membranes of these gram positive bacteria, which blocks their ability to replicate, so the immune system can get in there and destroy them. 
How to take Lauricidin:
According to the label instructions, simply place the mini-pellets in your mouth and swallow with cool liquid. Intake levels vary from 1/4 tsp. to one full tsp. two to three times a day with food. You can purchase Lauricidin here and you can learn more about it here.