I received a bladder infection remedy request yesterday from a friend, and so I wrote back several things she could try to ease her discomfort. I realized that I had promised long ago to write up some remedies for bladder infections, so I thought I’d take care of that today.
Causes of a Urinary Tract Infection
There are two possible causes that I know of for bladder infections. The first, and probably most common is the bacterial bladder infection. It will culture positive at the Dr’s office, and an antibiotic may work to cure it.
The problem with bladder infections is that, since the bladder is the last stop before leaving the body, most meds are already broken down to the point where they don’t do much good by the time they land in the bladder. This is why there are limited antibiotics for UTI’s…and it’s pretty common to have recurrence after a round of antibiotics, unfortunately. Antibiotics also hinder all the bacteria throughout your digestive system, including the beneficial ones that aid in digestion.
The other type of bladder infection will not show up on the cultures…they are caused by yeast. Some may experience yeast bladder infections after taking an antibiotic. This type of bladder infection is difficult to treat, and staying away from sugar, processed foods, and carbohydrates is critical to weed it out of your system.
Fortunately, there are natural bladder infection remedies that help with both types of infections.
My Favorite Bladder Infection Remedy
My favorite natural remedy for bladder infections is called D-Mannose. It’s my silver-bullet for bacterial bladder infections. D-Mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in minute amounts in cranberries and a few other foods. It’s also available in ‘pure’ form in either powder or capsules, so you can *just* get the benefits of it without having to drink gallons of unsweetened cranberry juice.
Unlike most other forms of sugar, D-Mannose is *not* metabolized or broken down by our digestive tracts, so it leaves the body intact, and does not affect the blood sugar levels. When it passes through the bladder, the bacteria are highly attracted to it, and will attach to it, and are carried out in the urine. It is available in health food stores, and online. I buy my D-Mannose 500 mg – 120 Caps here at Amazon (and I get free shipping with a $25 order!)
I will *never* be without D-Mannose in my medicine cabinet. Ever. I even have a little handful of capsules in my first aid kit in the car. Just in case.
When I feel the first inkling of a bladder infection coming on, I will take about 4 capsules, and just drink a *normal* amount of water, to allow the mannose build up in the bladder. The bacteria just adore the stuff, and will release from the bladder tissue and ride away on the beloved mannose molecules. I will usually feel completely better, but will take another 4 a couple more times that day just to be sure.
Natural Remedies for Bladder Infections
Since my friend is out of the country, and is unable to get her hands on D-Mannose quickly, here is what I wrote to her about other natural bladder infection remedies. This is also what I would do for yeast based infections, besides the ‘normal’ routine of lots of water and unsweetened cranberry juice.
“I had a bladder infection two years ago, I woke up with blood in my urine. All I knew to do at that time was the French Onion soup, and oral raw garlic (blech!)…I didn’t do any of the other things I will list for you below, and almost all the symptoms went away.
I finally went in to see the doctor a few days later, because I still ‘felt it’ a little after I would pee…I still had a little inflammation. My doctor did the culture and said “You must have just come down with this, because you’re urine isn’t even throwing nitrates yet.” Meaning, that the bacteria start creating nitrates as the infection sets in. She was stunned that I’d had it for several days, but was keeping it under control with garlic and french onion soup!
I’m almost positive that I could have kicked it if I had known about using garlic externally, and onion presses as an anti-inflammatory.
Here are the things I would do now, if I couldn’t get my hands on any D-Mannose:
1. take a bath and use baking soda in the water. Swish into the general area. (this changes the ph to be unfriendly to bacteria)
2. Use an onion press on the area…this is how, from my blog: http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/onion-remedies
I’d also probably throw in some garlic cloves for extra anti-biotic boost: http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/garlic-remedies
3. Eat as many onions and garlic as you can in everyday foods…in ways that you *enjoy* eating them. I made a BIG pot of french onion soup when I had my bladder infection, and ate it several times a day. Salsa, fresh garlic butter toast, or fresh garlic ground in hummus would also be great ways…however you can think to get it into your diet in good quantities will help.
4. NO sugar. No dairy. No meat, processed foods, or wheat products. The sugar, carbs, and dairy put sugars in the bloodstream, which feed the bacteria. The meat is hard to digest, thus using up the body’s energy and resources, and processed food is just junk. Dairy can also cause excess mucous production, so it’s best to skip it when you’re not feeling well. Cultured, unsweetened diary is fine, and homemade bone/meat broths are excellent…very easy to digest and nutritious.
5. Up your vitamin C intake. Products like Emergen-C are excellent for this.
Anything you can do to boost your immune system, and get the anti-inflammatory properties of onion and the awesome natural antibiotic (and anti-fungal/ properties of garlic into your blood stream are going to be really beneficial for you.”
The MOST Important Thing About Treating a UTI
The best time to treat for any infection or illness is *as soon as* you
begin to notice the first symptoms. Allowing yeast or bacteria to
multiply overnight, or even for a few hours can make a big difference in
how quickly you can bounce back. Home remedies work best if you begin
treating at the first signs of a problem.
Bladder infections can be really serious, so start preventative treatment early, and aggressively, until you have no more symptoms, and then treat a wee bit
longer just to be sure. If you are not seeing good results using home
remedies to prevent a UTI, then please see your doctor.
Here are some additional ideas from my naturally minded friends to chase off a bladder infection:
“When I can feel a UTI coming on (Slight burning while urinating), I drink at least a gallon of water with lemon in it through out the day. You spend a lot of time on the potty but it flushes the infection out. I also take cranberry and marshmallow
root caps ever hour. Usually by the time I go to bed, there is no more burning. I follow the same protocol the next day just to make sure.
If I missed the “beginning signs” I break out the D’mannose and take a
dose every hour with the about water and supplements. Again, it is
usually gone by the end of the day.
And if I really wait too long, I get an Rx b/c UTIs are painful and can be serious.”~Jessica Y.
My friend Joan K. suggests:
- Peeing after ‘relations’.
- Cranberry juice.
- D Mannose.
“Plain cranberry pills haven’t failed me yet.” ~Jennifer J.
“BEER! When I was a kid I got them all the time and the doctor finally told my mom to give me a beer and chase it with several large glasses of water right when I start to feel one coming on and it would take care of it. She didn’t do it for
a long time, but finally gave in after I had a month where we’d been to
the doctor 3X for UTI’s and voila! No more bladder infection. It was
my #1 go to remedy until I found out about D-Mannose. When I was a kid I only drank about half, after a full meal. Now I just hold my nose and down one.” ~Delois M. [Note: this is probably due to the yeast in beer competing with the bacteria, as well as the diuretic properties of beer.]
Have you had good results treating a UTI with a home remedy? What works for you?