How to prevent pesky UTIs
Posted on September 13 2019
You’ve probably had your fair share of UTIs and know how inconvenient they are. It’s safe to say they’re not just pesky. They’re painful, incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes just keep coming back. Thankfully, if you do get frequent UTIs, there are a few things you can try to prevent further bladder bother. Here’s how best to fight back.
Drink more water
Chances are, you don’t need reminding how important it is to stay hydrated. But we’ll say it again anyway. Consider your giant water bottle your new best friend, because the more you drink, the more likely you are to clear out an infection. You basically want to flush out E. coli bacteria to stop a UTI, and the best way to do that is frequent urination. And it’s pretty obvious that the more you drink, the more you need to go. It’s worth mentioning that when you need to go, you definitely should. Putting off going for a bathroom break could be putting you at risk for a UTI. The longer urine sits in your bladder, the more time bacteria has to settle in and multiply. Basically, don’t put off peeing!
It might not seem as though upping your fluid intake will make that much of a difference, but trust us, it’s key. A recent year-long study confirmed just how important upping your water consumption is if you want to fend off infection.1 Of 140 female participants, those who drank an increased daily amount of water each day for 12 months were 50% less likely to experience another UTI, compared to those who drank their usual amount of water. That’s a pretty good chance of cutting your risk in half, simply by keeping hydrated. Keeping topped up with water is one of the easiest ways to stay infection-free.
Keep up your Vit C
If you’re feeling run-down, your body is more susceptible to infection, which of course includes UTIs. So, it’s key to keep your immune defenses up in order to stop bacteria causing a nuisance. Vitamin C is just one way you can do this. Getting enough of this powerful antioxidant is a great way to ensure optimal health, as it supports your immune system and prevents bacteria from reproducing.
As well as its immune-boosting properties, Vitamin C is also thought to impact UTIs in another way. Because vitamin C makes it all the way to urine, it has the ability to act directly on the pathogens that cause that cause UTIs.2 It creates an acidic environment, triggering the production of nitric oxide, which kills off and limits the growth of some bacteria. It does far more than just ward off a common cold!
D-mannose is a supplement made from a raw sugar, closely related to glucose. Both are simple sugars that occur naturally in your body and are also found in some plants, including cranberries. However, unlike glucose, D-mannose passes directly into your bloodstream without affecting your blood sugar levels. From the bloodstream, it then passes through the kidneys and flows through the bladder and urinary tract, coating and flushing out any E. coli bacteria that might be lurking there. It basically helps prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. You can take D-Mannose as a preventative measure to stop UTIs from coming back, or you can take it if you’re needing urgent relief. There are different dosage recommendations depending on your situation, so be sure to take note of supplement directions.
What to remember
While nothing can completely prevent a UTI, there are (thankfully) natural ways to help you cope. Small changes to your diet and lifestyle can go a long way. If you are unfortunate enough to get an infection, make sure you see a doctor so they can prescribe antibiotics if you need them. Left untreated, a UTI can easily spread to your kidneys, so it’s better safe than sorry, even if you’ve suffered with the same type of infection before. Nobody wants the hassle or discomfort of a UTI, so make sure keep hydrated and healthy to help prevent any problems in the future.
1 Hooton TM, Vecchio M, Iroz A, et al. Effect of Increased Daily Water Intake in Premenopausal Women With Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(11):1509–1515.
2 Hickling, D. R., & Nitti, V. W. (2013). Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women. Reviews in urology, 15(2), 41–48.