D-Mannose for Reoccuring UTI's?
By: Dr. Gary Bellman on January 24, 2015
Bladder infections are a common, frustrating condition mostly targeting women, and is uncomfortable, and often times painful.
Women are more prone to infection because of the proximity of the urethra (urine outflow) to the vagina and rectum, which leads to easier bacterial contamination of the bladder. For some women, this might mean one or two bladder infections throughout their lifetime, while others can suffer more frequent and long-term infections. Many women notice that infections return after intercourse or with each menstrual cycle.
Simple lifestyle changes can sometimes help prevent a urinary tract infection. Women are encouraged to wipe the urethra then the rectum, or from front-to-back, after using the restroom. Emptying the bladder after intercourse can also decrease the risk of infection.
Patients need to meet adequate water intake. Several glasses of water a day are vital to keep the body hydrated and allow the urinary system to remove potential toxins.
Avoiding strong soaps and shampoos may lower the risk of infection by decreasing irritation around the urethra. Those who suffer, should decrease their sugar and caffeine intake, and cut down or eliminate soft drinks from their diet. These ingredients can certainly be bladder irritants. Sugar also lowers the body’s natural immunity, decreasing its ability to defend itself against bacteria.
Patients can decrease stress on the bladder by improving bowel habits. This can be done by filling the digestive tract with probiotics (good bacteria). They often decrease in number due to frequent antibiotic use or poor diet, but these bacteria are necessary for many bodily functions and to cancel out bad bacteria that might lead to an infection.
D-mannose, a simple sugar thought to flush the bugs out of the bladder, combats infections caused by the bacterium E. coli– the cause of nearly 90% of all bladder infections. A dose of D-mannose is typically 1,000 mg and can be taken at the first sign of an infection, up to four times a day. It should be continued until the symptoms have completely subsided. D-mannose can be taken once or twice (1,000-2,000 mg) a day to help prevent infections. Though the treatment lacks the support of a large human trial, many have had positive results, and it doesn’t produce the common side effects attributed to antibiotic use.
A second, and widely-acknowledged treatment, is cranberry. Taken as a supplement or juice, cranberry is believed to prevent bacteria from hanging onto the bladder wall, promoting their removal from the bladder. Cranberry juice has long been supported as a cure for UTI’s, but most forms of cranberry juice do contain high sugar content. Dosage of the capsules will vary, but typically 2-4 capsules a day are taken until symptoms subside.
For older men, bladder infections commonly occur when the prostate becomes too large. If the prostate becomes large enough, it can block efficient outflow of the urine. This stagnation provides an optimum environment for infections to grow. This condition should be evaluated by a physician, as specific treatment may be needed for the prostate.
Natural supplements should not be noted as cure all. Dr. Bellman does incorporate both antibiotics along with natural supplements to patients with preferred combinations of medicines.
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