How To Prevent and Treat UTI’s Naturally

UTI Last month I wrote a post about the time I had to take my 4 year old to the ER for symptoms that concerned me.  Thankfully, she only had a urinary tract infection and it was easily treated with antibiotics.

Now, most of you are probably surprised that I gave my daughter antibiotics for a UTI, and frankly, I am too. :)  If anyone would NOT recommend antibiotics for a UTI it would be me.  Antibiotics compromise the healthy bacteria and can cause the infection to reoccur over and over.  However, in my daughter’s case, I suspect her infection may have gone into her kidneys but the doctor did not want to put her little body through a CAT scan to know for sure, and neither did I.  Because I didn’t catch her infection early enough, it became so severe and required stronger medication.  As a side note, her UTI did come back again about a month after she took antibiotics, but this time I was armed with research and a remedy that I prayed would work.  We hit it hard at the very beginning of her symptoms, and it worked!

Symptoms of UTI

As with any illness, the best thing is to catch it at the beginning.  If you know what to look for and begin treating it immediately, you just might be able to avoid a trip to the doctor.  Here is a list of symptoms that may let you know you are dealing with a urinary tract infection.

  • Cloudy or strange smelling urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Feeling the urge to go when you don’t have to or only a little comes out
  • Burning when you urinate
  • Pain in back, side, or lower abdomen in general

Causes of UTI’s

90% of urinary tract infections are cause by the E. Coli bacteria.  E. Coli has the ability to stick to the inner walls of your bladder.  They do such a good job of clinging to your bladder that they are not flushed out by urinating.

How To Prevent and Treat UTI’s Naturally

Instead of beating around the bush, I’m just going to straight out tell you what my favorite remedy is for UTI’s, then I’ll list a few more alternatives.  What works for us may not be the best option for you.  Each person can vary in what they need.

The natural remedy is D-Mannose.

You know how cranberry juice is often used to help urinary tract infections? {If you use the juice, I recommend buying the real juice from the health food store and not the kind at the grocery store.  It will be more sour, but will help significantly more.}  Well, D-Mannose is a simple sugar that naturally occurs in cranberries.  It is also sometimes derived from peaches, berries, and apples.

When D-Mannose is extracted in its pure form and consumed, it is 10-50 times more powerful than drinking cranberry juice. When large amounts of D-Mannose are consumed, it coats the E. Coli and removes the bacteria from the bladder, flushing it out when you urinate. It is safe for pregnancy, small children, and does not affect blood sugar levels. {Source}

Dosage suggestion: 1 teaspoon every two hours every day until the symptoms have disappeared.  Continuing to take it 4-5 times a day for 2 or 3 days after the symptoms have disappeared, will ensure the bacteria is gone.  For very small children, you can reduce the dose to 1/2 a teaspoon.  I used 1/2-1 full teaspoon for my 4 year old.

Other Natural Remedies for UTI’s

Other remedies that some have found effective for this infection:

In the book, Be Your Own Doctor, Rachel Weaver tells of a woman that took (when she had a UTI) 1 tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar every 15 minutes, 2 garlic pills (or a fresh clove of garlic) every 6 hours, 2 cayenne pepper pills every hour, 1-2 droppers of immune booster every 2 hours, such as echinacea.  Or, you could also drink 4 cups of Double E Immune Booster throughout the day as an immune booster.

Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Preventing these infections is always best!

  • Be sure to teach your girls good hygiene when they use the bathroom.  First of all, make sure they actually wipe.  Many girls will jump off the toilet without wiping, which can lead to a UTI.  Also, make sure they wipe from front to back.  This is very important.  I know of more than one person that never got infections again by making sure they always wiped correctly.
  • Cut back on sugar.  Too much sugar encourages bacteria to grow.
  • Taking a maintenance dose of 1/2-1 teaspoon of  D-Mannose a day helps to keep the bacteria flushed out.
  • UTI’s are a common problem for some women after marriage.  It is recommended to take 1 tablespoon of D-Mannose an hour before and right after intercourse if you suffer from UTI’s.  Also, urinate right after intercourse.

I am not always a fan of NOW brand supplements because I don’t believe a lot of their products are completely void of fillers, but I read good reviews on their D-Mannose helping UTI’s, so I gave it a shot.  It worked great!  I prefer this supplement in powder form because I think it acts quicker than capsules.  You can view NOW D-Mannose powder HERE.

Caution:  If symptoms do not improve, or your child runs a high fever that does not improve after treating the infection, this may be a sign that the infection has reached the kidneys or is caused by something besides E. Coli.  Seek medical help immediately if needed.  E. Coli in the kidneys can become very, very serious.  As I’ve already mentioned, I believe my daughter’s infection likely reached her kidneys because of how serious her symptoms were.

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Do you suffer from UTI’s?  How do you treat them?

The Time I Took My Toddler To The ER For A Urinary Tract Infection

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Not so long ago, my youngest daughter woke up on a Sunday morning complaining of her side hurting.  It’s always hard to tell at a young age if the child just feels like complaining, or if there is a real problem.

I immediately was concerned of a UTI or a kidney infection.  I gave her a good dose of charcoal and an immune booster, and off to church we went.  I kept her with me during Sunday School so I could keep a close eye on her.  Right at the end of Sunday School she threw up.  I drove quickly to the emergency room because I was afraid of it being something serious.  I have heard of those with appendicitis throwing up, and though she seemed awful young for kidney stones, I threw up when I suffered from them, so I wanted to rule that out as well.  After a simple test, the doctor assured me it was only a urinary tract infection.  This is no problem, or so I thought.  

I’ve advised many people on how to treat UTI’s naturally – I’ve treated them before at home.  I knew what to do and my daughter would be fine.

But she wasn’t.

I don’t know if her infection had gotten so full-blown that she needed something stronger than natural antibiotics, or if the problem was her being sick to her stomach and unable to take all the natural remedies I was trying to get down her {she is my worst medicine taker, and being nauseous makes it harder to get too much down her}.  I also suspect that it may have been more than just a UTI because of how very, very sick she became.

Whatever the case, my little one was not responding to home remedies like I wanted her to, so I started her on antibiotics.

Now to those of you that know me, you know that it’s a big deal for me to give antibiotics to my children.  Until this incidence, my little girl had never needed an antibiotic.  I think antibiotics can be a wonderful lifesaver – for emergency situations.  To me, a UTI is not normally an emergency.  I did not hesitate to give it to her when I realized she needed it to get over the hump of her infection.  Always use your parental instinct for what is best for your children.

Shortly after this, I made an appointment with our ND {naturopathic doctor} to get her opinion on having to resort to an antibiotic for this infection.  Not only do I want to be prepared to do what is best for my children’s health for each illness, I also want to be prepared for a day that I may not have access to a doctor.

After hearing all the natural ways I had tried treating my daughter’s infection, my ND said, Jill, you know how much I am against antibiotics, but I am also pro-life.  It sounds like you tried all you could, but the infection was too full-blown when you caught it.  The antibiotics were needed.  

OK, so her words did bring me comfort as a mom.

Can you treat a urinary tract infection naturally?

Yes.

Are antibiotics always necessary to resolve this infection?

In my opinion, no.  Especially if you catch the infection early enough.  There are some cases {such as with my daughter} that they are necessary.  And when they are, I am thankful for them!

The main reason I would prefer not to use an antibiotic for a UTI, is because it harms the good bacteria and immune system, causing the infection to return over and over.  I’ve had many people contact me that had taken so many antibiotics from repeated UTI’s and were searching for natural remedies.  Some had even reached a point that they could no longer take antibiotics for this infection because they had so overused them.  And having surgery to scrape the infection off?  Yep, I’ve heard of those stories too.

Soon in the next week or two, I’ll share some natural remedies for UTI’s and what to do to prevent a UTI from reoccurring if you do have to take an antibiotic.

Update: Read my success story of treating UTIs naturally here!

Do you struggle with urinary tract infections?  How do you treat yours?  Let me know in the comments!