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Written by

Kate Dyson

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Kate is a content specialist who is passionate about women's health. She's also mum to three kids, two dogs and unsurprisingly, a lover of wine.

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Glossary

For words you might want to know more

Microbiome

The microbiome is the community of microorganisms that live in or on a particular part of the body, such as the skin or gastrointestinal tract.

Lactobacillus

Lactobacillus is a genus of Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria that are commonly found in the human gut and vagina

Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial for human health

Balancing the Microbiome: A Natural Way to Treat UTIs Once and for All

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be a real pain - literally! They can cause discomfort, frequent trips to the bathroom, and overall frustration. If you're tired of relying solely on antibiotics to treat UTIs, you'll be glad to know that there's a natural approach that may help, by balancing the microbiome. Nurturing a healthy balance of bacteria in your urinary tract can help support your body's ability to fight off UTIs and potentially prevent them from recurring. Let's take a look at how probiotics and other natural treatments can help you take control of your UTI management in a more holistic and sustainable way.

Understanding the Role of the Microbiome in UTIs

Before we get into the natural treatments, let's talk about the microbiome. It's like your body's little ecosystem, filled with tiny organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on you. They play a crucial role in keeping you healthy by helping with digestion, immune system regulation, and even urinary tract health.

When it comes to UTIs, the balance of bacteria in your urinary tract is crucial. Normally, your urinary tract has a low bacterial count or is even considered sterile. However, certain bacteria, like Escherichia coli (E. coli), can sneak in and cause trouble. These "bad" bacteria can multiply and lead to an infection. But don't worry! You have an army of "good" bacteria that can help defend your urinary tract against these invaders.

Probiotics: Your UTI-Fighting Allies

Probiotics are your secret weapon in the fight against UTIs. They are live bacteria and yeasts that provide numerous health benefits, including supporting a healthy urinary tract. By introducing these friendly bacteria into your system, you can boost your defences against UTIs and maintain a balanced microbiome.

Lactobacillus to the Rescue: Lactobacillus is a superstar among probiotics. It's a type of bacteria that naturally occurs in your urinary tract and helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. Studies have shown that specific strains of Lactobacillus, like Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus crispatus, can help prevent recurrent UTIs. You can find these strains in probiotic supplements or even in certain yogurts and fermented foods.

Cranberry Power: Cranberries are not only delicious but also have been long touted as a natural remedy for UTIs. They contain compounds called proanthocyanidins, which can help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the walls of your urinary tract. Drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements can be a useful addition to your UTI-fighting arsenal. Just make sure to choose unsweetened cranberry juice or supplements without added sugars.

Stay Hydrated: Water, Your Best Friend: Hydration is key when it comes to preventing and treating UTIs. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out bacteria from your urinary tract and dilutes urine, making it less irritating. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day, and even more if you're active or if it's hot outside.


Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Urinary Tract

In addition to probiotics, certain lifestyle changes can support a healthy urinary tract and reduce the likelihood of UTIs:

Pee After Sex or Foreplay: After sexual activity, bacteria can be introduced into the urinary tract. To minimise the risk of infection, make it a habit to urinate shortly after intimacy. This helps flush out any potential bacteria and keeps your urinary tract happy

Wipe from Front to Back: When using the toilet, always remember to wipe from front to back. This simple practice helps prevent the transfer of bacteria from the anal area to the urethra, reducing the chances of a UTI.

Avoid Irritants: Some products can irritate your urinary tract and increase the risk of infection. Avoid using harsh soaps, bubble baths, and scented feminine hygiene products. Opt for gentle, unscented options instead.

Don't Hold It In: Holding your urine for prolonged periods can allow bacteria to multiply in your urinary tract. Make sure to empty your bladder regularly, as this helps prevent bacterial growth and maintain a healthy urinary environment.

The game-changer for UTIs?

When it comes to treating and preventing UTIs, taking a natural approach by balancing the microbiome can be a game-changer. Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus strains, cranberry products, and simple lifestyle changes, can work together to support a healthy urinary tract and reduce the likelihood of UTIs. Remember, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have recurrent UTIs or if your symptoms persist.

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