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Preventing Urinary Tract Infections

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments at 4:00 pm | By: Jeremy Michael, Contributing Author

A urinary tract infection (UTI), also known as acute cystitis or bladder infection is an infection that occurs throughout your urinary tract.  An infection in the lower urinary tract it is called cystitis. If the infection travels up to the kidneys it is called pyelonephritis, which is a more serious infection. The most common cause of a urinary tract infection is a gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli), however other bacteria, viruses and fungi may be the cause.

Diets high in refined sugar can impair immune system function and potentially decrease resistance against infections. One study found that sugar decreases immune system activity, specifically phagocytosis, for up to 5 hours.  Another practitioner noted that a comprehensive allergy program, which included avoidance of allergenic foods, was beneficial in preventing recurrent UTIs.  Allergenic foods may include gluten, dairy, corn, preservatives or food additives. Another important dietary change is to increase your water intake. You should drink about half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Diet; however, is not the only way to help prevent a UTI.

Cranberry has long been used in the prevention of UTIs. Cranberry works to help prevent UTIs because it contains D-mannose.  D-mannose occurs naturally in the body, acting as a mucus coating in the urinary tract. E. coli, when entering the urinary tract, is like a rock climber slowly climbing the urinary tract. When you take D-mannose you are coating the tract with fake holes in the wall. This way, when the E.coli tries to climb the tract it will fall. And when you drink plenty of water it flushes out the bacteria, thus preventing UTIs.

If you are going to use cranberry don’t take cranberry cocktail because it contains high amounts of sugar, which feeds the bacteria. You can also consider taking echinacea and vitamin C to help improve immune function and prevent/treat a UTI.  Remember to always contact your health care provider to make sure these recommendations are safe for you.

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Nature’s Plus – Acerola C Complex Chewable Vit. C 250 mg. – 180 Chewable Tablets

 

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