Bladder Infection
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Symptoms   Self help   Integrative options   Herbs & diet discussion  

Specific dietary considerations and selected nutrients can help resolve and prevent urinary tract infections.

Self Help

Nutritients & herbs

  • Cranberry juice or supplements are very effective for UTI
  • Bromelain is often helpful.
  • Some vitamins may be helpful, such as a, C & multivitamins
  • Cranberry is very effective for non-severe cases.
  • Other herbs

Dietary changes

  • Avoid sugar: The ability of white blood cells to fight bacteria is restricted by consumption of large amounts of white sugar, such as 100grams, for at least 5 hours.2
  • Avoid alcohol: Similarly, alcohol consumption in large amounts suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system.2
  • Reduce dietary fat: Reducing consumption of fat in the diet has the effect of enhancing immunity.3
  • Allergies: Patients who have often-recurring infections or chronic UTI should consider allergens as a contributing factor. Chronic infections are connected frequently to allergies.5-8 Identifying and eliminating potential allergens in foods has to potential of reducing bladder infections.

Bladder infections are more broadly called urinary tract infections (UTIs) because they are infections not only of the bladder, but of the urethra and even the kidney. They are typically caused by bacteria such as E.coli and are common if the urethra is partly blocked. For some patients, they occur over and over.

Symptoms

  • Commonly, sudden onset.
  • Frequent, burning or irritating urination
  • Persistent feeling to urinate even when one does not need to
  • Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen.
  • Strong smelling or cloudy urine
  • Fever, pain in the back below the ribs, chills, vomiting, and diarrhea in serious cases.

Conventional Treatment

Doctors generally recommend oral antibiotics for non-complex infections or intravenous drugs for more severe cases. Many antibiotics may be prescribed including the combination drug sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, fluoroquinolones, ciprofloxacin, aminoglycosides, tobramycin, and 3rd generation cephalosporins.

Integrative alternatives

Acupuncture

Consider acupuncture for UTI, especially for recurring UTI. It may be helpful for female patients with frequent bladder infections. Research demonstrated that when acupuncture treatment for UTI is compared to either fake acupuncture or no treatment at all women having the actual acupuncture treatment had 1/2 the bladder infections of the fake acupuncture group, and 1/3 the infections of the group who received no treatment.