Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common problem that can have a serious negative impact on well-being and can tax our immune system. Although conventional medicine offers us preventative antibiotics that can help reduce numbers of recurrent infections, there are growing concerns about antibiotic resistance, side effects and the lack of long-term benefits from treatment.
Consequently, alternative treatments such as Chinese herbal medicine are being considered.
The most common method with which Chinese Medicine tackles UTI is by prescribing a herbal formula. Our experience is that when taken shortly after the onset of the infection good results are achieved quickly. Furthermore, once we reach a precise diagnosis, the same herbal formula can be kept and used at future onsets of the infection.
A number of factors can predispose you to a UTI. These include:
Not drinking enough water.
Certain types of birth control. Specifically using the diaphragm.
Being sexually active, especially with a new partner.
A diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein
A history of kidney stones.
Any illness that impairs the immune system, such as diabetes.
The following measures can reduce the chance of recurrence of the infection:
Take an herbal formula such as those described above at the first sign of a UTI.
Drink plenty of water.
After urinating wipe from front to back to avoid spreading germs from the anus to the urethra.
Avoid vaginal deodorants, douches and sexual lubricants.
Avoid coffee, tea and alcohol for the time of the infection.
Refrain from sexual intercourse for the duration of the infection
Refrain from having sexual intercourse in the week of your period.
After sexual intercourse empty your bladder as soon as possible.
Drink cranberry juice (unsweetened. If possible).
Take probiotics or food/drinks that boost the body’s probiotics such as Kombucha, Goat milk yogurt etc.
Wear cotton underwear to help air circulate.
Limit carbohydrates consumption, white sugar in particular
Consult your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.
It is important to note that taking care of the current episode of the infection may not resolve the long term underlying problem that caused it, which may result in recurrences. To treat the underlying problems we recommend ongoing acupuncture treatment.