If you’re a woman you will probably suffer from a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in your life. In fact, UTIs are the second most common reason for hospital visits!
For years I have suffered from chronic UTIs.
They are very uncomfortable and can make life miserable, ruin holidays and your sex-life.
Luckily I managed to get rid of UTIs for good – a lot of which I credit to following the 5 steps I’m going to share with you below.
Most urinary tract infections are caused by our own bacteria. These bacteria live in the gut and are able to enter the bladder via the perineum (the space between anus and vagina). This is normal, but problems arise if our body can’t get rid of or deal with these bacteria in the bladder. In this case, personal hygiene can prevent the bacteria from entering the bladder in the first place.
- Always wipe front to back.
- Wash the anus and perineum after each bowel movement and before sexual intercourse. Use warm water and a mild, natural soap (such as castile soap). Make sure to rinse front to back as well. This is easily done with ‘bottle-washing’: fill a half litre bottle with warm water, wet and soap your anal area and sit on the toilet with your back slouched forwards. Pour the water downwards from the vagina and clean all areas front to back with your other (clean) hand. You could use a shower or bidet as well but always ensure the water flows front to back.
2. Create a Healthy Intimate Area
Bacteria thrive in warm and damp environments. This is easily created by synthetic clothing, which traps moisture, and prolonged sitting.
- Wear cotton underwear and try to sit less or in a position that allows your crotch to ‘breathe’.
- Wear more skirts/dresses and sleep without underwear.
- Avoid irritation of the crotch area. Contributing factors can be clothing, shaving (consider other ways of hair removal) and intercourse (always use a natural lubricant!).
- Consider your method of birth control. Certain methods of birth control may increase the likelihood of catching an infection
3. Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet
Diet and lifestyle are the foundation for good health. Without the right building blocks our immune systems can’t function efficiently to fight off infections – critical for staying UTI free!
- Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can support immune function. They also provide fibre, which can help to promote a healthy bacterial flora.
- If you’re an omnivore opt for grass fed or free range meats and eggs and wild-caught fish.
- Focus on healthy fats like omega 3s from oily fish, olive oil, avocado, butter, ghee and coconut oil.
4. Cut out Sugar
Sugar can suppress the immune system for 2 hours after ingesting, making it harder to keep off infections .
Other refined carbohydrates such as white flour products act like sugar in the body.
Instead, focus on real foods and ditch processed white flour products, refined sugars and sugary soda.
The problem is not so much about bacteria getting into the bladder but about bacteria not getting out of the bladder – plus a sub-optimal immune response.
In fact, we have a natural cleansing mechanism. Urine has the ability to cleanse the bladder, bladder neck, urethra, the vaginal area and the perineum.
Our natural way of passing urine is to squat. When we squat, the urogenital area automatically aligns so that the urine flows from the urethra over the vagina and then the perineum, cleansing them on the way. Squatting also allows urine to flow stronger and easier and facilitates the complete emptying of the bladder .
The best way to squat is to get a footstool for your toilet.
By following the above steps I managed to break the cycle of recurring UTIs that reduced the quality of my life!
I hope that following some of these tips can help you find relief, too!
Let me know how you get on in the comments!
Pin it for later:
- Sanchez, A. et al Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis Am J Clin Nutr November 1973 [vol. 26 no. 11 1180-1184] available at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/26/11/1180.abstract