I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time because it is sooo important. Hopefully by now, many of you will have heard of ‘embedded’ or ‘intracelullar’ bladder infections but if not, please read on.
Recent research suggests, that many cases of chronic UTIs and in fact ‘interstitial cystitis’ may be down to infections having taken hold in the bladder by entering the bladder wall cells and/or hiding under biofilm structures. This allows the pathogens to evade antibiotics and indeed testing.
The great news is that it is treatable!
Uva Ursi is an evergreen shrub of which the leaves have been used traditionally as a remedy for urinary tract infections. It is also known as bearberry.
It is traditionally used as a tea or tincture, but also available in capsule form. I have previously listed it in natural antibiotics, but today I would like to take a closer look at how it’s used and what evidence we have behind its usage.
I often use a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) test as a cheap way of getting an idea of my client’s main mineral levels in the body.
One pattern that I often see is a high calcium level, along with lowered magnesium (as well as potassium and boron). I personally also had this pattern.
Not everyone with this pattern has bladder issues, but I do believe that high calcium levels together with lowered magnesium might contribute to them.
Many chronic lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) may actually be associated with undetected chronic infections . Testing is still based on the assumption that the bladder is sterile (and it’s not!) – I have written about the problems with gold standard urine testing in the past.
Today I would like to give you a list of some alternatives to standard urine testing.
Hippocrates already said over 2000 years ago that ‘all disease begins in the gut’. Today, we’re understanding more and more how right he was.
For me personally, gut issues preceded the onset of chronic cystitis and interstitial cystitis. When my gut was at its worst, so was my bladder. I have no doubt that, similarly to many other conditions, the gut is implicated in bladder problems.
The stomach and its acid secretion may seemingly be unrelated to bladder health but as a matter of fact, stomach acid plays an important role in overall health – as a first line of defense for our immune system, in protein digestion and nutrient absorption.
Many may think of stomach acid in relation to heartburn/GERD, which affects up to 27 % of adults  and has risen recent years. As a result, antacids are the 7th most popular personal care product in the US alone, with sales of many million dollars .
However, the symptoms for low and high stomach acid are very similar. While high stomach acid can definitely be very irritating, low stomach acid may have more far reaching consequences.
Pharmacies usually sell ‘cystitis relief’ products designed to serve as a first aid for urinary tract infections. These preparations are designed to alkalize the urine.
Moreover, flushing through increased fluid intake is usually recommended.
I have previously recommended doing this as it is the common advice for cystitis relief before taking antibiotics.
Some people may well have success with this approach but is it scientifically validated?
When speaking about urinary tract infections, we usually speak about bacterial infections. Fungi (a.k.a yeasts or mold) are different organisms from bacteria and they can cause infections such as thrush in some parts of the body. Fungal infections in the vagina for example are a well-known condition. But can there also be fungal infections in the urinary tract?
Last week I had a look at how hormones affect the urinary tract. Changes in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone and even the ‘male’ hormone testosterone appear to affect urinary tract symptoms.
Oral contraception affects hormone levels in the body and may therefore also affect urinary tract symptoms.
Other contraception may not affect hormones but may have an impact on the urinary tract in other ways.
Today I would like to take a look at what we know about different forms of contraception and bladder health.
Today I’d like to take a closer look at the role of hormones on bladder health. Hormones have been known for a while to play a role in lower urinary tract symptoms such as UTIs, interstitial cystitis and stress incontinence. Hormones may be the reason why women generally seem to be more prone to bladder problems than men and also why some symptoms may get worse at certain times of the month.