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How to Prevent or Cure a Urinary Tract Infection

Updated on July 13, 2013
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How to Prevent a Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infections are very common and cause problems for over 8 million Americans each year. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the UTI is the second most common type of infection in the human body.

What if you could prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI) before it even starts?

I learned the secret to prevention after many years of suffering myself. After multiple courses of anti-biotics over a span of over 10 years, I had finally had enough. I did hours of research until I found the answer, which I will now share with you. The following article is an explanation of my personal experiences with D-Mannose in the treatment and prevention of Urinary Tract Infections.

You can save yourself many hours of pain and suffering. The Key to Prevention is a supplement by the name of D-Mannose. But how does D-Mannose work?

Recommended D-Mannose Supplements

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The Cranberry Juice Myth

Cranberry juice cannot cure a urinary tract infection, contrary to popular belief. While cranberries and other fruits do contain the sugar D-Mannose, you cannot possibly eat or drink enough of their juice to obtain the desired effects of bacterial removal and subsequent pain relief. They also contain other types of sugars which serve as food for the bacteria causing the infection, which is counterproductive to curing your infection.

Cranberry juice typically contains sugar in the form of fructose and sucrose, which are food sources for E. Coli. E. Coli is the usual cause for a typical UTI.

So if sugar is food for the E. Coli, and D-Mannose is a natural sugar, how does D-Mannose work?

How D-Mannose Works to Cure and Prevent Bladder Infections

Scientifically speaking, D-Mannose is a sugar that is NOT metabolized by your body. This means that your body will NOT convert the D-Mannose sugar into energy that your body can use to fuel your brain, muscles, and the E.Coli bacteria clinging to and growing on the lining of your urinary tract.

Instead, the D-Mannose will pass through your body, and will be flushed out through your bladder. Once the D-Mannose reaches your bladder, the E. Coli will cling to the D-Mannose sugar as a food source. Rather than E. Coli attaching itself to your bladder and urinary tract, it will cling only to the D-Mannose and the nasty bacteria will be flushed from your system during a bathroom trip.

So instead of waiting for an infection to start, you can skip the doctor's visit, bills, antibiotics and missed days at work by taking a D-Mannose supplement. It is available at most health food stores and online retailers.

Tips for Use of D-Mannose to Prevent and Cure Urinary Tract Infections

Since D-Mannose is a supplement, it is not approved by the FDA to cure or prevent any disease. Keep in mind that a supplement is not a medication, and thus cannot be tested in the pharmaceutical industry. Therefore, doses have not been established. However, this is not a problem as I will offer some tips on how to properly administer a dose in adults.

For an average adult, approximately one teaspoon a day of D-Mannose is sufficient to prevent an infection. I recommend that if you are particularly prone to an infection, you should think about taking the supplement every day at the same time. If you are a woman and experience urinary tract infection symptoms after intercourse, to take one teaspoon of D-Mannose either before or directly after any activity, with a follow up dose the next day of an additional teaspoon.

For literature with administration of D-Mannose in children, please visit the Tahoma Clinic Blog, where I first discovered this wonderful treatment for urinary tract infections.

Additional Tips:

  1. Do not eat sugary foods or drinks while you have a urinary tract infection.
  2. Do not eat any foods containing sugar substitutes.
  3. Do not consume any liquids or foods containing caffeine.
  4. Drink at least two glasses of water every 1-2 hours to continue flushing out your system.
  5. Try Phenazopyridine Hydrochloride tablets for pain relief (found in your local pharmacy under the AZO brand.)
  6. Do not resist the urge to go to the bathroom.

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Recommended D-Mannose Supplements

D-Mannose supplements come in powder and pill forms. The powder is more convenient if you like to carry a water bottle and the pill form is convenient for traveling.

The pill form of D-Mannose that has kept me healthy for the last year is Solaray D-Mannose with Cranactin, with 120 capsules per bottle. This bottle will last for 60 days. I have never gotten an infection since I began taking this supplement daily. The pills are quite large, so for young children and individuals who have medical problems that prevent swallowing, I recommend the powder form.

The powder forms of D-Mannose that I have used in the past include NOW Foods D-Mannose and ClearTract powder. Solaray also makes a very effective powder with CranActin, the same formula that goes into their capsules. It is easy to add a teaspoon or two to your glass of water or water bottle, and is even easier to administer to children. The powder has a somewhat sweet taste on its own. When added to a glass of water it is not very noticeable, with a mild sweet taste.

What to Do if You're Already Suffering from an Infection

If you currently have a urinary tract infection, you are most likely in a great deal of pain and discomfort. Depending on the severity of your case, I do not recommend the D-Mannose supplement for fast and helpful relief. Depending on how badly you get infected, the supplement will take a few days to help you to void the bacteria from your system. You may consider a visit to your doctor for an evaluation and potential prescription of antibiotics. Once your infection has cleared up, you can take the D-Mannose to prevent a future infection.

If you cannot make it to a doctor and would like to try the D-Mannose as a treatment method, please be sure to purchase Phenazopyridine Hydrocholoride tablets from your local pharmacy. These tablets are formulated to relieve the pain, burning and irritation associated with a urinary tract infection while your body heals. They are not a cure or a treatment method for the infection itself, but they will act as an analgesic (painkiller) for the duration of your symptoms.

Speaking from personal experience, the pyridine tablets were only somewhat effective for me. They reduced my pain and irritation levels by about 50% in combination with D-Mannose while I waited to see a doctor. I tried to treat the infection on my own, but it was too painful to wait for it to go away just by using supplements. After visiting my doctor and getting a prescription for antibiotics, I felt relief later that day and was feeling even better the following day. Once I recovered, I began using the D-Mannose capsules for prevention. I haven't gotten an infection since then.

If you are prone to urinary tract infections, I highly recommend you always have D-Mannose and pyridine tablets close at hand. I hope that you find that with proper use, D-Mannose is an effective way to manage your urinary tract infections and could even prevent them entirely.

Disclaimer

This article is not meant to act as medical advice. D-Mannose is a supplement to support a healthy urinary tract and has not been shown to prevent or cure disease in a laboratory or similar setting. If you currently have a urinary tract infection, please consider going to a medical treatment facility for assistance with your infection. There is no way to know if you have a urinary tract infection unless you undergo a UA (Urine Analysis). More complex urinary tract infections can even be life threatening. Please consult with your doctor before taking any supplements.

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