Ouch! You’re feeling that burning sensation appearing again when you urinate. Another infection down there? You’re not really sure what’s going on. You’re contemplating these annoying symptoms with UTI vs. yeast infection. Which one is it? And how do you get these recurring vaginal infections to stop? I got you!
Some symptoms that you may experience from a UTI and from a yeast infection can be similar for some women. So, let’s clear up some confusion.
A UTI (or urinary tract infection) is a type of urinary system infection, within either your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. But most UTIs, however, are in your lower urinary tract, like your bladder and urethra. These usually occur from harmful bacteria (commonly from Escherichia coli) that aren’t supposed to be there!
While lower UTIs are easier to address with natural remedies, if the bacteria travels to your kidneys, those infections are harder to treat and are more serious. These types of infections may require you to take antibiotics. If you do need to take antibiotics, be sure to read this post first.
You’ve probably already experienced at least one UTI in your life since 50-60% of women have! And many women struggle with recurring ones. What a pain!
Overwhelming urge to urinate
Blood in your urine
Pressure above the pubic bone
Feeling fatigued or just unwell
A yeast infection, on the other hand, is a fungal infection. This overgrowth is typically from a fungus called Candida. It naturally occurs in our body, but when it overgrows to an abnormal level and causes an imbalance… that’s when health issues occur.
Thick, white discharge (Remember that not all discharge is bad! Some discharge is part of your normal menstrual cycle)
Intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva
You can read my blog here for tips on how to address recurring Candida overgrowth.
If you are struggling with recurrent UTIs, there may be an underlying issue(s) that need to be addressed. You don’t want to keep reaching out to your GYN for antibiotics every couple of months when you get yet another UTI because that only covers up (and sometimes causes) the real issue going on.
Once you address the underlying cause of recurring UTIs naturally, that’s when you’ll find relief for good!
If you’re one of the unlucky women who can’t seem to catch a break, getting a UTI every couple of months could be a consequence of one of the following underlying issues. If you address why these issues are occurring, that’s when you will start to see a relief in your vaginal infections (UTI and yeast infections).
Imbalanced gut microbiome
pH imbalance, allowing harmful bacteria to grow
Weakened immune system
Frequent bacteria exposure/environment for bacteria growth
Antibiotics usage: frequent antibiotic usage can disrupt your gut microbiome, causing digestion problems, mood issues, and can even sabotage your immune system.
High sugar intake: E. coli love and thrive on sugar. When you consume high amounts of sugar, it alters your urine’s acid level, making it more hospitable for E. coli. This makes the infection spread faster in your urinary tract!
Not urinating after sexual intercourse
Did you know that one-third of women have taken an antibiotic to treat a UTI? If you go to your conventional doctor, they will most likely give you an antibiotic to quickly treat a UTI. If you have recurrent UTIs, this constant antibiotic use can wreak serious havoc on your body. If you do go to your doctor always request a urinalysis with culture so when they call in the appropriate medication when necessary to treat the bacteria.
Since chronic antibiotic usage can negatively affect your health, addressing your vaginal infections naturally should be your first line of defense.
So, if you have an infection in your lower urinary tract, then YES, you can address your UTI symptoms without antibiotics. However, if the infection gets into your kidneys, it’s essential to get it treated (even if that’s with antibiotics) because a kidney infection can lead to serious complications.
Remember that UTIs and yeast infections may keep coming back because of lifestyle behaviors. If you want to get rid of a UTI naturally and avoid urinary tract infection in the future, you should incorporate lifestyle changes into your daily routine to ensure those annoying symptoms don’t keep coming back!
Try these natural tips, so you don’t have to Google, “How do I get rid of a UTI naturally” and “Why does my UTI keep coming back” EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.
Drink that water! This helps flush out those pesky bacteria from your urinary system. Choose filtered water to avoid extra toxins. I love Berkey water filters (use code:TaylorDukes for a discount!) and Aquasana.
Choose organic cotton underwear.
Pass on the thongs. I know, I know. You don’t want your underwear line to show through your leggings (that’s what oversized sweaters are for). Speaking of leggings… Make sure you allow some airflow too! Change into some flowy pants when you’re lounging around the house.
Don’t hold in your pee! When you gotta go, go!
Skip on the scented soap, spray, and douching. These are doing your lady parts no favors.
Be sure to urinate before and after sexual intercourse.
Avoid sugars: white flour, high fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates, and that nightly snack of ice cream…yes, go put it back in the freezer.
Pass on the alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated drinks. Not only are these not beneficial to your health, but they can also be dehydrating, increasing your risk for UTIs.
Drink unsweetened cranberry juice (keyword: unsweetened!- no need for that extra sugar)
Increase your omega-fat intake. Salmon, herrings, avocados, hazelnuts, and olive oil are good additions to your diet)
Take a probiotic: Taking a probiotic that includes Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can help cut recurrent UTIs by about half.
Consider doing stool test to eradicate pathogenic bacteria
Consider using cranberry extract and D mannose supplements. Two of my favorite supplements for UTI prevention and treatment can be found here. The brand is Designs for Health.
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