How to get rid of a UTI without antibiotics

how to get rid of a UTI without antibiotics

Nearly half of all women will experience a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lifetime. Accounting for 7 to 10 million doctor visits each year, UTIs are the second most common infectious complaint seen by outpatient physicians, costing around $2 billion annually. Having had my fair share of UTIs, I thought I’d share some info that I’ve gathered about the topic (and give some insights into how I deal with UTIs).

What are UTIs?

Urinary tract infections are a result of an overgrowth of bacteria in the urinary tract – the most common culprit is E. coli, which accounts for over 90% of UTIs. E. coli can cause infection when your body’s natural defenses fail; they start multiplying and sticking to the walls of your urinary tract. The stickiness of the E. coli is what can make UTIs tricky to deal with (which is why, in most cases, the E. coli don’t just get washed away when you pee). UTIs can affect any part of the urinary tract – the urethra, bladder, ureter, and, in severe cases, even the kidneys. Bladder infections are the most common types of UTIs.

Common symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • Burning/pain while peeing
  • Cloudy urine
  • Weird smelling urine
  • Stronger and more frequent urge to pee
  • Feeling like you need to pee, but not much comes out

If a bladder infection goes untreated (or if treatment doesn’t work), the infection can spread to the kidneys.

Signs that infection may have spread to the kidneys include:

  • Pain where your kidneys are located (on your back, below your ribs, on either side of your spine)
  • Fever/chills
  • Nausea/vomiting

Kidney infections can be very serious and require an immediate visit to a doctor for treatment. If a kidney infection isn’t treated, irreversible kidney damage can occur.

UTIs are diagnosed by a urine test – this can be done at a doctor’s office. You can also use an at-home test for UTIs – AZO test strips are a popular at-home UTI test (make sure you test your urine first thing in the morning and read the results at the right times).

Why women get UTIs

Women are more prone than men to get UTIs because of our anatomy, mainly thanks to our good friend, the urethra. The urethra is a tiny tube that is located near the vagina (on the front wall, below the clitoris, but just above the vaginal opening) – the urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of your body. The length of the urethra in women is much shorter than it is in men, so bacteria don’t have to travel as far in women to reach the bladder and cause infections. Women also have the misfortune of having the vaginal opening located just around the corner from the bum, so it’s easy for bacteria from stool to migrate over to the vagina/urethra and cause infection.

Other common contributors to UTIs:

  • Sexy time
    • Insufficient lubrication during vaginal sex, causing too much friction/irritation to the urethra
    • Bacteria being introduced by your partner’s penis (or by a penetrating toy) OR bacteria in/near your vaginal opening that is “shoved” into the area of the urethra during penetration (UTIs can be avoided when both parties practice proper hygiene techniques; it can also help to pee before and after sex to flush out unfriendly organisms around the urethra/vagina before they have a chance to proliferate)
  • Having an excessively warm and moist environment in the nether regions (creates an environment that unfriendly organisms love)
    • Not allowing the vagina to “breath” with things like tight-fitting pants, non-breathable undies, wearing panty liners/pads all the time, etc.
    • Sitting around in a wet bathing suit or wet clothes
  • Wearing thongs
  • “Holding it” – not peeing when you first feel the urge
  • Chronic dehydration – not peeing frequently enough to flush out unfriendly organisms
  • Some type of abnormality in your urinary tract (such as an obstruction) that prevents you from completely emptying your bladder
  • Using products that can irritate the vagina (such as douches, sprays, perfumes, harsh soaps)
  • Feminine products for that time of the month – it’s been my personal experience that tampons and pads can lead to UTIs, whether it’s a result of the material that’s used or the environment that’s created when these products are used (I’ve recently started exploring alternatives to traditional tampons and pads, which can help with this problem)
    • *** UPDATE: I haven’t experienced another UTI since switching to a menstrual cup in 2015 (yay!), so, for me, tampons/pads were a major contributor to my UTIs ***
  • The use of catheters (UTIs are common during longer hospital stays)

So, you have a UTI. Now what?

Most conventional doctors will prescribe antibiotics to treat UTIs. Antibiotics definitely have their drawbacks – they disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut (the good guys get wiped out along with the bad, allowing room for other pathogens, such as candida albicans, to take over), they can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria (which are much harder to get rid of), and some have reported other adverse health affects (such as nerve damage, joint pain, insomnia, impaired kidney function, and others).

I, personally, prefer to avoid antibiotics unless they’re absolutely necessary. Because of this, I have found other ways that I can nip a UTI in the bud without having to rely on antibiotics, as long as I tackle it early. The methods that I use don’t work for everybody and there are cases where antibiotics are truly needed (such as when the infection spreads to the kidneys).

How I get rid of UTIs

Here is what I do to get rid of UTIs without the use of antibiotics. I would not recommend these methods for complicated cases of UTIs (and kiddos should definitely see a doctor for UTIs, since these cases are usually a lot more complicated to treat). This is not intended to act as medical advice; this is simply an insight as to what I do when I have a UTI.

One of the most effective things that I’ve found to nip a UTI in the bud is D-mannose powder. D-mannose is a type of sugar (related to glucose) and only small amounts of it is actually used by the body – the rest gets expelled through the urine. D-mannose works by sticking to the E. coli, which prevents the E. coli from sticking to you! When you pee, it’s bye-bye bacteria.

I’ve found that it takes several doses of the D-mannose to be effective; I dissolve 1 teaspoon of the D-mannose powder in some water and drink it up – I usually do this every 2 to 3 hours at the first sign of a UTI. When I do this, I’ve noticed that symptoms start to improve after a couple hours or so, and my symptoms are usually gone after a day or two. After symptoms are gone, I then gradually reduce the frequency that I take the D-mannose powder (usually cut it down to 4-5 times per day, then 3-4 times per day, and so on). I generally end up taking the D-mannose powder for a total of 5 to 7 days (give or take).

During the time that I’m taking the D-mannose, I also make sure I hydrate like crazy – I aim to drink at least 8 ounces of water every hour while I’m awake (note: it’s not good to have too much water in a very short time-frame, though – this can cause water toxicity, which can be deadly; it’s usually best to spread out your water evenly throughout the day). The more you pee, the less chances the bacteria have to attach to the walls of your urinary tract, and the quicker you send those nasty buggers on a one-way trip to the porcelain throne. I also take a probiotic that is aimed at supporting urinary health – the good bacteria in the probiotics will also help kick the bad guys to the curb. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Vaginal Formula is one probiotic that I like for urinary/vaginal support.

A couple things that I’d like to note:

  • D-mannose, when used properly, is relatively safe for those already in good health, with the most common side effects being diarrhea and bloating, though some resources warn that it could harm the kidneys in large doses. D-mannose is generally not recommended for those with diabetes or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (definitely check with your doctor if you fall into one of those categories). There also aren’t many studies on the use of D-mannose, so effective/safe dosing hasn’t been studied extensively – just something to keep in mind. (By the way, when I looked for D-mannose at my local stores, it was easily double the cost of what I paid here. When I’m running low, I just re-order it to have on hand – it has a pretty decent shelf life.)
  • I don’t like to use pain relieving products when I have a UTI. For me, I would much rather deal with the irritation (which usually only lasts for a couple of hours as long as I tackle it right away) than to have a false sense of security about the state of the infection. It’s easy to under-treat the infection when you don’t feel symptoms, which means that the infection could easily spread to the kidneys. I’ve had UTIs spread to my kidneys twice (not a good time – a lot of nausea and projectile vomiting was involved), which required a serious course of antibiotics to treat. (By the way, both times that my kidneys were infected I had been on antibiotics to treat the initial UTI. Don’t assume that antibiotics will always tackle a UTI – they didn’t in my case.) Something to be mindful of.

Other methods out there

Cranberry juice

Some swear by using cranberry juice to help with UTIs – this has a lot of mixed results, though. Some studies have suggested that cranberry juice can help as a preventative measure, some have suggested that it may decrease the duration of the UTI, and some have suggested that there are no benefits to using it at all for UTIs. D-mannose is actually a component of cranberries, but it may not be in large enough doses in cranberries/cranberry juice to be effective for many (which is why I just go straight for the D-mannose powder). Another component of cranberries that may help with UTIs is proanthocyanidin (a fancy name for a type of antioxidant). If you try the cranberry juice route, make sure it’s unsweetened and organic, with minimal additives.

Prophylactic treatment

I use D-mannose powder during an active infection, but some who are more prone to recurrent UTIs use D-mannose prophylactically (on a regular basis to prevent a UTI from reoccurring).

One study included 308 women who had an active UTI and a history of recurrent UTIs (recurrent was defined as having 2 or more UTIs every 6 months or 3 or more UTIs per year). All study participants were initially treated with antibiotics for the acute infection, then they were divided into 3 groups – 1 group was treated prophylactically with D-mannose, 1 group was treated prophylactically with low-dose antibiotics, and 1 group received no prophylactic treatment; each group was evaluated over 6 months.

During the 6 month period, 98 (32%) participants had a recurrent UTI; 60% of those cases were those who received no prophylactic treatment, 20% were those who received prophylactic antibiotics, and only 15% were those who received prophylactic D-mannose. Those in the D-mannose group were also noted to have far fewer side effects than those in the antibiotic group; the only noted side effect of D-mannose was diarrhea (8% of the D-mannose group experienced this), but it wasn’t severe enough to require discontinuation of the D-mannose.

Regardless of which method you try to rid yourself of a UTI, it’s important to make sure that the infection is actually gone – you can have your doctor check your urine before and after treatment, or you can check yourself with at-home UTI test strips.

Prevention is the best medicine.

Here are some things you can do to prevent UTIs:

  • Drink plenty of water (signs of dehydration include dark yellow urine, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, lower back pain, dry lips, and constipation – if you experience these, drink up!)
  • Always wipe front to back when going to the bathroom (or, better yet, use a bidet)
  • Don’t “hold it” – pee when you feel the urge
  • Pee before and after sex and use good hygiene practices
  • Avoid douches, perfumes, sprays, or harsh soaps in/around your vagina – these can irritate your urethra and throw off your pH balance, potentially leading to an infection
  • Let your lady parts breath – avoid clothes/products that make your vagina excessively warm and moist
  • Explore the possibility of using alternative forms of feminine products that time of the month if you’re prone to getting UTIs around that time
  • Support your immune system (so your body’s better equipped to fight off the bad guys) – make sure your vitamin D levels are in the optimal range (vitamin D plays an important role in immune health), eat plenty of whole and organic foods, and include some probiotics (in food form and in supplement form).
  • If you’re a chronic UTI-er despite following the tips above, there’s a chance that food sensitivities could be playing a role in your UTIs (especially if you’re dealing with other symptoms/health issues) – click here if you think you might fall into this category.

 

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58 Responses to How to get rid of a UTI without antibiotics

  • Hands down Sodium Bicarbonate is the miracle cure! For a mild case, 3 grams in a glass of water mixed with 1 gram of citric acid (basic URAL ingredients). Take 4 times a day. Drink as much water as you can on top of this. No caffeine, no alcohol and definitely no sex!

    • You should try an oral vaccine called Uro-vaxom. Is especially for e.coli but also has effect for other bacteria who produce uti. Take 1 capsule in the morning before eating for 90 days and after stop one month and continue to take another 3 month but this time only 10 days per month. Uro-vaxom increase the level of antibodies so much that they will be able to eradicate the infection after a while. The cure of 3 months should be repeated 2 times per year.

    • I should say that not sodium bicarbonate is the “magic” ingredient from Ural, but the tartaric acid who has an antibacterial effect! When we have a uti, the ph level of urine increase very much even to 8-9 so why should we take sodium bicarbonate then? We need to acidify the urine in order to have a ph of 6. Sodium bicarbonate from Ural is used to neutralize the high acidity of tartaric acid.

  • The past two UTI’s that I have had were caused by enterobacter aerogenes. Will D-Mannose work with this germ also?

    • Great question! The research and literature that I’ve read only pertains to E. coli (since E. coli is involved in most cases of UTIs). I don’t know enough about enterobacter aerogenes to be able to conclusively say whether or not D-mannose would help. But, what will help (regardless of which bug you have) is strengthening your immune system and giving your microbiota some extra attention.
      – Try and eat as “clean” as possible and choose whole, organic foods whenever you can. If you eat meat and/or animal products, choose items from 100% pasture-raised animals.
      – Avoid any foods/products that you know you have allergies or sensitivities to (eating these foods takes up a lot of your immune system’s resources, which can make it easier for things like pathogens to proliferate).
      – Vitamin D is intimately involved in immune health, so getting your vitamin D levels checked isn’t a bad idea. If vitamin D supplementation is needed, make sure you also supplement with vitamin D’s ‘friends’ (such as magnesium and vitamin K2).
      – If you’re feeling stressed/tense, take active steps to de-stress (meditation, yoga, Epsom salt baths, Emotional Freedom Technique, self-applied acupressure, etc). Stress can actually turn off the immune system (temporarily), which is obviously not good when your body needs to fight off pathogens (I have more info on stress in my book, Stress Detox).
      – Give your good gut bacteria some extra back-up by taking probiotics and/or eating probiotic-rich foods (fermented/cultured foods – kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha… I have tons of ideas pinned on my Fermented/Cultured Foods Pinterest board). The probiotic supplement mentioned in the article (Renew Life Ultimate Flora Vaginal Formula) is targeted towards urinary tract health. If you’re on a course of antibiotics, Saccharomyces Boulardii is a good probiotic to take as it can help mitigate some of the negative effects of antibiotics.
      Hope that helps!

    • I have been celibate for a looong time:)
      And haven’t had a uti in many years.
      Just over the weekend I decided to allow (no intercourse) a man friend do oral on me which he did throughout the night.
      As soon as I awoke I felt burning at the opening of urethra & pressure to go…
      It has been a couple of days, I was going to go to dr. but am so reticent to take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.
      I looked it up & found that you can easily get uti from oral if the person has had alcohol in addition to a lot of bacteria in saliva (eck! It isn’t easy to write this!)
      I asked him if he flossed regularly to which he replied “I brush my teeth twice a day.”
      You can bet I will never kiss him, nor let him near me again unless he suddenly has a huge change of heart about dental hygiene.
      But in mean time I am making unsweetened Maine cranberries & pouring liquid into water & drinking it all day.
      The Mannose, from what I read is only good for ecoli right?
      So do you think I should add this to the regime?
      Btw, your article is much appreciated & very nicely done.

      • Glad you found the article helpful! :)

        The research that I’ve seen has only mentioned E. coli, so I can’t speak to other pathogens, but if it were me, I’d add D-mannose to the mix as well (it’s worth a shot, especially since most of it just passes through the body, so it’s not likely to cause harm). It’d be a good idea to include some probiotics as well (to help crowd out the bad bacteria).

        • Thank you so kindly for taking the time to reply!
          I took your advice & have gotten the Mannose w/ Cranactin, & Probiotic.
          Hoping & praying it works as I just cringe at the thought of a round of antibiotics.
          Best to you.

          • You’re welcome!! Hope things work out for you! :)

          • Hi I’ve been suffering bladder infections for two years now… I am currently infected with the bacteria klebsiella. I have been on so many antibiotics over the course of eight weeks I started a new one yesterday which is not working… I read online that Apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda! Is that only for E. coli or is it good also for klebsiella

          • Hi I’ve been suffering bladder infections for two years now… I am currently infected with the bacteria klebsiella. I have been on so many antibiotics over the course of eight weeks I started a new one yesterday which is not working… I read online that Apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda! Is that only for E. coli or is it good also for klebsiella

    • E.Coli is a type of Enterobacteriaceae so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work :) – I work in a micro lab :)

  • When treated propltmy and properly, UTIs rarely lead to complications. But left untreated, a urinary tract infection can become something more serious than a set of uncomfortable symptoms.Untreated UTIs can lead to acute or chronic kidney infections (pyelonephritis), which could permanently damage your kidneys ..you just need some antibitiocs to treat your symptoms why are you afraid of docs? why continue with something that is easily treatable?

    • Yes, I discussed kidney infections in the article and provided symptoms to look out for. When antibiotics are TRULY needed, they absolutely should be used… but from my standpoint, antibiotics aren’t always necessary for UTIs. I’ve been able to nip UTIs in the bud with the D-mannose supplement mentioned in the article, which doesn’t have the same detrimental effects on the body that antibiotics would. One of the problems with antibiotics is that they seriously disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, which can open you up for worse health issues down the road (the gut bacteria largely influence the immune system, which is responsible for helping you fight off illness, for example; an altered microflora is often associated with higher rates of autoimmune conditions as well). Also, as I pointed out in the article, antibiotics aren’t always 100% effective – I personally experienced a kidney infection years ago after going on a round of antibiotics for a UTI. That experience caused me to question whether there are other alternatives out there that are safer and more effective (which, in my case, D-mannose is).

    • Because constant antibiotics cause more infections. I’m living with constant UTIs because a doctor doing nothing more than ordering more antibiotics has nearly killed my system, and it’s a constant cycle of UTI and Candida. Maybe it’s not a fear of doctors but tired of what they do to us. So not such an easy answer, is it?

    • It’s not the fear of doc’s, however these days it is such a racket & they are so
      unable to be “present” for patient’s due to the business of overbooking.
      It’s much more about not wanting to take antibiotics unless DEFINITELY necessary for obvious reasons.

    • My urologist wants me to get through that UTIs without antibiotics… The bacteria is resisting all the antibiotics. That leaves me scared… Is anybody went through her UTI without antibiotics and got better?

  • I actually came across a fantastic supplement that has a lot of ingredients you mentioned in this article. This supplement http://amzn.to/1SMUnNP has helped me tons with fighting and preventing UTI’s. Whoever I recommended this too has seen great results as well!

  • I’m 17 and I have had rather painful urination and I feel the need to go to the bathroom but when Ido I don’t need to go and if I do then it s not alot

  • I have a tendency to need to go pee because I’m drinking a lot of water. I’m peeing a lot out of my system. I’m currently taking Azo and cystex for my UTI problem. I wanted to know how much long does a UTI last? Do I need to drink cranberry juice? My bladder area feels a bit funny.

    • The length of a UTI can vary from person to person. Back when I had UTIs semi-regularly, I took D-mannose powder without any pain relievers. IMO, pain relievers can get in the way of being able to gauge the length and severity of the infection, making it harder to tell if what you’re doing is working (which is definitely not good because if it’s not working, the infection could spread and make things much much worse). When I took D-mannose at the onset of a UTI, my symptoms would typically lessen within just a couple hours or so (and I would continue taking D-mannose multiple times/day for a few days to make extra sure that I flushed as much bacteria out as I could). More details about the process that I used are in the article. If your symptoms are not improving with your current supplements, it’s time to try something else (and don’t hesitate to go to your doc if you need to).

  • Cranberry pills are much better than just taking the juice because they’re so much more concentrated. I took them for my last UTI and it was gone the next day.

  • I’ve had a uti for about 6 days now. Its been burning when I urinate, n the irritation hasn’t subsided n usually it would and the constant urge to urinate hasn’t left either. Do you think d mannose would work for me since my uti has been untreated this long or should I just go to the hospital and e deal with the aggravation of sitting in the hospital for hours so the doc can tell me what I already know and get my antibiotics? Need help any replys would be welcomed thank you.

    • In my experience, it’s definitely best to use d-mannose as soon as symptoms start, but it still may be worth a shot even though you’re 6 days in. It may also be a good idea to take probiotics designed for urinary tract health (like this one by Renew Life) to help crowd out the bad bacteria.

      The concern, though, is that your infection could spread to the kidneys – if you notice lower back pain, nausea, chills, etc, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor for a round of antibiotics. If you do end up on antibiotics, you can continue with d-mannose and it also wouldn’t be a bad idea to take S. boulardii (to help prevent some of the damage done to your gut bacteria by antibiotics) as well as a broad spectrum probiotic (S. boulardii won’t be affected by antibiotics, but common probiotics will, so probiotics should be taken away from antibiotics).

      • Which broad spectrum probiotic do you recommend? Also, should I be concerned ordering off Amazon, not knowing how they have been stored? What about refrigeration and being shipped on ice?

        • For probiotics, it really depends on what your goals are since the different strains have specific properties/benefits. In general, I do like Just Thrive probiotic – it has a some nice properties that a lot of folks would benefit from (has strains that can produce antioxidants, enhance digestion, boost the immune system, calm inflammation, etc). Just Thrive is spore-based (spore-based probiotics are essentially dormant until inside your body), so it doesn’t require refrigeration.

          If you’re looking for a probiotic that has strains that are more beneficial for the urinary tract, the Women’s Vaginal Ultimate Flora probiotic by Renew Life is a nice one. The one by Renew Life should be refrigerated.

          It’s true that purchasing probiotics that require refrigeration from Amazon can be risky; some sellers do ship them with an ice pack, but it’s not consistent across the board. The one by Renew Life can often be found locally as well (and I believe Vitacost also carries it – Vitacost has more control over how products are handled/shipped).

          One other thing to note: definitely avoid Amazon when purchasing professional-grade supplements (brands such as Pure Encapsulations, Thorne, Klaire Labs, etc) because they’re not authorized to be sold on Amazon and Amazon has had issues with these supplements being adulterated.

          Hope that helps!

  • Thank you for responding. I’ve read many reviews on d mannose, one woman actually had a uti for two weeks and once she took the d mannose, she noticed that her uti had cleared up. Its crazy I wouldn’t wait that long, but I’m going to give it a try With the d mannose and try the floral probiotic with it. I’ll work with it and give myself a week to see the results, if it doesn’t clear I’ll take myself to the doctor I just wanted to avoid that trip, waiting time, and also the antibiotics. Thank you so much for your help u appreciate it.

  • I have had a confirmed UTI for the past 5 days. I have had 4 doses of Bactrim with not much relief at all. Come to find out today that the bacteria is resistant to this med. I was just prescribed Macrodantin. I would like to know the difference between the AZO cranberry tabs vs. D-mannose. I just purchased both but want to take whichever works best. Why do you prefer D-mannose? Thanks so much for taking the time to read.

    • Hi Jean,

      I don’t personally have any experience with the AZO cranberry tabs, but I chose to use d-mannose for my own UTIs because there are studies confirming its effectiveness. I’ve personally found d-mannose, probiotics, and plenty of water to be all that I needed to eliminate my own UTIs (though, thankfully, I haven’t experienced a UTI since I wrote this article in 2014). Hope it works as well for you as it did for me! :)

  • What happens if you have sex while having a uti?

    • The UTI will likely not make sex very pleasant (assuming you’re still having UTI symptoms), but sex also carries the potential of introducing more bacteria to the urinary tract, which could make the UTI worse. It’s best to hold off on sex until you know for sure that the UTI is gone.

  • I have been struggling with UTIs since I was 18 years old and the Lady Soma Cranberry Pills work faster than other products to relieve the pain with my UTIs. I use this while I am waiting to get in to see the doctor to relieve my pain and/or while I am waiting the the antibiotics to start working which usually takes anywhere from 12-24 hours.

    This stuff helps to alleviate the pain (burning, urgency, etc) associated with UTIs within 20-40 minutes of taking the pills.

  • I had surgery a little over a week ago and was catheterized. Today I noticed my urine has a horrible smell. I called my surgeon who told me he’s not a fan of antibiotics and to just hydrate myself and drink cranberry, (which has never helped me before)… I reported the nausea to his office last week but had no outward signs of infection at the incisions so they told me to just keep an eye on them for infection and keep my upcoming appointment. I honestly think I need antibiotics at this stage and that the cath introduced nasty bacteria into my bladder. He said the catheter was only in me for 30 minutes. Um, would the time even matter? The pressure and urgency have begun as well. I keep reading nausea is a symptom of kidney infection… could I home treat at this stage, with this scenario??

    • If you’re experiencing signs of kidney infection, that’s definitely not something to take lightly. If it were *me* and it was the very beginning stages, I would try the d-mannose ASAP and, if not noticing improvements in a couple hours or so, I wouldn’t hesitate to take antibiotics. There’s nothing wrong with taking antibiotics if they’re truly needed, just make sure you take extra good care of your microbiota. Generally, S. boulardii is good to take while on antibiotics… I’d take that as well as probiotics geared towards urinary tract health (such as this one by Renew Life) – take probiotics a few hours away from your dose of antibiotics. Sorry this happened to you! It’s bad enough having to endure a surgery without the bonus of an infection. :(

  • I’ve had a UTI for 4 days now. I’ve been drinking about 80 oz of water a day since it started (now I know what a fish feels like…lol). I’ve found a lot of relief from the burning (except when I first wake up in the morning…if I sleep) and the urges to go have decreased a bit today. Do you think that means the infection may be leaving my bladder due to all the water? I really can’t afford a Dr. visit as I have no insurance right now. I can’t even afford the pills you suggested. Basically, I’m on SSDI and live at poverty level…although the state won’t help with my medical because it says I’m just above their idea of poverty level…go figure. Anyways, for that reason, I’m trying to rid my UTI on my own. So I just wanted your opinion on whether or not you think my UTI is clearing up. Thank you! And thank you for your wonderful article too! :)

    • Oh no! So sorry to hear that! It’s certainly possible that the water has been helping with the infection, but I can’t say for sure. Definitely monitor your symptoms and be particularly watchful of any signs of kidney infection (since that’s much more serious).

  • I started having symptoms of a UTI 2 weeks ago. I called a teladoc and he prescribed me antibiotics. I decided I would get the prescription in case but would try to fight it naturally. I got some D-Mannose powder and took it every 3 hours while awake for a week. After a week I gradually decreased to once a day. After a couple of days I noticed my symptoms again. I had a urine sample and it came out positive for leukcytes but negative for nitrates. Nurse said it was mild and there was no need to send it in to the lab. I decided to up my D-Mannose intake again. Only symptom I have is having to go more frequently but that is manageable. How long do you think I can safely try this? Of course if I get worse I will start my prescription but hoping I won’t need it.

    • Tough to say! There was a study that had participants use D-mannose prophylactically (to prevent recurrent UTIs) and it appeared to be safe/effective during that time period (6 months). Just be mindful of symptoms (and don’t hesitate to start antibiotics if symptoms worsen), drink plenty of water, and you might want to look into adding a probiotic to the mix if you aren’t doing so already.

  • I’m 18, had sex and hadn’t used the restroom after. I for sure have a UTI. Can’t afford to get antibiotics without being questioned and charged. If I drink the hell out of water and pee whenever I feel the urge, should that naturally help the UTI go away? I’d rather suffer through a UTI than have to see a doctor

  • I lost my colon due to being on numerous antibiotics chasing a diagnosis for severe abdominal issues with diarrhea/pain/nausea/CT scans/endoscopies and not feeling well at all for 6 months. Then, a visit to the dentist, placed on antibiotics for an infected tooth. 1 week later, I ended up in septic shock, emergency surgery for massive C-Diff infection, now only 10 ins of colon. Had an ileostomy for 4 months, then reversed. I almost died, 6 abd surgeries in 11 months and struggle with chronic diarrhea so prone to UTIs now. So thankful to read your blog. I’m an RN and my surgeon through all this told me to always check with him before going on antibiotics for any reason. Currently with UTI symptoms so will go 1st think in the am to get your suggestions. Thank you!!!

  • Hi, i have been suffering from UTI for over two years, I had a kidney stone coming out and had to have a stent put in. I have been on several different antibiotics but the UTI still comes back. I am also diabetic, with kidney stones, what is your advice?

    • Hi Angela, I’d need to know more about your medical history and be working with you as a client in order to provide specific recommendations. That said, addressing the kidney stones should help with recurrent UTIs (and adding in probiotics and D-mannose can help with UTIs in the interim – D-mannose is a sugar, however, so you may want to check in with your doc before adding it in, and, at the very least, you’ll want to be monitoring your blood sugar levels closely while using D-mannose).

      In general, supplementing with vitamin D3, vitamin K2, magnesium, and vitamin B6 can help with kidney stones. Sufficient water intake is also super important (and adding some lemon juice to your water can provide even more benefits for kidney stones). Not getting enough physical activity increases your risk of developing kidney stones, as does excessive salt intake (especially highly processed salt that’s bleached and stripped of other minerals). High levels of fructose (and sugar in general) can also contribute to kidney stones (high fructose corn syrup is a huge offender here). The jury is still out on whether a low oxalate diet is the way to go for kidney stones, though you could certainly experiment with reducing oxalates (spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, and cocoa are some examples of foods that are higher in oxalates).

      As far as diabetes, reducing chronic inflammation can be a huge help. Anecdotally, I placed my step-dad (who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes several years ago) on a customized anti-inflammatory diet last year – he was able to cut his dose of Metformin in half within the first week; after a few months or so he was able to discontinue all of his meds (including statins) with his doc’s blessing. His A1c levels hovered around 12 before starting the diet; when he had his A1c retested ~3 months into the diet, it dropped down to 6.5 and continued to improve from there (he also lost 40+ pounds, I believe). I’ve had similar experiences with other clients who’ve struggled with blood sugar levels as well. Reducing chronic inflammation also has many other benefits.

      Hope that helps!

  • I get UTI’s so frequently and I had to resort to antibiotics more often. I had tried everything natural to try and stop it, but nothing has worked better than the Lady Soma Cranberry Concentrate. I’m not getting anything free for writing this, I just wanted to write a review for the girl out there like me that might read these words.

    I tried the Lady Soma Cranberry Concentrate on a whim because my cranberry pills weren’t working, straight d-mannose wasn’t working. I take two anytime I feel even a hint of anything happening and it takes care of it. I also take one after sex. This is amazing and I thank the people out there who make it cuz without it I would have to resort to antibiotics, and now I only have to resort to them in emergencies!

  • I am very susceptible to urinary tract infections. I used to be on daily antibiotics as a preventative, but after a couple years those really started to do a number on my whole body.

    Now I am off antibiotics, and instead I take 2 of the Lady Soma Cranberry Concentrate every morning with my tea. These keep me feeling good and keep the UTIs away! Good stuff!!

    Also, fyi …. on the very infrequent occasion where I feel like a UTI is coming on, I immediately use this product that knocks it out pronto.

  • I am 5 months pregnant and have a uti. I have not been super aggressive with natural methods but the methods I am doing is clearing up symptoms but not the infection. I have been doing garlic, ACV, hibiscus, cranberry, and D-mannose. Urine is clear, no foul smell, blood, or cloudy urine after 4 days but home test strip is still positive for infection. I am REALLY trying to delay antibiotics but don’t want to delay too long as I am pregnant. How long does it take to cure uti naturally? How long should I wait until I give in and get those antibiotics???

    • In my experience, it may take a week or so for it to clear up, but it sounds like you’re on the right track if symptoms are improving. You might also want to look into taking a probiotic to help crowd out the bad bacteria. I like this one for vaginal & urinary tract health. A major upside to taking probiotics during pregnancy is that they can help reduce your chances of testing positive for Group B Strep (and avoid antibiotics during labor) – Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosis are good strains for that (study).

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