Urinary tract infections (UTIs), once easily curable, now affect millions and are much more challenging to treat, posing serious health risks. A July 13th New York Times article highlights the UTI treatment challenges, which spawn primarily from drug-resistant antibiotics. E. coli bacteria is the most common cause of UTIs, and it’s estimated that approximately one third of E. coli strains are resistant to Bactrim, the most common antibiotic treatment, and one fifth are resistant to the other 5 most common treatment drugs.
Women, who during reproductive years are 50 times more likely to contract a UTI than men due to the anatomical proximity of the urethra to the rectum, are commonly going back for 2 and 3 rounds of antibiotic treatments, and are even being admitted into the hospital for intravenous antibiotics. UTIs that go untreated have the ability to travel into the kidneys and even the blood, which can lead to kidney infection and sepsis.
Takeaway: What’s the solution? If you think you might have a UTI, taking the first antibiotic prescribed without investigating further is not recommended. Be sure to have a urine culture performed, as early as possible, to identify the type of bacteria causing your UTI. This will help know how to fight it and how severe the infection is. There are other health complications, some that are specifically gut related like diverticulosis and diverticulitis, that can manifest themselves as UTIs, but are not. So, a urine culture is crucial.
Second, if you do in fact have a UTI, try natural remedies first, assuming you’ve caught the infection early enough. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily, eliminating all sugar from your diet, and taking D-mannose are Gutbliss recommended strategies to treat UTIs. For more natural UTI remedies, check out Dr. Chutkan’s book, The Microbiome Solution.