Urinary tract infections and nutrition

Urinary tract infections and nutritionRead also... Useful products about this

Summary

Urinary tract infections , diet as well as some rules of hygiene of life can help to reduce symptoms, see even avoid recurrences.

People at risk are mostly women who are sexually active, with a infection rate 50 times higher than in men. The same goes for pregnant women because of the pressure exerted by the baby on the urinary system, but also the hormonal changes inherent in the pregnancy. Many causes can be related to this very debilitating problem, which can become serious if left untreated: urinary or gynecological malformation, neurological bladder dysfunctions, infections of neighboring organs. All the obstacles that prevent the flow of urine are factors of urinary tract infection: urinary tract complications, stones, bladder neck disease, prostate disease in men, stricture of the urethra. The urinary tract infection poses many risks and it is necessary to consult a doctor, in front of any symptom. In parallel with any treatment, diet as well as some rules of hygiene of life can help to reduce symptoms, see even avoid recurrences.

Drink enough

  • Bacterial proliferation can be one of the causes of a urinary tract infection: by drinking water, at least 1.5 liters of water per day, the urination will be more numerous, preventing the microbes to develop in the bladder.
  • You can vary the pleasures by also drinking herbal teas beneficial to regulate the problems of urinary infections. Bearberry, horsetail, goldenrod, birch leaf and bilberry are anti-infectious. The heather, the dandelion leaf, the raspberry leaf and again the horsetail and the goldenrod are rather diuretic. Think of marshmallow tea, meadowsweet, plantain, artichoke or nettle leaf, which is more anti-inflammatory: nature offers us a variety of flavors to discover.

Rebalancing the intestinal flora ** 

  • Urinary infections are often related to destabilization of the intestinal flora, where some excess bacteria tend to migrate into the bladder. A good fiber intake, which is especially found in raw vegetables, fruits and whole grains, can help to restore a good balance in this flora. Think also about the probiotics contained in lacto-fermented products such as sauerkraut, capers, cucumbers, carrots, onions, beets, turnips, daikon, radish, green beans, cauliflower and white cabbage, Ume plum, curd milk, kefir milk and kumys.
  • An overly acid diet can destroy a part of the flora, thus favoring its destabilization. Avoid as much as possible refined products such as sugar *, white bread, white pasta and white flour. The consumption of red meat, animal fats and excitants contained in alcohol, coffee, soft drinks (based on guarana, synthetic taurine, colas) should be limited. On the vegetable side, do not forget to peel the tomato and confine yourself to vegetables and fruits containing no oxalic acid (asparagus, sorrel, rhubarb, spinach, chard).

Food with many virtues

  • Overuse garlic and onion to prepare your dishes: by the multiple components they contain, they have an antiseptic action on the urinary tract.
  • The turnips have a diuretic effect, allowing to dissolve some stones.
  • Think of leeks in vinaigrette or pan-fried: they are full of alkaline salts and are also antiseptic and diuretic.
  • The horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), in salad for example, associated with the lamb's lettuce, is a root rich in essential oils. These have an action on urinary infections, coupled with bacterial activity. The European Commission has recognized its effectiveness as an adjunctive treatment to urinary tract infections.
  • On the fruit side, treat yourself with pineapple or papaya: they have anti-inflammatory effects on the urinary tract.
  • Cranberry berries *** or cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) reduce the binding of germs such as Escherichia coli to the walls of the urinary tract. This action is mainly due to the proanthocyanidins of type A (or PAC) and flavonoids that they contain. By attaching to the tip of the adhesin filaments, these PACs prevent the bacteria from clinging to the internal walls of the organism: the bacteria are then simply eliminated during micturition, their harmfulness being no longer able to express themselves. AFSSA also said that it is necessary to consume daily 36 mg of proanthocyanidins (PAC) of cranberry, in order to derive a health benefit.

Foods rich in D-mannose **** 

D-mannose, following research, has demonstrated its ability to bind to bacteria, thus promoting their elimination in urine: it will function as a decoy by attracting E. coli bacteria. It is found naturally in fruits such as cranberry, pineapple, apple and kiwi.

Fight against constipation 

Constipation is a recurrent cystitis factor, one of the most common forms of urinary tract infections, because stool stagnation in the rectum promotes microbial growth. A diet rich in green vegetables, fruits and fiber, coupled with physical activity and meals at fixed times can help redress the balance.

In the case of chronic urinary tract infections,perhaps would it be possible to review the whole lifestyle, both on the nutritional and emotional side, in order to determine a possible imbalance that could be the cause of these recurrent infections.


* Pizzorno JE Jr, Murray Michael T (Ed). Textbook of Natural Medicine, Churchill Livingstone, États-Unis, 1999, p. 1183-1189.
** Kontiokari T, Nuutinen M, Uhari M. Dietary factors affecting susceptibility to urinary tract infection. Pediatr Nephrol. 2004 Apr;19(4):378-83. Epub 2004 Feb 24
*** Stothers, L : A randomized trial toevaluate effectiveness and costeffectiveness of naturopathic cranberryproducts as prophylaxis against urinary
tract infection in women. Can J Urol 9(3):1558, 2002
**** MICHAELS E. ET AL., Effect od D-mannose and D-glucose on Escherichia coli bacteriuria in rats. Urol. Res. 1983; 11 :97-102.

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Marie-Christine LANGGUTH CUEVA
Naturopathe - Iridologue - Nutrithérapie
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