cranberry

  1. Natural cure for UTI

    UTIs don't always need meds

    It's textbook mainstream medicine: At the first sign of a urinary tract infection, doctors dash off a prescription for antibiotics, even when there can be natural cure for UTI. Most mainstream docs do this so often they could probably accomplish it blindfolded.

    Well, it's time to take that blindfold off and toss the faulty textbook into the trashcan -- because you don't always need an antibiotic to beat a UTI.

    In many cases, your own immune system can be a natural cure for UTI and wipe out the infection without the help of drugs -- and a new study out of the Netherlands shows it works so often that many women can benefit from a wait-and-see approach rather than antibiotics at the first sign of trouble.

    Of 176 Dutch women with UTI symptoms, 51 agreed to hold off on taking the drugs for up to a week to see what would happen. A week later, more than half -- 28, to be exact -- still hadn't touched the meds.

    And of them, 20 (71 percent) said their symptoms had improved or even disappeared completely, according to the study in BMC Family Practice.

    What I find interesting about this study is that it didn't test the antibiotics against a placebo. It tested drugs against the raw healing power of the human body -- and it more than held its own in the face of infection.

    At the same time, I can't help but wonder how much more effective the drug-free natural cure for UTI would have been if the women in the study had been given a boost with some of the friendly bacteria known to fight the germs that cause urinary infections.

    That's the approach I use in my own clinic, and it works so well that in most cases I don't need to prescribe antibiotics at all.

    And I'm not the only one to find the natural approach works.

    It's backed by science -- including research I told you about last year that found probiotic supplements work about as well as antibiotics in women with recurring urinary tract infections. (Read more about the study for free right here.)

    Along with proven probiotic supplements, I often recommend cranberry as a natural cute for UTI -- both to prevent recurring infections and to fight them off when they do strike.

    Just be sure you use pure cranberry extract or cranberry capsules, as many cranberry drinks contain little actual cranberry and loads of other juices (or, even worse, added sugars).

  2. Stop taking antibiotics for UTI

    Getting it wrong on UTIs

    Urinary tract infections are one of the most common complaints doctors see -- and yet they keep getting the treatment wrong with antibiotics with UTI.

    Instead of reaching first for the drug-free solutions that have proven to work, many doctors go straight for the prescription pad and antibiotics.

    But you know the story on those drugs by now. The more you take them, the higher the risk bacteria will learn to resist -- and that means a higher risk of recurrence or even other types of infections altogether.

    The latest proof of this is in the Archives of Internal Medicine, where a study on 33,336 men treated with antibiotics for UTI finds that patients who take the drugs for the longest periods of time have the highest risk of recurrence over a one-year period.

    Even worse, patients given two or more weeks of antibiotics for UTI also had a higher risk of infection with C. diff than patients who took the drugs for a week or less.

    That's because the drugs wipe out the good bacteria along with the bad -- including the friendly stomach bugs that can keep C. diff in check. But since the C. diff itself is already drug-resistant, it survives -- and you get sick.

    That's why it's essential to prevent infections without the use of antibiotics for UTI whenever possible -- starting with the traditional remedy, cranberry. Some doctors will still dismiss cranberry as "folk medicine," but it's been backed by modern research.

    In one study, 500mg of cranberry extract taken each day was just as effective as the antibiotic trimethoprim in women with a history of recurring urinary infections. Just be sure to stick to pure cranberry, ideally an extract like the one in the study, and not sugar-sweetened cranberry drinks.

    Probiotics can also help, and in one recent study supplements of these gut-friendly bacteria cut the number of infections in half in women prone to the disease.

    Speak to a holistic physician about which strains may be appropriate for you.

  3. Probiotics work as well as drugs at warding off UTIs

    Probiotics work almost as well as antibiotics for preventing urinary tract infections and come with none of the risks, according to the latest research.

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