I had to deal with with an annoying UTI recently. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I was able to clear it up and I am so glad that it is gone now. I wanted to discuss UTIs and tell you about how I cleared mine up.
*make sure to take note of my medical disclaimer at the end of the post*
Anyone reading this probably knows about them, but lets do a quick rundown anyways…
UTIs are infections of the urinary tract system. The bladder and the urethra are the most common areas to be infected. These infections are a lot more common in women but men can also get them as we have seen now with former president Bill Clinton being hospitalized for one.
Most UTIs are caused by E.coli but they can also be caused by the following bacteria:
- K. Pneumoniae
- P. Mirabilis
- E. Faecalis
- S. Saprophyticus
The symptoms of UTIs can range from very mild to severe. They are as follows:
- Pain when urinating
- Urinary frequency
- Cloudy urine
- Strange or bad smelling urine
- Pelvic pain and/or pressure (women)
If the UTI is left untreated, it can spread to your kidneys and that is really dangerous. If this happens, the UTI has then turned into a kidney infection and may cause the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Flank and back pain
- Blood in urine
- UTI symptoms
Contact your doctor and/or go to the ER immediately if you are having signs of a kidney infection. It can turn into sepsis (like it did for Bill Clinton) which can be fatal.
A diagnosis for a UTI can be made via an in-person medical appointment or virtually/phone. Going in for an appointment typically involves you giving them a urine sample and them seeing if bacteria shows up in it. A virtual/phone appointment will involve you telling them your symptoms.
To get rid of the bacteria that is causing one’s UTI, antibiotics are prescribed. Macrobid is the most common one to be prescribed as it seems to perform very well at killing off E.coli and S. Saprophyticus with less severe side effects. The other antibiotics include Bactrim, Monurol, and Keflex. If you have a kidney infection, you will be treated with heavier duty antibiotics than the aforementioned ones.
Unfortunately, antibiotics can have some icky side effects-short term and long term. Here are some of the side effects that we know about:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hearing issues
- Hair loss
- Stomach cramps
- Heart burn
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Yeast infections
- Issues with indigestion
- Antibiotic resistance
- Possible immune system issues
- Possible increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Possible weight problems down the line when given to very young children
People with UTIs that are able to do their treatment at home are likely to be healed within 2-7 days of starting antibiotics. Sometimes they don’t clear up though and another type of antibiotic will be necessary. You can also ask for your doctor to prescribe you a nausea medication and/or anti-diarrheal if you are struggling with those side effects.
My UTI: How it all started
One day, I went to the bathroom in the morning and noticed a strange smell afterwards. I didn’t think much of it at first.
The next time I went to the bathroom however, the urine was red-like I was on my period. The strange smell was also still there but even stronger. I thought that maybe PCOS finally caught up to me and messed up my period, causing it to come mid-cycle. Because of this, I put on a pad and went about my business.
It was only a little while later that I had to go the bathroom again. This time it was painful! It felt like I was being stabbed by a burning knife. Once I was done going, not only was I crying but I also felt like I had to go again.
I knew something was really wrong so I talked to my husband (a medical professional) and he told me that I probably had a UTI or a mild kidney infection. I was hoping that I would be one of the lucky ones who would have their infection go away on its own so I was tempted to just leave it. My husband told me this was dangerous and I needed to seek medical care.
My time with antibiotic #1
I called the triage nurse line instead of going to the clinic. I told the nurse my symptoms and then I was prescribed the antibiotic, Macrobid.
I was not looking forward to having to take them but I knew that I needed to treat the UTI.
The prescription said I had to take each capsule twice a day for five days. I knew stomach upset would happen so my plan was to take Zofran (an anti-emetic) with them. Making sure to take them with big meals was also part of the plan.
The first three days of taking the antibiotic were not that bad. I still had some stomach upset even with the Zofran but it went away after drinking some red raspberry leaf tea.
The thing that did get me worried was the fact that my symptoms didn’t seem to be going away as much as they were supposed to by then. Yeah, the pain wasn’t as bad but it should have been reduced even more. Also, the smell was still there.
When I got to the fourth day- the diarrhea set in. I have never experienced anything like that in my life. It seemed never ending! I even went through a few pairs of underwear (TMI, I know). Looking back on it, I should have used the anti-diarrheal we had in the cupboard.
The fifth and last day with Macrobid brought the realization that the UTI was not gone. I still had some pressure when I urinated, the urine smelled funny and my at-home test was positive for it. This meant that I had to call the nurse again.
My time with antibiotic #2
Since the first antibiotic failed, I had go in to provide a urine sample. With this, they would be able to figure out which antibiotic I needed to take to kill off the bacteria I had.
Well guess what? The urine analysis showed no bacteria present. Huh?!
I thought that was really strange. I was still prescribed another antibiotic since I was symptomatic though. This time I got one called, Bactrim.
The reviews on this particular antibiotic scared me a little bit. It seemed like it was going to have more and worse side effects than Macrobid. I knew I needed to take it anyways though.
Let me tell you, that first tablet I popped was the last. Holy cow!
Bactrim screwed me up six ways from Sunday. It gave me severe nausea, stomach pain, tight jaw, ringing ears and hallucinations. I had to close my eyes because every time I would open them, I would see some creepy thing in the room. It was truly horrifying.
I called the nurse and told them about my experience with it. She said that it probably wasn’t the right one for me (duh) and they prescribed me another one.
This third antibiotic is not what cleared my UTI though.
How I cleared my painful UTI
I was still experiencing some discomfort while urinating but I was scared to start taking the new antibiotic. Upon doing a lot of research I came across a supplement protocol people have successfully followed to treat their UTIs without antibiotics.
This alternative treatment involves the following supplements and how to use them:
- D-Mannose- This is a type of sugar found in cranberries, peaches, currents and tomatoes. It is said to bind to E.coli in the urinary tract after around 30 minutes and then can be flushed out when a person urinates. To treat a UTI, 1500-2000 mg of the powder is to be taken with a little bit of water. Then you are to wait for 30-45 minutes and drink around 12 ounces of water which will make you have to urinate. This is to be repeated every three hours. To prevent UTIs, people say 1500 mg a day is the right amount.
- Oil of Oregano- This oil is considered to be a natural antibiotic. It has shown to be able to kill bacteria such as E.coli. It comes in just oil and in gel capsules. The dosage that people have found relief with is at least 450 mg a day.
I didn’t have that high of hopes for this treatment but I wanted to try it anyways because antibiotics are not fun. There are various brands that sell D-Mannose in capsules and powders. I decided to go with the powder form because some say it is more powerful.
When it came to the Oil of Oregano, I used to take that a lot so I knew to go with the Puritan’s Pride brand. I have never gotten any side effects from using the gel capsules so I wasn’t worried about how I would respond to taking them.
When those two products came in the mail, I did what many other people did- took the D-Mannose powder (1500 mg) every three hours and took one gel capsule of the Oil of Oregano three times a day (total of 450 mg). Some people said they experienced bloating and loose stools from the D-Mannose powder, but I did not notice any side effects at all.
Only a day and a half into the treatment, I started feeling a good amount of relief. Most of the pressure I felt in my pelvic area was gone and the burning was completely gone. I was super excited about this and of course kept going with the treatment to try to clear it up completely.
Once I got to four days with D-Mannose and Oil of Oregano, all of my symptoms were gone! No more pain, burning, urgency and my urine smelled normal. Success! Just because the symptoms were gone didn’t mean that the infection was gone though. That meant I needed to use the test strip. The result was…
I was elated to see the result because even with the antibiotics, the tests would still show the darkest purple. That means there was a ton of bacteria in my urine.
My maintenance plan will consist of me taking 1,500 mg of the D-Mannose powder a day until the bottle is used up. I probably won’t buy more bottles of it unless I get another UTI because the product is not cheap. The Oil of Oregano gel capsules are something that I will be taking daily though.
I highly recommend the D-Mannose powder from Bulk Supplements if you are interested in trying it.
I am not a medical professional. This post is purely informational and based on my own research. I am not telling you to follow my alternate treatment, I am simply showing you what I did to get relief. I, like others, took a risk with this alternative treatment. It worked for me but it might not work for you.
You are in charge of your own health so proceed at your own risk.
It is recommended that you do consult with your doctor if you are experiencing UTI symptoms though. This is because it is important to get it treated right away. The UTI can rapidly progress into a kidney infection and be fatal.
My UTI was painful and annoying. I hated that the antibiotics had such uncomfortable side effects and the first course didn’t help. My hope is that I don’t get another one and if I do, the at-home treatment will take care of it again.
Have any of you ever had a UTI? What got rid of it?
Thanks for reading!
Affiliate disclaimer: Some of the links may be affiliate links. This means I may get a commission for anything you click on and purchase.
Here is a wonderful site dedicated to UTIs: https://liveutifree.com/
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