Cutting Sugar for UTI
Jay | 12:31
"I said, I want a total flip of my diet. Maybe something in my diet is causing this."
Read more about this story:
Chronic Urinary Tract Infection A Glimmer of Hope for Those Battling Recurrent UTI
Urinary Tract Infection UTI Sugar Bach Flower Remedy Diet Probiotics Lifestyle
I'm 47 years old. I'm from Southern India. I am a working woman. I have had several health issues in the last 8 to 9 years, but the one thing that I would definitely want to mention is my Urinary Tract Infection. It's called the UTI I menopaused very early in life - late 39, early forties. The transition was quite easy. It wasn't very difficult. I did not have any physical issues or emotional issues at all. The only thing I had was probably a few hot flashes through the day, but that was very manageable. A couple of years later, I developed recurrent urinary infection. Every time I went in and checked and the Doctors would say that I would need an antibiotic. So I would go for a urine culture, and it would show positive with some kind of bacteria and they would put me on some antibiotics. So, this was happening about once or twice a year and I would be okay for about 5 to 6 months after the antibiotics and then the next bout would happen.
About 3 to 4 years back, I was 44-45 years old and it started becoming more frequent. I would get an infection every month. I would finish a course of medication and in about four or five days, I would have another bout of infection. So the doctors felt that I should be probed and they did a test where they put a tube in and they checked, if there was any blockage inside, which was causing this recurrent UTI. I thought it could be related to hygiene issues, so I tried my best - used a wash to clean up, changed my undergarments a couple of times a day. I even thought it could be something like wearing tight jeans. So I stopped wearing any tight fitting clothes. This went on... I tried and it still wouldn't stop. I was informed about cranberry tablets. They said that it wouldn't help with the UTI as such, but there's no harm in having it. But it's something that you should have every day for more than a year, for it to be effective. So I started on a cranberry tablet - two tablets, every day. It did help, but my infection would surface again and again and then what happened was the intensity of the UTI was so much that, I would start to bleed. And it was extremely painful for about 24 hours when the bout was intense. It was so, so painful. You know, I would dread going out, and would have to just lay in bed, be very close to the toilet and I would have to use it every few minutes. And then the doctor felt that there was no other option but to put me on a long term antibiotic. So they started me on Niftran, twice a day for six months to begin with. And the doctors felt that for six months, if I showed improvement and if I didn't have a UTI, then they would think about the next step. And, this was in 2015 August. For six months, I had my course and did not have another infection at all. Then, the Doctor tapered and brought the dosage down to once a day and then I continued for another six months like that. So in total, I had one year of antibiotic and at the end of the once a day dosage period, I went back to him and he said, "Okay, probably we can stop," and the most unbelievable thing happened. I stopped it and within four days, I got a UTI. The intensity was the same. Every symptom was absolutely the same. Nothing had changed, and that was it for me, I just could not take this anymore.
So I went back to my Urologist and I told him, "I am not willing to go on with this kind of treatment anymore. " We did an ultrasound scan, and he felt there was nothing like a stone or something blocking my Urinary Tract. So I decided I'll do a complete lifestyle change. So, in sync with my Urologist and Gastroenterologist, I sat them down and I said, "See,I want a total flip of my diet. Maybe something in my diet is causing this." This came from me. The doctors actually wanted me to continue with my antibiotic. But I put a full stop and said, "I cannot go on with this forever. We need to figure out how I can change." As we were analyzing and I was talking to my Gastro and Urologist, I realized that I was eating a lot of sugary foods. I love dessert and anything that is sweet. My son was at that point in time, studying in Singapore, and I would visit him every two months. Most of the times I visited there, I would have an infection. And as I was going through the process and the things that I was eating, I realized that I was eating a lot of sugary foods, especially when I travel, because I wanted to try every exotic desert that was possibly available out in the market. In Singapore, my favorite dessert is frozen yogurt ice cream, and I would not eat just one cup or two cups, I would eat an entire bowl, probably about half a kilo of the ice cream! So, what had happened was the bacteria in my gut had just collapsed. The good bacteria could not survive with that kind of sugar intake. We realized that my sugar [intake] was my biggest problem. I decided that I would go off sugar completely. No antibiotics to take care of the infection that I last had. "I'm just gonna go off sugar, change my lifestyle and let's see, drink a lot of water and take the cranberry tablet." So I started drinking a lot of water every hour, probably two glasses of water to begin with, and I stopped all sugary food, and an amazing thing happened. I just stopped getting UTI and the UTI that I had also disappeared without an antibiotic. That's when I realized that I was causing my own UTI. And this was partly because of my early menopause that had caused the my anal and vaginal lining to become so thin that the bacteria was able to proliferate and go up the bladder. So, the doctors felt that I should be extremely careful. When I have desserts, I should make sure that I have small portions, not that I cannot have [them]. I still do eat dessert, but in small quantities and do not indulge in them. Touch wood. It's been close to a year now, and I have not had an UTI and I have been extremely careful. I stick to my routine just to make sure that I don't overdo my sugar intake. And that has been the biggest change I've ever done in my life, because I feel a lot more energy, when I don't have sugary food and my gut is much better. But by stopping sugar most of my symptoms have disappeared, not just my urinary infection, I also have wheat intolerance. Even those problems have disappeared.
A couple of other things I wish to add is that to help the gut bacteria; I realized that probiotics or prebiotic either of those, really help in developing the good bacteria in the stomach, which help fight any kind of infection. Whether it is a UTI or whether it is a stomach infection, it definitely helps. So, while I had the UTI issue, I stopped the sugary food and also started having probiotics to help the good bacteria develop and get stronger. I also want to add that Urinary Tract Infection causes a lot of anxiety and fear. Only people who have gone through this will know the kind of anxiety and fear it could cause, because when getting out of home or while traveling, the slightest irritation can, you know, upset the whole balance. So, I realized that there was something called the 'Bach remedy', a stress remedy. And although I did not have an actual infection, I would panic that I might get one and that would make me palpitate and I would be very, very scared. I was talking to a Bach therapist and he said, "Just have four drops of this Bach stress remedy and your fear and anxiety would just subside." And that was magical. It was amazing. In the first month or so I would, you know, at least twice a day or once a day, have four drops just to make sure that I'm not having the anxiety of an attack. And right now, I don't have it at all. If I do get the feeling that I might get one, [it was] without any symptoms, just an anxiety, I would have four drops and the anxiety would just go away. And that has also seriously helped me in combating this fear of U.T.I.
This is something that I would love to share with people. A lot of women these days come and ask me, "You know, I've heard that you have had U.T.I. And what did you do? " I have helped so many people get over the U.T.I issue without an antibiotic. I really do hope this helps. Thank you.