A Naturopathic Approach to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and the association with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)
Over 50% of women will suffer from a urinary tract infection (UTI) during their lifetime. One-third to one-half of these women will have a recurrent UTI within one year. Recurrent UTI’s are defined as three or more UTI’s in a 12 month period (1). The most commonly used conventional therapies for these conditions are antibiotics. There is increased awareness and concern about antibiotic resistance with repetitive use of these medicines. This growing concern has created an interest in alternative treatments for UTI’s. The purpose of this article is discuss this conditions, the causes, and alternative treatments for cure and further prevention.
This article will also illuminate the link between UTI’s and an imbalanced gut microbiome, otherwise known as dysbiosis. Gastrointestinal conditions associated with dysbiosis such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) are common in those with bladder infections.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)
The Link to Common Gastrointestinal Conditions such as IBS and SIBO
To read more about IBS and SIBO, please see my original article here - SIBO article). The underlying root cause for both IBS and SIBO is dysbiosis, or an imbalanced microflora in the gastrointestinal tract. There has been an increased correlation with these gastrointestinal conditions and UTI’s (10). An article by Ojetti et al. has identified that the treatment of constipation from SIBO may avoid the reinfection of E. coli in the urinary tract from the rectal reservoir (11). The treatment of IBS and/or SIBO is mentioned in my article referenced above.
Conclusion: A Well Rounded Approach to UTI’s
There are numerous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of natural substances for prevention and treatment of UTI’s. The most studied of these are discussed in this article including: cranberry, uva ursi, d-mannose and probiotics. The increased prevalence of UTI’s occurring concurrently with conditions such as IBS and SIBO suggests the need to address these gastrointestinal ailments in conjunction with using the above researched therapies for UTI’s. A well rounded approach for UTI’s which addresses dysbiosis in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as using the above natural UTI remedies, shows promise for treatment and long-term prevention of UTI’s.
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