Urinary Conditions

The primary urinary condition associated with frequent antibiotic use is urinary tract infections (UTIs).  Naturopathic practitioners will often assess and treat acute infrequent UTIs differently than chronic persistent UTIs.

Naturopathic Approach
PREVENTION

Urinary health and prevention of urinary symptoms is strongly dependant on proper hygiene and hydration. UTIs, especially chronic ones, are also influenced by lifestyle and diet. (UTIs commonly experienced in menopause may not be dependent on lifestyle and diet as much as the occur due to thinning of the lining of urinary bladder due to hormonal changes therefore the naturopathic approach may be slightly different.)

 

The following tips can assist in preventing urinary symptoms and conditions:

  • Adequate daily hydration includes

  • drinking plenty of fluids

  • ensuring that your diet does not include too many dry foods and that there are adequate fruits and vegetables in the diet.

 

Urinary hygiene includes the following:

  • Wiping front to back when urinating

  • Urinating after sex

  • Not using synthetic lubricants during intercourse

  • Avoidance of tight clothing

  • Avoidance of synthetic underwear

  • Avoiding bubble baths and other such skin allergens

  • Urinating frequently, no holding

  • Ensuing healthy personal hygiene

ASSESSMENT & NATUROPATHIC DIAGNOSIS

UTIs, at any age, are often treated with antibiotics.  With a detailed assessment it is possible to decrease the frequency of infections and the need for antibiotics.

 

There are many factors that can cause or worsen urinary symptoms and conditions including:

  • Dietary and lifestyle factors. Diets high in sugar and dehydration can increase the susceptibility of UTIs or cystitis or can delay recovery.  Food intolerances can cause symptoms that mimic a UTI or cystitis.

  • Improper hygiene

  • Inflammatory conditions and fungal (candida) infections can mimic typical urinary tract infections. It is important to distinguish between the type of infection and the cause before resorting to antibiotics.

  • Stress and other emotional states

  • Personal care products including cleaning products and menstrual products.

  • Over-the-counter medications and/or prescription medications

  • Structural changes in the bladder due to surgeries, the aging process and/or posture.

Naturopathic practitioners are able to assess both acute and chronic urinary symptoms through that naturopathic assessment and diagnosis process.  

    Key Points                                

​The following may be helpful in preventing chronic urinary tract infections:

1. Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) may be an effective prophylaxis in the treatment of recurrent UTIs in young and middle-aged women.” [3.1]  Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) works by preventing the adhesion of bacteria to mucosal surface of the bladder, preventing infections.” [3.2]


2. Probiotics can be beneficial for preventing recurrent UTIs in women; they also have a good safety profile.” [3.3]

3. Zea mays [3.27]

4. Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) has been reported to have diuretic, urinary antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties and may provide symptomatic relief and shorter illness duration when used in an acute UTI. [3.28] [3.29]

5. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) and horse radish (Armoracia rusticana) have been shown to be effective and safe in the prevention and treatment of UTIs. Nasturtium has been shown to have antibiotic activities. [3.30] [3.31] [3.32] [3.33]

6. Urinary Hygiene

7. Adequate Hydration

NATUROPATHIC TREATMENT

Naturopathic treatment is individualized and dependent on determining the cause of the symptoms.

 

It may include:

 

  • Diet & Lifestyle: Modifications to diet and lifestyle are often part of the treatment regimen. Dietary factors that have been shown to be effective in the treatment and/or prevention of UTIs include ensuring adequate hydration [3.20], reducing coffee [3.18] consumption and sugar [3.19], and limiting foods high in yeast and mold.

  • Medicinal Foods: Foods that have medicinal properties and that may be helpful include: fermented foods [3.21], cranberries and cranberry juice [3.22], and green tea [3.23].

  • Probiotics may be a first step in regulating the UM so as to reduce the risk of or as a treatment for certain urinary diseases” [3.9]

  • D-mannose can be an effective aid in acute cystitis management and also a successful prophylactic agent in a selected population” [3.7] [3.8]

  • Herbs that have antimicrobial properties and may be helpful in treating UTIs, either as a standalone treatment or in combination with antibiotics include, Barberry (Berberis vulgaris), Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) [3.22], Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi), Coptis chinensis, Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) [3.13] [3.16] [3.17], and Tropaelum majus

  • Thyme (Thymus maroccanus) essential oil can be an effective treatment against E. coli. [3.14] [3.15]

  • Homeopathics such as Cantharis [3.24], Sarsaparilla [3.25] and Staphysagria [3.26] have been shown to be helpful in some cases.

  • Acupuncture [3.10] reduced the recurrence rate among cystitis-prone women to half the rate among untreated women.” [3.11] [3.12]

It is always best to work with your naturopathic practitioner or other trained health professional to determine the best treatment option.

Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Committee Members

Dr. Iva Lloyd, ND WNF President (Canada)

Dr. Adele Pelteret (South Africa)

Erika Brajnik (Slovenia)

Dr. Jillian Stansbury (USA)

Dr. Kimberley Ramberan, ND (Atrium Innovations)

Luisa Nuernberg Losso, Nat., MPH (Brazil) 

Dr. Paul Saunders, ND (Canada)

Poorna Menon (Bastyr student-volunteer)

Dr. Rahim Moledina, ND (Canada)

Sarah Brenchley, Naturopath (New Zealand)

Tina Hausser, Heilpraktiker (Spain)

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