Constant Urinary Tract Infections? Could It Be Your Gut?
Do you get frequent urinary tract infections? Chances are it has very little to do with hygiene and a whole lot more to do with how many good bugs and bad bugs that you have in your gut. Now I am not saying that we should give our personal care a miss. Quite the contrary, it is very important to keep clean, but not at the expense of your good guys. Many antimicrobial agents actually kill more good guys in and on us as they do bad. And then the balance is all wrong – we have lost our good soldiers!
Research shows if you have an incorrect balance of good Vs bad, that these bad bacteria then reach the vagina and opening to the urinary tract (the urethra) by migrating out of the body from the colon; because all these areas are so close, they re-colonize in the vagina and urinary tract.
And if you think that of the DNA that makes up who you are, only 10% is actually you and the remaining 90% is made up microorganisms that live in and one you, this problem begins to get very real. In fact, you could say that we are a life support system for bugs!! (Are you feeling a little itchy right now??!!) I like to call these guys "the good, the bad and the UGLY" So doesn't it stand to reason that we should be feeding the good guys and starving out the bad guys?
“How do we do this?” I hear you ask – same same but different! All the good organic food and nontoxic personal care products that we rabbit on about jadeejaja!
A dose of antibiotics is like putting a carpet bomb in your gut – major collateral damage. Now if you need antibiotics, you need antibiotics – it’s handy not to die. But have you ever wondered why thrush rears its ugly head after a course? That’s because the bugs that because thrush are yeasts and are BAD – antibiotics can’t kill yeasts. They only kill bacteria – most of these are many of our GOOD guys. That’s why a course of probiotics is often recommended alongside or after antibiotics. The other thing that tends to happen is that you get sick again after with something else., and that is because our good soldiers also maintain up of 80% of our immune system right behind the gut. So now we need more antibiotics because all of a sudden, we have this urinary tract infection etc. etc. Hamster wheel right there.
So, what is the answer? Probiotics of course! But there are probiotics and there are probiotics. A good health practitioner will be able to recommend which are best for you. We have virtually trillions of different bacteria in and on us so just taking the same strain of probiotic – and only 1 capsule, will be like adding one good solider to a major battle, and the same one every time. What happens if you need snipers and all you are adding are foot soldiers? Get the picture? There are many different varieties of probiotics out there now – some even specific for UTIs and thrush that you utilise as a pessary.
Here are some handy hints to keep our good bugs happy:
· Filter your water – that chlorine that is put in our water to kill water born disease (again handy not to get these illnesses), doesn’t magically stop working when it hits your gut. It’s a chemical and our bodies didn’t evolve to deal with chemicals and it will go right on killing those good bugs of yours once it gets down there.
· Avoid anti-bacterial anything. Hygiene is about good old soap and water and rubbing off that dirt etc. on your hands. The antibacterial agents that they now put in our soap and toothpaste (triclosan is by far the worst) again destroy all our good bugs on our skin, in our mouths and of course in our gut. In 2016, the FDA (U.S.A) banned triclosan as an unmitigated disaster for us and the environment. In Australia it is still allowed but also starting to be questioned whether it actually does more harm than good.
· That is the same for those toxic mouthwashes (like a bomb in your mouth alright – kills everything). If you do want to use a mouthwash, try good old fashioned salt and water- you can add a few drops of peppermint oil for that minty taste that you are familiar with.
· Avoid grain fed meat – random? Not really – Fed lot farmers discovered by chance when they added antibiotics to the animals’ feed (to avoid footrot because these poor cows stand in each other’s poop all day), that they gained more weight. Why? Because the antibiotics kill of the cattle’s good bugs as well and there is now a plethora of research out there to show that when you have the wrong mix of the good, the bad and the ugly, you put on weight.
· If you must use those hand sanitisers, use them sparingly only and use soap and water when able. I always take a flannel with me with added lavender oil etc. Or even baby wipes are better.
If you are confused – and look who isn’t, come and have a chat to the friendly team at HHNHC, we can debug the mystery!