I have a patient, an 86-year-old woman, who gets recurring urinary tract infections (UTI’s),¬†each one seems to be worse than the one before. I told her I’d do some digging around to see if I could come up with some suggestions, since her doctor seems to brush her off and keeps raising her dosage of antibiotics. I came across an interesting article written by Susan Lark, M.D. Dr. Lark is one of the foremost authorities in the field’s of women’s health care, family practice, and complementary and alternative medicine, and writes a monthly newsletter called Women’s Wellness Today, and in the current (August) issue, addresses that problem; recurrent UTI’s.

Dr. Lark says many doctors tend to dismiss UTI’s in women because, compared to a man’s anatomy, a woman’s urethral opening is closer to the common fecal bacteria E. coli, and her shorter urethra makes it easier for those bacteria to get into her bladder. But, according to Dr. Lark, there’s a problem with this logic. In this article, Dr. Lark is answering a letter from a patient who gets recurring UTI’s and wants to know if there are any natural therapies to stop these episodes.

“Your urinary tract (comprised of the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys) has built-in defenses that are supposed to protect you against UTI’s. And, research has shown that 80 percent of recurrent UTI’s really aren’t recurrent at all-each infection is completely new and has different strains of bacteria.” Dr. Lark continues ” women who get a lot of bladder infections have a particular strain of E. coli that is better able to adhere to a naturally slippery bladder lining. Furthermore, some traditional treatments make urine too acidic, which causes the urine to sting and inflame the bladder, making it more susceptible to infection. Also, antibiotics not only knock out the bad bacteria causing the infection, but also wipe out the friendly bacteria,making the existing imbalance even worse.”

Solutions: 1). Increase intake of anti-inflammatory compounds. Cranberry and blueberry juice or vitamin C have shown great promise. Juices contain proanthocyanidins, powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients, and also have the ability to make the urinary tract’s cells too slippery for bacteria to attach. Vitamin C is a powerful immune system booster that’s particularly effective for UTI’s because it’s excreted in the urine. Take standardized blueberry extract capsules that contain a minimum of 1.5 percent anthocyanins, one capsule twice daily. Along with blueberry capsules, take 2,000 to 6,000 mg of mineral-buffered vitamin C daily in divided doses during the acute phase of the infection. After the infection has cleared, reduce the dose to 1,000 mg daily. 2). Alkalinize your body. Reduce intake of red meat, pork, and dairy (acids), and sugars like cane and refined. Increase vegetable consumption you can also take sodium citrate and potassium citrate to alkalinize your urine. Adding a half teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of purified water will help to alkalinize the whole body. 3.) Take probiotics-take a product that contains live probiotics in a formulation that can get them to the colon in good condition.

Dr. Lark blogs every week on topics such as menopause, hormone balance, safe weight-loss, and all natural beauty products and solutions. Go to blog.drlark.com

Honey, the stuff of bees, is an incredible edible treat. An article in the  August issue of Scottsdale Health magazine, written by Michelle Glickman, cites these fun facts:

-Honey doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels as quickly as sugar, meaning less of an insulin spike

-Honey is an antiseptic. It can help heal a wound faster, and help with the appearance of scars

-Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water

-If you apply raw honey to a burn, it will help it heal faster. It works better than any other modern medicine methods

-Honey never spoils. Honey that was found in King Tut’s tomb was still edible.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.