UTIs or bladder infections are one of those things I wish more of my clients knew could be easily treated
by Naturopathic medicine. The majority of women will have a UTI in their lifetime. It is not uncommon
in childhood, where the typical symptom is frequent urination or accidents in children who have been
out of diapers for years, and the typical culprit are bubble baths or poor bathroom hygiene. Entering
into adulthood, they symptoms are more likely burning or pain on urination as well as urinary frequency,
and the most likely cause is dehydration or sexual relations. Post menopause, we start an era where the
causes include sexual relations, dehydration, or fragile tissues due to lower estrogen levels. In a hospital
or long term care setting, catheters and adult diapers can also trigger a UTI. As we age, the symptoms
once again become less obvious – frequent urination, incontinence, and mental confusion.

Prevention is the best method for handling a UTI, which includes hydration, good hygiene, appropriate
probiotics, vitamin C, avoiding bubble baths, and urinating before and after intimate relations. If these
simple strategies are not enough, it is time to talk to the NDs! Other preventative strategies may
include individual-specific homeopathics, low dose estrogen cream, and D-mannose. For treatment we
have a number of wonderful herbs to work with: Arctostaphylos uva ursi (bearberry – a lovely little plant
related to blueberries that grows around here), Juniperus communis (juniper – also grows well in these
parts) and Barosema betulina (which naturally grows in South Africa) are some of our favorites. I have
often found that the infection will respond very quickly to herbs – symptom improvement within hours
and resolution within days.

Recurrent UTIs can be very troublesome for some people, so first we try to identify the cause. If it is not
obvious and the infections recur very regularly a few weeks after a previously treated infection, we are
likely looking at a chronic infection that is not getting completely eradicated. Deeper investigation then
needs to be done to repair the bladder wall, making it more resistant to infection. This can be done
through appropriate antimicrobial herbs in low doses and supplements to uncover microbes that are
hiding in these little bacterial villages called biofilms. Acupuncture can also be helpful in these cases.

Simple or complex, UTIs always have a solution. If you need information and advice, we are always here
to help! Feel free to send an email to info@tbaynaturopathic.ca or call us at (807)683-7287.

Dr. Tracy Cook, ND