Treat and Prevent UTIs Without Drugs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs), which are infections anywhere along the urinary tract including the bladder and kidneys, are the second most common type of infection in the United States. (1) These infections can be caused by poor hygiene, impaired immune function, the overuse of antibiotics, the use of spermicides, and sexual intercourse. The most common cause, accounting for about 90 percent of all cases, is the transfer of E. coli bacteria from the intestinal tract to the urinary tract.

For those of you who have experienced a UTI, there isn’t much you wouldn’t do to avoid another one. While I personally have never had a UTI, my patients have told me how the pain, burning, nausea, and even bloody urine can be debilitating, and for those who get chronic UTIs, the fear of infection can be enough to prevent engagement in any activities that could trigger one. And for those who get them frequently, sometimes a specific cause cannot even be pinpointed. This can be frustrating and scary.

Fortunately, there are a few methods of natural treatment and prevention that have worked extremely well for my patients, to the point where they no longer worry about getting a UTI. These treatments don’t require a prescription, are inexpensive, and completely drug-free. While your doctor may not know about them, I hope this article will help you completely avoid UTIs – or at least significantly reduce their frequency and severity.

Standard Treatment

Doctors typically use antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections, and the type and duration depend on your health condition and the type of bacterium found in your urine. (2) Commonly prescribed antibiotics are Bactrim, Amoxicillin, Ampicilin, and Cipro. These antibiotics are often unnecessary and may cause more problems in the future by destroying the beneficial bacteria that prevents pathogenic bacteria from growing. Long term use of antibiotics can also lead to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria like E. coli developing in the gut, and a UTI caused by these bacteria will be even more challenging to eliminate and can cause more serious infections like a bladder or kidney infection.

Furthermore, antibiotics do very little to prevent the infection from happening in the first place. So while drugs may be an easy fix for the short term, in the long run you will continue to be susceptible to UTIs, and these infections may be worse than if you had never taken a course of antibiotics in the first place!

Natural Treatment and Prevention

D-Mannose

D-Mannose is by far the most effective supplement for both treatment and prevention of UTIs. Similar to glucose in structure, D-mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in a number of fruits, including apples, blueberries, and cranberries. (3) This sugar is the reason that cranberry juice has been commonly recommended as a UTI treatment, though it is far easier to get the recommended dosage from a supplement. D-mannose is effective because it attaches to E. coli bacteria, causing them to stick to each other and preventing them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. (4) The bacteria can then easily be eliminated from the body during urination.

D-mannose, even in large quantities, does not cause any adverse side effects, and cannot be metabolized the way other sugars can, meaning this supplement is safe for diabetics and others who are avoiding sugar for any reason. This treatment is also safe for children and the elderly. Symptom relief can be seen as quickly as the following day, and most symptoms are generally resolved after 48 hours of treatment. Additionally, taking D-mannose during a time where you feel you are most prone to UTIs, such as prior to intercourse or during prolonged antibiotic treatment, can help prevent a UTI from ever developing in the first place. This is especially helpful for those who are prone to chronic UTIs and want to be able to engage in normal life activities without fear of infection.

The typical dose of D-mannose for UTI treatment is 500 mg, in capsule or powder form, taken in a glass of water or juice every two to three hours for five days. (5) It is a good practice to continue taking the supplement even after symptoms have diminished to ensure complete elimination of the bacteria in the urinary tract. This dose can also be taken as a preventative, or prophylactic, method.

While there have not been any peer reviewed research to support the effectiveness of D-mannose in treating or preventing UTIs, clinical and anecdotal experience suggests it is highly effective for the majority of infections, both acute and chronic. Some of my patients who have used D-mannose as a UTI treatment method have even described its effects as “miraculous” – so it’s definitely worth a shot!

Alternative treatments for chronic UTIs

One caveat with D-mannose is that it is only effective with UTIs caused by E. coli infection. While this accounts for about 90% of cases, there are 10% that will not benefit from this treatment. In this case, supplements that help disrupt biofilms can be useful in treating and preventing UTIs.

Biofilms are an accumulation of microorganisms and their extracellular products forming structured communities attached to a surface such as the lining of the urogenital tract. (6) The development of a biofilm can make infections extremely hard to treat, since they commonly return shortly after treatment is stopped. The antibacterial resistance of pathogenic biofilms is one of the major reasons why those who get a UTI are highly susceptible to getting more in the future – if the biofilm is not completely eliminated, the infection will eventually return at some point.

This is why the use of biofilm disruptors can be helpful for preventing the recurrence of chronic UTIs. (7) The biofilm disruptors that I recommend to my patients are InterFase Plus from Klaire Labs or Biofilm Defense from Kirkman. These contain specialized enzymes to disrupt the biofilm matrix embedding potential of pathogens, and dissolve the sugar and fibrin components of most pathogenic biofilms. By destroying the biofilms, the recurrence of UTIs despite proper hygiene can be reduced. (8)

Lauricidin is another supplement that may be helpful in treating UTIs, particularly those that are caused by bacteria other than E. coli. Lauricidin (a proprietary form of monolaurin) has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity, and is specific against pathogenic bacteria so it won’t disrupt beneficial bacteria in the gut. It is highly effective at combating gram positive bacteria in the families of Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Listeria, Bacillus, and Clostridium. (9) It works by disturbing the integrity of the bacterial cell membrane, blocking replication and making it easier for the immune system to destroy the pathogen. Lauricidin is only helpful, however, for UTIs not caused by E. coli, which is gram negative and has a different kind of outer cell membrane than gram positive bacteria.

Nattokinase is another enzyme that has been shown to dissolve biofilms. (10) Produced by the bacteria found in the fermented food natto, this enzyme is proteolytic and can help break down the fibrin proteins that maintain the structure of biofilms. Because of its fibrin-breaking ability, it’s important that nattokinase supplements are not taken by people with bleeding disorders, or by people who are taking Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin, or any other drug that influences blood clotting, unless supervised by a physician.

Apolactoferrin (or lactoferrin) is one more supplement that I recommend to my patients with recurring UTIs. This multifunctional protein Lactoferrin is a component of the immune system with antimicrobial activity, and is part of the innate defense, mainly found in secretions and mucosal surfaces. (11) Lactoferrin has been shown to block pathogenic biofilm development by binding to iron and causing the bacteria to “wander” across surfaces instead of forming cell clusters and biofilms. (1213) One study found that the amount of E. coli bacteria in the kidneys and bladder of mice was significantly reduced 24 hours later by oral lactoferrin treatment, compared to a control group. (14) More research is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness of lactoferrin in treating UTIs, but I believe it is worth trying, especially if dealing with chronic UTIs.

Now I’d like to hear from you – have you tried using any of these treatments? Are there other methods that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Barbara says

    D-mannose is definitely a miracle……..I have not had a problem since I tried it three years ago. If I feel a UTI coming on, I use it immediately. Previous to using d-mannose I was experiencing a UTI every two to three months. But try and convince an MD; they just roll their eyes after I tell them I purchase it at a health food store.

      • Kim says

        I purchase it at the local health food store. But pay attention to the dosage. Herein they recommend 500mg. My regular capsule only contains 25mg D-Mannose and cranberry extract, etc. However, I presently have symptons again. That being bloat, pain, and cloudy urine. I believe this may have been brought on by a 21 Day Detox that I was trying. About a week in the kidney pain started and that has been major pain when urinating and my urine has become VERY cloudy which indicates much bacteria. :(. Exactly what I was trying to prevent. I am beginning to think I have food allergies that may be bringing to on since I get infection all too frequently and my recent several months of avoiding white flour and sugar showed a complete cessation to all and any symptons. But I fell off the wagon after Christmas. Guess I’d better get back on.

        • Kat says

          I’m not a doctor, but cloudy urine and kidney pain I don’t believe are from detoxing. I’ve done a lot of detoxing, and have never had kidney pain except occasionally with heavy metal detoxing administered by my doctor. You may have an advanced UTI infection. I would consider getting medical attention asap. In the meantime, consider taking more D-Mannose. I take 1 tsp of D-Mannose powder (recommended dose on bottle, which is 2g of D-Mannose) (or equivalent in capsules) 2-3 times per day, or even 4 times with acute symptoms. And I drink a lot of water. Something else that helps me is vaginal care/support probiotics, which also contain special strains of good bacteria to help the urinary tract. Vitamin Code (the one I prefer) and Ultimate Flora — both brands make ones that contain 50 billion bacteria. Google and look at the images to see what the packages look like. Available at Whole Foods in fridge. But a neighborhood supplement store might have them cheaper.

    • chantal says

      I would like to have some advise about my chronic bladderinfection. I already feel like i tried everything. I have it fot two years now every day! I have to urinate constantly. I have a six months old daughter and when i was pregnant i had to get 8 hours of antibiotics before she came because i have the gbs streptococcus b in big amounts. The bacteria was gone for 3 months and came back after that. I spend thousand of euro s on docters and treatments nothing works! I read here about something i didnt try, biofilm and lactoferine and the other supplements against the streptococcus. Could you advise me what to take im still breastfeeding and what to do and where to go to? I feel like we dont know here in the netherlands what to do about this problem i have. Thank you! Chantal

      ow for almost 3 minths

      • chantal says

        What i mean is,
        Is it possible to give these supplements during breastfeeding, and can i go somewhere i havent been yet who can treat this? Thank you!!

        • chantal says

          Dear Chris, could you please advise me cause nothing works for my chronic.streptococ b uti. I wrote to the distributors.of.lauricidin en biofilm disruptors but they cant help me out with my question if its safe while breastfeeding.. and dont advise it to take it. I really dont know what to do..

    • Jenn says

      This article literally means more to me than any other I have EVER read. I have suffered from UTIs my entire adult life. Once, when 27, I went through three rounds of antibiotics, only to end up literally deblitated on the couch in extreme pain, and my doctor wouldn’t prescribe me anything serious enough to take away the pain, nor did he think to test me for antibtiotic resistance. Excessive antibiotics in dairy and meat prodcuts growing up made my body resistant. Sure enough, a $12 test later, and I was resistant to all the antibiotics. I ended up in the hospital it got so bad. Now, 8 years later, I JUST discovered D Mannose, and it works. I was horrified to go to the doctor this time because I have suffered from them chronically now for 3 months and was just about to give up. I quit having sex, quit drinking alcohol, and nothing worked. This literally has changed my life to be able to resume to any normal life. Thank you so much for writing this.

  2. Michelle says

    I used to have chronic UTIs back when my immune system was not in good shape. And I still am prone to them. A few years back I learned about D-Mannose, and that’s what I use now if I get the feeling I might be getting one. It’s works amazingly well, and I haven’t needed antibiotics since I discovered it.

    I highly recommend it for people that are prone to UTIs, and even sometimes will take it proactively if I’m doing something that may or may not be a contributing factor, just to prevent it in the first place.

    • Lena says

      What about 14 year old boy, who as doctor said has no UTI, but gave him two rounds of antibiotics. The boy still urinates frequently and has clear discharge that smells fishy? Very frustrated about the whole thing…., would D-Mannose help?

      • Jennifer says

        I am not a doctor. But, it sounds like a trich infection, or an infection caused by bacteria similar to mycoplasma that’s treated with flagyl. The doctor should culture the discharge.

  3. syd says

    I get UTI-like symptoms from oxalates, though, of course, it isn’t an infection. It’s very painful and uncomfortable. Would any of the above supps help the oxalates not be able to do their damage in the bladder? (I understand a low-oxalate diet is key to prevention.)

    Thanks much.

    • ReneeAnn says

      I used to be really sensitive to oxalates and still am on a moderate oxalate diet. It helps me to take as much magnesium as I can handle and I stay on a pretty strict auto-immune paleo diet. As my leaky gut healed, my oxalate problem has been better.

  4. says

    Great post Chris! I’ve had several staff members hitting me up for cipro prescriptions and I usually decline, recommending the ol’ cranberry juice! This is both for professional reasons (why is the dentist prescribing UTI antibiotics?) and just on principle (my aversion to antibiotics as anything other than a last resort). Now I have some great information to pass on – Thanks!

  5. Karin says

    I used to get UTIs all the time. All I know is, I went gluten-free and haven’t had one in years. I wish I had known about D-Mannose… I took so many antibiotics :(

  6. Angel says

    Does E. coli have a beneficial function in the intestinal tract? If so, does D-mannose affect gut function negatively when taken regularly? I know Chris said above that D-mannose has no adverse side effects – so does that mean that D-mannose does NOT affect the function of E. coli in the gut?

    Thank you for this article, Chris, I very much appreciate it! I haven’t had a UTI in several years, thank goodness, but I had quite a few there for awhile when I was in poor health (and lab tests confirmed they were being caused by E. coli). I am much healthier now, and I like to think I’ll never get another UTI, but I would certainly love to know that I have some non-antibiotic options if they come back.

  7. Jessica says

    I wish I had seen this post yesterday. I was diagnosed with a bladder infection and given Microbid to treat it. After being on the medication for almost 24 hours, I do not feel much better. Is a bladder infection a UTI that has gone untreated? Is there any danger taking D-Mannose as a daily supplement?

  8. says

    I spent about a year with chronic UTIs before discovering that fresh pineapple helps. I think it’s the Bromelain in it. I now eat it on a regular basis because the cause of mine is the birth control I’m using, and I’m stuck with that.

    Thanks for the other ideas, too. I have a daughter that also gets these at times, so adding blueberries and apples will help. :)

  9. Jill says

    Great article Chris. I can attest to the misery of frequent UTI’s. In the past I have suffered from Interstitial Cystitis which is an autoimmune condition. It is treated with a drug called Elmiron plus weekly installations of acid into the bladder, to burn off the scarred lining. It begs the question as to whether the treatment is worse than the condition.

    Since adopting a gluten free then later, Paleo way of life I have not had a single UTI or flare up of the IC. I’m not a doctor but I do believe that my body was reacting to the inflammatory components in my diet. It was a chance finding, since I changed my way of eating for other reasons.

    Hearing people talk about UTI symptoms strengthens my resolve to stay Paleo. It works for me.

    • says

      Hi,
      I have found great…huge improvements going AIP-Paleo. However, my list of food intolerances keeps growing. How do I make it stop? Has your list grown as well?
      Paola

    • Alex says

      I went on a gluten-free then Paleo diet as well and occasionally juice things like lemons, apples and greens to keep my intestines in good working condition. Going Paleo helped to stop my chronic UTIs and yeast infections too! I’m going to look into this D-Mannose. It sounds lovely. I think diet is a great first line of defense. Antibiotics may work a few times but with diet you can encourage healthy bacteria and prevent the bad ones from even causing these kinds of issues. Awesome post.

  10. Lauri says

    I am so glad to see this! But I am wondering if any of these can be long term solutions? I’m currently takin care of my bed ridden uncle, he has a catheter, and is constantly getting UTIs, can I give any of these on a daily long term basis? Thanks!

    • Chris Kresser says

      It’s particularly important for catheterized patients to use something that can disrupt biofilm (I mentioned a couple of choices in the article).

      • Wendy says

        I suffer greatly with bladder infections but when tested nothing turns up, have been on Kephalexin 500 mg for years plus other antibiotics have recently read about d manose and coconut water which I’ve been on plus a very strict diet, but can only go a couple of days before I feel another infection coming on, I also catheterised my bladder daily,would apolactoferrin help me, willing to try anything, and where do I get it from?

  11. says

    I would note that if you try natural treatments and they don’t work within a few days, you probably need antibiotics. I ended up with a rather bad kidney infection some years ago because I was relying on natural treatments and couldn’t get to a doctor when they weren’t working. I haven’t had one in a very long time though.

  12. Janet says

    I used to get recurring UTIs and I got great advice from a friend. You simply drink copious amounts of water with lemon squeezed into it. I would drink something like a glass of water every 15 minutes. After a few glasses, I’d start to feel much better. Usually what happened is that i’d feel so good, I’d forget to continue drinking, and all the symptoms would come right back. Resume the water with lemon – it’s gone again.
    The great thing is that you already have water and probably lemon at home.

  13. jamie says

    The dangers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Cipro) cannot be overstated. One UTI I had was so painful I was screaming in the bathroom; it felt like a knife in my urethra. All I had was 100% cranberry juice (undiluted with other juices or water) at home so I started drinking it. It didn’t give me much immediate relief so I went to the emergency room. I now wish I hadn’t. I had to wait forever in the ER but I still had my super sour cranberry juice with me and continued to drink it. By the time the Dr. saw me my acute pain was gone; I guess it took a few hours to take effect. However, they prescribed Cipro and gave me my first “horse pill” (as the nurse said) there in the hospital and sent me home. That was in 2007. This is the year 2012 and I am happy to say that my digestive system has finally recovered from the major damage this antibiotic caused it. 5 years. *sigh* just google the damage that these antibiotics cause… Thanks for this article, if only I had known these things before I picked up the first tablet of Cipro and put in my mouth…

  14. dan says

    Evidently, I am one of the few guys who had a sever bladder infection. I became extremely dehydrated and was urinating a lot of blood and tissue. They prescribed sulfa drugs. I don’t know much about these drugs but they cured me quick. I haven’t had anything else like that before or since.

  15. Karen B. says

    Cranberry juice (I use the unsweetened, undiluted stuff) taken in a shot glass at morning, noon and night has always worked for me. My doctor says it doesn’t work for everyone but I’m betting that some people use the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail instead of the real thing. I try to use it on an empty stomach because I just see it working better that way, even if that’s not true. My mind thinks it is. :-)

    • Chris Kresser says

      Some. I’ve just started suggesting them about 6 months ago, and they seem to help – but it’s hard to say because I’m always giving them in conjunction with other stuff.

        • Anna says

          Garlic. Peel one clove and insert. I am not kidding. Do this overnight, remove and insert a fresh clove if necessary until symptoms are gone. I have done this for decades now. It has saved me a lot of time and money on prescriptions. Garlic is an anti-fungal agent and inhibits the proliferation of yeast.

  16. jean finch says

    I had UTIs very often until I started taking Probiotics. More recently I gave up most grains on the gap diet and never resumed eating them. After a couple of UTI free years I was able to rid myself completely by taking tons of Probiotics getting relief after only 4 hours. I am now also Paleo and Weston A Price so that helps too. I will get D-Mannose for a back up, it sounds excellent, thank you for this article. People need to know how much damage all these antibiotics given like candy do to us!

  17. Oksana says

    Thank you for the great article, Chris! I follow the Paleo diet religiously as well and have never felt better, except for a bad post-nasal drip – that’s the only thing left after several inflammatory issues. Now, I immediately feel the difference when I go to a restaurant – so I am pretty firm on the Paleo lifestyle. I feel so well now that don’t even have any other cravings.

    I did try 1 bottle of the InterFase Plus based on another post of yours, it did not work for the post-nasal drip. I’ll try it again, or the Biofilm Defense

  18. Rachael says

    I just wanted to add that for years a close friend had UTIs and tried many of the above as well as traditional treatment to no avail. While talking one day she mentioned that she had been using a particular brand of menstrual pad to deal with some mild urinary incontinance. I suggested switching to unbleached cotton reusable pads instead and within two weeks her symptoms cleared up. It seems that the bleaching agents or something else in the pads was causing enough inflammation to trigger problems. I would think trying to a. switch to a fragrance free detergent, b. switch to mild or no soap, c. switch to cotton or un-dyed underwear, and d. switch to unbleached feminine products would all be worth a try.

    • Noel says

      Thank you for this important article! I suffer from recurrent UTIs and have been trying to find an effective natural prevention and treatment for years. My issue is I’m currently trying to get pregnant, and many of the suggested natural treatments (such as massive doses of vitamin C, per Dr. Christiane Northrup) are incompatible with that project. D-Mannose works like a charm for me as both a prevention and a treatment, but I sadly discovered that there are patent applications out there for use of D-Mannose as a contraceptive, and have since stopped using it. Chris, what do you think of this? Here are the links:

      http://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/WO2003020288
      http://www.google.com/patents/US6753319

      Also, are the other preventions/treatments you suggest in this article safe while trying to conceive (won’t interfere with conception or implantation)? Thanks again!

      • Leslie says

        Hi Noel,

        I know this is an old post, but I wanted to see if you learned anything more about safe prevention/treatment of UTIs while trying to conceive? I have been taking mannose for 2 months while trying to conceive, not knowing about the possible contraceptive effect until yesterday. I was devastated when Iread the patent. Thanks for any additional info you may have gathered on this!

        Leslie

        • Noel says

          Hi Leslie,

          I never received a response about this from Chris or anyone on this thread. I did check with my urologist — she read the patent, and then did a little more research herself. She said that because she could not find a single scientific paper written by the authors of the patent, nor any other scientific paper on D-Mannose’ possible contraceptive effects, she felt that I would be safe taking it while trying to conceive. She highly recommends D-Mannose over antibiotics or any other supplement.

          BUT, I do not feel comfortable using it myself while trying to conceive — I just can’t take that chance that I would be undermining my efforts! It’s maddening that there seems to be no way to know for sure. So I’m taking the better safe than sorry approach and won’t be using it until after I’ve given birth. For now, I’m back on antibiotics, which is awful. :-(

          Have you learned of any natural methods of preventing or treating UTIs that are safe while trying to conceive? It seems there’s plenty of information out there about what’s safe or not safe during pregnancy, but not so much about what’s okay while trying to GET pregnant.

          -Noel

          • Leslie says

            Hi Noel,

            Thanks so much for your response. It is really nice to connect with someone struggling with the same difficulties. I am new in my search, but like you, haven’t come across anything definitive yet that is not contraindicated for conception.

            I contacted my obgyn and mentioned the patent and possible contraceptive effect of D-Mannose, but she had a similar response to your urologist and could not see why it would be problematic. It seems like because the available literature suggests safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding, doctors believe this applies to pre-pregnancy as well. I am in the same boat as you and no longer feel comfortable taking D-Mannose while trying to conceive – as it feels totally counter-productive. I’ve been searching the web for stories of women taking D-Mannose and successfully conceiving, but I haven’t come across any yet.

            I have had chronic UTIs for years, triggered by intercourse. Previously, I would take about 4 cranberry extract pills immediately after intercourse, and that generally did the job; but I would still get UTI’s about 3 times/year. I discovered D-Mannose two months ago after my cranberry method was unsuccessful and could not bear the idea of another round of antibiotics, especially while trying to conceive (despite some safe options). The D-Mannose, in treatment-mode, worked like a charm, and since that time, I have been taking 1/2 tsp of powder following intercourse…until yesterday when I was horrified to learn of the possible contraceptive effect. UGH.

            I have also recently read that cranberry extract can also have a possible contraceptive effect due to the acidic environment in can create…have you read this as well? Not sure whether to give that up. I have never taken macrobid or other low-dosage antibiotics, and I would rather avoid that, but perhaps that is what my next option will have to be. I have been researching other herbal supplements, but like you said, there is limited info about impact on conception. I just found this journal article and haven’t read it thoroughly yet, but I thought I would pass it along. I may even try to contact the author to see if she has any suggestions…

            http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/13/3/227.pdf

            I will definitely keep you posted if I learn of any promising interventions/preventions that jive with baby-making efforts! Thanks for the information, input and support!

            Best,
            Leslie

            • Zoe says

              Hi Noel and Leslie,
              I used to get reoccuring utis but the my pharmacist recommended Ethical Nutrients Urinary Tract Support Tablets. I think they are great,I’m not sure if they would live up to your standards but it is another option for you to look into. I haven’t had a uti since taking them.

              Hope that helps,

              Zoe

            • Lacey says

              Leslie & Noel,
              Have either of you found a product that works for UTI’s and is safe to use while pregnant? I’ve been taking D Mannose but now that I’m pregnant I feel I should stop. Any suggestions?
              Thanks,
              L

              • Leslie says

                Hi Lacey,

                Congratulations on your pregnancy! I am actually 6 months along myself. Sorry to hear you have a uti! To my knowledge, D-Mannose is safe to take while pregnant and breastfeeding. The issue I was concerned about was taking it while trying to conceive, as there may be a possible contraceptive effect (which would be no good for baby making efforts). As soon as I stopped taking the mannose, I actually got pregnant and luckily haven’t had an infection during pregnancy yet. But, I believe there is no harm in continuing the mannose while pregnant, if you feel comfortable. Definitely double check with your dr, but as far as my personal research goes, it seems ok!

                Feel good and take care!

                • Lacey says

                  Hi Leslie,
                  Congrats on getting pregnant! From what you’ve said it sounds like D-Mannose is VERY unsafe during pregnancy. If it was keeping you from getting pregnant in the first place how could it NOT be harmful to a developing baby? It would be like taking birth control pills after finding out your pregnant. I wouldn’t want to take anything that is strong enough to keep my body from getting pregnant while I’m carrying a baby. I found this post further down in the comments from Chris Kresser who says that D-mannose is NOT safe during pregnancy.

                  “Chris Kresser
                  NOVEMBER 27, 2012 AT 6:07 PM

                  The supplements I mentioned in that article aren’t safe during pregnancy. Or more accurately, we don’t know if they’re safe during pregnancy and we never will know because finding out would be unethical. Cranberry extract (pills) or 100% cranberry juice is worth a try and safe during pregnancy. It helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the UT lining.”

                  Sounds like the only safe thing to take during pregnancy is cranberry juice and cranberrypills. I’m glad you haven’t gotten a UTI since you’ve gotten pregnant and make sure if you do to stay away from the D-Mannose.

            • Nat says

              I highly recommend Acupuncture for trying to conceive/maintain pregnancies. Also, keep in mind that it seems to me, fertility changes over the years. Just because you may have a hard time while younger (in twenties) doesn’t mean you won’t become more fertile in your 30′s or 40′s. I know a woman who could not conceive in her 30s, only to have one at 40, 41, 42, and 43!

  19. Julie says

    I have found drinking parsley tea to be very effective when I have a UTI coming on. It has worked quite quickly for me. I steep 4 teaspoons of minced parsley in 4 cups of boiling water for 20 minutes and then strain out the parsley, then drink it throughout the day. I will drink the tea for several days to makes sure that the infection has cleared.

    • Jill says

      Jared,
      There is no minimum age for UTI’s although they are more common in adults that children. I work in a Pediatric ICU and we see babies suffering from them. It definitely needs investigation as to why a three year old has one.
      For little girls, always wiping front to back then good handwashing is a good thing to reinforce.

  20. Jill says

    My urologist wants me to take ongoing low dose maintanance macrodantin for chronic cystitis and I declined. Would any of the supplements be good for this condition?

  21. Chuck Currie says

    My mother who is 93 has had a series of UTI’s over the past 3 years, ending in hospitalization. She never shows what you would classify as typical symptoms – no pain, no bleeding, etc. What does happen is she goes bat-shit crazy, to be blunt. She exhibits all the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer. These can come on in a matter of a few days – 3 or 4 – and last for a week or more. Once the infection is treated with antibiotics, the dementia disappears and she absolutely normal.

    During one hospitalization, we were told that one of the doctors at the hospital (male – middle aged) contracted a UTI and the same thing happened to him. He lost a week of his life – couldn’t remember a thing that happened during that week. My mom never remembers being crazy, she just knows something happened, but doesn’t know what.

    The lesson here, is if family member or friend, suddenly goes crazy, for no apparent reason, get them to the hospital, and have them tested for UTI. The sooner the better.

    Cheers

    P.S. We now have her on D-mannose – hoping for the best.

    • shawn says

      I have an 83 yr old aunt in nursing home, and her only symptoms of UTI are dementia. She is moderately incontinent, but not on catheter. I have been told by numerous health care workers that any time someone in assit living or nurs home becomes confused, they immediately check for UTI as it is a common cause. No one talks about this!

      • Honora says

        Yes, my old dad got urinary sepsis and went nutty enough to be transferred from the rest home to a psychiatric clinic. Fortunately after his admission they treated the cause but this did no wonders for my poor old dad’s morale, wondering why he’d been “put in the rat-house”. BTW, no one needs to be a rocket scientist to detect a UTI in their patients…the urine smells fishy or funny.

  22. Sharon says

    For decades I seem to get UTI’s during fall – ?tomato season? The rest of the year I’m fine. This year, age 65 and now on less than 50 carbs daily paleo diet, I’ve had 4 UTI’s. Which of the above suggestions should I start? Or can they be taken concurrently? Thanks.

  23. Ellen says

    I’ve been improving my health and immunity for years now, and making great progress. I actually considered myself healthy for the first time in many years. And then, I’ve gotten several UTIs in the last 6 months, all were upper in my bladder/kidneys. This is very confusing and disconcerting. I usually treat them with unsweetened cranberry or blueberry juice, cranberry pills, vitamin C, and drink a lot of extra water.

  24. Victor says

    Chris, are there any special considerations for men?

    I have the feeling that intermittent fasting (fasting during one day and 2 nights) helps, maybe because for me it improves the digestion.

  25. Heather says

    Thank you so much for this article! In the last few years, since my immune system has gone down the tubes, I’ve been highly susceptible, and I’ve been looking everywhere for info just like this!

  26. Laurie says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Chris for doing this article on UTI’s. I have been suffering with recurrent infections for years and have felt so isolated as I don’t know anyone else who gets them to the same extent. I am a therapist and have been so frustrated in not being able to find an alternative to the antibiotics I always end up going to the doctor for, after cranberry juice, and even an uva ursi supplement, haven’t worked yet AGAIN. I take probiotics regularly, but still the infection keeps coming back, and often feels like it hasn’t fully gone away even after the antibiotics, so your article has been so helpful in understanding why that might be. I am 50 and am post-menopause, and know that the lining between the urethra etc gets thinner, and bacteria can pass between more easily. When I asked my doctor if that meant I would suffer UTI’s for the rest of my life, and what could I do to prevent them, he just shrugged his shoulders. I have ordered some D-mannose (was worried I might not be able to get it in the UK but YES! I can) straightaway to try first. Thank you again for addressing this.

  27. ReneeAnn says

    One thing that I’ve found is that upstream infections can cause UTIs. If I am suffering from sinus problems caused by allergies and notice that I’m developing a UTI, I work doubly hard on correcting the allergy/sinus problem. And, of course, drink a lot of water.

  28. G.A. says

    This is a pertinent issue for me as I have a daughter with neurogenic bladder. We are using oxybutynin to regulate bladder pressure and catheterization to empty the bladder. They start them at infancy with this and amoxicillin daily for prophylaxis. This issue I have is that it would seem this style of treatment makes the patient more susceptible to biofilms due to the decreased mucus production from the anticholinergic not to mention the unknowns from such early chronic antibiotic treatment. I may speak to her urologist about some of this as it would be very easy to get the mannose in the diet. The only other question would be if coconut oil would suffice as a monolaurin source or do you need the concentrated monolaurin? What do you think?

  29. elizabeth says

    Chris,

    Excellent article!!

    In case of chronic UTI, what is the dosage you recommend of these products? Specially for Nattokinase, which has secondary effects diluting blood.

    Many thanks in advance for your support,

  30. says

    I’ve had a lot of success with drinking nettle tea whenever I feel a little off and suspect a yeast infection or UTI is trying to take hold. This is more preventative than cure course of action. Gentle, yet effective.

  31. says

    I like this article and think prevention is definitely the best course of action for UTI’s, but I think that it’s a bit of an omission to not mention that if it persists you should get thee to a doctor. Time is definitely important here. It’s easier on your body to take a relatively short course of oral antibiotics than to develop a raging infection and have to take IV antibiotics- UTI’s that are not responding to natural treatments after only a couple days should be looked at by a nurse practitioner or doctor. Lots of important stuff down there, obviously one of the largest worry being kidney damage.

    Another good note is that lots of people think they have a UTI when, in fact, they might have something else. STI’s, yeast infection, and bacterial vaginitis may be confused with a UTI, which could be the problem behind reoccurance and lack of success behind natural prevention for specific people.

  32. says

    Oh, and another interesting one I forgot that could be confused with a UTI is endometriosis! Endometriosis can cause pain with urination, especially deep in the pelvis, and can lead to a false diagnoses by patient or practitioner of a UTI and result in unnecessary use of antibiotics or poor response to prevention methods. If you have other symptoms of endometriosis or have a diagnoses, definitely something to keep in mind.

  33. Linda Sobel says

    I have had chronic UTI Infections for over four months. Been on many different antibiotics. I started to take D-Mannose for over a week and noticed no difference and my UTI returned. Was I wrong to stop? I am back on meds. This time Macrobid for two weeks along with Bio-K. By the way, the main bacteria is always E-coli.

    I had a Cystiscopic and it was normal. If I am not better the doctor wants to do a MRI and that is so costly and perhaps IV antibiotics. I am really starting to lose it. Love feedback.

  34. anne says

    Chris thanks so much for addressing this issue!
    I have never had UTIs until I was about 26years old and started having a regular intercourse. For the first 6months to a year things were but after that everything changed. Every intercourse ended up with UTI. Some of them were so painful that I was crying in the bathroom. I’m terrified with having sex now and even stopped completely for about a year. The symptoms usually develop 24 hours later and just to point out intercourse is the only reason I get these. I take this drug Furaginum (little yellow tablets) which helps instantly every time. Nothing else helps…. I tried cranberry juice, drinking plenty of water,

  35. anne says

    I sent my last message before I finished typing it..basically I’ve heard that prolonged use of Furaginum might be harmful but I can’t stop using it – when I get an UTI my life stops, I can’t function, I am so afraid to go out in case there is no bathroom around and it is to painful to walk. Sometimes I’m awake all night with an extreme pain going to the toilet every 5 minutes. When I asked doctors about they always said that it just happens to people my age who are sexually active and that is that. They just tell me to look

  36. anne says

    after my hygiene (which I always do, shower before and after and besides I’m a hygiene freak) and they prescribe antibiotics saying nothing else will help to clear the bacteria. Please tell me what can I do out of your methods above to stop getting these??? This condition is destroying my life.
    Kind regards,
    Anne

    • UTI says

      Hi Anne,
      This is what’s helping me:
      1) I had to say NO to oral contraceptives. The way Jasmin messed up my body chemistry is hard to explain, but it was exactly what you are describing.
      2) Making sure I’m dressed for the weather ( no low rise jeans in fall-winter)
      3) Staying away from alcohol

    • Kelly says

      Hope you’re feeling better now.
      I know what it feels to have recurring UTIs because I used to get them almost 2-3 times a year. I also suffered from frequent urination and overactive bladder. Took several antibiotics for the UTIs but it would just come back after having sex. I won’t bore you with too much details, but this is what worked for me, and I hope it will help you too.
      1) Find a proactive doctor- a doctor who not only listens, but tries to work with you in finding solutions for you, and doesn’t rest until you do. Because UTIs and frequent urination can be caused by different things in different people, you should be able to be in a position where you know that your doctor cares. I know such doctors are rare these days, but keep searching, don’t give up. Always look for recommendations, if you hear a friend or relative talking great things about their doctor, ask for their name and make a visit to trial for yourself, and really estimate if the doctor is for you or not. It’s very important to work with a doctor you can trust.
      2) Don’t get obsessed- Learn about your illness but don’t go crazy about googling every symptom. Usually, the law of nature is such that what we are obsessed with, is what happens to us.
      3.) Take a look at your emotional habits – are you happy and confident in your own skin? Do you have a tendency to criticise yourself and others? How do you view yourself? Please read the works of Louise Hay and Dr. Christine Northup. I can’t recommend them enough. Their website has tons and tons of helpful information about how our thoughts and self-worth can affect our health.
      4. ) Improve your diet- This is a no-brainer. Gut-health is closely related to our overall physical and mental health. Keeping your gut healthy is important. Here are some pointers:
      - Become best friends with vegetables. Eat lots and lots of ‘cooked’ vegetables EVERYDAY
      - Avoid sugar, soy, and cow’s milk
      - Avoid anything that comes in a box, a can, or a jar, that you find on supermarket shelves, they’re full of nasty chemicals, additives, thickeners, and preservatives.
      - Stay away from junk food and limit take aways – I know it’s hard, but one trick I use is, I try to spend all of my monthly food budget in the grocery store, so that I don’t have any left over money to tempt me to eat out.
      - Limit your intake of grains and gluten. If you can go grain and gluten-free, so much the better! Rice is a staple diet of my culture, so I love and need my rice! and I do occasionally eat wheat too. But like I said, if you can go grain- gluten free, that’s fantastic as I’ve heard it works wonders on many people’s health.
      - Choose organic when you can.
      - Drink at least 1.5 litres of water, in sips, spread throughout the day. Never drink too much water AT ONCE!!! I speak from personal experience!!! I used to drink water all at once, and gosh it can be really taxing to your bladder. Another problem with drinking too much water all at once is that often when you are out and about, you may have to hold your pee and that can be very painful, may even increase the chances of an infection. So drink your 1.5 Litres or 2 Litres of water daily, BUT drink it slowly, spread it throughout the day. :)
      - Walk for about 30 mins everyday in fresh air. Take deep belly breathes. Think blood circulation and oxygen.
      - Obey the call of nature.
      5.) Be positive- Be positive that you will eventually heal. If you’re stressed out, and want to change your negative thought patterns inside out, I highly recommend you to look up Vipassana meditation. http://www.vridhamma.org/Home This has changed my life in so many ways, and has been the best thing I ever did in my life.
      6.) Finally, the basics- For those of us women who get UTIs after sex:
      - Have sex in the mornings, then drink lots of water so you have the whole day to pee and flush out the bacteria if any.
      - Don’t have rough sex. Just don’t do it. The UTI afterwards is just not worth it! So be gentle, ask your partner to be gentle. And don’t even think of anal sex. That just brings more chances of bacteria and is a no-no for those of us who suffer from re-current utis.
      -Make sure you and your partner wash yourselves FRONT AND BACK THOROUGHLY, BEFORE sex! And after sex too, ofcourse. This is very important, your partner MUST agree to do this!
      - Women, Pee before and after sex.
      - Another thing I want to add, speaking out of personal experience- because I used to get utis all the time after having sex, this really put me off having sex for almost a year and a half. My husband, thankfully, bless him, understood this. but I want to tell you, please don’t let utis ruin your sex life, or change your attitude towards sex. I think my negative attitude to sex brought more utis in my life because when we did have sex every now and then, I used to be very dry. TMI i know, but I hope this helps. Being too dry can make sex painful, and bring a whole host of other problems again.
      wow, this has been long, but I hope it helps you. And i hope it will help anyone who comes across this :)

  37. Margaret says

    Great article. It’s nice to know there are so many natural ways to prevent UTI’s. Thankfully they haven’t been a problem for me, I only had one in my entire life … but that may be because I was overprescribed antibiotics for so many other conditions that there was no chance for one of them to happen! Knowing all the natural preventative measures you can take is important.

    While we’re on women’s health, do you know of any natural solutions for severe cramps and endometriosis? My doctor is suspecting I have it because each month I’m pretty much disabled if I don’t take ibuprofen non-stop for the week before my period and then a few days after it starts. I’ve started hormonal birth control again because the pain was too much to bear, but the side effects of that are also not fun and it’s too soon to see if it will help with the pain. I’d love to know more about what I can do to combat this without hormones and ibuprofen because I can’t curl up in a ball w/ a heating pad at home for 3 days a month! I know nsaids are not good for someone with digestive disorders, but I’ve been trying to balance the lesser of the evils and still be able to get to work.

    • ReneeAnn says

      Much of the monthly discomfort is caused by increased inflammation during that part of the cycle. It is especially important to eat a low inflammatory diet during that time. A few days before, I would go very strict no grains, legumes or dairy. I would even leave off butter during this time. I would also try avoiding nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, white potatoes), eggs and nuts. I would increase my intake of fermented cod liver oil a bit. Then, if you find this helps, you could try not being quite so strict the next time and add back in one thing, like eggs, butter or nuts. Anything you can do during this time to reduce inflammation will ease your discomfort.

      • Margaret says

        I’m already on a very strict low inflammation diet. Dairy (including butter), grains, legumes and starches all make me very ill. I take lots of probiotics and D3, but haven’t tried fermented cod liver oil yet. Fortunately eggs don’t bother me as long as I stick to pastured ones – so I only eat eggs from an amazing local farmer with very happy chickens (and hogs – their pork is also incredible). It would be very hard for me to eat enough affordable calories in a day without the eggs! I’ll see if the cod liver oil helps …. If there are any other suggestions I would love to hear them. I was awake for hours last night in pain, and would give anything to not go through this every month!

        • ReneeAnn says

          One more thing to consider is the probiotic that you are using. I react to fermented foods, so I take a probiotic supplement. The only way to know if fermented foods, eggs, nuts, nightshades, etc. bother you is to do an elimination diet. You could probably for a short time eat more hamburger instead of eggs to see. Pork is also another possibly reactive food, especially if they have soy in their diet, even if they are pasture raised.

          I also had to try several brands of probiotics before I found one that agreed with me. Klaire Labs is the brand that I use now. Many probiotics have dairy in them and all of the ones that I tried were dairy-free, so I’m not sure why this one works so well for me. Self-experimentation is invaluable.

          I also take 10,000 IU of Carlson’s liquid vitamin D and 200,000 iu of this particular soy-free vitamin A. I would only take that much vitamin A if it is this type of vitamin A. When I cut my vitamin A back, I get inflamed. I never try to cut my vitamin D back and I get my levels checked every year.

          http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=CL-1440

        • Kelly says

          Look into the herb black haw and cramp bark. They are both herbs that help directly with uterine cramping. Some people say they work better than ibuprofen. Black haw is supposed to be especially strong for really painful cramping. I would also look into Chinese medicine.

  38. Aurelie says

    Thanks for this article!
    I developed inflammatory bowel disease due to excess antibiotic for UTI :-( I really wish i knew about those alternatives back then! In the end i took vitamin A and I lowered my sugar consumption drastically. I never ever had one again!! After 10 years of misery!!

  39. says

    I use d-mannose every time I have sex. I also take a bit of colloidal silver & put colloidal silver on my urethra opening topically with a q-tip. I take probiotics as well. I’ve noticed the biggest difference with colloidal silver, though I know the d-mannose is extremely helpful as well.

  40. says

    I found D-mannose worked wonders but was expensive; hibiscus flower tea has worked well more recently. Since reducing carbs to ketogenic levels I no longer have UTI issues; I guess that any sugar in the urine feeds the bacteria.

  41. Barbara A says

    I am on a warfarin regimen for A-Fib. Can I still take D-Mannose. I’m not supposed to have too much cranberry.

  42. Denise says

    I had to snicker when I read the title to the email notification I received for this post–I was lying in bed with a 102.7F fever from a kidney infection that was a result of an untreated UTI (had only two days of mild pain a few months ago)! I had never had one before, and was surprised that I didn’t have any real pain to warn me of the infection.

    I certainly don’t want to go through this ever again–I was completely miserable for four days…

    It is great to read about D-Mannose as a preventative measure!

  43. ANM says

    For the substances that destroy the biofilm, is that something you would take for a period of time and then stop, or would you need to take it on an ongoing basis?

  44. Holly says

    I seem to be having more UTIs now that I am getting close to menopause. I had a couple of UTI’s in close succession (within three months) and had the expected yeast vaginosis after the antibiotic treatment for the UTI. I was able to break the cycle by douching only once with diluted kefir for the yeast infection (unsweetened unflavored of course!) and now take an oral probiotic specifically for the vaginal tract (RepHresh Pro-B with L. rahmnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14). Have had neither yeast infection nor UTI in six months. Seems to be working for me!

  45. Ana says

    I have excruciating pain and frequent urges to pee immediately after every time I have sex. I went to a gyn and they took a culture and I found out I had a UTI. They gave me antibiotics. Then, over the span of two months I had four UTI’s all caused by intercourse. So I went to a clinic and they gave me antibiotics to get rid of it. I went to another gyn who sent me to a urologist who then told me that all I had to do was pee before and after sex. I did this along with washing myself and my partner before we engage in sexual activity. Didn’t work. I looked up all natural “cures” and found D-Mannose powder, for $50 at whole foods. Took the exact amount of dosage printed on the bottle and though it got rid of my symptoms after a week of drinking two glasses a day (which is the same amount of time antibiotics take), it did NOT prevent a UTI from occurring. I am 16 years old and I’m afraid to take antibiotics for the rest of my life for fear it will warp my immune system! I take cranberry capsules everyday along with other vitamins and drink lots of water. Next time I have one, I’m supposed to leave a urine sample with my gyn, but I’m trying to avoid from having her right me a prescription. I just need something that prevents it from happening right now and that doesn’t do my body harm.

  46. Amy says

    I’ve tried D-Mannose before without success. I have chronic UTIs and would love to know if the other supplements you’ve suggested are safe to use during pregnancy? I’m about to go through an IVF round and am experiencing regular UTIs. Since I can’t take my normal prescription once insemination happens, I’d love to have other options.

    • Chris Kresser says

      The supplements I mentioned in that article aren’t safe during pregnancy. Or more accurately, we don’t know if they’re safe during pregnancy and we never will know because finding out would be unethical. Cranberry extract (pills) or 100% cranberry juice is worth a try and safe during pregnancy. It helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the UT lining.

  47. jaimie says

    I took D-Mannose as a preventive measure for many years and it helped so much. But suddenly I have developed some terrible problem with my bladder – my bladder hurts all the time, before and after I pee. I tested negative for a UTI and they don’t know what’s wrong with me. I did notice that I sometimes had a mild version of these symptoms after taking D-Mannose but they always went away after a day or so. But now it’s not going away. And now I can’t take D-Mannose so I have to take preventive macrobid which is, of course, giving me yeast infections. And my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. So I don’t know what to do. Has anyone else had this reaction to D-Mannose? Can anyone explain it? I feel really miserable and I’m really depressed about the whole thing.

    • Heidi G says

      My daughter’s UTI’s seem to get worse when I giver her D Mannose. She’s 6 and has been getting UTI’s frequently since she was 4. It’s always E. Coli. Hope you are getting some answers.

  48. Nicole says

    I’m in the same boat as you, Jaime… needing to prevent chronic UTIs while trying to get pregnant. I agree, it’s frustrating and depressing. D-Mannose worked great for me as well but of course it can’t be used while trying to conceive. I’ve also resorted to taking macrobid every time we have sex as a preventive measure… which as you know can add up to a lot of antibiotics while trying during your fertile period. 

    Here’s what I’ve found seems to work well to prevent yeast infections while on macrobid — I take a high quality probiotic and also eat probiotic foods (yogurt, kefir, kraut, etc.) daily. If I slack off on this, I will start to feel yeast-like symptoms. 

    Once I’m on the other side of this baby journey, I intend to return to using D-Mannose or to try Dr. Christiane Northrup’s suggestion of 3,000 mg of vitamin C post-coitally. I’m afraid to try that as well while trying to conceive. One other thing I’m about to try is USANA’s mega-antioxidant and pro-flavanol supplements, both of which are supposed to be amazing for any kind of inflammation. 

    One last thought… I too have had the lingering pain that feels like a UTI but isn’t (negative test). My doctor tells me it’s residual inflammation from past infections. I’ve experienced it both while on D-Mannose and not. I’m hoping the anti-inflammatory supplements will help. Best of luck to you — it’s tough dealing with this while trying to make a baby!  

  49. Binuta says

    Thank you for sharing!! Great help!!
    I am in India. Where can I get this D-Mannose??
    Also We don’t grow blue berries in India.
    Is there any capsule instead??

  50. Linda Sobel says

    I have had a nasty UTI FOR OVER FOUR MONTHS due to kidney stones. The stones have broken down and since I have been on UREX coupled with cranberry chewable s and I have been e-coli free for one month. Check it out.

  51. Christina Havens says

    Any Ideas on how to treat a 5 year old with this? Obviously taking a pill won’t work. Thanks!

  52. Mary says

    My doctor recently advised me to try D-mannose for frequent UTI’s. I started to experience pins and needles, weak muscles, muscle twitches and headaches. Would these symptoms occur from taking the D-mannose as it is a natural sugar? I suffer from IBS and follow a low fodmap diet and fructose should be avoided.

  53. Judy says

    I just been diagnosed with my 1st UTI ever and so far I was on cipro for 5 days and I’m still having symptoms and before that abc rim for 3 days, my doctor now has referred me to a urologist to see why it’s not clearing up. Any suggestions?

  54. says

    I’ve been diagnosed with a UTI after having my yearly check up. I wasn’t aware I had one. I still have no symptoms. Upon initial diagnosis, my doctor put me on Macrobid 3x day. After taking one dose of the Macrobid, I had a headache, sore throat, fever and felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I stopped the medicine and the doctor changed me to Amoxicillin 3x day for 5 days. I took the entire medicine and felt as though I had morning sickness all day long…ugh! After another urine culture, I was told that the bacteria was still present. It’s supposedly a non specific bacteria. I have a history of drug allergies and have had 3 anaphlaxis reactions in the last 10 years. I was then prescribed Cipro, which after reading the handout, I REFUSE to take. I am fed up with antibiotics and allergic reactions. I need some advise and guidance in what will take this away. I took an AZO strip test and it showed no nitrites and only a very minimal amount of white blood cells. Any advice or comments are welcome. DESPERATE to get this taken care of WITHOUT antibiotics or allergic reactions.

    • stef says

      Good for you for not taking The cipro. It has ruined my life and many others. I was recently prescribed bactrim. Did you find help?

    • amanda says

      You might have Interstitial Cystitis (IC) – it still causes white blood cells to appear in the blood but urine sample culture won’t turn up any bacterial infection. This happened to me for years before I was referred to a urologist and properly diagnosed. If you didn’t have any symptoms pre-doctor’s visit then it probably wasn’t a UTI (you’d know something was up).

  55. Lori says

    I have had chronic e-coli uti’s for about 2 years and was on antibiotics for about a year until I realized that they were probable making the problem worse despite the fact that they were not working. I am doing some cleansing for the kidney and bladder (Dr. Schultze) and am about to go on the PH Miracle diet. It has gotten to the point that I have Chronic Fatigue from it. I was wondering if you have had any luck with the biofilm disruptors and e-coli infections. I have tried D-Mannose and it has not worked for me. Thanks for all that you are doing to help women like myself who are suffering with this problem,

    • Kara says

      More likely it’s yeast, which can present just like a uti. Get treated for yeast. Then get plain, organic yogurt, a sterile syringe (25cents at any pharmacy, no needle of course), and sleep with it in your vagina over night for many nights. You should improve fast. Make sure it has “live” cultures, better yet make your own. Then do the SCD diet so the yeast comes under control.

  56. Allison says

    I just had my first UTI and used D mannose because its what works for my kids. However, I ended
    up in the emergency and on antibiotics, which I haven’t taken except during my C-sections.
    The bacteria was E Coli. I was shocked that the D mannose didn’t work or my homeopathic.
    I had bleeding for one day and not burning, but stabbing pain when urinating, no fever, and back
    pain and a bloated stomach. Almost done with antibiotic, yet so surprised that it was E Coli and these
    remedies didn’t touch it…. Any thoughts????

  57. April says

    Hi your site is the best resource I’ve found besides my NP. Thank you. I’ve had chronic UTIs/ic/?? for about a year and a half- up to 3 per month never a month without. I’m f, 43, and just took a test to determine bacteria type/info. I’m pretty sure I have Hashi’s along w tons of autoimmune issues. I’m doing most things right and still suffering as much as ever. D mannose makes my ibs (often at same time) worse and makes me feel terrible esp when I’m already feeling bad. What are the next steps you would recommend? Also my body reacts to so many things and foods and chemicals I am going crazy and miserable. Help!

    • Kath says

      I share some of your sensitivities to chemicals. You may have a MTHFR gene mutation, like I and apparently many people do. It affects the liver’s ability to detoxify heavy metals and chemicals such as car exhaust and cigarette smoke, to name a few. As the body burden of these substances builds up, so do the sensitivities. You can google MTHFR mutation and find out a lot. Dr. Neil Rawlins has done a lot of research.

      Find an MD or practitioner who specializes in Environmental Medicine. The Detoxigenomic profile is a gene test that identifies genetic issues with detoxification. Sauna treatment, chelation, and certain supplements to help the liver may stabilize or reverse some of the sensitivities.

      Visit an Environmental MD’s site http://www.bernhoftcam.com and read Dr. Bernhoft’s personal story in the link about him for more info. His diagnosis and treatment protocol has helped me a lot with toxic issues. I’m still searching for help with urinary issues though.

    • Just a thought says

      Hi,
      I have Hashi’s too and the other issues you mentioned. I am able to improve my chemical sensitivity by taking sublingual pantethine as well as sublingual coenzymate b complex. I use source naturals. I also have to be sure to eat meat a couple times a day with cheese and some bread. Those specific combo help ease my sensitivity. It basically supports my adrenals. Try looking into nutritional balancing by Dr. Lawrence Wilson or TEI.

  58. Lisa says

    As a Practitioner in the women’s health field (holistic) I know all too well the devastation that Cipro can cause (how about permanent pudendal nerve damage in a client) and with my 2 second uti of my life, the last one 25 years ago I will do anything to preserve my gut from antibiotics. I’ve been taking the d-mannose for 4 days with no change so thanks to Chris’ article I will be moving to the monolaurin and biofilm dispruptors feeling confident it’s not e-coli.

  59. April says

    Update: So, my urine test came back negative after having pain and symptoms. I had skipped the d mannose this time and pounded water with equal results. My NP says we are going to start thyroid support and I’ve been on cortisol in the am for about 1 1/2 months. Scared and excited.

    • linda sobel says

      april, this is exactly what i am going through now. my last two tests came back clean yet i feel horrible. i just started d mannose so we will see. dont know anything about cortisol. can you educate me?

      thanks

      • April says

        I would google cortisol. I’m not on it spec for UTI’s. I think it helps your body deal w/ stress and infections better. I tested low in the am for it, it’s adrenal support. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal w this too. It’s terrible- unpredictable and sick all the time when I’m not sick. D-mannose hasn’t helped me- i don’t think- maybe. It makes me feel worse and poop tons. Google interstitial cystitis also. I suspect this. I’m still learning. This is a great resource. I’m down for comparing notes! I am on bio Identical hormones, I guess the estrogen helps plump things up but it hasn’t made them go away either. There’s so much u certainty and wondering and trying to figure it all out. I suspect the Hashi’s has me out of whack and hope her remedy helps. PS the bio hormones helped many things a lot. My moods are much more stable. What’s your story?

      • Kath says

        I’m experiencing bladder infection issues now and am researching to find a cure, or some type of effective treatment. I, too, have been told by an MD that there is no bacteria, but I’m convinced there is. I know exactly when it started, and bacteria was involved. The info on this site about types of bacteria is most helpful, and will provide fodder for further investigation, and also to share with my Dr. if I need to go back.

        Here’s a link that also was informative: (info is dated, but is it still relevant? If so might explain why so many of our bacterial infections are being missed)

        http://www.ic-network.com/guestlectures/bjtranscript.html

        In the QA section of the lecture, she mentions that most labs culture bacteria in an agar medium. Apparently some bacteria that exist in the bladder don’t grow on this medium, but do grow in a liquid medium — the Dr. mentioned who discovered this used a soy broth. Apparently the agar medium is a newer culture medium technology, and labs don’t as a matter of course use the older liquid medium technology any more.

        The newer culture methods apparently are missing our infections. I’m still researching this myself, but I’m sharing in case anyone else having the same issues – bladder pain, urge frequency — all supposedly without a bacterial infection according to a dip stick or culture — and has time to research and share. I’ve been at it for almost 3 hours today, and have to stop now.

        It would be great to know of a lab that still uses a liquid medium, to tell our Drs. or send in our own urine for a culture. I’ve been told that I need to have a camera stuck up my bladder etc, etc. Ugh. I know this is some type of bacterial infection… I don’t need all that bladder drama!

        By the way, I’m controlling symptoms until I find a cure with D-Mannose and Cranberry pills 3x per day, as well probiotics for women’s vaginal and urinary areas at double the 50 billion dose AM and PM, and a regular probiotic with the middle D-mannose & cran pill dose. I’m a large woman, 5′ 8″ and 200 lbs, so someone smaller would likely need less.

  60. Kimberly says

    Hi. I have been struggling with an antibiotic drug resistant ecoli bacteria that goes into my kidneys and causes me to be very weak and I get back pain and my muscles burn when I use them.( I was told this is due to dehydration.) I take the IV antibiotics which has damaged my eyes hopefully temporarily. Then I’m sick again within a week to 10 days. I tried the powdered D-manose which did not work. The powder tasted very sugary. I am also diabetic and the doctor said that the bacteria thrive on sugar. So I don’t think I can take sugary stuff like D-manose. What do you recommend for me. I am very concerned that antibiotics destroy DNA, protein and mitocondria. I need to get off the antibiotics. What can I do?
    Thanks.

  61. Diana VP says

    The last few times I felt a UTI onset, I used this remedy: 16 oz of unsweetened 100% cranberry juice (this stuff is TART), every day for 3 days. For every 16 oz of water I put in my stainless steel bottle, I mixed in 4 ounces of cran juice. By the end of the first day it alleviated most of the pain. By day 3 the symptoms were gone!

  62. Darlene says

    I also have had a history of reacurring UTI’s and I am currently on nitrofurantoin, generic for macrodantin, and it is getting too expensive. Thinking about trying the d-mannose do you think that is ok? I also have the ecoli strain and this is the only antibiotic I can take but I don’t want to become antibiotic resistant.

  63. Miriam says

    I have been taking lactoferrin for almost two weeks two times a day for the treatment of hep c. My stools are back to normal and will have blood taken again on Dec. 19th. I really feel it is working! Has anyone else taken it? One thing I noticed is that now when I take it my urine is discolored and has a strange odor first thing in the morning. Is this common. It is totally clear after I drink water.
    I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor with no money and because of my genotype the usual interrfon would not give me a good chance of curing it. But, I’m trying to be as proactive as possible and this seems to be working. I was diagnosed in 2003 and I believe I contracted it in the early seventies.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  64. Des says

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve been taking BioFilm Defense as a preventative measure. I randomly started it last Wednesday. Am I to finish the whole bottle? I had a UTI a month ago and managed to cure it with dmannose.

  65. Linda Sobel says

    I am past menopause. After having kidney stones and many UTI infections I finally found relief. Been taking d mannose with cranactin and a hormone cream estrace. My world has changed.

  66. Danielle N.R. says

    I just purchased D-Mannose and Biofilm Defense. I have gotten a uti followed by a yeast infection every month after my pregnancy about 4 months now. I think its hormones. My doctor keeps giving me antibiotics. What should my D-mannose – Biofilm regumine? How often should I take each?

  67. Jesse says

    Chris, I am a 39 year old male and have had a constant urinary tract infection for just over 2 years now. I realize that this is very uncommon in men. I have taken to the internet to do my own research as no doctors have been able to treat my infection or find out what infection I have. I have been perscribed Cipro, doxycycline and now just finishing a 10 day perscription of Macrobid that is not working. I realize the side effects of these antibiotics and try and use them as little as i can to control my infection, but if I go say approximateley 5 days without taking a doxycyline pill I will start peeing almost straight blood and then have white puss come out. The pain when I am peeing or slowly dribbling out blood is undescribeable. If I then take a Doxy pill, almost exaqctly 3 hours from taking it the blood, puss and most of the pain will go away, I can pee almost normal again but I still feel the urinary tract infection especially when i first start to urinate. The Doxy however controls the bacteria from multiplying and lets me still live a some what normal life. I have seen a Urologist that did a scope on me and I was told I have no blockages in my urinary tract and a very healty bladder. He then told me that there is nothing he can do for me from here. I am very scared to keep taking these antibiotics. I am willing at this point to try anything else, i am at a complete loss of knowing what to do and I have become really depressed over this. I realize this is way more common in women but is there any men that have had any of these symptoms? D-Mannose but am also willing to try any other suggestion. I have no idea where to go from here now that the uroligist that i waited to get into for over a year has now told me there is nothing else he can do.

  68. kate says

    Could someone please tell me if any of these biofilm disruptors are safe during pregnancy? Or at least not notably unsafe? Thinking of taking one today –uti hasn’t gone away in five days in spite of every natural remedy I could find.

  69. Linda Sobel says

    If u have had a UTI for five days and pregnant, I think u need to see a traditional doctor. Don’t fool around with new things at this point. I am all about holistic and or supplements but if Uti’s are not treated after a few days, it can turn into a kidney infection. Good luck!!!!

  70. Alicia says

    I have had a uti for about 3 months now and have been to the doctors twice and have been on 2 different antibiotics and nothing seems to fix it they took a culture of my urine and said there was no bacteria I have no insurance and I’m feeling very discouraged.. the doctors that have seen me have told me to see someone else but I just can’t afford too.. I’m losing all faith..

  71. Wendy says

    Through a car accident many years ago an injury was that my ureatha was damaged which now causes the bladder not to empty properly and get severe bladder infections I catheterised every day, through taking so many antibiotics I still get infections have just started using d manose and coconut water plus a very health diet (no sugar) was wondering if apolactoferrin would help me and where do I purchase it from.

  72. Kelly says

    I would like to comment on a regimen that I find extremely effective at banishing my UTIs that would otherwise need antibiotics. I tried the d-mannose approach early on, but as noted it is only effective against e-coli bacteria. Later on, d-mannose no longer worked for me. My tests have come back with numerous offending bacterias, most likely because the biofilms are so difficult to disrupt. You want to look for broad spectrum antibacterials. It would also help to narrow down the offending bacteria in order to find an antimicrobial that would be most appropriate.

    I second the biofilm disrupters above, but I have been having great success with olive leaf extract (tincture or capsules), with tumeric capsules. Tumeric happens to be a biofilm disrupter. Olive leaf is a very broad spectrum herbal antibiotic, probably one of the most potent there is. When I was taking it alone, it worked 90% of the time, but it wasn’t always strong enough. The combo of olive leaf and tumeric seems to be most effective. I’ve nipped every UTI in the bud since. Look up acute doses for olive leaf. I take 180mg per day of oleuropein divided into 4-5 doses. You need to check your extract to see how much oleuropein is included in each capsule or tincture dose. It will vary. I hope this helps someone out there as much as it has helped me.

    Antibiotics should be a last resort, but I know how panicked we can get to reach for them with UTIs. If you are in a lot of pain and are peeing blood I recommend an antibiotic. Cranberry juice and d-mannose are not likely to help you then. I recommend olive leaf and tumeric for recurring UTIs and if they do not relieve you of the burning sensation I recommend seeing a doctor. I think the key to prevention if a biofilm disrupter and an appropriate antibacterial agent for your specific strain. There aren’t too many different UTI offenders though and olive leaf seems to work against quite a few. If you have impaired immunity, you should also look into working on that with nutrition and other herbs.

  73. Sylvia says

    I learn that Cranberry juice is great to treat UTI as I got it quiet often special after bowel moment even I went to clean myself in the shower after each moment. How fast will the infection develope after once infected fr the bowel moment? I tried Cranberry juice I like the taste but if I drink more than one cup a day it gives me diarrhoea. Sometimes I drink a lot of water to clear the infection. Will it help by drink a lot of water?

  74. Ken says

    I have been reading your great article on how to treat UTI without antibiotics. I am a 60 yr old male sufferer of UTI and has been using antibiotics prescribed by doctor but success has been limited. I read reviews by users of D-Hannose – most with good results. I am thinking of trying it myself. I have 2 questions: 1) should I use only pure or 100% d-hannose? Some products on the markets include other ingredients such as cranberry extract which your article said to avoid cranberry juice. 2) Is there any special diet or food I should avoid so that UTI does not recur or I need to take d-hannose daily (plus exercise good hygiene) to avoid UTI recurrence.

  75. Emily Palik-Killian says

    I have been using the treatment dosing you recommended of 500mg D-Mannose every 2-3 hrs on my ailing elderly mother, actually electing every 2 hrs because the UTI was so severe. You mentioned in the article to continue for a few days after symptoms are gone. Can you be more specific? How many days after symptoms are gone do I continue at the 2-3 hrs rate? Then how far do I drop down? Do I go back to her prior maintenance dose of 1000mg/day? Or do I need to taper off? I don’t want to make the mistake of letting the infection rebuild if it’s not entirely conquered… but I also don’t want to keep her at the extra high dose as it’s producing fierce abdominal pain from gas/bloating.

    • Mir says

      My mom is 82 with constant reoccurring UTIs. Since using the D-Mannose regime for the UTI we have changed to the maintenance schedule. First week 2 capsules next week we will try just one. The capsules are 500mg. It cured the UTI and the maintenance is working, NO UTI as of yet. It does work. She did not experience the bloating or pain so make sure your mom is drinking a big glass of water with each dose and continues drinking water. Dehydration may be causing the side effects. Get a colored bottle so she knows it’s hers and keep it filled with water. My mom took so many antibiotics they were no longer working and actually hurting her stomach – killing the good bacteria as well as the bad. It is working for use. Hope this helps!

  76. Emily says

    How often does Chris chime in on questions? It would be exceedingly helpful to know how many days should one continue the “treatment level” of D-Mannose after UTI symptoms are gone (no fever, no blood, no delerium) & already done 5 days of 500mg every 2-3 hrs. What is the next dose regimen & for how many days, until one backs down to a maintenance dose? My 87 yr old mother has had an indwelling catheter for over 2 yrs now & essentially is unable to move (all this as byproduct of adverse medication reaction) so that we do suppositories & BMs in bed thus must be extremely careful on fecal contamination. Because we’ve been so extra careful, we’ve nearly never had UTIs. One we did with antibiotics then learned of D-Mannose so caught the second quickly with very lose dose. Now, a year later, we just conquered a severe e-coli UTI with the treatment regimen that Chris described but then I’ve not known how to titrate down in a way that won’t accidentally set us back (U/A & CBC now negative for infection). I don’t want to make the mistake of keeping her on elevated doses too long as I realize that her body might acclimate & thus not be as responsive to D-Mannose whenever we might need it at a treatment level of dose (vs. maintenance level) in the future.

  77. Cat says

    I have had chronic uti symptoms for twelve years. I have tried everything mentioned except for the biofilm disrupters. Reading about them has given me some hope. I can’t go more than a few days without taking an antibiotic, for the last three years. When I have followed herbal regimens, they have not worked. Uti is miserable and expensive. It was scary to read about crazy episodes and dementia from uti! Why does that happen?

  78. lex deter says

    Hello cris, wanted your opinion. I self cath due to a spinal cord injury. Im currently batteling an ecoli infection that is unresponsive to Levaquin/marobid and now resophen(spelling?) I started the dmannose last night. my question is because I cath im just empting my bladder instead of the urine flowing thru the ureathra and in my logic flushing that part out. Am I wrong in my thinking/ or can this dmannose still be effective eventhough I cath myself? very frustrated and depressed..ive been hurt 25 years and never faced anything like this. thank u

  79. Cat says

    I am waiting for my biofilm defense t arrive, and in the meantime I added lactoferrin to my herbal regimen. Is lactoferrin for short term use, or is it safe long term? Thanks for your wonderful and informative site!

  80. Cat says

    Biofilm is on the way, and I began lactoferrin yesterday. Is it safe long term, or is it only for short term use? Thank you for this informative site! It is a wealth of new information.

  81. Julie Hooper says

    Hi Chris,
    Sounds like my case is unique. I am pregnant (1st trimester) and was just told I have a bladder infection but not from E. Coli. Broup B strep was found in my urine culture. Should I try Lauricidin or one of the other biofilm treatments?

  82. Emily says

    Have a few questions:
    1)
    2) In addition to D-Mannose with CranActin, we use QBC for biofilm issues, which is Quercitin, Bromelain, & Vit C. I recently came across a product (UTI-Stat with Proantinox Liquid Cleansing) that combines D-Mannose with Crannberry, Bromelain, & Vit C (Ascorbic Acid) plus FOS (but no Quercitin). I have now read that FOS (fructo-oligo-saccharide) is possibly not such a great idea, since it might feed rather than inhibit e-coli & yeast. Wondering if anyone is familiar with this product, FOS, or benefit of Quercitin in combatting UTIs or biofilm.

    • Emily says

      Oops, sent before I wrote the other question. If an infection has grown severe enough to be a bladder or kidney infection, is the D-Mannose dosing still 500 mg every 2-3 hrs? How long should that higher dose be followed? Do you just drop down to a maintenance dose (whatever that is) or taper off on some sort of regimented schedule for several more days? My mother is so frail that I need specifics on how long to go on the high dose & then precisely when to drop down & on what schedule of reduction. Cannot afford to let infection rebuild by accidentally not keeping the higher regimen long enough.

  83. Mir says

    My mom has had UTIs forever and everytime she was given antibiotics but they still came back. I bought the D-Mannose and she did the regime for the last episode and is now on the maitenance regime. Guess what? No more UTIs. I am taking the Lactoferrin for HepC but have found that it works on the UTIs as well. When my liver functions went helter skelter I think I got an UTI which actually caused pressure on my brain, kidneys etc. I thought I had a bump on my head but I swear it was from the UTI. Now all is good except for one item Once a day my urine comes out orange could it be bilirubins are too high. Last check up they were 2.2 and the doc has sent me to a GI for help. Any advice?

  84. Cat says

    Has anyone tried interfase for bio films? If so, how did it work? Mine finally came, but I am not sure how exactly to use it, or if it will have negative effects on good bacteria. I am desperate, but still unsure about how to use it.

    Thanks.

  85. Toni Winters says

    I started using D-Mannose May of 2009. I have gotten UTIs my whole life. I do have some reflux which causes the bacteria, but not bad enough for them to do surgery. So basically Ive had to deal with taking antibiotics for most of my life.
    Also I was diagnosed with Intercistal Cystitus in April of 2008 and was in horrible pain. The cyctitus is caused by the bladder no longer having a lining on it. So anything you eat that is acidic can be incredibly painful, even debilitating. And I have a high pain tolerance.
    A friend of mine that is an herbalist suggested I try D-Mannose. It took about a month for me to notice a difference. I took 1000 mlg 3 times a day initially. I now only take 2 in the morning and 1 at night. After a month I was no longer in pain and could eat what I wanted without worrying that it was going to cause me pain. Sex is also no longer an issue. Not only all that, but I haven’t had a UTI in 4 years! D-mannos has absolutly been a miracle drug for me! Ive suggested it to several others as well and they have also been amazed by the results.
    I buy mine now thru Amazon. Solaray sells 120 tablets for 30.00. You can also get 60 tablets at The Vitamin Shoppe for 19.99.
    I strongly suggest if you havent tried it. Do SO! D-Mannose gave me my life back!

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