Hello again! Last week we talked about how to increase and/or support healthy bowel movements and this week we will talk about how to increase the health of your urinary tract system. This can be helpful for males and females– however we will pay more attention on female urinary tract health since the tendency for urinary tract infections are higher in females. Let’s get started!
Urinary Tract System
The urinary tract system is comprised of the kidneys, ureters (the two long tubes that empty the fluid from the kidneys to the bladder), bladder, and the urethra. The purpose of the urinary system is to eliminate waste from the body, regulate blood volume and blood pressure, control levels of electrolytes and metabolites, and regulate blood pH.
Urinary Tract Health
There are many things you can do to increase the health of your urinary tract. We usually do not even give much thought to the health of our urinary tract until we experience discomfort or even worse– a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs are most commonly caused from E.Coli entering through the urethra and then settling into the bladder. Another cause for urinary tract infections can be from a candida (yeast) overgrowth in the body. Both of these pathogens will throw off the precious ecology that exists in the bladder. And if the UTI continues to worsen– the infection will make it’s way up to the kidneys (which can be really awful to experience).
Supplements to Support Urinary Tract Health
- Probiotics– This is the single most important supplement for supporting a healthy urinary tract system. If you have enough healthy bacterium in the system, bad bacteria will be less likely to thrive. Consider a specific probiotic for urinary support like Nature’s Way Women’s Primadopholis or Jarrow Formulas Fem Dopholis. Both of these probiotics will have specific strains that are needed to support your urinary system.
- Kidney/Liver supplements– most of the herbs that are beneficial for the liver and kidneys will help the entire urinary tract system. If you experience urinary discomfort often it might be beneficial to try a kidney formula or a liver formula to help purify your urinary tract system.
- Cranberry– This is the most popular and well known supplement for all things urinary tract related. Cranberry can help with preventing bacteria to adhere to the walls of the bladder. This can be taken to help prevent UTI’s and keep liquids moving through the system.
- D-Mannose– This is a type of sugar that also binds to bacteria and will help remove the bacteria from the urinary tract system before it can adhere to the bladder wall to colonize. This tends to be a more effective method than cranberry but is a bit more expensive and less known.
- Uva Ursi– This herb was used in native tribes as a remedy to fight bacteria viruses and more. This herb can help to strengthen the bladder walls as well as help fight bacteria in the urinary tract system. This herb should only be used temporarily and not for long periods of time. You can also find it combined with other urinary tract supporting supplements in this formula by Solaray– CranActin.
- Vitamin C- Vitamin C can be great for urinary tract health (especially in higher doses or taken several times throughout the day). It is also beneficial for the immune system and so much more!
Other Tips to Support Urinary Tract Health
- Try drinking warm water with lemon every day– this will help balance the ph of the body and minimize the likeliness for bacteria to thrive in the body. This is a cheap and easy way to bring the body back to balance.
- Read up on how to support healthy bowel movements since E.coli happens to be the number one cause of UTIs (if you experience chronic diarrhea this can be a possibility of how the E.coli is reaching the urethra and settling in the bladder.)
- Sometimes an over growth of candida (yeast) in the system can really throw the urinary tract system off. This is an avenue to explore if antibiotics are not helping with reoccurring infections or if you are experiencing discomfort when urinating.
- Try using coconut oil topically around the area to relieve pain or burning from urination (use discretion and do your research first and see if this is right for you).
- Most of the supplements discussed above will increase urination, so prepare yourself to eliminate a lot of fluid!
If you do experience a UTI, your safest bet is to see a doctor. There are all kinds of remedies for UTIs but they may not be effective depending on the severity– and by no means do you want to wait on it getting better because of the likeliness of the bacteria traveling into the kidneys. This can be an incredibly awful thing to experience. Buckle down on preventative measures after it subsides. There are also all kinds of safe bathroom practices to help support your urinary tract system, go ahead and look them up!
As always, do what you feel is best for YOUR body– if you aren’t sure, ask your doctor. We are health ENTHUSIASTS not licensed practitioners.