Women’s health is a critical pillar of our public health system. Indeed, the complex female anatomy also enables various conditions that we certainly do not see in their masculine counterparts. Such is the case of cervical dysplasia and the elevated frequency of urinary tract infections. However, these conditions are constantly associated with antecedents, triggers, and mediators that can overlap, leading to a complex assessment and holistic treatment that can be treated with a functional medicine approach.
Around 50% of the women population will suffer from a urinary tract infection throughout her life, and in fact, 30-40%of these patients will have a recurring condition after treatment. Furthermore, urinary tract infections can affect everyone but are ten times more common in the female population when compared to men. Indeed, between the female population, those pregnant, young, and peri or post-menopausal women will be the most affected by UTIs, accounting for up to 7 million office visits. Furthermore, elderly patients, infants, diabetic patients, and spinal cord injury are also susceptible to urinary tract infections.
According to literature, a urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection of the bladder and associated structure. However, there are several categories of UTI depending on the severity of the case.
Treating UTIs with a Functional Medicine approach:
The most common way to treat a urinary tract infection is with antibiotics, typically recommended for ten days. Nevertheless, different bacterial strains can cause this infection, and some of them can create antibiotic resistance leading to further complications.
Furthermore, some foods have proven to be beneficial in the treatment of urinary tract infections. Indeed, several nutrients, specifically antioxidants, and natural antimicrobial agents, can be used in the UTI’s treatment of those special populations, such as pregnant women.
Current literature suggests that eating fresh or dried cranberries can be useful to impede or suppress the infection. In addition, cranberry juice can also be used as a prophylactic method. Nevertheless, the expert opinion differs due to the high sugar content in juices. In fact, experts recommend the intake of cranberry and polyphenols supplementation in capsules. How to pick the right supplement for you? Here is a quick guide that will help you determine what is the best supplement for you.
There’s a current antibiotic resistance going on worldwide, and this is the main reason why most patients seek a better option to treat their conditions. The current UTI treatment needs to eliminate the bacterial strain causing this reaction and prevent new infections. Consequently, the functional medicine approach includes powerful polyphenols that decrease the inflammatory cascades triggered by the immune response to the pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, these polyphenols enable prophylactic protection that inhibits bacterial adherence.- Ana Paola Rodriguez Arciniega, MS
Bono, Michael J. and Wanda C. Reygaert. “Urinary Tract Infection.” StatPearls, StatPearls Publishing, 23 June 2021.
González de Llano, Dolores et al. “Cranberry Polyphenols and Prevention against Urinary Tract Infections: Relevant Considerations.” Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 25,15 3523. 1 Aug. 2020, doi:10.3390/molecules25153523
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The information herein on "Treating Urinary Tract Infections with a Functional Medicine Approach" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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