Why You Should Consider Taking Probiotics for UTIsFriday Sep 9, 2022
Urinary tract infections are extremely common (about 60% of women develop a UTI in their lifetime) and very uncomfortable. What's even more annoying is if you get UTIs frequently and have to experience symptoms like a frequent urge to pee, and lower abdominal pain over and over again.
Home remedies like drinking cranberry juice or chugging a bunch of water haven't gotten the job done. But have you ever thought about taking probiotics for UTIs? If you haven't, let's talk about why you should!
But first, some UTI basics. Here's a quick rundown on what UTIs even are, what causes them, symptoms to look out for, and tips for preventing them.
What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI for short) occurs when there's a bacterial infection in your bladder or urethra (the two most common), but can also occur from a kidney infection in more serious cases. When left untreated, this can result in serious and even fatal repercussions.
So what causes a UTI? Your gut is made of trillions of different microorganisms, including yeast and bacteria. The good microbes work to keep the bad microbes under control and prevent them from multiplying. However, UTIs can happen more frequently when this dynamic gets thrown off.
Once that happens, bad bacteria like E. coli , for example, have the chance to make camp in your urinary tract and multiply, which leads to infection. This can either be a bladder infection, urethritis, or kidney infection in extreme cases.
Symptoms of UTIs
Depending on the location of your infection, you can experience a wide range of different symptoms, which can include:
- Needing to pee a lot/frequent urge to pee
- Burning sensation or pain when urinating
- Differences in urine (i.e. stronger odor, more cloudy, or changes in color, such as red or bright pink, which can indicate blood in the urine)
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen. For women, this may specifically relate to pelvic pain around the pubic bone's location.
How to Prevent UTIs
When it comes to preventing UTIs, there are plenty of tools you have at your disposal:
- Stay hydrated and pee frequently—The easiest way to avoid UTIs is to get rid of the bad bacteria before it has a chance to build up. And by staying hydrated, it'll help you clear out all the bad bacteria. This doesn't have to be boring, regular old drinking water either. Spice things up and add some special ingredients to your H2O for more flavor and added health benefits. And you don't have to do it with regular old H2O either.
- Wipe from front to back—Most bacteria congregate near or around the anus. Wiping front to back decreases the likelihood of any bad bacteria building up and getting to your urethra.
- Clean up prior to sex and make sure to pee afterward—Wash up with soap and water before to reduce the chances of bacteria reaching the urethra. Peeing after sex flushes any bad bacteria out of your urinary tract.
- Stay on top of your gut health—A healthy gut impacts so many areas of your health, including the chances of getting a UTI. Aim for a balanced diet of diverse plant foods and foods that are high in fiber.
- Consider taking probiotics for UTIs— Probiotics have been shown to help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut that help keep UTI-causing bacteria from taking over.
If you do happen to contract a UTI and it progresses to the kidneys (indicated by lower back pain), don't hesitate to head to Urgent Care and ask about some antibiotics. You can use probiotics to help repair after your antibiotic regimen is complete.
How Probiotics for UTIs Can Help
So, why should you consider taking probiotics for UTIs?
Like a lot of diseases and other health issues, your gut plays a central role. When it's balanced and healthy, bad bacteria like E. coli don't have the chance to thrive and multiply. This limits the opportunity for bad microbes to enter your urinary tract and cause havoc, with the end result being a UTI.
Research has found a key link between what the gut looks like in healthy people and what it looks like in those who are more susceptible to getting UTIs. Lactobacillus , which is considered a “good” bacteria strain, has been found to be widely prevalent in the gut of healthy people when compared to those who more easily contract UTIs. So, when it comes to the best probiotics for UTI prevention and treatment, you want to focus on strains from the Lactobacilli family.
As we mentioned before, women have a 60% chance of getting at least one UTI in their lifetime. Probiotics are not only good for preventing UTIs but have a multitude of other benefits for women's health.
Key Takeaways on Probiotics for UTIs
Your gut health depends on several factors, a lot of which are in your control—the foods you eat, your activity level, how effectively you manage stress, etc. Any one of those can throw your gut off balance and give way to the reproduction of bad bacteria, negatively impacting your urinary health and leading to UTIS and yeast infections.
In order to prevent UTIs, here are some points to keep in mind:
- Stay hydrated to flush out harmful toxins
- Clean yourself prior to sex and pee aftward
- Wipe from front to back to avoid bad bacteria from gathering
- Maintain good gut health by eating a diverse set of plant foods and getting plenty of fiber
- Consider taking probiotics for a boost in good bacteria that can help keep UTI-causing bacteria at bay. The best probiotics for UTIs will contain strains from the Lactobacilli family.
Our personalized probiotics program crafts a one-of-a-kind formula tailored to your specific gut profile to help with conditions like UTIs, SIBO, leaky, gut, and more!
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH who also enjoys going to the gym and doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, scrolling through Netflix trying to find a new binge-worthy show, and catching a game to root on his hometown sports teams.