According to Dr. Wright who was the first physician to use D-Mannose in the USA in the 1980s, D-Mannose helps prevent and treat UTIs caused by E. coli bacteria. However, it’s important to note that the FDA does not support his statement and recognizes D-Mannose only as a supplement that is not intended to prevent or treat UTI.
At the same time, the treatment of UTI with D-Mannose has a solid theory behind it and some successful clinical research studies that have demonstrated D-Mannose effectiveness for UTI prevention (this one: D-Mannose is as effective as antibiotics in UTI prevention and this one). D-Mannose is also a pretty safe and has only a few manageable side-effects.
D-Mannose is actually a type of sugar. But not your regular sugar (glucose), which goes with your coffee (this type would actually make your symptoms worse).
Instead, your body does not metabolize D-Mannose like other sugars. That’s why D-Mannose does not affect the blood sugar levels, and therefore is safe for the diabetics.
This is also why once you intake D-Mannose it is quickly expelled from your body in urine.
Maintaining a high concentration of D-Mannose in urine is a key way to fight an E. coli bacterial growth in your bladder.
So you might wonder why your doctor never mentioned D-Mannose, and that’s a legitimate question.
Why My Doctor Doesn’t Know About D-Mannose?
First of all, most physicians follow official treatment guidelines, otherwise, they are just asking for legal trouble.
Second, D-Mannose doesn’t always work as well as antibiotics, as it’s a natural substance and the quality, therefore, varies.
Third, clinical trials that would require a re-classification of D-Mannose as a drug are prohibitively expensive, and given that D-Mannose is naturally occurring, there is no interest on behalf of big pharma to sponsor such trials (because they can’t patent it and then return the money they borrowed to pay for such trials).
It’s ironic, that many physicians still recommend cranberry juice for UTI that has been proven not effective for UTI prevention while having no idea about D-Mannose.
UTI Prevention Is Better Than Cure
While D-Mannose is a great supplement, it’s only one part of the solution. Do you want to prevent UTI naturally, without antibiotics? Most likely you’ll need a range of strategies to:
- Decrease bladder inflammation
- Fight bacterial biofilms
- Decrease number of pathogenic bacteria (this is where D-mannose could be handy)
- And implement healthy lifestyle changes.
My Most Popular UTI Guides to prevent UTI naturally:
Key Points: How To Take D-Mannose. D-Mannose Dose for UTI
- Buy D-Mannose in powder instead of capsules. One of the best “bang for the buck” options on Amazon is BulkSupplements Pure D-Mannose Powder.
- Drink half of glass of water with your first D-Mannose dose (1 teaspoon 2-3 hours for treatment supplementation)
- Take D-Mannose as early a possible before the infection fully develops
- Don’t self-treat for longer than two days
- If you have a corn allergy, here are D-Mannose options that are not made from corn: Pure Encapsulations – d-Mannose Powder.
- Keep in mind, E. coli are responsible for 90% of all urinary tract infections, the rest could not be cured by D-Mannose.
Common Mistakes When Taking D-Mannose
#1 Common mistake: Drinking your first dose of D-Mannose with a lot of water
If you just ingested D-Mannose, wait a moment before drinking a lot of water. If you are drinking too much water right away, you are diluting the concentration of D-Mannose in your bladder, thereby cutting down its potency.
- Take your dose with no more than half of a glass of water
- Then wait for about 45 mins to an hour
- After that, drink plenty of water in order to get rid of harmful bacteria.
This way concentrated D-Mannose has more time to bind to E. coli bacteria before you flush them with water.
#2 Pricey mistake: Buying D-Mannose in capsules
Do not overpay by buying D-mannose capsules. You’ll not only be wasting your money but also ingesting all the extra ingredients that are required for processing the powder into capsules (for example rice flour, stearic acid, magnesium stearate and silica).
You can measure D-Mannose powder with a teaspoon, but don’t worry: you do not have to be precise.
The powder has a pleasant, sweet taste, and when you add D-Mannose to water, it dissolves easily.
#3 Dangerous mistake: Waiting too long before seeing a doctor
If you decided to treat your UTI with D-Mannose, know that you are assuming certain health risks, though they are not associated with D-Mannose itself.
The main side-effect risk is that D-Mannose won’t work for you and your UTI bacteria could ascend to your kidneys, which is a very serious infection. Best is to watch your symptoms closely and do not rely entirely on an OTC UTI test that could misfire.
Learn about the main D-Mannose side effects and how to avoid them.
If your UTI symptoms have not diminished or completely disappeared after 1-2 days, do not wait any longer and go to the doctor.
Remember, D-Mannose only works for UTIs caused by E. coli bacteria, and if you let your infection go untreated, you are at risk of developing a dangerous kidney infection, or even deadly sepsis.
If you are experiencing frequent UTIs, there is a higher chance that your infections are caused by multiple bacteria types, not only E.coli.
Scientists still don’t know why for some suffering UTIs caused by E. coli, D-Mannose is a miracle cure, but for other patients, it simply doesn’t work.
One point to remember is that D-mannose is a natural product and it’s possible that variations in sources and methods of manufacture, as well as a diversity of pathogenic bacteria, could play a role.
#4 Taking D-Mannose too late
It appears that D-Mannose works best if taken preventively or at the very first signs of infection.
A full-blown UTI might benefit from D-Mannose supplementation, but you are running a risk that bacteria are growing at a faster rate than you are able to clear them.
If you end up taking antibiotics, supplementing with D-Mannose could be an option to speed up recovery, but do not stop your antibiotic treatment to switch to D-Mannose. You’ll be running a risk to develop a drug-resistant bacteria.
#5 Relying only on D-Mannose for your UTI treatment strategy
I understand your desire to stick with a natural supplementation for your UTI prevention and treatment needs.
However, UTIs (especially chronic ones) are a multi-faucet problem requiring a complex approach.
Thankfully, there are plenty of herbal and natural remedies to help you stay healthy!
If this is your first UTI, don’t wait for it to turn into a chronic problem. Contracting a UTI might be a warning signal from your body about other imbalances (vaginal flora, hormones, stones etc..).
#6 Buying D-Mannose made from corn if you are allergic to corn
Did you know that most of the D-Mannose products are made from corn? If you are allergic to corn, usual D-Mannose side-effects could be further exacerbated by your allergy reaction to D-Mannose (hives, GA troubles).
If you know or suspect that you might be allergic to corn, be sure to choose D-Mannose made from cranberries or pineapple.
D-Mannose Dose For Acute UTI
Consider this when trying to supplement your UTI treatment with D-mannose:
- Try the typical D-Mannose dose for UTI treatment: 1500-2000 mg (capsule form) or one-half to one teaspoon (powder) in a half glass of water every two to three hours for five days.
- Drink plenty of water in between D-Mannose doses.
- Remember that as of now, no one has clinically tested and established the exact quantity and frequency of D-Mannose for UTI treatment.
- Different people will react differently to the same D-Mannose dose (depending on their age, weight, overall health).
- The quality and purity of D-Mannose could vary from one manufacturing company to another, and even from one batch to another!
- D-Mannose has certain side-effects and it’s important to weigh all pros and cons before you try it.
- Be careful which D-Mannose brand you chose if you are allergic to corn.
- Once you have started taking D-Mannose, UTI symptoms should significantly diminish within the first 48 hours, but keep it up for 2-3 more days even if the symptoms are gone. If your symptoms did not diminish within the first day, see a doctor immediately.
- Normally, one 50g dose (2-3 ounces) of D-Mannose is sufficient (most likely that’s how much you’d have in one package) for one course.
- Some find it beneficial to follow up an acute episode of a UTI with a month of preventive D-Mannose dose taken daily.
- Consult with your physician on how to supplement your UTI treatment with D-Mannose.
D-Mannose Dose For UTI Prevention
I take D-Mannose after certain trigger events that could cause my UTIs. Consider this when adding D-Mannose to your UTI prevention strategy:
- For UTI prevention take 1500-2000 mg (or one-half teaspoon) once or twice a day.
- You can take “preventive” dose safely for as long as you want. Your bacteria won’t develop a resistance.
- Ladies, take D-Mannose every time you think your vaginal flora is compromised (with the first signs of yeast infection, when consuming a lot of sugar, during stressful times, after sex, etc.).
- Check out my other home remedies for UTI.
D-Mannose products: Best value for the buck
The more volume you buy, the less you pay!
- Now Foods D-mannose Powder, 6 Ounce ($$)
- BulkSupplements Pure D-Mannose Powder –One of the cheapest options with good reviews. I use it all the time. ($)
- Now Foods D-Mannose Powder, 3-Ounce ($$$)
- Now Foods D-mannose 500mg, Capsules, 120-Count ($$$)
Here are some more expensive D-Mannose brands that are not made from corn, and produced in the USA from cranberries and pineapples:
Read my full 2018 review of popular D-Mannose supplements that allows you to compare brands to understand which D-Mannose will last longer if you are taking it for prevention.
FAQs About D-Mannose & UTIs
Is D-Mannose suitable for children?
Well, at the end of the day, it is only a type of sugar—and not the harmful type! At the same time, the doses should be adapted according to age and weight. However, keep in mind that there is a rare genetic disease that messes up how this type of sugar (mannose) is produced and absorbed by your body. Make sure to educate yourself about it before treating yourself or your child.
Moreover, kids normally get UTIs because of urine retention or backward urine flow. It is important to diagnose them for the underlying issues causing the infection instead of trying to self-treat.
Definitely, do not use D-Mannose instead of antibiotics if kids are too young to report their symptoms. It is better to not experiment with any natural supplements and follow your doctor’s advice.
If your child is already taking an antibiotic, you can try to supplement it with D-Mannose. Be extra careful with the dosage, as too much can cause diarrhea.
Is D-Mannose suitable for diabetics?
D-Mannose is most likely suitable for diabetics. Since only very small amounts of D-Mannose are metabolized by the body, it won’t typically raise your sugar level.
Nonetheless, sugar levels in the blood should be monitored regularly. We still don’t know enough about D-mannose metabolism, so you should exercise caution.
How soon to expect a relief with D-Mannose?
If you started taking D-Mannose at the first signs of a UTI you would typically notice a drastic reduction in symptoms as soon as 24 to 48 hours. However, if you do not notice an improvement in your symptoms, make sure to see your physician right away.
An untreated UTI could turn into a dangerous kidney infection and even a lethal sepsis. Every time you choose to self-treat you are running a risk.
Moreover, D-Mannose supplements can also be taken for UTI prevention without damaging your natural digestive and vaginal flora, a benefit that antibiotics cannot provide.
D-Mannose and FDA: Important disclaimer
D-Mannose is a popular supplement among UTI sufferers who are looking for a natural solution to prevent and treat urinary tract infections (just scroll down the page to read comments from the readers like you!).
Anecdotal evidence is growing and contributing to the Internet hype about D-Mannose products since we all want to find a cure from UTI.
However, D-Mannose is a food supplement and FDA does not regulate it. A dietary supplement product is not able to claim it can be used to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease,” because only a drug can legally make such a claim. There is not enough scientific evidence that D-Mannose can treat a UTI, therefore, try it at your own risk and closely monitor your symptoms.
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