While it’s tempting to jump to a conclusion and blame “bad bacteria” for all the troubles, I suggest you take a moment to appreciate the sheer multitude of issues that could disguise themselves as a urinary tract infection or make you prone to infection. Gaining awareness about UTI causes could drastically improve your chances of healing. Please, don’t be quick to start a “protocol” or buy a new supplement that worked for someone. Jumping to a solution without recognizing root causes will only cost you money and time.
Let’s rule out other things.In our Facebook group, we often encounter cases when UTI-like symptoms are caused by undiagnosed yeast, BV, or pelvic pain. The pain could also be a residual inflammation that still feels like stinging, burning, or bladder ache long after the acute infection is gone. Needless to say, if your pelvic floor muscles are tight or your urethra is healing after a raging inflammatory response, no amount of antibiotics or D-mannose would do.
Urinary tract infections: causesIf indeed, your symptoms are urinary tract infections, you have to figure out why you became prone to them. Many think that poor hygiene is the main reason for UTIs, but this is far from the truth. In most cases, your hygiene habits have little to do with your chances of developing a UTI. It’s not even about bacteria in your bladder since we now know that even healthy people often have similar bladder bacteria as do folks prone to UTIs. If you are a woman, the secret to a UTI-free life could be in your vagina. And if you have a prostate, get it checked. If you keep experiencing persistent chronic UTIs, bacterial biofilms might be the ones to blame. I grouped UTI causes into 5 main “buckets” to help you to remember what to watch out for. While the list is long, it is still far from complete. Since chronic and recurrent UTIs are often systemic problems, many things could contribute to your UTI susceptibility, but this post is an excellent start to examining your risk factors.
Misbalanced Vaginal FloraCompromised vaginal flora is one of the most overlooked UTI causes. There is a very close link between loss of normal vaginal flora (particularly Lactobacillus species) and an increased risk of contracting a UTI. “Wait for a second,” I hear you saying, “if UTIs happen in my bladder, what does my vagina have to do with it?”. Unfortunately, the critical role of a healthy vagina in UTI prevention is not common knowledge. The fact is that E.coli bacteria (that cause 90% of all UTIs and live in your lower intestines) ascend from your anal region toward your urethra. On the way toward your urethra, pathogenic bacteria pass through your vagina. If your vaginal flora is healthy, the bad guys will struggle to survive. However, if vaginal flora is compromised, E.coli bacteria will multiply and continue climbing up toward your urethra and, eventually, the bladder. A healthy vaginal flora consists of predominantly Lactobacillus species. Those tiny good bacteria are on your side. Every day, researchers find more ways to help our bodies function and how the lack of those bacteria could lead to various misalignments. For example, scientists speculate that:
- Lactobacillus species might help to maintain the low pH of the genital area.
- Produce hydrogen peroxide.
- Hinder the growth of E. coli.
- Help to down-regulate inflammatory reactions caused by E. coli.