Using D-mannose to treat UTI: my experience blow-by-blow (Day 1)

Hi ladies,

It is 5 AM on a Monday morning and I just woke up with the signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI):

  • Burning sensation when I pee
  • Pain in lower abdomen
  • Strong smelling urine (smells like I ate asparagus, which I didn’t)
  • Cloudy urine (it is harder to tell when there is water in the toilet bowl but it looks funky)

But I have no back pains or fever.

Quite frankly, looking back I know that I noticed the very first symptoms yesterday night: my urine smelled funny, it was a bit cloudy and I had a slight feeling of irritation in my urethra. I brushed these signs off, since I have been UTI free for over a year now. I shouldn’t have!

At the same time, I have bitter sweet feelings about this outbreak.

First of all, of course I am not thrilled that I am going through this experience again.

On the other hand, I get to use D-mannose to treat UTI! Sadly, all stores are closed and the first one opens at 7 AM. I am convinced to start on the natural route and if symptoms do not clear up/ improve by the evening I will take the antibiotics. So here I am, sharing my experience as I live through it.

Using D-mannose to treat UTI: Day 1

So here are the first things I’ve done so far (it is 5:40 AM):

1) Drank two glasses of water with 1tbs of baking soda per glass (brr…nasty tasting) to help to flush the germs.

2) Drank one extra glass of water for the same reason.

3) Ate two minced gloves of garlic with a tiny piece of bread and salt to help fight the bacteria.

4) Called my doctor’s office to ask for antibiotics. I will see if I can skip this and will give myself a whole day before I start on them.

5) Searched for when the first Sprouts stores are open in my area (7 AM).

6) Started this blog post πŸ™‚

In one hour I will go to Sprouts to buy D-mannose. I will also need to work from home today since I smell like a freshly baked piece of garlic bread πŸ™‚

Natural remedies to treat UTI
Natural remedies to treat UTI

6:06 AM: another full glass of water and a tea tree oil wash:

7) Tea tree oil wash (3-4 glasses of warm water and 3-4 drops of tea tree oil).

6: 29 AM. Spoke to a Kaiser nurse. The nurse (male) suggested I take AZO and drink cranberry juice while waiting for my antibiotic script to go through for the doctor’s approval. The nurse that I spoke to, had never heard of D-mannose and it is not in his “reference book”.

Noticed a slight improvement in my symptoms: no more abdominal pain, but true test is to pee and see how that feels. In the meantime, I am due for another glass of water.

6:33 AM: another full glass of water.

Peed and it was less painful. The urine looks much more diluted but also pink-ish. So not sure at this point if there is an “improvement”.

Getting ready to go to Sprouts store. I will call them first to make sure that they do indeed have D-mannose. Driving around in traffic with a UTI is super uncomfortable.

6:59 AM: yet another glass of water and I do feel urgency, so the symptoms are not getting better yet. Peed and it is getting more painful! Time to go to the store.

7:58 AM and I am back from the store. When driving, every single traffic light seemed to be endlessly long. The pain is increasing. Peed and the urine while diluted still has recognizable pink shade to it. However, compared to usual, my symptoms are developing slower.

Here are the things that I bought at the Sprouts store:

Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, 16 Ounce – 1 Pack (recommended at the store)

-“Urinary tract support” drops (similar to Gaia Herbs – Usnea/Uva Ursi Supreme – 1 oz) (recommended at the store). Will need to research and post about this item later.

Nature’s Way Vitamin C 1000 with Rose Hips, 250 Capsules

Now Foods D-mannose Powder, 3-Ounce

As soon as I came home (15 mins ago) I took the following:

-700 mg of vitamin C

-60 drops of “Urinary tract support”

-a glass of water with two teaspoons of vinegar (yikes!)

-a glass of water with D-mannose (2 tablespoons). Actually, more than one glass since at some point it stopped dissolving. The guidelines call for 1 teaspoon, but I feel desperate!

Out of all listed above, D-mannose was the most pleasant experience so far: just slightly sweet water.

I called the pharmacy and they haven’t gotten my prescription yet. The pain in my abdomen has returned. Trying not to panic. I’ve been through this before and survived every other time πŸ™‚ But hoping that my symptoms won’t get worse when I need to drive to the pharmacy!

8:20 AM: Just went to the bathroom and it was super painful! Also peeing out bladder lining (looks like pieces of wet red paper) and blood, which adds to anxiety. If I had my antibiotics now, I would just take them since I know this brings an instant relief and I am a sucker for instant relief right now πŸ™‚

Feeling nausea from all that I’ve drunk so far. Just hoping that I can stomach all these remedies (just had a stomach ache the other night from drinking too much coffee so not sure how I will react to the vinegar).

8:45 AM: Continue peeing out bloody urine. Just took another glass of D-mannose. So now I took it twice in the past hour but I feel that maybe I started too late (first symptoms were yesterday). And since it is completely safe, why not? On the other side, it is not cheap to buy it at Sprouts. I paid $25 for a bottle and since you need to take a teaspoon every hour I am afraid I will run out fast!

9:22 AM: Status is same as above: peeing is painful, urine is bloody. Took another glass of water with D-mannose.

I haven’t eaten anything and although I already feel weak I am not intending to eat just yet. I want to make sure that there is nothing in the way while the D-mannose is running through my system.

10:02 AM: Another glass of water with D-mannose. I just discovered that I hate-hate-hate water πŸ™‚ My body just doesn’t want any more water!!!

On top of everything I have diarrhea now (sorry for the details, but I thought you might go through the same and wonder if this is normal). I’ve heard that D-mannose might cause this issue. In my case I feel like I am pretty much peeing from both holes (sorry for being graphic).

On the positive side, it looks like I am experiencing less lower abdominal pain. But it is too early to celebrate since it looks like it comes and goes. When I pee the symptoms are still same: bloody urine and twinge at the end.

11:56 AM: No more lower abdominal pain! But still peeing out blood and it is painful. Ate a salad with chicken and feel really tired. Read about hyponatremia (in relation to “how much water is too much?”) and decided not to drink more than a glass per hour.

From 12 PM till 4 PM I was basically dozing off, having a headache, diarrhea and pain when urinating. Toughest times today!

I took another dose of “Urinary tract support” and have been drinking a glass of water with a tea spoon of D-mannose every hour. Around 4 PM I took a Ibuprofen pill because I was getting a horrible headache and two tablets of Pepto Bismol to hopefully stop the diarrhea.

6:54 PM: Took another dose of “Urinary tract support” (that’s three now) and a glass of D-mannose water. My lower abdominal pain is gone completely! I do not feel the urge (although I go often enough since drinking so much water), there is still a bit of a pain after I urinate, but there is no more blood in urine. Overall, I am feeling much better and the Pepto helped with the side effects of the D-mannose. Napping throughout the day also helped to restore my strength. Will reserve announcing full victory till tomorrow, but I feel much better!

When I called the pharmacy at 2 pm they still didn’t have my prescription ready, but since I am on the mend I feel glad that I didn’t have the antibiotics. I didn’t call them back after that. I would probably have taken the antibiotics by now if they were readily available since the pain was pretty bad in the middle of the day.

I will report how I feel tomorrow!

24 COMMENTS

  1. I’m helping my 95 year old mother (in great shape, still driving, very with-it) move beyond frequent UTIs–probably 10+ rounds of antibiotics in the last 18 months. Her urology office suggested D-Mannose when I asked for something that might move us toward prevention. I obtained some from Bulk Supplements and she finds it easy to take by putting 1/2 to 1 teaspoon on her morning oatmeal. My question: as a preventative is it ok to take D-Mannose with food rather than water? How about when she takes it with food perhaps she should just drink 1/2 glass of liquid with her oatmeal, then drink a full glass of water an hour later? Or maybe it’s best to just do the routine at another time of day? Next step, encouraging her to take probiotics. Thanks, Anastasia, for the very informative blog and links!

    • Hi Mary, you are a very good daughter πŸ™‚
      If you want something to get faster into your blood stream/urine, the best way is to take it on an empty stomach with water. But in your case, it is for prevention and I don’t think the speed of absorption matter. It will all trickle down eventually. Most important that she has a routine that works for her and remembers to do it regularly.
      I would also recommend to look at topical estrogen, there are plenty of products out there. See what your urologist thinks. Here are couple posts on this topic: estrogen and hormones and UTI. If she could tolerate some of the supplements to help fight other types of bacteria and promote healthy lining, consider including some of them too.
      By the way, do you mind sharing the name of the doctor, I’m struggling to find a urologist to interview who is regukarly using D-Mannose with their patients. I will not mention your name to them if you prefer.
      Best of luck!

  2. I self cathatarise up to six times aday due to spinal injury I walk with a stick how much D mannose should I take daily to prevent urine infections ? Cheers Mike

  3. Hi, I just found your site and have a question. I just purchased D-Mannose with CranActin by Solaray (1000 mg D-Mannose, 400 mg cranberry) what dosage do I take when I have the symptoms of a bladder infection? On the bottle, it says “use as directed. Take 2 vegetarian capsules daily with a meal or a glass of water.” I’m assuming that’s for preventative instructions.

  4. Yes I am happy to say that I’m feeling much better! Today is day 5, so tomorrow I won’t be taking the d Mannose every 3 hours. But I’ve been watching my symptoms very thouroughly, very experienced with this unfortunately lol. Pee is practically clear every time. No back pain, abdominal pain or fever. I cheated yesterday and drank a coffee – these “not having caffeine ” headaches were killing me lol. The only time I experience any slight burning is in the evening, right before bed, and it’s like a 2 on a 1-10 scale so it’s probably normal. But I’m trying to figure out how to taper off the d Mannose. I don’t want to just STOP taking it so frequently, maybe I’ll drop down to 3x a day, then 2, then just 1?? What’s your experience??

    • Super happy to hear!
      I would not decrease the amount till you feel absolutely no symptoms. Also highly recommend to do a test (at home or with your physician) to confirm the recovery. Once it is confirmed you can start using D-mannose as a preventive, you do not need to decrease the amount gradually, just use it once a day or even only after sex. Best of luck!

  5. I have suffered from UTIs since I became sexually active. So 10 years now. Worst, most frustrating pain ever!! I hadn’t had one in about a year, then last Friday night – I pee’d and was immediately taken aback by a familiar feeling. Fell asleep thinking it would pass. Saturday morning I woke up, full on UTI. Absolutely refusing to go to the doctor, I did research online. I ordered some D Mannose after reading all the amazing reviews, and did same day delivery. By Saturday night I had taken 2 doses before going to sleep. Mind you, I keep azo in the house so I had taken that to take away the pain. I also was on 1 500mg d Mannose pull every 3 hours. Sunday morning I felt ok – azo still in my system. Sunday evening no pain, slight burning during urination. Monday morning I was so upset when I woke up to that burning feeling!! Took an azo and kept on the same d Mannose regime. But Monday afternoon I felt great. I felt so amazing that I was in shock that a vitamin might actually work! Tuesday I felt great. Tuesday evening I had some slight burning during urInation, hope it passes. I’m doing the d Mannose regime for 5 days, then ill taper myself off. I’ve also been drinking between 6-8 16oz bottles of water a day. I’m hoping I feel back to normal after the 5 days. I am, however, going to keep taking d Mannose once every morning, even after this passes. Because I read that it helps prevent uti’s permanently. Which would be a damn miracle. I’m not someone that prefers taking antibiotics, or doctors lol. I am also going to start a probiotic. My question is, do you think my symptoms fluctuating might be normal?? I did only drink 5 bottles of water today… maybe not enough to flush things out… also glad there’s no bloody urine, last thing I need is a kidney infection lol

    • Hi Sarah, sorry to hear about your struggles! Sounds like a pretty long fight! Yes, last thing anybody needs is a kidney infection! With this in mind, please watch your symptoms carefully. Your symptoms might indicate that you still have the infection so let’s proceed with caution! If you are still experiencing the symptoms today then it’s unfortunately time to pay a visit to a physician. It is better to go through another cycle of mild antibiotics and then double down on prevention. Also the test might show you (as it was in my case) that it could be a different bacteria and in this case D-mannose won’t help. Check out comments on this thread about the experiences of others. Definitely proceed with probiotics, regardless of the treatment plan they do miracles for prevention. Make sure to pick the right type. Stay strong and don’t get upset if it won’t work, it might still suit you for prevention. Ultimate goal is to get you healthy ASAP and then to make sure it never comes back!

  6. I’m so grateful for sites like these which help explain the use of d-mannose for UTI’s. Since menopause, I have started having UTI’s and I don’t do well on any antibiotics. I usually have severe side effects or allergic reactions after one or 2 doses and need to stop. So I tried d-mannose, and it has helped a lot. However, I want to share my initial experience, as I think somewhere else on this site, it’s mentioned that if you have an autoimmune disease, such as lupus (which I do), you may need to take less of the d-mannose. When I took the regular suggested dose of d-mannose, I started to feel extremely nauseated and unwell by the second day. Then I remembered, that I have this type of reaction to many medications and supplements. So I cut back on the dose, and it still helps me get rid of the UTI. This last time, I was taking only one-quarter of a teaspoon, 5 times a day. No nausea, but UTI symptoms going away. I figure it may take a bit longer on the smaller dose, but at least it means I can take it and get improvement, all better than an antibiotic for me, anyway. I’m still experimenting with what is the most I can take without getting nausea. Thanks for all the info and comments!

    • Hi Coral,
      Thank you so much for your post and for sharing your experience! I really appreciate you taking the time to write up your protocol and the fact that you have shared some of the side-effects that D-mannose caused in your case. How do you tolerate probiotics?
      Stay well! Best wishes,

  7. Hello,

    The doctor prescribed me 3 days of antibiotics. None of my pain has gone away, not Even a little bit. They told me to wait it out a couple more days. Do you think it would be bad if I started the D- mannose intake?

    • Hi Lori,
      Sorry to hear! You can start D-mannose anytime, it won’t hurt. Do you know which bacteria caused your UTI? What kind of pains are you having?

  8. Oh my! Just reading your blog put the hair on the back of my neck standing up straight with fear!!

    I have been UTI free for several years. A mild one last year but nothing to speak of. This month has been horrible. First was after a yearly internal. Started developing symptons relatively slowly and got to my MD before they became full blown. Did a course of Cipro. Thought I was out of the woods. A week later another UTI decended with a vengance! Within an hour I was in such agony with all the horrible symptons. I was peeing what I believed to be blood clots. I managed to get to a walk in clinic as it opened and managed to give a urine sample which they sent for analysis. Since I had just finished Cipro, they gave me different drug. Took 2 days before the symptons started to subside. I was frantic! Took the antibiotic for 10 days, waiting 4 days then gave another urine sample to ensure the bug was gone. Got the results of the first test and it turned out to be a SuperBug. Really bad stuff!
    Now my problem is FEAR! I have avoided intimacy with my hubby since the UTI. I started taking cranberry extract with D-Mannose to try to help with my anxiety. An ounce of prevention……. Now I have loose stool and tummy issues. They are tablets of 100mg of dried cranberry juice and D-Mannose 1000mg. I have taken 3 tablets in the past 18 hours. Is that too much? Should I be using it as ‘preventive’? Will the loose stools subside?
    Thanks so much for sharing and for everyone that has posted. Helps to know we’re not alone!

    • H Sheila, so sorry to hear about your experience! Thank you for posting! What did your last urine test say? Did you manage to get rid of the e.coli?
      If so, let’s focus on prevention.
      It does sound like you could be overdoing it with the D-Mannose dosage. I suggest decrease to just one tablet a day if you are working on prevention.
      Can’t over stress the importance of probiotics for you now. Please check the post about probiotics, choose the right ones and take them for 2-3 months, also focus on your diet. There is nothing wrong with you, you do not need to be fearing another infection if you just get yourself out of this cycle: e.coli-antibiotics-bad vaginal flora-e.coli-antibiotics… you get it… Your body is capable of sorting things out, just give it a chance to restore natural defense system. D-Mannose will help with piece of mind. I also recommend tea tree oil wash (check another post) and I’m a big proponent of overall healthy diet and decreased sugar intake.
      You can do it πŸ™‚ it can feel like a trap, but you can break the vicious cycle and you never have to go through this again:)
      You’ll be ok, just give yourself couple weeks on probiotics and get back to your normal life!

    • Hi Jen, oh yeah, and not just any antibiotic but the notorious Cipro! In the hindsight I’d definitely ask for any other antibiotic but Cipro and probably would wait more before taking it. I’m a big fan of trying natural treatment first, but also want to highlight the risk of potential kidney infection that we all should be watching out for.

  9. Thanks for posting your experience. I’ve been taking D-Mannose since suffering from chronic cystitis over a couple years ago. The docs ran out of antibiotics to give me because I am allergic to the ones that are typically prescribed for UTIs. When I got pregnant, my symptoms magically disappeared (though I still took preventative measures), but just had a flare up this morning 6 months after giving birth. My husband and I also got careless since my body seemed “healed,” where before we used to wash up before engaging in sexual activity. It took some spontaneity out of our sex life, but it sure beat having to go to the doctor, take antibiotics, and experience the side effects of those antibiotics. I also peed after sex (and still do), but I stopped taking D-Mannose as a prophylactic after sex like I did during my pregnancy. I,too, experienced loose stools initially but was able to adjust my dosing to where it only caused minor loose stools but still effective enough to keep the UTIs at bay. Not today! I took 2 tsp in a glass of water after MONTHS of not taking D-mannose and I am now, as you referenced it, peeing out of both holes! I’m now reluctant to take anymore, and that UTI-smell in my urine is gone, and that little pain I felt isn’t there when I pee (and I’m peeing a LOT trying to stay hydrated since I also breastfeed my baby). Now it’s my GI system that feels irritated, but I know I should take more D-mannose to be on the safe side in flushing the bacteria. Thanks for posting your experience and keeping it real. Just a sidenote: I had a yeast infection that presented as a UTI last year, so I don’t know right now if it’s a UTI or yeast–especially since that whole area down there is a hot mess, lol!

    • Hi Cyn,
      Thanks for sharing while still going through this! Hope it works for you this time. Make sure to set your alarm (or when your baby wakes you up πŸ™‚ and drink some D-mannose during the night too. I know it’s inconvenient but it will keep the flushing process going. Don’t give those e.coli a chance!
      And of course, watch out for any flank pain (where your kidneys are) and do not proceed with the self treatment unless your symptoms are gone. Personally, I choose D-mannose diarrhea over the side effects of Cipro anytime πŸ™‚ Stay strong and I wish you to recover quick and naturally!

  10. Hi,

    Just wondering do you know why you got this UTI after being UTI free for over a year? Did you stop taking probiotic or other preventative method or was it just a completely random attack?

    I’m ready to try the preventative methods you have listed on your blog so I’m just curious to know why you were affected after such a long period.

    -Ashlee

    • Hi again πŸ™‚

      I was wondering myself.
      I have three ideas:
      1) First of all, I became pretty reckless in terms of any prevention at some point. The cobbler without the shoes so to speak. And it’s not even about probiotics, more about washing after sex and wearing thongs. (You do not need to keep drinking probiotics all the time. 1-2 months should be enough. Of course, if you start on antibiotics, you have to repeat the probiotics afterwards.)
      2) I know, this sounds borderline crazy but I think deep inside I actually wanted to go through the experience again, armed with the new knowledge. So maybe subconsciously was more reckless.
      3) Another crazy reason. Please don’t judge πŸ™‚ I feel that there is a pretty strong “body-mind” connection in terms of sex and UTI. I have a post about it. But basically, I feel that we are always dealing with the same level of infection, but in some cases our bodies decide to give up and in others – defend us. Why?
      In my situation, my repeated UTIs were when I was dating an ex-boyfriend and had almost no chemistry towards him. Sex was bad. The most recent outbreak that I described here was when I started dating another guy, but sex was really bad as well. In between there were several other partners with awesome sex and zero UTI πŸ™‚ So, perhaps the reason could be in a different part of body πŸ™‚ Bottom line, it is always useful (and no side-effects) to check-in with yourself and confirm that the sex is good and you actually truly want it. Post:
      On a side note, drinking D-mannose won’t hurt!
      Best,
      AV

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