There are millions of us, mostly women, suffering from recurrent UTIs. It has become an international health crisis as we take round after round of antibiotics which our systems progressively become resistant to. We UTI sufferers come to learn in our research to cope with and even hopefully find a cure for our UTIs, that all these antibiotics alter and compromise the gut biome. As much as 80% of our immune system is in the gut which becomes weakened by all the rounds of antibiotics. Some antibiotics can even cause ‘syndromes’ that make the cure as bad as or worse than the UTI itself. In the elderly, a UTI can cause confusion. If UTIs are left untreated, the infection can spread to the kidneys which is very serious. And if it spreads from the kidneys into the blood, there is only a 50% survival rate. What initially seemed to be a simple and inconvenient but easily treated bladder infection, can develop into years of general ill health due to a compromised immune system and with constant worry hanging over our heads that the UTI will spread to the kidneys…and beyond..
I am one of these UTI sufferers. Two month short of a 3 year battle with UTIs and 38 UTIs plus 37 rounds of antibiotics later, I have a protocol in place that is working for me and has kept me UTI free for several months with a breakthrough at the 3 month point. All is well to date, one more month later.
To be concise I will list what I have learned works. Estrogen therapy in mainly locally absorbed vaginal tablet or cream form or using the Ering stopped UTIs for me for 3 full months at the beginning of this saga when the UTIs were happening pretty much back to back. I had a cystoscopy which introduced bacteria and started the UTI cycle all over again…
After another year and a half of constant UTIs, I read about PACS (A-type proanthocyanidins) which are made from the skin, pulp and seeds of American cranberries (not just the juice or d-mannose which for me did not work). Studies of PACs show promise in prevention…not cure. I ordered Utiva on line but there are other similar PACs products out there. The recommended dose is once a day but I read in research papers that PACs are effective at preventing bacteria from adhering to the bladder lining for 8 hours only and that a higher dose is required.
For me the PACs worked after finishing a round of antibiotics, at staving off future UTIs. I did have a breakthrough UTI and took antibiotics. Then a second back to back UTI with pain on urination, cloudy urine, malaise…all the usual UTI symptoms I have always had. It was a weekend so I had to wait 2 days to go for the culture. I took it upon myself to take the PACs (Utiva) every 8 hours, 3 times a day to get myself through the weekend and the UTI symptoms went away…which never happens completely. On the Monday morning I went for the urinalysis and culture and the results came back NEGATIVE! Conclusion: the PACs actually cured my UTI!
Since then I have added tea tree oil diluted in coconut oil as a vaginal salve for itching/vaginal infections and this has helped.
Besides the usual recommendations, I try my best to keep my diet low in high carb foods and get exercise daily. I drink plenty of water. I take high quality probiotics daily. I keep my vaginal area very clean after BMs and shower morning and night. I take a few supplements including vitamin D, C and Omega 3. I try not to sit too long because that just creates a warm, dark, moist environment for bacteria to grow.
And so far, so good. PACs are really working for me, keeping me UTI free.
And I want to share this with others. If you do take PACs, keep in mind that they are for prevention so you must start from a position of no infection…so right away during or after antibiotic treatment. It is up to you if you want to take PACs more than once a day…after all it is fruit. As I said, for me, taking it 3x per day has cured my UTI and I was 3 months in and am now 1 more month in with no infection. By no means is this an endorsement of PACs treatment instead of antibiotics. To be sure you no longer have a UTI, your doctor must order a urine test. He may be surprised as my urogynecologist was, to learn how effective PACs are. He was actually the one to suggest I try Utiva in the first place but had been pushing for me to go on a 6 month course of half dose antibiotics which I was opposed to.
I’m sorry this post is so long, but I wanted to be very clear about how PACs have worked for me. And I just want to help others who are suffering like I have. Contact me if you like with any questions.