Reducing the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) with Probiotics

Have you ever experienced a persistent urge to visit the washroom, only to release very small amounts of urine, or a burning sensation during urination? There is a fair chance that your urinary tract has been infected, without you even realising it.

While Urinary Tract Infection (UTIs) could happen to anyone, it is relatively more common among women. It is estimated that at least 1 in 5 women would be diagnosed with UTI at some point in their life[1], with 1 out of 4 cases to experience at least 1 recurrence of UTI within 6 months[2].


What are the Causes of UTIs?

UTIs are typically caused by the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract, mainly urethra and bladder, leading to inflammation and infection. While the urinary system is designed to defend against such microorganisms, it fails sometimes due to our poor hygiene, lifestyle and weakened immunity. Similar to how our gut (i.e. gastrointestinal tract) is built to maintain good digestion, it breaks down sometimes due to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria resulted from our poor eating habits.


Why are UTIs More Common Among Women?

As a matter-of-fact, women are more susceptible to UTIs due to the biological construct of the female body. Compared to a man, a woman has a shorter urethra so the bacteria can easily reach the bladder and cause an infection. This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), the bacteria that are commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

While there is no way that the ladies can change their anatomy, it is possible for you to reduce the chances of getting UTIs by understanding the risk factors. For instance, women are at higher risk of UTIs if they have a deficiency in estrogen[3], the female hormone that affects mood, bone development and hair growth, which plays a part in regulating vaginal bacteria. Women who are experiencing menopause or currently in the post-menopausal stage tend to have lower estrogen levels, hence they can boost their estrogen levels naturally through lifestyle and dietary changes (we will touch more on this later).

What can We Do to Prevent UTIs?

Most UTIs can be treated by antibiotics and do not pose any long-term threat to our health. However, you can simply save yourself from going through the irritation and inconvenience that come with UTIs by taking care of your lifestyle.

As always, drinking sufficient amount of water everyday is one of the most essential things to do. It helps your urinary system to flush out bacteria.

bathtubIn addition, try to urinate as often as possible. In our current fast-paced lifestyle, many people have the tendency to hold their bladders and this will eventually lead to more bacteria surrounding and entering the urinary tract. You should wipe with care after urination.

It is also crucial for you to keep your urinary tract clean at all times, by careful wiping after urination and showering. Soaking yourself in the bathtub after a long day’s work may be one of life’s greatest pleasures, but sitting in bath water for a prolonged period and coming in contact with artificial products (e.g. bubble bath) would make you more prone to infection[4].


Keeping Your Urinary Tract Healthy with Probiotics

When it comes to dietary habits, preventing UTIs is similar to preventing gastrointestinal problems. Both conditions are caused by the presence of harmful bacteria. Regular consumption of foods high in antioxidants such as blueberries, cranberries[5] and Rejuvenate antioxidant infused shot, as well as probiotics – specifically lactobacilli – are effective in preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to urinary tract cells[6]. Berries, and also foods such as soybean and flaxseeds, are also useful in helping women to boost their estrogen levels.

Natural sources of probiotics include Greek yogurt and Premium Probiotics 10, which contain 10 Dupont Howaru® Premium Strains including lactobacilli to help regulate and maintain a good balance of good bacteria in the body.

By keeping your body in balance, you keep your urinary system healthy.

[1] Urinary Tract Infections, Cleveland Clinic, 3 Jul 2020
[2] Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), National University Hospital, 11 Jun 2018
[3] Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Older Adults, Healthline
[4] Reducing Your Risk of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Winchester Hospital
[5] What to eat (and what not do) during a UTI, Edward-Elmhurst Health
[6] Probiotics for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infection in women, National Library of Medicine
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