Question: I have had several urinary tract infections in the past year and they seem to be getting even closer together. Then there are the yeast infections in between. I feel like this could go on indefinitely if I don’t try something else and I am wondering what you suggest?
Answer: Yes, I do see this frequently where it seems that a vicious cycle is created where the antibiotic kills too many of the good bacteria which prevent overgrowth of the bacteria and yeast that can cause bladder infections and yeast infections.
A naturopathic approach to this issue would include a high quality probiotic with 12 different species at a count of at least 12 billion best taken after meals on a full stomach.
You can take a probiotic during the course of antibiotics, but take one dose as far away as possible from the antibiotic, as to minimize its destruction by the antibiotic. It is very important to continue taking the probiotic for at least two weeks after you discontinue antibiotics.
If this has been a repeating problem then I would recommend you continue for several months to see if that can break the cycle. If that works try reducing to a few times per week for a couple of months then taking a break to assess if your good bacteria are replenished.
If you notice you are more prone certain times of year then try to identify if you are eating more sugar or drinking more alcohol prior to these infections and be more conscious to limit your consumption or at least resume the probiotics at the time of overindulgence to help neutralize the growth of pathogens.
If probiotics alone are not enough to prevent bladder infections then D-mannose from cranberries, unsweetened cranberry juice, Lateroflora, or grapefruit seed extract tablets would be among my favourites to prevent infection, because they do not harm your good bacteria.
My own clinical experience has led me to favour grapefruit seed extract because it has antifungal properties to combat yeast overgrowth.
Lateroflora does as well so it would be an alternate choice.
If you still end up with an infection professional strength goldenseal would be an option, but while it is also antifungal it is hard on your good bacteria like an antibiotic and should not be taken with an antibiotic. I would only give these treatments 48 hours to improve your symptoms before seeking an antibiotic from your MD.
Question: I suffer from chronic sinusitis and antibiotics seem not to work like they used to. Can you help me?
Answer: A study at the Mayo Clinic revealed that 85 per cent of sinusitis sufferers have fungal overgrowth in their sinuses burdening their immune systems and setting the stage for a secondary bacterial infection.
Grapefruit seed extract in a nasal spray is very effective as an antifungal and antibacterial.
Experimenting with an elimination diet that excludes cow dairy and gluten, because their proteins can cause excessive mucous production, as well as fungus containing and promoting foods such as oranges, strawberries, grapes, peanut butter, mushrooms, beer, wine, vinegar and sugar.
It would be restrictive for a while, but worth it when you experience the improvement in your health.
Kali Simmonds, ND is a doctor of naturopathic medicine who practices in Charlottetown. The information provided is not intended to diagnose or substitute the advice of your healthcare professional. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes. She welcomes questions for this column, which is published every second Tuesday in The Guardian. She can be reached by mail at 34 Queen St., Charlottetown, C1A 4A3 or by email at email@example.com