Okay, so this is a pretty personal topic to talk about on my blog but I also know that it’s a health condition that many, many women, and a few men (compared to the number of women) deal with, so I’m going to just go for it and lay it all out there.
I suffer from lots and lots of urinary tract infections (UTIs – with chronic urinary tract infections known as cystitis) and I have since I was a little girl. In fact, when I was only 2 or 3 years old, I had minor surgery to do something (no one in my family quite recalls what it was) to do something or another to my bladder to attempt to make me less susceptible to UTIs. Suffice it to say that it didn’t work.
Since my teenage years, I have probably gone through 50 or more rounds of antibiotics attempting to kill off the bacteria that have clearly made themselves right at home in my urinary tract. I’ve been put on Bactrim, Macrobid, Keflex, and.Cipro. For the last year I’ve been on a low dose of antibiotics for every day use in an attempt to ward off infections. It hasn’t worked and I’ve been in terrible pain from infections many, many times over the last 24 months. Every time the infection reoccurs, even though I’m on antibiotics, I return to see my doctor who tests my urine and every single time, the cause of my infection is found to be the most common bacteria that causes UTIs and that’s E. coli.
When I get a UTI, the only thing that has really ever helped to lessen the pain is an over-the-counter medication that’s basically like aspirin that goes straight to the bladder to impact the pain. It’s called AZO Standard. I’ve also tried the constantly-recommended “treatment” of drinking a ton of cranberry juice all the time but that’s never helped one bit.
Most recently, my doctor wanted to change my daily antibiotic to Cipro. As I said, I’ve taken Cipro before but since the last time I was on it, I’ve learned a great deal about the very real dangers of taking Cipro, so I declined the prescription. The doctor basically said that there was nothing more they could do for me short of invasive procedures requiring general anesthesia that may or may not make any difference in symptoms and which are known to actually make symptoms worse in may cases.
About 2 or 3 months ago, my bladder pain began getting much worse. I hauled myself back to the doctor and was told that despite my daily dose antibiotics, I still had an E. coli infection. At this point, even the OTC pain reliever that had worked pretty well for me in the past wasn’t doing its job. I had blood in my urine and just constant pain. I was having side effects from the antibiotics themselves. I knew that no one should be on daily antibiotics for months at a time that weren’t even making the condition the antibiotics were meant to treat any better, I felt pretty desperate.
Then one night, while Googling yet again for possible answers to my condition, I stumbled on this article titled, “How I Ended My Never-ending UTI.” In it, the author described how she learned about a supplement called D-Mannose that somehow kills off E. coli bacteria in the bladder and urethra even when antibiotics have failed to do so. She described her almost complete relief from chronic cystitis after starting to take a daily dose of D-Mannose. I was beyond intrigued. I Googled “D-Mannose reviews” and discovered that MANY people are finding massive relief from UTIs with the addition of a D-Mannose supplement to their diets.
I made an appointment to see an integrative physician, something I’d been meaning to do for a while anyway. I wanted to ask him or her whether what I was reading about D-Mannose could possibly be accurate. On the day of my appointment I was in so much pain that I almost didn’t go. And remember, at this point I was still on my daily dose of antibiotics.
Instead of seeing a doctor that day, I saw an awesome integrative nurse practitioner. I asked her specifically about D-Mannose and she was extremely positive in her description of the supplement. She said that many of her patients were experiencing significant relief from it. She recommended that I stop the antibiotics, at least for a while, and try a daily dose of D-Mannose plus a higher-than-normal dose of vitamin C. She also recommended that I start a daily dose of probiotics in a dose of more than 10 million active cultures (most probiotics on the shelf have only 2 or 3 million active cultures).
I left the appointment incredibly hopeful, and headed to Walgreens to buy myself some D-Mannose, probiotics and vitamin C. I was able to get the Vitamin C and the probiotics at the store but the pharmacist told me that I would have to order the D-Mannose from some place like Amazon. She recommended the Harmony brand. So as soon as I got home, I logged onto Amazon and ordered a bottle of the Harmony brand of D-Mannose.
I stopped the antibiotics and started the probiotics and vitamin c that same day. Within two days, my bottle of D-Mannose arrived. I was still in pretty bad pain from my cystitis. I started taking 6 capsules of the D-Mannose in 3 divided doses the same day I received it. I went to bed still feeling like garbage. But when I woke up, THE UTI SYMPTOMS WERE TOTALLY GONE. I know this sounds like crazy talk mumbo jumbo, but I am telling you that for the first time in months, the day after starting the D-Mannose, all my UTI symptoms were gone. I’ve been taking it, along with the probiotics and the high dose vitamin C for several months now AND I HAVE NOT HAD ONE SINGLE UTI SYMPTOM. This is by far the longest I’ve gone without cystitis pain in many, many months.
I am now a D-Mannose evangelist. I know how many women suffer from recurrent UTIs/cystitis and how few of us have been told about D-Mannose as a possible treatment for the condition. THIS STUFF WORKS. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone in the situation that I was in, taking round after round of antibiotics with no real relief. Constant use of antibiotics is really, really bad for us. To have apparently found a safe, natural alternative to the merry-go-round of antibiotics that I had been on feels like a bit of a miracle to me.
So while this topic isn’t one that I’m entirely comfortable discussing publicly (after all, it is quite personal), I felt like I just had to share the relief I am feeling after finding D-Mannose. If you’re suffering from constant UTIs like I was, I certainly can’t promise you that D-Mannose will solve your problem but what I can tell you is that it sure seems to have solved mine, and I don’t plan to stop taking it any time soon.