Newest Thinking On What to Eat and Drink In Order to Manage UTIs

There’s so much contradictory information out there…how can I make an intelligent decision?

Before we can answer the question about what to eat or drink to manage an active urinary tract infection (UTI), we need to answer the question: what is the goal?

The goal is to create a stable urinary environment in the bladder which prevents the bacteria from growing and becoming embedded in the lining.

How Should We Define A Stable Urinary Environment?

When you’re healthy, your urine has a good balance of acidity and alkalinity. What does that mean? Basically, it becomes more acidic, or less acidic (alkaline), based on the things that you eat and drink.

When you have an active UTI, and the E Coli bacteria get into your urinary tract, they cause your urine to become much less acidic. So, the thinking used to be that to prevent bacteria growth, you needed to make your urine more acidic.

But researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have recently found just the opposite: making urine less acidic inhibits bacteria growth.

 

What Level of Acidity Should You Try to Achieve?

Levels of urine acidity are measured on a “pH” scale.

A neutral pH is 7.0. The lower the number, the more acidic your urine is; the higher the number the less acidic.  The average urine sample tests at about 6.0.

When you have an active UTI you may have a pH level of 8 or 9 and you will need to get that number back closer to 6, but you do not want to drive it all the way to the other end of the scale by following an acidic diet.

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How Can You Measure and Monitor the Acidity of Your Urine?

A neutral pH is 7.0. The lower the number, the more acidic your urine is; the higher the number the less acidic.  The average urine sample tests at about 6.0.

When you have an active UTI you may have a pH level of 8 or 9 and you will need to get that number back closer to 6, but you do not want to drive it all the way to the other end of the scale by following an acidic diet.

UTI test strips are now available to measure the pH levels of your urine.  This new pH testing feature has been added to the standard test strips which also measure the presence of bacteria by looking at the nitrites and leukocytes.

If the test shows a pH of 6 or 7, there’s no need for you to read further.  If the test shows a pH above 7, the diet below will help get your urine back to the right levels.

We recommend that you monitor your pH levels every week to until you reach the desired level.

These testing strips are also useful for Caregivers who may need to check the pH levels of their patient or loved one to find out if they have a UTI, because they often do not have the burning or urinary pressure sensations that the rest of us have.  This is one way to catch a UTI before it becomes a kidney infection.

Out-of-Whack pH Levels Could Signal More Than Just A UTI

If your pH test results and UTI symptoms have not improved in 48 hours, you should seek a professional medical opinion.

A pH level which stays lower than 6 could be a sign of kidney stones, and a pH level that stays higher could indicate kidney failure.

The Balanced pH Diet – some simple tips.

1. Drink pH Water:
look for bottled water that has higher alkaline levels and drink lots of it.  This will start to make your bladder feel better quickly

2. Mix a scoop of D-Mannose into your pH water daily:
Some studies suggest that D-mannose is most effective in wiping out the E Coli bacteria when your urine has a neutral pH.

3. Add More “Aromatics” To Your Diet:
The same researchers at Washington University School of Medicine (mentioned above) also found that aromatics also contributed to variations in bacterial growth. Aromatics are produced by a person’s gut microbes as they process food.

The more aromatics in your diet, the slower the bacteria will grow in the urine.  Good food sources of aromatics include those rich in antioxidants:

  • Coffee
  • Black and green tea
  • Colorful berries
  • Cranberries
  • Red wine
  • Dark chocolate
  • Unsweetened probiotic yogurt
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Pomegranate

4. Reduce Acid Producing Food and Drink

Once again, you don’t want to let your urine get too acidic.  A recent article in Healthline describes the foods that have different potential renal acid loads (PRALs), which are measured by acid excretion in the urine.   It’s a good idea to limit these:

  • Soft drinks
  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Processed grains such as baked goods, fast food and white bread
  • Dairy such as cheese, milk and ice cream

Together We Can Defeat Those UTI Bacteria Naturally To Help You Feel Better!