Lady Parts Alert [LPA] - nothing graphic. Just wanted to get that out of the way.
I went to the doctor last week because, well, I was fairly sure I'd come down with a UTI. Nothing serious - it happens, though thankfully this was only the second one I've ever had. But once you've had one, you never forget that special feeling when it's time to pee.
When I first felt the signs I called my doctor, who of course wasn't available to take my call, but I left a message and asked that she call in a Rx for me - usually they'll do this with just a phone call, UTIs are that common for women.
In the meantime, I did some research on those newfangled set of tubes called the interwebs. Turns out, there's a whole new homeopathic remedy for bladder infections, way better than the once tried & true cranberry.
Not that cranberry juice/capsules aren't helpful - cranberry is still a good supplement to help prevent UTIs, but even better: D-mannose. D-mannose is a healthy sugar that occurs naturally in cranberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, and apples.
However, D-mannose is not well metabolized by humans, so it doesn't affect blood sugar levels - it goes straight to the bladder where its molecules act as a sort-of magnet for the bacteria that cause UTIs. The D-mannose binds with the bacteria and it's flushed out in the urine.
You have to take a lot of it, and it's a little expensive, but the upside is that it's not an antibiotic - that's huge (and you don't have to go to the doctor - also good). The antibiotics can often cause a yeast infection, because they kill ALL the bacteria - wiping out the good stuff that keeps the yeast in check. Who doesn't love a yeast infection on top of a bladder infection!? Party!
The downside is, it takes a while to work, so things are uncomfortable for a few days, and you feel like you have a mild flu. Just to be safe, I saw my doctor so she could test a sample and do a culture and all that fun business. The D-mannose should work, but if the UTI is caused by a different type of bacteria, it may not.
The tricky thing about UTIs, if they're not cured quickly, they can become kidney infections, so it's good to get them cleared up as soon as possible. I'd had mine for about a week by the time I got to the doctor and it seemed like it was lingering. Just in case, she prescribed an antibiotic which I dutifully took because the results from the urine culture wouldn't be ready until after the weekend.
Today I called the office to get the results of the culture. The nurse looked up my file and said, "You're calling about the chlamydia test?" With a gasp I said, "AM I?" I told her I WAS calling about a possible bladder infection, but was there more information I should have?
I heard papers shuffling and then she said, "Oh no, I was looking at the wrong file - here's your results..." Which, interestingly enough, came back negative. That was great news, but certainly a strange way to get it.
The point is, the D-mannose worked. I didn't need the antibiotics and thankfully didn't take very many and cycled in probiotics between doses to try to keep things balanced. Still, if there's any way to avoid that stuff, it's worth it.
Those pills had me woozy, a bit nauseated, tired, and maybe even a wee bit depressed. Maybe I'm just a candy ass, but that stuff is rough. The warnings & list of side effects is frightening.
So, ladies, get yourself some D-mannose and use it like any other supplement - one or two a day and that should help keep the plumbing healthy. Yay, sugar!