Sugar is the last thing you’d expect to help treat a UTI. However, d-mannose is a special kind of sugar that may help prevent bad bacteria from sticking around the urinary tract.
Ladies, let’s state the obvious: UTIs (urinary tract infections) suck!
Pain in the bladder or abdomen, and pain during sex robs your quality of life.
Unfortunately, UTIs are far too common. In fact, according to government statistics, only pneumonia ranks higher in terms of infections most frequently treated in American emergency rooms.
UTIs account for over 8 million visits to health care providers every year. And 20 million Americans a year suffer a UTI.
Moreover, a woman’s lifetime risk of contracting at least one UTI ranges from approximately 40% to more than 50%. [SOURCE].
The conventional treatment for UTIs is antibiotics. But antibiotics are like a nuclear bomb going off in your gut.
Antibacterial drugs destroy not just the harmful bacterial overgrowth (e. Coli) that causes the UTI, but all the good bacteria that keeps your immune system strong. Add to that the overprescription of antibiotics causing a surge in highly-resistant superbugs.
It’s no wonder then that many women are seeking all-natural remedies for UTI treatments. (Men, too, can have a UTI. Although women are more likely because of their shorter urinary tract system.)
But here’s another natural remedy you may not be familiar with. It’s “d-mannose.”
What is d-mannose?
It’s a sugar.
Wait. What? Stop the presses. Isn’t sugar to blame for developing a UTI? Yes, it is. If you overdo it on sugary foods and drinks (sorry, alcohol counts), your gut can be overcome with yeast.
UTIs are a type of yeast infection. However, taking d-mannose powder is not the same as, say, eating a doughnut.
Why is that? Well, despite being similar to glucose, it does not behave like sugar in the body. In fact, it’s only metabolized in very small amounts. The main d-mannose benefits is that it prevents bacteria from sticking around the urinary tract.
The most popular way to use it is in a powder or other supplement. What’s interesting is that it’s actually found in some fruits, including another popular remedy for UTI: cranberries. (D-mannose is also in currants and peaches, pineapple, apples, oranges, and blueberries.)
However, the main problem with cranberry juice (or other juices that may help neutralize UTIs) is the high sugar content. In fact, just one cup of cranberry juice contains over 30 grams of sugar.
Thus, if your UTI infection was caused by too much yeast proliferating in the gut because of a high-sugar diet, chugging cranberry juice isn’t the smart answer.
And here’s another interesting thing about d-mannose….
In addition to being a sugar, it’s also naturally found in the lining of the urinary tract. But in order to prevent UTIs—or recover from them—you might need to supplement with more.
Does d-mannose work?
According to this study, yes. The researchers conclude that the main d-mannose benefits are inhibiting bacterial adhesion on uroepithelial cells. And, it also antagonizes invasion and biofilm formation of the bacteria.
And in another study researchers examined the efficacy of using it with antibiotic treatment. The study involves 308 women with histories of recurrent UTIs. The subjects were all treated with antibiotics for one week.
Over the course of six months, women who took the supplement had lower rates of recurrent UTIs. This is in comparison to those who took nothing after the initial course of antibiotics.
Although there aren’t any groundbreaking studies involving d-mannose powder, it could be an effective natural UTI remedy. Especially if you are subject to repeated bouts of UTI infections.
And perhaps the largest segment of the population that can reap the benefits are menopausal women. That’s because menaupasal women lose estrogen.
And when estrogen goes down, the bladder and urethra lining gets weaker. Consequently, a weaker uriniraty tract lining means more chances of coming down with a UTI. This is yet another reason why women need to be diligent in keeping hormone levels balanced.
D-mannose side effects
According to this health website, D-mannose supplements can trigger a number of side effects such as bloating, loose stools, and diarrhea. In the study above, of 308 women, eight percent experienced diarrhea.
More seriously, it may cause kidney damage. But that’s only if it’s taken at excessively high dosage.
That being said, following the dosage instructions for a d-mannose powder is likely safe. Keep in mind, however, UTIs are serious.
Taking the powder is a form of self-medication. Hopefully, if you do take it, your UTI symptoms will clear up. But that doesn’t mean your UTI is completely gone.
Where to buy d-mannose
Although it might not be a household name, like, say, omega-3 supplements, virtually every big box drug store sells it.
GNC, CVS, Walgreens, WalMart, and neighborhood pharmacies all sell powder or capsules. And, of course, you can always buy it online.
What’s the best way to take d-mannose?
Take it on an empty stomach. You can take one or two teaspoons a day of powder. But this guideline is for UTI prevention.
But if you do already have a UTI, take 500 mg of powder with water every couple hours for about a week. By the end of the week, your symptoms will hopefully disappear.
And it’s a good idea to continue taking it after the UTI symptoms go away to make sure all the bacterial overgrowth is eliminated. However, it’s always best to go see a doctor if you have painful UTI symptoms. If you are concerned about taking antibiotics, express your concern to your doctor.
As for your love life, there is good news if you suffer from painful intercourse. You can take some powder before sex (about an hour before) and immediately after. Supplementing with this natural anti-UTI remedy this way may prevent vaginal pain during sex.
Now Foods, a popular and trusted supplement company, sells d-mannose on Amazon. There are nearly 3,000 customer reviews as of this writing. 80% of the reviews are 5-star with almost 10% more 4-star.
Here’s just one of the 2,579 positive reviews:
“Can’t go without this! I take 3 just before and a few hours after ‘play time’ if you know what I mean. Do this and you will NOT have any problems! I feel bad for all the people who still take a Macrobid every time just like I used to when this is SO much healthier and works AMAZINGLY. Trust me on this one- it really does WORK. I’ve tried so many things and this is seriously awesome. It has made my life so much more enjoyable without having to suffer in excruciating pain or have side effects from so much antibiotic use. Try it- you WON’T regret it.”