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Recurrent Urinary Tract and Vaginal Infections

What you eat affects your good and bad bugs

Dr Padma Garvey

Recurrent Urinary Tract and Vaginal Infections 

Researchers in Canada have shown that a significant number of urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria from retail meat.  About 75% of the infections were caused by retail poultry and the remainder from other sources of meat.  After about 12-24 hours of birth, a newborn baby’s body starts to pick up bacteria from the world around it.  Bacteria start to coat the baby’s mouth, skin, and gut.  Most of these bacteria are good and help the body fight rarer bacteria that could cause serious infections. 

The vagina of a healthy woman has yeast, good bacteria, and bad bacteria.  Women are predisposed to urinary tract infections because the opening to the bladder sits inside the vagina.  It is relatively easy for the vaginal bacteria to enter the bladder.  Our bladders do not get an infection most of the time because the number of bacteria entering the bladder is low.  The level of good and bad bacteria, as well as yeast, in the vagina is determined by the levels of these same bugs in our guts.  If our guts have abnormal levels of bad bacteria, then we will have abnormal levels of bad bacteria in the vagina, leading to higher rates of vaginal and urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract and vaginal infections are rising in frequency.  Researchers found that the bugs causing urinary tract infections in humans are coming from retail meat.  Antibiotic usage in factory farming is largely to blame.   Another reason is that processed foods and diets low in natural plant-fibers allow the overgrowth of bad gut bugs.  The good gut bugs, the ones you want, are vegans.  You have to eat a diet rich in unprocessed, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.  Adding oatmeal, bran, cabbage, beans, and green leafy vegetables to your diet helps.  One tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar a day is great.  Reducing meat consumption will help.  I have previously talked about decreasing dairy consumption so instead of yogurt; I suggest a plant-based yogurt, preferably one you make at home. 

What you want to avoid is the merry-go-round of treating infection after infection with rounds of antibiotics pills and creams.  This will give you only temporary relief.  Unless the underlying issue of good gut health is addressed, you will keep getting the same problems.

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