You are not alone.
Cystitis and urinary tract infections are reported as being the most common types of bacterial infection, responsible for between 1-3% of all visits to the doctor.
On top of this up to one in three sufferers go on to experience three or more bouts a year. A recurrent ongoing problem that can really affect your life, physically and mentally.
The frequency of infection increases markedly with age. Many women are often surprised to find that this is an ongoing issue during the menopause and well beyond.
It is not just a problem for your teenage daughter or young adults.
We all know that the menopause brings about hormonal changes and that the effects can be truly far reaching. Studies indicate that up to 70% of women suffer some adverse changes to their genitourinary tract. This is known as GSM to your GP – the culprit being a drop in the oestrogen level.
GSM has a chronic progressive nature throughout the menopausal transition and beyond, so symptoms usually worsen rather than improve. These include increased dryness in skin and linings of organs such as the bladder, reduction in muscle tone of the pelvic floor leading to a change of the urethral position and a change in the composition of body fluids.
These are all factors that make women more prone to the misery of cystitis.
Furthermore, other contributing factors, which were well controlled before menopause, may become less manageable. For some woman this might include an increase in body weight, a decrease in taking regular exercise, and a more sedentary lifestyle.
Equally important is growing divorce rates. Many women from their 50s and much later on in life may now be embarking on new sexual relationships. Unfortunately, this new increased activity may also lead to urinary tract infections.
It is not unusual, therefore, for up to 50% of women to suffer from cystitis for the first time during the menopause. Many of these go on to develop a chronic problem that can make daily life a misery.
UTIs are mainly due to Escherichia coli (E. coli). E. coli is a bacteria present in the bowel, from where it invades the bladder, resulting in UTIs. These infections have been well researched and are mainly due to the E. coli latching on to the bladder’s inner wall thanks to their fimbria-little hair like structures.
Up until now antibiotics are very often prescribed to kill E. coli and to stop the UTI. This is particularly common for women that suffer recurrent problems. Unfortunately, E. coli is now sometimes resistant to antibiotics. This is becoming a serious problem in the UK and worldwide where it is known as a growing health crisis.
The most commonly prescribed treatment for the prevention is the continuous use of low dose antibiotics for up to three months, or sometimes even longer.
However, it has been found that the repeated use of low dose antibiotics to help control recurrent UTIs are often initially effective but can encourage the bacteria to become antibiotic resistant.
Furthermore, taking continuous antibiotics can cause other problems like intolerances, allergies, and gut problems.
So how can we prevent urinary tract infections naturally?
Anything that helps to avoid or dislodge the infection caused by E. coli has to be beneficial. Keeping well hydrated, good hygiene, weight control and improving health in general will help fight off potential re infection. However, recurrent infections will have damaged the bladder wall making it easier for the E. coli to adhere to it.
Stopping the adhesion of the E. coli and dislodging it from the bladder wall is the key to success.
Evidence suggests that substances known as proanthocyanidins (PACs), which are found in cranberries, may interfere with the adhesion of bacteria (particularly E. coli) to the bladder wall. Cranberry juice has long been used in the treatment and prevention of UTIs.
However, drinking large quantities of cranberry juice could be counterproductive because of the sugar content. In some cases this may encourage the growth of bacteria. Many professionals also recommend the use of D Mannose which is also reputed to act against E coli.
Cranberry products vary widely in their chemical composition and thus their effectiveness.
The main action required is to inhibit the E. coli from adhering to the bladder wall and PAC has been shown to perform this action. But it has also been proven that a high level of PAC is required for efficacy. So, it is important to choose a product proven to have an anti-adhesive effect on E. coli with a high level of PAC.
Cysticlean 240mg PAC has the highest PAC content available on the market which makes it the product for natural lasting urinary comfort, helping sufferers to reduce long-term antibiotic use.
A natural product from a company that has invested heavily in the research of the benefits of PAC from cranberry extract.
Now available Cysticlean®240mg PAC plus D mannose containing the highest concentration of PAC combined with D-mannose.