D-Mannose: Never take antibiotics for a UTI again
Joyce Park stashed this in Healthcare
Not to overshare but I go on a lot of backcountry camping trips that involve hiking, limited water, lots of bourbon, and unlimited dirt... so I get more than my share of urinary tract infections. I also have high-deductible health insurance because the Republican party guilted me into it; and I dislike antibiotics on principle, especially since I learned about the havoc they wreak on the microbiome. Net-net, I am extremely disinclined to spend hundreds of dollars on medical costs every time I go camping, for one of the most common health emergencies for women, on a treatment that harms as much as it helps.
Luckily, I have found a cheap, natural, and effective solution. It is D-Mannose, a long-chain sugar -- it's one of the sugars in cranberries! -- that binds to the E Coli bacteria that cause 90% of UTIs and ushers them out of the bladder. You don't even digest the sugar, so it doesn't cause insulin spikes or weight gain. And it relieves the pain of a UTI as quickly as antibiotics in my experience. Best of all, a bottle of the stuff costs like twenty bucks and doesn't require a trip to the doctor or peeing in a cup.
One of my big rules about medication is that I do not like to take things where the anatomical mechanisms (and preferably also the chemical ones) are not well-understood. That's why I'm leery of cholesterol meds, for instance: no one knows for sure what the role of cholesterol is in the body, much less whether it's good for human health generally to suppress its formation. But D-Mannose is very simple to understand: the sugar binds to E Coli in urine, and they mutually exit the body. It's like those scenes in action movies where the hero grabs the villain and they jump off the roof together! Rather than KILLING the bacteria, you just sweep it out of the system.
The only problem with D-Mannose is that it is not distributed as widely as it should be... and obviously when you need it you won't be in a good position to order it online. I recently went to 5 stores before finding a bottle! You want to go to a nutty-crunchy health-food store like Whole Foods or Sprouts, not a sports-performance oriented store like GNC. I should also mention that 10% of UTIs are not caused by E Coli, and these will obviously not be helped by D-Mannose. But otherwise... believe me, I am as skeptical and science-based as they come, and I am telling you that this stuff really works!
Thanks for writing about D-Mannose, Joyce.
I agree that it's important to look for solutions that are probiotic so our microbiomes don't get hurt.
It seems like you won't find DMannose in drug stores so Whole Foods or Sprouts is the way to go.