Sweet Cures' Anna Sawkins' Recurring Cystitis Story
By Anna Sawkins. Updated 4th August, 2019
Anna suffered from UTI and Cystitis for most of her adult life before discovering D-Mannose in 2002. A former NHS employee and University Lecturer, Anna embarked on a life changing mission to share the proven benefits of this rare sugar with millions of fellow sufferers in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Like so many of our customers, I suffered repeat infections of E. coli related cystitis for years, with as many as six virulent attacks per year, each lasting weeks. I was prescribed countless courses of antibiotics and drank gallons of cranberry juice in a desperate attempt acidify the urine. Nothing kept the attacks away for long, each new attack was worse than the previous. A miserable cycle was established that left me feeling powerless and chronically unwell. In my case, as with many of our customers, the infections continued year after year and I felt trapped in this cycle: temporary relief with each newly prescribed antibiotic, re-infection would return with a vengeance.
Doctors would prescribe the shortest possible course, of the lightest possible antibiotic. But it would fail to completely eradicate the infection. When I went back, they'd prescribe the same antibiotic, for a longer period. An antibiotic that fails to destroy an infection is likely to have failed because the bacteria built up resistance to the antibiotic. The bacteria would survive and continue to multiply causing more harm. In my case, the pattern was established and my infections were gradually becoming worse. Soon, nothing had any impact other than high risk, broad-spectrum antibiotics that, for me, had debilitating side-effects.
And it seemed to me that women's cystitis was, and still is, rarely taken very seriously. Women are still being subjected to humiliating hygiene lectures. As if cleanliness were the problem rather than, as scientific research has proven, biofilms which protect deeply embedded bacteria.
I was desperate. I began my own research. The more I learned, the more clear it became that I was not actually being re-infected. I was succumbing to the same infection that was becoming stronger. Mutated bacteria, bacteria that change in response to the use of medicine, would burrow deeper in to the bladder wall, waiting to emerge and begin to re-colonise once the prescribed course of antibiotics was concluded.
I also learned that highly acidic urine creates an environment that encourages bacterial regrowth. I now know that alkalising the pH of urine, inhibits bacterial growth. Baking soda, garlic and lemon juice helped alleviate symptoms, especially if taken at the first sign of infection. Not pleasant, but better than cystitis.
After a particularly vicious episode of cystitis, and treatment with yet another course of fluoroquinolone based broad-spectrum antibiotics, I hopelessly realised I was in dire straits. The infection hadn't resolved, and probably never would. I would drink gallons of water, and issue a tiny cupful of urine. I had abdominal bloating, extreme pain and kidney problems. Basically, I was at the end of my tether and gravely ill.
Fortunately, my research into possible remedies, had led me to a rare natural sugar known as D-Mannose, my first shipment of had arrived. I took one level teaspoonful in a small glass of apple juice. Even though I had just concluded a seven day course of broad-spectrum antibiotics, when I went to relieve myself, the urine I passed had an intensely foul odor and seemed highly infected. I thought it is worse than ever. How wrong I was. The foul smelling urine was the E. coli being flushed out of my system. Within hours I felt relief and within a day I was completely clear of any cystitis symptoms. I cried with relief.
It took months to finally get rid of the propensity for new episodes. Embedded bacteria have to re-surface before they can be removed. But now, feeling like I've dodged a bullet, I remain infection free.
So how are things now for me personally? Well, the truth is I still suffer from the side effects of using a fluoroquinolone based antibiotic. I have a weakened immune system, but I lead a normal life. I can walk again (for miles) and a level spoonful of D-Mannose each night before sleep helps me maintain a healthy bladder.
I think we are privileged in the 21st century. We have access to so much useful information that enables us to take more responsibility for own health, and research effective long-term solutions. We can find safe food supplements that do not sap our immune system or have side-effects.
You will know if you talk to us, that Sweet Cures is committed to 100% contaminant free products for all. We implore you to research D-Mannose on the internet and see for yourself, it has helped countless men, women, children and even pets, who otherwise felt trapped in a never-ending cycle of infection and antibiotics. Our primary objective is to spread the word, and help people lead healthy, worry free lives.
Anna Sawkins, Sweet Cures Founder