Like so many of our customers, I suffered repeat infections of E.Coli related cystitis for many 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 (as used to be advised) to acidify the urine. Nothing kept the attacks away for long and each was worse than the one before. A miserable cycle was established that left me feeling powerless and chronically unwell. In my case, as is the case with so many of our customers, the infections continued year after year and I was trapped in this cycle of re-infection: I got temporary relief with each new antibiotic, but then the infection would come back with a vengeance.
Doctors tend to prescribe the lightest possible antibiotic and shortest course for very good reasons. But it would fail to kill the infection, and when I went back they'd prescribe the same antibiotic, only for a longer time. An antibiotic that has failed to beat an infection is likely to have failed because the bacterium built up a resistance to the antibiotic. If you keep attacking it with more of the same, it just becomes more resistant. In my case, the pattern was established and my infections were getting worse and worse. Soon, nothing had any impact other than the kill or cure broad-spectrum antibiotics that had, for me, appalling side-effects.
And it seemed to me that women's cystitis was and is still not always taken very seriously. Women are still being subjected to humiliating lectures on wiping the bottom from front to back. As if cleanliness were the problem rather than, as scientific research has proven, biofilms which protect highly resistant, deeply embedded bacteria.
I was desperate and began to do 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 getting stronger. Mutated bacteria defeated the antibiotic by burrowing deeper in to the bladder wall to hide behind tough biofilms, ready to emerge and begin to colonise again.
Upon invading the cells, the bacteria multiply and form a loose colony of rod-shaped microbes. The colony grows until it forms a pod that bulges from the cell's surface and is covered by an impermeable layer of uroplakin. As the pod develops, the thousands of bacteria within take on a smaller, rounded shape. They also produce a meshwork of fibres that anchor them to the surrounding matrix and to each other. This kind of organisation is the hallmark of biofilms formed by bacteria in the bladder. When conditions are right for growth, the bacteria begin detaching from the biofilm and leave the cell to re-initiate an acute infection in the urinary tract. What chance did I have against that!
*I also learned that acidic urine creates perfect conditions that encourage this detachment and regrowth and discovered that drinking milk laced with baking soda helped a little. I now know that it was because I was changing the pH in the urine to alkaline and that doing this was inhibiting bacterial growth. *Equally, lemon juice and strong Robinson's Lemon Barley Water helped, especially if taken neat at the first sign of infection. Not pleasant, but just bearable, and better than cystitis. *Very high doses of raw garlic, a natural antibacterial, also helped from time to time but this was difficult to sustain and proved to be too antisocial.
Anyway, it was after a very bad episode of cystitis, and treatment with yet another course of Fluoroquinolone-based broad-spectrum antibiotic that I realised I was in serious trouble. The infection hadn't gone away. I had kidney problems. I would drink gallons, and issue a tiny cupful. I had huge abdominal bloating, and extreme pain, especially in my joints. Basically, I was at the end of my tether and seriously ill.
Fortunately, that was the day when the first shipment of mannose arrived. I took one level teaspoonful in a small glass of apple juice. *Even though I had just finished seven days of strong antibiotics, when I went to the toilet the urine I passed smelled foul and highly infected. I thought, "Oh no, I am worse than ever!"
I was wrong. *The foul smelling urine was E.Coli being flushed out of my kidneys and urinary tract! *Within hours I felt so much better and within a day I was clear of cystitis symptoms. *Free at last from the pain, I cried with relief.
*The truth is that took months to finally get rid of that propensity for new episodes to threaten. Embedded bacteria have to surface to enable attachment and be removed. But now I remain infection free.
*Incidentally, as well as binding to E.Coli, D Mannose is known to create a protein that is a defence against UTIs. *The Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) is produced by renal cells and research now indicates that it is a vital antimicrobial molecule for success in combatting urinary tract infection.
*This glycoprotein, produced by renal cells and excreted in the urine, plays a key role in the body's defence against UTIs. Tamm-Horsfall protein contains a large number of high-mannose structures, which appear to account for its infection-fighting activity. Is it possible administered D-Mannose works primarily by facilitating the synthesis or promoting the activation of Tamm-Horsfall protein? That some people lack this protein probably explains why they have never experienced a bladder infection or heard the word cystitis.
So how are things now, for me personally? Well, the truth is I am left with some of the after-effects of using a fluoroquinolone-based antibiotic. (There is plenty of independent research on this subject and no blame is attached; it is just good that we now know more). I have a weakened immune system that means I have to be a little careful. *But I lead a normal life, can walk again (for miles) and a small spoonful of D-Mannose each night before sleep helps me maintain a healthy bladder. I also take a little Xylotene® daily to support bone health.
*E.Coli can never become resistant to D-Mannose as it does not try to kill it but just tricks them into attaching to the wrong d mannose and flushes them out during urination.
I think we are privileged. 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 deplete our immune system or cause side-effects that may unwittingly be ruinous to our health. In fact they work symbiotically with the body to promote healing.
*We can protect the life-enhancing bacteria the body needs to digest food and create a healthy immune system by avoiding antibiotics and using good probiotics.
You will know if you talk to us, that Sweet Cures is committed to 100% contaminant free products. That means totally free of residues or unwanted excipients. Committed to safe plastics, biodegradable packaging, ethical business practices and customer care. We treat every customer as we would wish to be treated ourselves.
Anna Sawkins, Sweet Cures Founder and Owner
*All customer reviews represent the personal opinion of the reviewer. Results may vary from person to person.
Sweet Cures’ Anna talks about her years long battle with cystitis and how she finally overcame it.
Supporting a Healthy Bladder and Urinary Tract. Multi award winning DMannose supplied in two discreet flip-top dispensers per pack.
Easy to use at home - results within 2 minutes. 5 dedicated test indicators to monitor urine pH and infections.
Powerful anti-microbial concoction of 80% Carvacrol and 20% organic olive oil. Supplied with measuring pipette.