*Before D-Mannose, 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 antibiotics and shortest course for very good reasons. But, in my case, it would fail to kill the infection, and when I went back they'd give me the same antibiotic but for a longer time. But an antibiotic that has failed to beat an infection is likely to fail because the bacterium has built up a resistance to that 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 still is, not always taken very seriously. That women are subjected to humiliating lectures on wiping the bottom from front to back as if cleanliness were the problem rather than the bacteria protective biofilms.
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 as mutated bacteria burrowed deeper in to the bladder wall, ready to reemerge at a later date.
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.
I also learned that acidic urine creates ideal 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 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 superb natural antibacterial, also helped from time to time but obviously this was difficult to sustain and proved to be too antisocial.
It was after a severe episode of cystitis, and treatment with yet another 7 days of a 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 D-Mannose arrived in a parcel. *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 totally foul, and highly infected.
I thought, "Oh no, I've got the cystitis worse than ever!"
I was wrong. The foul smelling urine was caused by the D-Mannose flushing the E.coli out of my kidneys and urinary tract!
*Within hours of taking D-Mannose, my symptoms were starting to abate. *Within a day I was clear of cystitis symptoms. *Free at last from the pain, I cried with relief.
*The truth is that it 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, a little each night and I remain infection free.
Incidentally, as well as binding to E.Coli, D Mannose is now known to create a protein that is a defence against UTI's. This probably explains why some people have never experienced a bladder infection or heard the word cystitis.
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 (UTI).
So how are things now, for me personally? Well, the truth is I am left with 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 damaged immune system that means I have to be a little careful. But I lead a relatively normal life, I can walk again, for miles. *I have the comfort of knowing that a small spoonful of Waterfall D-Mannose taken nightly, or around triggers such as intimacy, sport or travelling, prevents the E.coli from ever again winning. *I control it permanently!
If I forget to take it for too long, with my huge propensity for cystitis, I very occasionally get the first "niggles". Especially if I have not had enough to drink that day. *But a spoonful of Waterfall D-Mannose never fails to flush it out of my system, quickly and safely. E.Coli can never become resistant to d-mannose as it does not try to kill. Rather, it 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 ruinous to our health. In fact they work symbiotically with the body to promote healing.
We can protect the essential life-enhancing bacteria that the body needs to digest food and create a healthy immune system by avoiding antibiotics and using good probiotics when needed.
You will know if you talk to us, that Sweet Cures is committed to 100% contaminant free products. As well as the use of safe plastics, biodegradable packaging, ethical business practice and customer care. We treat every customer as we would wish to be treated ourselves.
Sweet Cures Founder and Owner
*Anna's story represents the personal opinion of the Anna. Results may vary from person to person. Nothing on this page is meant to constitute medical advice.
Sweet Cures ’ Anna talks about her battle with cystitis. Read More