Many of you know about urinary tract infections (UTIs), common health problems caused by bacterial infections in the urinary system (most often in the urethra and bladder).
The treatment most doctors recommend for treating a UTI — a common issue for kids, women and older adults — is a commonly prescribed antibiotic, like amoxicillin or ciprofloxacin.
Too much of a good thing?
Unfortunately, doctors and their patients often rely too much on antibiotics. In fact, antibiotics may be not necessary as much as 43 percent of the time, according to recent numbers reported by The BMJ.
Plus, with the over-prescribing of these drugs comes a greater risk of antibiotic resistance, a huge problem that can arise when they are needed most.
Probiotics have become the go-to answer for fighting antibiotic resistance and protecting the balance of bacteria in your gut, even when you absolutely have to take these drugs.
This is important because UTIs can come back, and some people are more to prone have them than others.
Probiotics are a proven tool that can help you and your family treat UTIs, as well as prevent them from becoming recurring issues too.
How probiotics fight UTIs
Probiotics made with multiple strains of Lactobacilli (like the EndoMune family of products) help to prevent UTIs in a number of ways.
The presence of Lactobacilli naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, its own kind of natural antibacterial agent in the urinary tract. (It can lower the urine’s pH levels too.)
What’s more, Lactobacilli produce a biofilm that prevents bacteria from attaching to cells in the urinary tract.
Kids and UTIs
For adults, UTIs aren’t great, but they can be a whole lot worse for young kids, especially recurrent ones. Plus, the risks of greater health problems — bladder and bowel issues or urine reflux — grow with recurrent UTIs.
What makes these UTIs even more concerning for parents and children: The symptoms depend on the age of your little one.
The only sign you may see in a baby is a fever or extra fussiness. Older kids who are able to communicate more clearly can tell you if they are experiencing extra burning, lower abdominal pain or back pain.
If you’re a parent worried about UTIs and how to treat them safely, you’ll be happy to know that multi-strain probiotics are highly effective in preventing the recurrence of febrile (infant) UTIs, according to the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society.
Some 180 healthy children who had been treated and recovered from a UTI participated in the probiotic trial (from age four months to five years) for 18 months.
Kids were assigned at random to receive either a placebo or a probiotic containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
(These four strains are part of EndoMune Advanced Probiotic’s mixture of beneficial bacteria for adults, while EndoMune Junior Advanced Probiotic Powder and EndoMune Junior Advanced Chewable Probiotic contain all but Lactobacillus rhamnosus.)
Over that time, more than twice as many children (14 girls and two boys) on the placebo side experienced a recurrent UTI, compared with only six girls who took a multi-strain probiotic.
Given the success of this study, scientists recommended further research, including more testing with older adults.
Until that time comes, taking a probiotic like EndoMune with multiple strains of beneficial bacteria may be a wise choice to treat a UTI safely, with or without an antibiotic.
Before giving your young child a probiotic, be sure to check with his/her pediatrician first!
Infectious Disease Advisor
University of Colorado Women’s Health
Journal of the Infectious Diseases Society
Harvard Medical School
Medical News Today
Childhood Kidney Diseases