Okay, boys who read my blog, consider yourself warned.  This is not a topic you want to read about.  If you continue reading, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Did you know there is a technical school called UTI?  I chuckle every time I see the commercial for it.  You KNOW it was a man who named that, because no woman would name anything after a urinary tract infection.

For years, I suffered from bladder infections, and for years, if I got one, a trip to the doctor was inevitable.  I knew I had an infection because I would have a powerful urge to go to the bathroom.  Using the bathroom would not relieve this feeling.  It was very painful.

People said to drink cranberry juice.  I tried that.  It made the infection angry.

People said to take over-the-counter medicines.  I did that.  It just turned my urine red.

People said not to drink anything but water.  I drank and drank and drank.   It didn't help.

I've labeled 2009 as, "The Year of the Bladder Infection."  Honestly, I had a UTI for months and months.  I would go to the doctor or walk-in clinic and spend a fortune since I did not have medical insurance.  I would take the antibiotics and get relief as long as I was on the medicine.  Then, the infection would come back with a vengeance.  After almost 9 months of infections, I started researching natural cures.  What I found was so simple that it made me want to smack my forehead.  I had spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and the answer to my problems was in my pantry!

The first cure I found was cream of tartar.  You know, the stuff you make meringue with?  This worked somewhat for me.  As long as I was taking it, I felt better.  If I quit taking it, the infection would come back.   (By the way:  Yes, I know the item in the photo is not cream of tartar.  I didn't have any, and I was anxious to post this article.  Pretend with me that the photo is of a white powdery substance.)

The dose that I took was 1/2 teaspoon in 4 ounces of water, 3 times a day.  I got to the point that I would just eat the stuff and rinse it with water.  It wasn't horrible to take, although I can't say it tasted great.

When the cream of tartar just wouldn't quite kick the infection, I started reading again.  What would I do without the internet?  After much reading, I found the answer!

Baking soda gets rid of urinary tract infections.  I'm not kidding!  I took 1 teaspoon in 8 ounces of water.  I did this 3 times a day for the first day, then, 2 times the second day, and finally, 1 time on the last day.  I felt relief by the end of the first day.  After 3 days, my UTI went away and did not come back.

I am not a doctor, and I don't claim to have any medical knowledge (or much knowledge of other things, for that matter).  You may want to talk to your doctor before trying this.  For me, I could not afford to keep going to the doctor, so I figured it was worth a shot.  I figured the worse-case scenario was that I would end up at the doctor's office - a place I was headed anyway!  Luckily, baking soda worked, and to this day, I have not had to go to the doctor again for a UTI.

Here are a few warnings about taking baking soda:
-If you are going out on a hot date, do not take this before you go.  You will burp like you've never burped before.
-Baking soda has a high amount of sodium. (After all, it is sodium bi-carbonate.)  If you have any issues with high blood pressure, do not take it.  It will raise your blood pressure.
-It is highly recommended that you take vitamin C when using baking soda to help regulate the alkalinity in your system.
-This will either work or it won't.  If you don't find relief in the first few days, don't keep taking baking soda.  See your doctor.

Now, girls, let's talk about a few things that might be causing your frequent infections.  These are pretty personal.  (Boys, it's not too late to get out.)
- Sexual intercourse can cause urinary tract infections.  It is possible that your partner has a UTI and is passing it on to you.  Men can be carriers of this infection and never even feel symptoms.  Consider talking to your doctor about this possibility.
- The laundry detergent you are using can cause infections.  If you are sensitive to scents and dyes, you might want to consider switching to dye free/scent free detergent and/or fabric softeners.  The one with the cuddly little bear is probably the biggest offender in this department.
- Likewise, your soap could be causing the infections.  This is what did it for me.  I discovered that I can not use body wash of any kind.  I have to use Dove for Sensitive Skin soap or I will end up with a UTI.

So, now that we have shared these personal details together, I feel so close to you!  I hope these ideas will bring relief to someone out there.  If you are suffering with a UTI, I hope you feel better soon!          -Al