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Clair's avatar

Is there any way I can prevent a urethral stricture?

Asked by Clair (3832points) June 23rd, 2009

I’ve had problems with UTI’s since i was a child and I still battle them once a week at least. I can’t afford to constantly go to the doctor and even if I could, most people that have had this problem say that there’s only so much they can do. Cranberries help alright if I eat and drink nothing but cranberries all day. Capsules didn’t help either. Pomegranate works wonders though! Along with some Golden Seal, and I’m working like I’m supposed to. But is there anything I can do that will help me in the long run rather than just putting off a dilation that may or may not be in my future?
My mother also battles it and she just had a dilation that she said was like being cathed times a hundred. It hurt so bad because her urethra was so tiny. I want to avoid this at all costs. Have you have any experience with this type of thing?
(PS. I drink lots of water everyday and urinate often.)

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15 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Here are some suggestions from the National Institutes of Health regarding treatment of recurrent UTIs. Treatment options include suppressive antibiotics, home diagnosis and treatment, and significant attempts at prevention. I’m not sure if you’ve had urine cultures recently, but you may be colonized with a resistant bacteria that might need to be eradicated. You might also consider taking some probiotics to help establish a more normal vaginal flora.

Clair's avatar

I’ve tried all the things listed. Thanks for the link!
I guess I should have been more specific… Is there a tried and true home remedy or anything you’ve done that worked that didn’t come from a doctor?
But thank you so much for the advice. I’ve recently gave a urine sample for a kidney infection.. do you think they may have looked for this resistant bacteria there?

shilolo's avatar

Yes, they should have cultured for the bacteria, and secondary testing should show if the bacteria present (assuming there were bacteria) are antibiotic resistant. As for home remedies, I don’t have any other suggestions. Sorry.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Do you get enough acid in your diet? It is said that people with UTIs often have highly alkaline urine. It’s quite important to keep the Ph balance in your body.

Alkaline vs. Acidic Foods (to give you a better idea):

shilolo's avatar

@RedPowerLady I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is no way for you to voluntarily regulate the pH of your body, short of hyperventilating (and even that is temporary) or taking some toxic drugs. Your body has a very effective buffering system that tightly controls the pH of the blood at around 7.4 (the pH optimum for most proteins). Thus, any “remedy” that portends to work by changing the body pH is bogus.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@shilolo We’ve argued over alternative therapies before. Regardless of what you believe about pH levels this is something that can’t hurt to try. Basically all it is saying is get more vitamin C in your body and help your natural bacteria take charge. Nothing harmful in that.


Anyhow you may want to read this. It seems that your pH can vary if even only a bit and that may let you know something about your dietary style. Of course you don’t have to believe this. It’s alternative medicine.

” For the saliva test, the acceptable balance will indicate the numbers from 6.4 to 6.8, with 7 being the normal balance.

Urine testing will establish an acceptable pH balance of 6.0 to 6.5 if you tested your urine in the morning, and 6.5 to 7.0 if tested at night. If in any case, your pH results show a number higher than these, you have a low pH balance, It means you’re lactobacilli are living well within the walls of your urethra and genitals in an acidic environment.

However, if your pH results are lower than those stated, your pH level is high. This means you have to take in more vitamin C or eat more vegetables and fruits that are high in vitamin C contents.”

This published journal article discusses the affects of alkaline vs. acidic pH levels and how they can change the body:

So if your body can be more alkaline or more acidic, as this published research article suggests, then it has to get that way somehow… Perhaps through diet??

More support:

I also just found a book called: “Expert LPN (nurse) Guides” that discussed how in fact your pH can be affected by your behavior. What it really says is that bicarbonate affects pH levels.
More Info On That

Many cultural practitioners and alternative medical professionals seem to think it is possible:

Of course I’m sure we could argue this forever. I believe in alternative medicines. You don’t. I’ll just be straightforward and say that I won’t follow the thread because it becomes tiring not agreeing ever.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I edited just now, may want to refresh.

shilolo's avatar

@RedPowerLady I am well aware that blood pH can change, but that is almost always a manifestation of a serious or life-threatening disease. If your pH drops below 7.2 or goes above 7.5, you are in serious trouble! The article you cited actually is a physiology article that connects the changes in pH with potassium concentrations. Severe acidosis (acid or low pH) leads to higher extracellular potassium levels (which can kill you by stopping your heart) and alkalosis leads to the opposite. This is well known physiology, but says nothing about whether or not a person can or should try to alter their pH. In fact, the people who write these holistic articles have ZERO understanding of physiology, or they would know that their “remedies” are useless.

By the way, this isn’t what I “believe” about pH levels. This is well-accepted science. The problem with so-called alternative therapy is that it flies in the face of science, and yet for some reason people accept it, mostly because most people are uneducated about science in general. They’ll believe anything if it “sounds good”. The whole field is a testament to our failing education system. Uggh.

By the way, the whole pH thing smacks of pseudoscience. They talk about pH (ooooohhhh, pH), which makes them sound oh-so-sophisticated, but the bottom line is that they have zero evidence for their theories. Zero. Zilch. None. When an alternative practitioner conducts a double-blind, randomized, placebo control trial of pH regulation for disease X, and shows benefit, THEN AND ONLY THEN will I concede that there might be something there. And before you get all upset, I am equally as critical of more modern therapies, like stem cells.

RedPowerLady's avatar

“But says nothing about whether or not a person can or should try to alter their pH”

So we know you can be more alkaline or acidic. And that it affects your body negatively if you are so. But we do not know if we can change it through our behaviors. IE good diet practices (again not harmful). So because we don’t know we shouldn’t try to balance it out?? If alternative therapy does no harm and there is no evidence in support of the fact that you can or cannot alter your pH then why not try?

How can this not be what you “believe” when you say yourself there is no evidence in support or against the idea that our diet can affect our pH levels.

Not to mention that it doesn’t harm anyone if people try and have healthier lifestyles. Not even medical practitioners.

And in fact here is an article from the “Journal of Nutrition” stating that pH affects UTI’s in cats. But that of course more research is needed. Now this is not an animal journal so I assume it is published because it may have implications for humans.

It also states that one’s diet can affect the pH:
“Because dietary ingredients and feeding patterns influence the volume, pH and solute concentration of urine, diet can contribute to the etiology, management or prevention of recurrence of some causes of lower urinary tract disease. Most research assessing the effect of diet has focused on the latter two aspects, primarily because of interest in struvite urolithiasis. Manipulation of urine pH through dietary means has proven an effective tool for the management and prevention of struvite urolithiasis; acidification of urine, however, may be a risk factor for calcium oxalate urolithiasis, which now appears to occur with approximately equal frequency in cats. Prediction of urine pH from dietary analysis would thus be a valuable tool, but considerable further research is required before this can be achieved with commercial canned foods.”

Also here is an article that suggests our mouths become acidic from eating sugar. It is about dental health. It is not a far leap to say that by consuming sugar our bodies would become more acidic. In fact “The process of digestion begins in the mouth.” Written by a dentist. Not an MD but still someone in the medical field.

Look all I’m saying is that I can find information written by people in the medical profession and published journal articles that back up the belief that we do have some control, through our diet, on how acidic/alkaline our body is. So there is reason to believe in this material. It may not be overwhelming. But there isn’t overwhelming evidence that you cannot affect your pH levels either. And as I’ve said countless times. What does it hurt to focus on your diet?

RedPowerLady's avatar

edited just now again and added another link

shilolo's avatar

Here is the problem. Your system requires multiple leaps of faith. First, you need to “believe” without any proof that your illness, whatever it may be, is due to a pH imbalance. You must concede that there is no evidence for this. The second leap of faith is that whatever is prescribed for you will actually correct this pH imbalance. Again, no evidence for this. So, the whole treatment is faith based, not evidence based in the least. How any intellectual person can accept a treatment purely on faith alone is beyond me.

shilolo's avatar

I should add, the very low and very high pHs in the blood are a consequence of SEVERE DISEASE, not dietary “imbalances”. The body has a remarkable capacity for keeping pH at 7.4, and there is little one can do about it with food or drink alone.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@shilolo I will concede that there is quite a bit of faith involved. For me the faith is lessened by reading personal accounts and hearing from holistic practitioners for whom this has worked. I completely understand that for you it is quite the opposite. There is a bit of evidence in favor of the theory as I’ve shown here but of course that is open to discussion as well. Perhaps another leap of faith.

I am not surprised that our body works fantastically to keep our pH levels correct. What I consider is that some of us don’t have bodies that work well. Who knows what could be “wrong” that is leading the body’s regulatory system to go afoul. It would probably be best to figure that out, if one could determine that the pH was indeed mucked up (actually you can take home pH tests by saliva or urine). In the meantime however having a balanced diet can’t hurt.

All I am saying is that having a balanced diet does not hurt. And that trying this method out won’t hurt. And although there is little evidence for this theory there is also no direct evidence stating it is impossible for this to work. For those of us who believe in “home remedies” or “alternative medicine” something like this is not harmful and who knows, by leap of faith, it may even work.

Also I do understand that when I say “won’t hurt” we are on different levels as we have discussed previously. I know that you believe following alternative medicines, even when there is no harm to the body, can be harmful in some ways. Of course I don’t necessarily agree with that but what I mean by “won’t hurt” is that it will not have a negative affect on the body to watch your pH level and have a diet that is balanced in alkaline and acid. It is just one way to watch what one puts in their mouth. Perhaps by eating healthier the problem will be solved and it wouldn’t have anything to do with the pH.

Thank you for the conversation. I will say that even when you disagree (by choice or by fact) you are quite respectful in your disagreement which I find admirable.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Clair Apologies for the thread hi-jack, hopefully some of this has been helpful. If not then even more sincere apologies.

Clair's avatar

@RedPowerLady No apologies needed! This is the type of info I’m needing! Thank you so much! I haven’t heard of anything like this and surely would have never thought of it.
@shilolo I’ll take your advice and be careful about it, I’m willing to try anything at this point. It’s worth a shot.
Thanks all!

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