How I kicked bladder infections and UTIs naturally!

Since I was a teen up until quite recently, I suffered with constant bladder infections and UTIs.  To the point that I had to have investigative surgery (a cystoscopy under general anesthesia) to shed light on why they were so frequent.  They found I had interstitial cystitis where the inside walls of my bladder had become so red and inflamed from constant infections that I was suffering stabbing pain, serious discomfort while urinating, and sexual intercourse ignited pain that lasted for several days.

I was prescribed a tricyclic antidepressant called nortriptyline to treat the interstitial cystitis, but the bladder infections and UTIs still continued.  I also suffered some serious health complications from the medication, like black outs.  I finally came off the tablets in preference of some marked changes in my diet and life and natural tools to rebalance the bacteria in my gut and bladder.

How did I get to that point?

I learnt through my experience with Eden that we live in symbiosis with the bacteria that inhabit the Gastro-Intestinal tracts in our bodies.  There are more of these bacteria than cells in our body.  It is an extremely fine balance of friendly bacteria and unfriendly bacteria/fungi/yeast/parasites. If we allow the latter to overgrow we activate the immune system and impair barrier function, which can lead to chronic diseases.

The problems we suffered with Eden and moreover, how nobody seemed to know how to help us or what was wrong for a good while, made me go away do significant research and learned a lot.  For Eden her intestinal permeability led to many symptoms outside of her GI tract, like thrush and other skin rashes, headaches, congestion, abdominal pain, extreme bloating, constipation and diarrhea, that all led to disruption of her sleep and restlessness,  and ultimately…. a bladder infection.  This got me thinking!  I was already suspicious that my gut was out of balance, based on other problems I had suffered in the past. I had many predisposing factors that would prevent my body from working optimally and create an imbalance – early and frequent exposure to antibiotics as a child and teen, chronic use of chemical birth control, which dries out mucosal tissue from tip to tail, creating a breeding ground for bad bacteria; A LOT of stress, disordered eating (a diagnosed eating disorder as a teen). Then, because of how Eden was born with such an imbalance of her own I considered, if I recreated my own gut bacteria balance by removing the undesirable organisms and restoring the desirable bacteria, while I worked through this process with Eden would my bladder problems reduce?

The result was YES!

The first thing I did was identify all the things in our lives that were increasing our toxic load, (heavy metals such as chemicals, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides) and attempt to reduce them, in order to restore immune function (our bacteria are an integral part of our immune system, helping it to distinguish between ‘friend and foe’).

I hadn’t realised until I started reading labels how many toxic ingredients there are in the things that we use every day – soap, toothpaste, creams, lotions, washing detergents, air fresheners, candles.  Not to mention in the food we eat!  I began to opt for organic food and began to cut chemical products out one by one and replace them with things I made myself, using essential oils.

Then I attacked the food intolerances I suspected Eden had head on!  Eden and I did a full elimination diet to identify problem foods and then we removed them.

I also made other dietary changes.  I began eating some fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut to help re-colonize my bodywith helpful bacteria. We cut out refined sugar completely because it feeds the bad bacteria and we cut down on grains that are high in carbohydrates, so break down into sugar and also feed yeast and bad bacteria growth.

As I realised the bacterial imbalance was not only in my gut, but in my bladder, I started taking D-mannose (500mg 4x daily) to prevent bacterial buildup in my bladder directly.

I used a course of Oregano Essential Oil (5 drops 3x daily in 250ml water for 3 days) because it is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

I then started on quality Probiotics.  I visited Nicola John’s Pharmacy in Glen Innes, Auckland, upon the advice of my awesome midwife with Jade and talked to her about how I could increase the good bacteria in my bladder and gut and reduce the growth of the infection-causing bacteria.

And I took Cranberry tablets (400-500mg 2x daily) to prevent bacteria from sticking to my bladder walls.

Vitamin C (1,000mg 3x daily) was also introduced to make my wee more acidic, so that the growth of E.coli was inhibited, my immune function enhanced.  Eden’s bladder infection was identified as caused by E.coli, so this was important for both of us.

In making these changes I have changed my life.  And I thank Eden for that, for leading me to a better way.  Although what we went through with her was awful and horrific for everyone it has opened my eyes to so many different things that were impacting my own health and as a family we are now so much healthier!

If you are suffering with frequent bladder infections and UTIs I obviously advise seeing a doctor as I am not one of those!  However, investigate some of the things that helped me and if you think they might be able to help you, give them a try because living with the pain and discomfort of frequent infections is awful and as I found can be seriously damaging to your bladder.

To get hold of quality Oregano Essential Oil that you can take internally, visit my doTERRA retail store and feel free to contact me with any questions!

Much Love x x

 

10 Must Haves to Survive & Thrive this Winter!

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Great for the whole family and a multitude of uses Lavender essential oil has powerful antimicrobial properties, but it is gentle enough for use with children.  So this should be a go to for our littlies to fight illness and boost the immune system.  If your littlie is struggling to get to sleep at night because of feeling yucky, place 2 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops of roman chamomile essential oil in the diffuser and run at 18 minute intervals through the night.

2. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is great for the respiratory system, but will also boost energy when that fatigue of fighting illness sets in.  Diffuse 3 drops of lemon with 3 drops of peppermint for relief with a boost.

3. Peppermint Essential Oil

As well as clearing your nasal passages like a gush of arctic air, peppermint essential oil is an immune stimulant.   Immune stimulants can strengthen the immune system by directly inhibiting the micro-organisms, or by stimulating the immune system. Lavender and lemon also work in the same way.   Peppermint can also lower a fever if you want/need to do this.  Dilute in a carrier oil and apply to the feet.  Or inhale from the bottle to clear your nose.  Avoid using with children under 6 years old.

4. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. Used in a diffuser or within a carrier oil in the bath, tea tree oil is a great alternative for littlies under 6 to help fight the congestion and the resulting discomfort caused by the cold or the flu.

5. Oregano Essential Oil

Known as “nature’s antibiotic” this is a “hot” and powerful essential oil that must be diluted and used with care.  It will work to rid your body of the nasties making you feel unwell.  I use this as my last resort if other remedies haven’t worked because like an antibiotic it can affect your gut flora, although certainly not so badly as a pharmaceutical antibiotic and you only want to be using it for a few days.  Take 3-4 drops 2-3 times daily for up to 3 days.  I place in a capsule with Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lemon and On Guard (read more on this magical blend next!)

6.  On Guard Essential Oil

on guard meme

I love this blend of oils.  It is known as doTERRA’s Protective Blend because the mix of oils strengthen the immune system and work with each other to create a powerful blend gentle enough for your kids.

When I feel any illness coming on, when I notice symptoms in my girls or if there is lots of illness around I start applying On Guard to the soles of the feet in a carrier oil.  If this doesn’t work I go to the Frankincense, Melaleuca, Lemon and On Guard mix in a capsule 3 times a day (without the oregano) and then the oregano is my final step if this still doesn’t work.  Believe me, if you get onto using On Guard fast enough, 9 times out of 10 it will work!  doTERRA also do this blend as a handy (excuse the pun) foaming handwash to kill germs, a cleaner concentrate, a toothpaste and beadlets for on the go!

7. Frankincense Essential Oil

I’ve already mentioned use of Frankincense as part of my capsule mix when illness hits.  This is because Frankincense supports the respiratory tract and calms the mind while the immune system fights viruses.

Pure Frankincense is very gentle; even more so than Lavender. It has no known adverse effects yet it’s an essential oil that stands out above all others for it’s regenerative properties on a cellular level. Frankincense has antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, analgesic (weak), and expectorant properties, so is great to calm a cough.

For children under 6, Lavender & Frankincense  together, on bottoms of feet or along the spine is a also a great mix to keep a child calm and relaxed during illness and discomfort.

8. Deep Blue Essential Oil

You know those aches and pains you get with the flu?  Well, long and short is you won’t with this blend.  Unfortunately the Deep Blue blend should be avoided when pregnant or breastfeeding, which is a shame as there are many aches and pains associated with these conditions too!  Also avoid using with children under 6.

9. Breathe Essential Oil

Another amazing proprietary blend from doTERRA.  Breathe includes Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa, and Cardamom and will help to maintains clear airways and support breathing when congestion hits and support overall respiratory health.

10. Digestzen Essential Oil

Flus don’t just hit your respiratory system.  When you or the children get the dreaded stomach flu it can really suck!  (And we don’t need any more detail than that …)

In partnership with On Guard to kill germs, rub the DigestZen blend (already diluted in coconut oil) on the abdomen.  It’s a blend of ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander and anise, each with properties specifically aimed at stomach/digestive upset.

Where to Buy Your Essential Oils to Stock up your Natural Medicine Cabinet for Winter!

This is one of the most vital things you must know about essential oils… Not all essential oils are created equally. Many are filled with chemical nasties and will not work therapeutically at all, so when buying, make sure you are buying therapeutic grade from a reputable supplier. If you want to order from the doTERRA range click here.  If you want to read about you can get hold of these oils at a huge discount by ordering them as part of a kit, click here.  As always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me!

Have I missed anything?  Do you have an essential oil or other natural medicine recommendation for cold and flu?  If so, comment below!

Much love x x

Warming Winter Wellness Recipes!

My daughter has woken up with a hacking cough this morning and that coupled with the darker skies of today and yesterday is an urgent reminder that winter is on its way!

Did you know that you can use your essential oils for their health benefits in food?

doTERRA’s essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which means they have undergone rigorous in-house and third-party testing to ensure they are free of fillers, synthetic ingredients and harmful contaminants and can be therefore ingested, if stated on the product label. Examples are ginger, oregano and rosemary and coincidentally, these are great oils for body-strengthening as we come into Fall and then Winter and are also useful when it comes to healing from common winter illnesses.

Make sure that you print out these 3 warming, nourishing and health-boosting soups and add them to your winter recipe book!  You can stock up on the essential oils that you need here

Borsch picBorsch ingredients

Borsch instructions

Moroccan beef tagine

costa rican black bean soup

Enjoy!

Much Love x x