Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Today's Word of the Day

Mannose. Say it with me: muh-noze. Actually, I have no idea how you pronounce it but I don't care. This stuff is freaking amazing. Let me give you the back story.

If you are like me and many women out there, you have had one or more urinary tract infections (UTI) in your life. You probably also know that a UTI is a hell you would hesitate to wish upon your worst enemy. And you also probably know that after inhaling the Uristat, stat, you'll beg, plead and grovel to get your doc to call in a prescription for you, even though the idea of going to Walgreens in your condition is nearly unbearable. Then in a few days when you are feeling better, you'll develop a whopping yeast infection, prompting another trip to Walgreens for Monistat, humming I Enjoy Being a Girl*.

Readers, I was stuck in such a rut: bad bad feeling, Cipro, yeast infection, finally better for about two weeks and then ... that bad bad feeling came back again. I hit some kind of critical mass. I turned to the trusty interweb knowing that relief couldn't be far and I stumbled upon mannose.

Based on my extensive perusal of interweb sources, here's what I learned: Most (90%) UTIs are caused by E coli. E coli hangs on to the walls of your bladder with evil little stickers that even gallons of water coursing through you won't dislodge. Mannose, a naturally occuring sugar, seems to attract E coli to it, so that as mannose passes through your bladder, e coli attaches itself to the mannose and voila, you pee it all out. Healthy flora left undisturbed, so no yeast infection, no intestinal distress or nausea, etc. Now is that smart or what?

You can order mannose online at evitamins. Since my need for relief could not wait for shipping, I found mine at Whole Foods, a mixture of mannose and other happy urinary tract ingredients called UT Vibrance.

If this is going to work, you should be feeling a lot better within 24 hours. If you're not, there could be some other nasty bugger causing your troubles so do the right thing and go pee in a cup.

*I haven't used Monistat in years since I discovered cheaper, non pharmaceutical ways to address this. My personal fave is boric acid, but many other options exist. Check out your local natural food store for more choices.

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