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Cranberry pills for UTI's? Cranberry pills for UTI's?

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Unread 07-07-2001, 05:34 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?

Hello, ladies!

I'm now 6 weeks post-op, and am doing relatively well. The only problem I'm having is a very stubborn urinary tract infection that hasn't fully left me since about 2 weeks post-op. I've had two rounds of antibiotics, and my MD recommended cranberry juice, because it stimulates the urinary tract.

When I did that, I've gained 4 pounds !!! I need to lose weight, not gain. He said I could eat "craisins", dried cranberries found in the grocery stores, but I'm trying to avoid extra calories. A friend recommended cranberry pills, which can be found in a health foods store.

My question is, have any of you tried this? I'm willing to give it a go, because the UTI is definitely painful, and I don't want to gain more weight by adding calories.

Any response would be appreciated !

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Unread 07-07-2001, 06:02 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?

I had trouble with UTI's after a different surgery and I feel for you! Has your doctor done urine cultures(they have to be sent out) besides the quick test they do in the office to determine exactly what bacteria you had? This makes sure that they know what to give you to get rid of it. On one occasion I had to take a different antibiotic based on the results of my urine culture. I did try the cranberry pills..I think the juice works best mainly because the amount of liquid you have to drink. Ocean Spray makes a low calorie version of the cranberry juice. You could also try diluting it with water and combining it with the cranberry tablets. In my case I ended up needed to take a low dose antibiotic every other day for several months until I was finally cured.
Best wishes to you
Unread 07-07-2001, 08:09 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?

Although I do not know for sure, I had read somewhere that for UTI's it is far better to drink cranberry juice than to take the cranberry pills. (I think I read it in "Prevention" magazine). If calories are a concern for you, I would recommend diluting the juice with water. There are also other low-calorie drinks on the market you may wanna look into, as Becky suggested.
Hoping you feel better soon.....

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Unread 07-07-2001, 09:24 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?


I read your post and the responses with interest - I have bladder woes, too. I'm drinking cranberry juice twice a day and packing on the pounds so I was interested in the pills or the low-cal juice. I seem to recall that the low-cal juice has artificial sweetners, and I just ran across this note while looking up info on the cranberry pills:

"drinking too little water while smoking or consuming a diet high in substances that acidify urine -- artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, spicy foods -- erodes the bladder lining, making it more vulnerable to bacteria."

Yikes! I knew about the caffeine and spicy foods, but not the chocolate I've been eating a lot of chocolate lately....

As for the pills, I haven't found any encouraging information yet - just lots of controversy on how much cranberry is actually in the pills and what the dose should be.

Hope you feel better soon!
Unread 07-07-2001, 09:34 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?

I took the pills for about 1 1/2 months. I have not had any other urinary problems. I am not taking them still. The best way to get the benefits from cranberries is to eat them in their most raw whole state. If you look at cranberry juices a lot of them are not 100% cranberry juice. Most of them are a very small %. I believe that you can capture more nutrition from the supplement. When the holidays roll around I usually buy several bags of whole cranberries and freeze them for use all thru the year.
It is true with all foods. The most whole raw state is where you will get your most nutritional value.
Unread 07-07-2001, 09:46 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?


I've had several UTI's in the past, but always conquered them with both MacroBid and cranberry juice. As a preventive now, I take a cranberry extract pill (when I remember) and ever since, I have not had another UTI My pills are 400mg of CranActin, which can be taken up to 4x a day. CranActin is listed as the first commercial cranberry supplement to be tested for and guaranteed to contain cranberry's bacterial antiadherence activity.

Talk with your doctor about the pills and check out the health food stores.

Good Luck!
Unread 07-08-2001, 08:00 AM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?

My dh is in a wheelchair, and people in wheelchairs have a lot of kidney and bladder problems as a general rule (my dh is one of the lucky ones who doesn't have kideny problems but he takes VERY good care of himself). We belong to several organizations involved with disabled people and I know a lot of them that swear by the cranberry pills as a method to avoid getting UTI's. One of my friends is a nurse, her husband is a high-level quadraplegic and he used to get infections all the time until she put him on the cranberry pills daily and he hasn't had one in a couple of years now. My dh also drinks cranberry juice pretty much on a daily basis it is something you will always find in our fridge. My mom has a lot of problems with urinary tract infections and it is mostly because she doesn't drink enough fluids. Her doctor told her to drink a glass of cranberry juice every day. She doesn't do it and still gets infections every couple of months. I agree that diluting it might be the way to go, or maybe even mixing it with diet soda like Sprite or Slice or 7-Up? Or would that kill the beneficial effects?
Good luck!
Unread 07-08-2001, 11:28 AM

Dear fellow sisters:

Thanks for all your responses. I appreciate them.

I can't have diet cranberry juice, because they contain aspartame, and that triggers migraines in me ! However, I'm going to try those cranberry pills and buy some craisins and use at least one serving of craisins a day as part of my fruit allotment.

God bless you for all your help!

Unread 07-08-2001, 12:29 PM
Cranberry pills for UTI's?


I am the queen of UTI's ... I have done a lot of reading about them as I have had some pretty stubborn ones.. First of all, the main bacteria that is really helped by the cranberry juice is the e-coli one. I had a different bacteria..and all the cranberry juice in the world wasn't helping it. If you are going to drink cranberry juice, the only thing really worthwhile is the REAL stuff.. It is like $6 or $7 a bottle..and very very strong..pure cranberry juice, no sugar added. I would cut it with something else..but it is the best. The other juices have so much sugar and more of other juices in them. Read the ingredients.

Second, what was said above about having your urine cultured. That is very important, to find out what bacteria you have. The one I had didn't respond at all to one of the main UTI drugs. So, what I was taking was doing nuttin for me.

Good luck hon...they can be so painful.. However, once you get the right bacteria treated..they do go away!!

God Bless...Deb
Unread 07-08-2001, 02:00 PM
Cranberry Juice and UTI's

I have been reading the thread about drinking cranberry juice for infections and noted that someone said they can not drink diet cranberry juice due to the aspartame. Ocean Spray has a light cranberry juice that is very good and is sweetened with a new sweetener called Splenda. It is not aspartame and acts just like regular sugar. I am diabetic and the nutritionist at my Endocrinologist's ofice recommends products with Splenda in them as well as using it right from the box. Most grocery stores where I live carry it now. Try it - you can have cranberry jucie and all it's benefits without all the sugar.

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