Why do I keep getting UTIs? New Study Reveals Shocking Cause – Eat This, Not That

It’s all too common for many women to struggle with a constant recurrence of the dreaded urinary tract infection (UTI). In fact, you may have already visited your doctor with painful UTI symptoms and been prescribed treatment. You probably felt some relief, only to find that the infection is back… or has it even gone away in the first place? Ugh! Like many women in this situation, you have felt confused, bewildered and beyond frustrated – you just want to put this infection on your toes. You’re probably wondering, “Why do I keep getting UTIs?” Well, based on recent research, we have a glimpse of a cause that will totally shock you.

If you’re reading this and nodding your head because you totally understand what we’re saying, you might be very surprised to learn that the antibiotic you’re taking for a UTI can actually cause another UTI, according to a new study. The repetitive and exhausting process has to do with your gut health, and you’ll want to read on to find out more ASAP. And then be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong, Toned Arms in 2022, the trainer says.


If you know the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you know how unbearable and frustrating dealing with it can be. (Symptoms may include a constant urge to urinate, a burning sensation when you urinate, small amounts of urine, cloudy urine that looks bright pink, red, or cola-colored, and pelvic pain.) You may know. also be that it is common for a urinary tract infection to come back, by starting the process over from the beginning.

In case you didn’t know, bacteria in the urinary tract is the cause of a good majority of UTIs. Specifically, Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria found in your intestines end up in your urinary tract, according to ScienceDaily.

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close up doctor holding cubes spelling out UTI, medical concept, cause of UTI

When a UTI is diagnosed, the typical treatment is an antibiotic, which normally makes you feel better. But surprisingly, according to Harvard Health, 25% to 30% of women experience another UTI again within six months. In fact, it’s not uncommon for these nasty infections to become an all-too-familiar cycle, requiring more antibiotics soon after the previous course is over. But do they help or hinder your situation?

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woman taking antibiotics with water cause urinary infections

A recent study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard reveals that your gut microbiome may be behind the continuous cycle of UTIs you experience. Plus, that superhero known as the antibiotic that comes to the rescue to bring relief? It can be the very cause of repeated urinary tract infections.

It’s correct. The study published in Natural microbiology indicates that women with persistent UTIs seem to be caught in a constant pattern where the antibiotic prescribed to clear the infection puts them at another risk. Scientists have found that taking a series of antibiotics fights bacteria in the bladder, but does not treat bacteria in the intestines. Because of this, the microbiome left behind in your gut can grow, spread to your bladder, and, you guessed it, another UTI is back in town. Essentially, by taking more antibiotics, you risk creating havoc in your gut microbiome (the good bacteria that resides in your gut).

Study participants who suffered from persistent UTIs were found to have fewer varied microbiomes containing a lower level of “good bacteria”. This good bacteria is needed to balance inflammation. This group of women turned out to have a very bold immunological pattern in their blood, revealing inflammation.

woman holding stomach, intestinal health

According to Scott J. Hultgren, Ph.D., Helen L. Stoever Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the University of Washington and co-lead author of the study, “It’s frustrating for women who come to the doctor with a recurrence after recurrence after recurrence, and the doctor, who is usually a man, gives them hygiene advice.” Hultgren adds: “That’s not necessarily the problem. It’s not necessarily poor hygiene that’s the cause. The problem is in the disease itself, in that connection between the gut and the bladder and the levels of inflammation. Basically, doctors don’t know what to do with recurrent UTIs. All they have are antibiotics, so they throw more antibiotics at the problem, which probably only makes make things worse.

In an effort to understand why some women get persistent infections while other women rarely (if ever) get them, Hultgren worked with two other scientists in this study. The team included Ashlee Earl, Ph.D., senior group leader of the Broad Institute’s Bacterial Genomics Group and co-lead author of the paper, and computational biologist and lead author of the paper, Colin Worby, Ph. D.

Perhaps we are treating the urinary tract infection, but not targeting the root of the problem that is causing it. Your gut health seems to matter when it comes to a UTI!

Alexa Mellardo

Alexa is the associate editor of Eat This, Not That!’s Mind + Body, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling stories about fitness, wellness and self-care to readers. Read more

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