Jenny Boyance was on a much anticipated family vacation and should have been having the time of her life, splashing in a hotel pool with her kids. But all she could focus on was the familiar burning sensation in her lower abdomen that heralded the start of another urinary tract infection.
By the next day, when she and her family boarded a plane to go home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jenny was experiencing even more discomfort and having to urinate frequently. She spent most of the three-hour flight locked in the bathroom. I can’t take this anymore, she thought, exasperated.
Jenny, then in her late 40s, had suffered from recurring urinary tract infections for as far back as she could remember. In her 20s, she was diagnosed with urethral strictures, or scarring in or around the urethra that usually results from inflammation, injury, or infection and restricts the flow of urine from the bladder. At the time, she underwent a “urethra dilation,” a procedure to open the urethral narrowing. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and she continued to suffer from chronic infections for the following two decades.
Over the years, Jenny had tried every available prescription medication to help her condition, and eventually, all stopped working after a few days or weeks. So when she went to her doctor after her trip and he’d prescribed yet another antibiotic, she was hesitant to have it filled. I can’t go back down that road, she decided. I have to find a permanent solution.
A Simple Remedy
Having had no luck with conventional medical treatments, Jenny dug out a book she owned on holistic healing and looked through the index for urinary tract infections. The entry she found described stopping UTIs by changing the PH of one’s urine.
The secret weapon? Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, mixed with water. It sounded too simple to be true. But having nothing to lose, Jenny grabbed the box of baking soda from her pantry and added a teaspoon to eight ounces of water, as the book suggested, and drank it down. She repeated the dosage three more times over the next several hours and soon noticed that the pain was diminishing. By the next day, it was completely gone.
From then on, Jenny kept a box of baking soda on hand, and whenever she felt the telltale burning and pressure in her abdomen, she drank the baking soda solution, consuming four to six eight-ounce glasses over a few hours. To her joy, her symptoms would abate, without her getting a full-blown UTI.
She also discovered Alka-Seltzer Gold, which is Alka-Seltzer without the aspirin (just bicarbonate) and says that works just as well. She now carries packets with her when traveling in case she feels any irritation or pain. “After years and spending thousands of dollars on doctors and medications with no relief, I’ve finally found something that works every time!” says Jenny, now 54. “And to think, the miracle was right in my kitchen the whole time!”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.