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Is cranberry juice okay for those with reflux?

33664 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  madge
I have a mild urinary tract infection. Because I have serious allergies to most antibiotics, my doctor says to drink cranberry juice. But with heartburn and GERD in my life, I'm afraid that cranberry juice might really cause trouble for me. I do take 20 mg of nexium a day, but that's not a lot, and taking more isn't an option for me (It's a long story.)Can any of you with acid reflux drink cranberry juice? I usually can't handle orange juice or other acidic juices unless they're very watered down. Would cranberry capsules maybe work for me instead? Need solutions, here, because taking an antibiotic usually means being in the hospital, possibly on a ventilator (throat closes from antibiotics).Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (Thanks.)
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I really don't know Madge..I think it just depends on the person. I do not have a GERD diagnosis yet I get heartburn/indigestion from most fruit juices... cranberry included. If you have access to the caps...I'd try them first to see if you can get rid of the UTI that way. Hope you feel better real soon.
I'd probably try the caps first.You might see if a bit of cranberry juice diluted down or in something else (like splash some in a tea you tolerate) is OK as well.If high fructose corn syrup or sorbitol bother you watch what they add to the juice to sweeten it. Some people can get a lot of diarrhea from the HFCS or from the sorbitol in apple or pear concentrate.
Thanks, Kathleen. I'll try diluting the cranberry juice until I can get some capsules. The doctor did caution me, though, not to take cranberry capsules longterm, because cranberries are high in iron. (And I'm undergoing tests to see why my iron (ferritin) blood level is very high. Always something, isn't it? A little worrisome, but I have no choice except to try to find out what's wrong and see if they can correct it.)It really is hard to be so allergic to antibiotics. Makes even a strep throat or common urinary tract infection very scary for me. The reflux is no fun either, is it? Add the new heart arrhythmia I have and now the high iron, and I feel like kind of a mess lately. (I usually don't have pity parties for long. Sorry. Thanks for letting me vent here.) LOL.
Hi Madge,I'm not sure that you need to worry about taking the cranberry caps long term. As I understand it, it surrounds the bacteria to such a depth that they cannot attach themselves to the bladder walls to replicate. They should just pass out of the system with the urine, eliminating the infection.Mark
How well do you sleep? Do you wake up refreshed? Do you snore? Has anyone mentioned you sometimes gasp in your sleep?My iron and hemoglobin ran borderline high when I had the bouncing baby cousin of Sleep Apnea. Since I wasn't always getting enough oxygen my blood thickened up to compensate. Kinda like athletes go train at high altitude to stress the blood so it gets thicker.May be worth checking into, especially if you don't feel refreshed when you wake up, or have a lot of problems staying awake during the day even when you spend enough hours in the bed at night. Falling asleep during the day when you only got 6 or less hours of sleep can be pretty normal, but if you get 8-9 hours and still can barely stay awake that could indicate poor quality sleep.
Hi, Mark...Thanks for the thought about the cranberry capsules. I guess I wouldn't need to take it longterm as a preventative, just take it until the uti has passed. I could then postpone the retake of my ferritin(iron) test for awhile after I stop the cranberry capsules.Kathleen: I do sleep pretty well and don't usually get too tired during the day. Although I'm 67 and may take more rest breaks than I used to. I've been tired with the uti, but that's to be expected, and when my heart arrhythmia /PVCs act up more than usual, I get a little tired too. But I really appreciated your information, because I have a husband and nephew who are talking about being tested for sleep apnea, and I will certainly tell them about what you said. Thank you very much for that information!I have a high ferritin level a little over 300, and the top of normal is 150). But my other serum iron and hemoglobin levels are normal. The doctor will have to retest, and sort out what that means. I'm not too worried, because my liver and blood tests are okay except for the ferritin. Will have to wait and see.I've stopped taking my multi-vitamin/mineral tablet each day because even though there's no iron in it, there is vitamin C. My doctor said that vitamin C helps the body absorb iron into the body cells, which can increase the ferritin levels. Rats!...another problem! How will I get enough of the extra vitamins and minerals I need? I'm an old woman and need all the help I can get. LOL. Hope you're all having a nice holiday season! We got hit with the nasty snow and ice storm here in Wisconsin. Hope it's nicer where you are!
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This is for Mark: Doctor also told me to stop eating grapes for now (high in iron). There go any lingering thoughts I had about resveratrol, at least until I know more.
Well, I found out that cranberry juice is really bad for my GERD. I had to quit after a few days, but am still taking the cranberry capsules and those I can tolerate pretty well. (I take a 400 mg capsule and split it, taking 200 mg twice a day.) Don't know if I'll get rid of the UTI, but I have to try, since antibiotics are so risky for me. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Rats! I'm starting to get some canker stores on my tongue. Maybe from the cranberry caps? (Hope not.) I do get those from eating pineapple. I can't seem to win here!Hope you are having decent weather. We've just shoveled out of a snowstorm and now temperatures are right around zero. (Wisconsin)
Presuming you are swallowing the caps whole, I would be surprised if they would cause that.Mark
Hi, Mark...These are cranberry caplets, not gelcaps, so they are hard and can be split. I have to split them, because taking a whole one definitely starts the reflux going. I seem to be able to tolerate taking half a caplet at a time. The canker sores have gone away. Must have been from something else I ate. Usually it's pineapple or strawberries, but I haven't eaten any. So, I suspected the cranberry caps. Nope. I just had a test yesterday to see how I'm doing with the uti. Sure hope I can get rid of it eventually. The sinus infection did clear up on its own. I really hate not being able to just take an antibiotic when I get something like this, but the doctors feel its risky. And since I've had a few close calls from taking antibiotics, I have to use my head and do what they say. How are you doing, Mark?
Well I am glad to hear that the sores weren't caused by the cranberry pills. You surely have enough going on without dealing with that, as well. I really feel the less we use antibiotics the better off we are; but it is easier to say that when things don't keep breakiing down. Other than a pain in my back that I am seeing my physio for, things are generally good. I really have to get over this so that I can get back on my bike. Just walking the dog is not enough relief for my eating habits. I've also been dealing with a seemingly intractable case of eczema since September. I have been trying some Dead Sea salts on that, along with the tea tree oil, and have eliminated a nut "addiction" I have been living with for some time. It seems to be working on the eczema and the nut thing has had a really good effect on my stools. As I posted on the D Board, things actually seem normal. Beyond that, we are going to downsize our living space in an effort to get our expenses down to what we will make when Mariann retires. We expect that that will allow us to make some home swaps so that we can take some more trips to Europe. (Two of my dog walking friends are permanently moving to the coast of Spain for their retirement. That is so cool.) And my Art History course is great fun. Best,Mark
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Mark, sounds as though things are going well for you Retirement is so wonderful! Wayne and I taught high school for 31 years, and after retirement we're finally able to do so many of the things we never had time for. I love to sew and to grow and dry flowers for floral arrangements. Since we have over 75 peony plants, we specialize in dried peonies. We have several gardens and sell at farmer's markets spring through fall. Wayne grows the veggies and I grow/dry the herbs and flowers. Never had time for that when we were teaching. Wayne is scouting for the Tampa Bay Rays and has more time to devote to it now. He also has more time for working with college and minor league pitchers...something he has always loved to do in the summer months. (He played pro ball when he was young.) We go to a lot of ball games. LOL. The only thing that holds me back some is having to avoid catching bacterial things from others. But, I still get out. Just try to use my head and do the best I can.I also have back pain (and leg pain) on a regular basis. I use warm and cold packs most of the time, because painkillers don't sit well all that well with me. I recently bought some tea tree oil lotion too, and have been using it on my arthritic hands in the AM. Works really well for me. Eczema is a tough wonderful that you're having some results!Art history course? Good for you! Sounds like you're really enjoying life.
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