These UTI home remedies and prevention tips will save you from a world of suffering. Learn about what you can do at home and when to see a doctor.
The human bladder is the size of a pear; it can hold up to two cups of urine before reaching capacity. Part of the urinary system, it’s connected to the kidneys by the ureters. Like the rest of the body, however, certain conditions can affect its function. Take cystitis, for example, it happens when the bladder becomes inflamed. Urinary tract infections are also a thing. Aside from the bladder, it can also affect the kidneys and the tubes that connect them. Fortunately, there are ways to treat and prevent it. Looking for some UTI home remedies? If so, you’re on the right page. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary system; it can affect the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. More often than not, they’re caused by bacteria such as E. coli. However, it can also be due to fungi or viruses. While anyone can develop the condition, it’s generally more common in women. Why? Because they have a shorter urethra. In other words, bacteria don’t have to travel as far to infect the bladder.
Symptoms will differ depending on whether it involves the upper or lower urinary tract. For example, a lower tract UTI can cause bloody urine, increased frequency of urination, and a burning sensation when urinating. In contrast, upper tract UTIs tend to be more severe. Symptoms include chills, fever, pain in the upper back, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, the bacteria can also move into the blood and cause a potentially life-threatening condition called urosepsis. If you’re a woman, consider going to an urgent care gynecology clinic if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms. Also, it’s a good idea to call your doctor if you have recurrent UTIs (more than three in 12 months).
Risk Factors For UTIs
Certain things can put you at a higher risk of developing an infection. For instance, those who have a history of kidney stones are more prone to the condition. Diabetes, pregnancy, and reduced mobility can also increase your risk. Age has something to do with it as well. That is, the older you are, the more likely you are to get a UTI.
Treating Urinary Tract Infections
Assuming that the infection is caused by bacteria, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. Typically, symptoms will begin to go away within a few days. Some may also prescribe a pain medication that’ll help relieve the burning sensation. However, the pain will usually subside as soon as you begin the antibiotic treatment.
6 UTI Home Remedies That You Should Try
While there aren’t any home remedies that will cure the infection, there are things that you can do to make your medication work better. Here’s what you need to know. As always, consult your medical professional before trying any home remedy.
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking water is one of the best ways to prevent and treat UTIs. By staying hydrated, you’ll urinate more; this will help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. As a general rule, you want to aim for at least six 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Keep in mind, however, that the exact amount depends on various factors such as your weight and activity level.
2. Drink Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is well-known for its ability to help with UTIs. It works by preventing bacteria from attaching to the cells in the urinary tract. Not only that, but it contains antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. Aside from juice, you can also get the same benefits from dried cranberries or cranberry supplements.
3. Take Probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that promote healthy immunity and digestion. Studies have shown that they may also help prevent and treat UTIs. Take lactobacilli, for instance, it can prevent the microbes from attaching to urinary tract cells. On top of that, it also lowers urine pH, which lowers the risk of infection.
4. Get Enough Vitamin C
Increasing your vitamin C intake may help prevent UTIs. For one thing, it’s able to kill bacteria by reacting with nitrates in urine to form nitrogen oxide. On top of that, it has the ability to acidify urine. By making the environment less desirable, bacteria will be less likely to survive.
5. Urinate When You Need To
Urinate when the need arises; don’t hold it in. Ignoring the urge can allow bacteria to grow in your urinary tract, which can lead to infections. By urinating frequently, you’ll be able to clear out the bacteria. It’ll also reduce the amount of time that they’ll be exposed to the urinary tract.
6. Take a D-mannose Supplement
D-mannose is a type of sugar that’s found in fruits (e.g. apples, peaches, oranges) and supplements. As it is, there’s evidence to support that it may help treat UTIs. In one study, d-mannose was just as effective as antibiotic therapy over a 6-month period. Keep in mind, however, that there are potential side effects. For example, some people may experience diarrhea or loose stools. Given that it’s a form of sugar, it’s also not advisable for those with diabetes.
Treating and Preventing UTIs
And there we have it—six UTI home remedies. As you can see, there are things that you can do to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections. Why bare with the symptoms when you can do something about it, right? Are you interested in reading more posts like this? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our site!