The unfortunate thing about urinary tract infections (UTIs) is that they are very common. The chances of you getting one are a pretty good, especially if you are a woman. They are uncomfortable, unpleasant, and can lead to some pretty bad things for your system if left untreated. But, you know what they say: the best offense is a good defense. You may be able to prevent a UTI from happening just by following a few simple steps or maybe even by incorporating basic changes to your diet. We’ll go over some key steps for possible UTI prevention that you can easily do by yourself at home. By the time you’re done reading this, you will hopefully know how to prevent UTI.
How to Prevent UTI : Useful Home Methods
There are a number of home methods you can use to possibly prevent a UTI. Some of these are specific to women due to simple biology, but there are quite a few prevention techniques that may work for both sexes.
1. Don’t Hold It In
Urine is essentially waste that your body is expelling. If the urine sits in the bladder, it can help promote bacteria and infection that can go on to cause a UTI. To that end, you should make an effort to go the bathroom about every four to six hours to keep the system cleaned out.
2. Wash Your Privates before Sex
Sexual intercourse can spread bacteria, infections, and viruses between the two parties. These can often cause UTIs, but cleaning your genitalia beforehand can help limit the transmission of those causes.
3. Urinate after Sex
As mentioned, sexual intercourse can help transmit many of the germs that lead to the development of UTIs. An easy way to help flush some of those UTI causes from your system is to simply go pee. The act of urination can help clean out the urinary tract.
4. Avoid Baths
For women, try to avoid baths and have showers instead. Bath water can help transmit bacteria as the bath water has easy access to a woman’s genitals and the urinary tract.
5. Clean from Front to Back
Common sense for most adult women, but it should still be stated that, when cleaning the vagina after relieving yourself, wipe front to back. This is to avoid introducing bacteria from feces to the urinary tract.
6. Avoid Douche
Douching is not recommended for women for multiple reasons, but one is due to the fact that douches can irritate the urethra and cause a UTI.
These techniques can help prevent UTIs from occurring, but they aren’t the only methods of prevention. There is some evidence that moisture-absorbing underwear can help prevent bacteria that could potentially cause a UTI from breeding in the genital area. In addition to these prevention methods, there are a few dietary changes that could help with the prevention of UTIs.
Diet Tips to Prevent UTIs
Making some simple alterations to your diet may also help prevent UTIs. A lot of these diet tips are extremely easy to do and have other health benefits.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Good hydration is always a good idea as it can help out with a number of the body’s functions. Drinking plenty of water can keep you regular in terms of urination, which can help flush the urinary tract out with regular frequency.
2. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice has long been used for urinary tract infections due to the fact that it contains proanthocyanidins, which are great for moving bacteria out of the urinary tract so that it can’t stick around and cause infections.
3. Foods High in Zinc
Foods like oysters, ginger, egg yolks, oats, beef liver, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, and tofu all contain good levels of zinc. Zinc can also boost the creation of white blood cells, which can fight bacteria and infection within the body.
Adding probiotics can help keep the bad bacteria out of the entire digestive system. You can add probiotics via some foods like yogurt, but you can also add probiotics via supplements.
5. Avoid/Low Caffeine
Caffeine and sugar can help turn your stomach into a breeding zone for the type of bacteria that can cause urinary tract infections. Toning down or eliminating sugar and caffeine can help keep that bacteria at bay—or at the very least, invite less of that bacteria.
6. Acidic Food and Drink
Foods and drinks that are acidic like orange juice and tomato juice should be avoided by people who get urinary tract infections on a regular basis.
Blueberries are a fruit that’s very good for preventing and dealing with UTIs as they are filled with antioxidants as well as other nutrients that may help get rid of bacteria and infection.
As you can see by this list, your diet can be easily modified to add or take away the food that affects urinary tract infections. It’s fairly easy to find cranberry juice or add a handful of blueberries to your cereal in the morning, it just takes a little bit of effort. If you want to foods to prevent UTIs, these are your best bets and options.
Prevention Can Pay Off
Having a urinary tract infection can become a fairly big pain. At it’s least, it can be annoying and uncomfortable. At its most a urinary tract infection can be downright painful. But with a little work at changing some of your habits and a little bit of your diet, you can not only deal with a urinary tract infection but also prevent it in the first place. Regardless, don’t leave your UTI too long, leaving it too long can result in a very serious infection that can do some very big problems for you down the road.
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16 POWER FOODS YOU CAN EAT TO PREVENT URINARY TRACT INFECTION
“16 Power Foods You Can Eat to Prevent Urinary Tract Infection,” Juicing for Health, January 19, 2017, http://juicing-for-health.com/symptoms-of-urinary-tract-infection, Last accessed May 29, 2017.