Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be very frustrating. You might take antibiotics to get rid of them, but they keep coming back again…and again…and again. What can you do?
Well, when a UTI keeps occurring, some simple changes in your diet may make a difference. There are a variety of foods that irritate the gallbladder that can lead to UTIs.
If you already have a UTI, then you’re not out of luck yet. There are a variety of natural remedies for urinary tract infections that can be done at home. You will not only get rid of your UTIs — you will keep them away too!
What Studies Say About Urinary Tract Infections
Okay, before we get to this amazing find, let’s review what we know about UTIs. According to the National Institute of Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), a UTI is the second-most common infection in the human body. Anyone can get one, but women seem to be more at risk.
UTIs can be a serious problem. According to recent research, women with UTI infections are at a higher risk of dying or having complications if they develop bladder cancer. Symptoms are often believed to be due to the UTI and the bladder cancer is not diagnosed until it is too late.
However, other studies have some good news. One study of over 28,000 women found that if women with recurrent UTIs could find out the cause of their UTIs, they can simply eliminate whatever is causing the UTIs and easily avoid antibiotic-use or expensive medical care. The study’s findings are good news, as they mean that women do not have to suffer with repeated hospital visits or frequent UTIs.
What Are the Causes of Urinary Tract Infections?
An infection occurs in the urinary tract when bacteria enter the “urethra” (the tube that leads from the bladder to outside of the body) and sets up camp there. Sometimes they will migrate from there to the bladder, causing further infection. If you don’t get treated, the bacteria can even move on to the kidney. When we urinate, we often flush out the bacteria, but sometimes this bacterium can take root.
You really don’t want this to happen, as it can turn quite serious and require a hospital stay, as well as lead to an even worse kidney or bladder infection. These bacteria usually come from the colon. Sometimes other tiny organisms that are sexually transmitted can also cause these kinds of infections.
Common causes of UTIs include:
- Improper wiping, or anything which spreads bacteria from the anus to the genitals
- Sexual intercourse
- Kidney stones or other obstructions of the urinary tract
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder, often due to spinal cord injuries or other conditions
- Suppressed immune systems, which can occur with HIV/AIDS or diabetes
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
How do you know if you have a UTI? Well, sometimes there are actually no symptoms at all and other times you will experience some pretty noticeable signs.
The most common symptoms associated with UTIs are:
- Strong, persistent need to urinate
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Cloudy urine
- Bloody urine
- Urine with a strong odor
- Urinating small amounts frequently
- Pain in the pelvic area, particularly for women
If the infection has made it to your kidneys, you might have one or more of these symptoms:
- Pain located below the ribs in your back or side
If you think you have a UTI, especially if you think that it’s become a kidney infection, it’s important to see your doctor. They can rule out the cause and prescribe you antibacterial or antibiotic drugs to kill off the bacteria.
5 Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection
Many people who are prone to UTIs experience them frequently. They take antibiotics or other antibacterial treatments, but the infection comes right back. Sometimes it’s a new type of bacteria, but other times it’s the same one. They just didn’t get killed off by the drug like they were supposed to.
Luckily, there are a variety of natural home remedies for urinary tract infections that are effective. By using these natural remedies for UTIs, you can stop your infections from ever coming back:
1. Cranberry juice: One of the most effective natural treatments for UTIs is cranberry juice. Cranberry juice contains acidic substances that make it harder for bacteria to get a hold in your urethra and cause an infection. Cranberries are a scientifically proven treatment. Studies have shown that it is of particular benefit for women who get recurrent UTI infections. For other groups of people, the benefits are less clear.
2. Water: It may sound strange, but one of the best UTI natural remedies is simply drinking water—lots of it. When we urinate, we flush out bacteria in our urinary tract. Infrequent urination can allow bacteria to build up in our urinary tract and cause an infection. By increasing the amount of water you drink and in turn increasing the amount you urinate, you can flush out bad bacteria. However, for this treatment to work, you need to drink a lot of water, so that your body is constantly flushing out this bacterium. Aim for more than the recommended eight glasses per day.
3. Vitamin C: When your urine is more acidic, bacteria has a more difficult time growing. Any home remedy that can make your urine more acidic will also make it harder for infections to occur. Vitamin C stops the growth of bacterial infections by acidifying your urine. You can take Vitamin C as a supplement, or you can eat foods loaded with the vitamin, such as oranges, bell peppers, and certain types of juice. Drinking orange juice will not only help stop the growth of bacteria, but it will also help flush out your urinary tract in the same way that water does.
4. Herbal remedies: There are a variety of herbs that can be effective for curing UTIs. Some common herbs used for UTI treatment include goldenleaf and bearberry leaf. While these herbs can be effective, they can also cause side effects or interact with medication you are taking, so it’s important to consult with your doctor and do your own research. However, taking bearberry leaf for three to four days can help eliminate UTIs.
5. Celery seeds: Foods which are diuretics are good for treating UTIs. Diuretics are substances which increase urination and cause us to pee a lot. This, in turn, helps flush our bladders and urinary tracts of bacteria. A common diuretic is caffeine, but there also more healthy substances that have the same effect. One of these is celery seeds, which can also help stop UTIs from occurring. Having a handful of celery seeds twice daily will help keep your UTIs at bay.
Preventing Urinary Tract Infections
There are many natural cures for urinary tract infections, but the best way to deal with a UTI is by preventing it from happening in the first place. UTIs are often preventable simply by making certain lifestyle changes:
- Wear loose clothing, such as loose pants, skirts, dresses, and cotton underwear. Since bacterium grows in moisture, tight clothing or clothing which restricts the flow of air can create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s good for you and helps flush bacteria from your system.
- Wipe from front to back, to stop bacteria from spreading.
- After sexual intercourse, urinate to clear out any bacteria.
If you are suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections, then there is likely something which is causing them to keep occurring. Constant medical visits and use of antibiotics may not be the answer. Simple lifestyle changes can help you stop this annoying reoccurrence. Drinking plenty of water, using natural remedies, and using proper hygiene practices can help keep UTIs away for good.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Urinary tract infection (UTI),” Mayo Clinic web site, July 23, 2015; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/basics/prevention/con-20037892.
“7 Best Remedies for Bladder Infections,” Healthline web site; http://www.healthline.com/health/bladder-infection-treatments#Overview1, last accessed December 24, 2015.
Suszynski, M., “7 Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms,” everyday health web site; http://www.everydayhealth.com/urinary-tract-infections/helpful-home-remedies-for-urinary-tract-infections.aspx, last accessed December 24, 2015.
“14 Natural Home Remedies for UTI Pain & Discomfort,” everyday roots web site, http://everydayroots.com/uti-remedies, last accessed December 24, 2015.
Balentine, J.R., “Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs),” http://www.medicinenet.com/urinary_tract_infection/page2.htm, last accessed December 24, 2015.