A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that occurs within the urinary system. The urinary system contains the ureters, the kidney, the bladder, and the urethra. A UTI is a bacterial infection that forms in the body’s urine and then migrates up to the bladder. Both men and women can contract a UTI. However, about 60% of women develop a UTI, and only 12% of men develop it.
Types of Urinary System Symptoms
When a UTI affects the urinary system parts, there are specific symptoms. This includes the following:
|Infection in the urethra (urethritis)||Infection in the urethra (urethritis)||Infection in the bladder (cystitis)|
|A burning sensation when urinating||Back and side pain||Pressure in the pelvic area|
|Light discharge||Fever||Slight discomfort in the lower abdomen|
|Vomiting||Blood in the urine|
A urinary tract infection is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics help to kill the bacteria which is the cause of a UTI. A UTI culture is taken by a physician to ascertain the type of bacteria you have within the urinary tract. Depending on whether the UTI is minor or complicated will denote on how strong your antibiotic will be. Even if a UTI is minor, it must be treated quickly so that it does not affect the kidney or result in a blood infection.
Many individuals would like to use organic or natural remedies to help treat a UTI. Medical research does support home remedies for a UTI. To treat a UTI without antibiotics, people can try using the following home remedies:
Cranberry Juice or Supplements
Nearly every woman who suspects they have a UTI, knows immediately to load up on cranberries. Cranberries are a UTI long-standing home remedy. There is proven research that the cellular chemicals (proanthocyanidins) in cranberries help to keep the bacteria that cause a UTI from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. Unsweetened cranberries work best in helping to reduce the risk of infection.
Many supplements also help to relieve the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. The supplements involved include D-mannose which is a natural sugar found in many berries. Other supplements that would help treat UTIs are “bearberry leaf” and a garlic extract supplement. These supplements help to prevent a recurrence.
Water, Water, and Water
Drinking between six to 8 ounces of water each day helps to ease the burning and discomfort experienced when urinating. The more water that you drink, the better chance you have of flushing out the bacteria within the tract system. This is because low urine production increases the risk of UTI.
Also, by water, we mean pure water, not flavored or sweetened sodas. Drinks that worsen URIs include coffee, black tea, sweetened sodas, or juices. If you don’t drink clean water, try a range of teas that taste good, have a positive effect on your urinary tract, and supply your body with many useful substances. These are mostly herbal or diuretic teas, such as chamomile, nettle, linden, or sage tea.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Physicians do approve of short-term use of store-bought medications like acetaminophens to help with the pain associated with a UTI. It should not be the panacea for treating a UTI. Individuals should still see their physician.
A vitamin C supplement or foods containing vitamin C helps to support the body’s immune system. Vitamin C does become absorb within the urine. Vitamin C contains an “ascorbic acid,” which forms an acidic environment that helps to kill UTI bacteria. In addition to supplements, the best way to consume vitamin C is through food like broccoli, carrot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, or kiwi fruit.
Speaking of dietary requirements to combat UTI infections, the following foods help to manage a UTI infection. These food items will not irritate the bladder. They also provide nutrients that aid in a quick recovery and possible future UTI infections:
- green beans
- lean proteins
- whole-grain bread and more.
The type of foods that will irritate the bladder are:
- spicy foods
- tomato-based foods
Men and women should wear loose-fitting clothing in the pelvic area. Clothing that continually rubs against the pelvic skin area could make a UTI infection even worse. Doctors prefer a cotton material for underwear during a UTI infection. Washing a couple of times each day and keeping the public area dry goes a long way in preventing the growth of bacteria.
A urinary tract infection can be caused by sexual intercourse. But sex is not the end-all of a UTI. Unfortunately, individuals who have diabetes are subject to occasional UTIs. Something as simple as a urinating method (wiping front to back) can change the frequency of a UTI.
Yes, the suggested home remedies above do relieve the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, especially if it is very mild. However, if the symptoms are prolonged, you should see your physician as soon as possible.