Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a burden that millions of people are forced to deal with every year. Though men can develop them, urinary tract infections are much more common in women.
It is one of the most common type of infection that women contract and there are many different causes for it. The first thing you should do if you think you might be affected by urinary tract infection is to check for its symptoms.
The following clues are tell-tale signs that you may have contracted a UTI:
– A painful burning sensation when you are urinating
– High temperature and fever
– You’ll notice you feel the urge to use the bathroom more often but when you go, very little comes out
– Bits of blood in your urine
– Your urine looks dark and dehydrated
– Discomfort in the abs and pelvis
– An odd smell from your urine
– Bubbles in urine (foamy urine)
– Leukocytes (white blood cells) in urine
– Ammonia smell in urine
– Cloudy urine
– Crystals in Urine
– Immature granulocyte count is high
It is important to note that it is best to treat UTI as soon as you notice the signs of it and that UTI that last longer than two days requires medical intervention.
This is because untreated UTI can infect the kidneys and turn into a much more serious problem. There are several types of UTI and if it is serious enough you may need to be put on prescription medication.
Take the Natural Path
Chances are you don’t have to jump right to over the counter methods or use any type of pills to treat yourself if it is in its early stages.
Most urinary tract infections can easily be treated with natural methods. The ones listed below are surprisingly effective ways to alleviate your UTI symptoms:
Increasing Your Water Intake
Making sure you have an ample amount of fluid in your system is important when you contract an infection in your urinary tract. Keeping hydrated will help your immune system detox the infected area much quicker.
Steer clear of drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, and high amounts of sugar, as they will contribute to dehydration.
D-Mannose is a naturally occurring sugar that’s closely related to glucose. It is a naturally occurring sugar that is found in a number of fruits, including apples, blueberries, and cranberries.
D-mannose attaches to E. coli bacteria, causing them to stick to each other and preventing them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. The bacteria can then easily be eliminated from the body during urination.
D-mannose powder was found to significantly reduce the risk of recurrent UTI in a study conducted by the department of medical biochemistry, Zabok General Hospital, Croatia.
In the study, 308 women with a history of recurrent UTIs, were treated with either two grams of D-mannose powder in 200 ml of water, 50 milligrams of an antibiotic, or no treatment daily for six months.
Only 15 percent of those taking the D-mannose had a recurrent UTI compared to 20 percent for the antibiotic group (both of which were significantly lower than the no-treatment group). However, the incidence of side effects was significantly lower in the D-mannose group than the antibiotics group.
Baking Soda and Water
This may not be the most appealing option when it comes to taste but it could certainly be worse. Mixing about a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water will contribute in eliminating the acidity present in your urinary tract.
The enzyme in pineapples called bromelain has been tested and proven to yield significant results in treating UTI. The anti-inflammatory functions of this tasty fruit help treat symptoms much quicker when combined with other methods.
Cranberries and Blueberries
If pineapples aren’t your favorite, these two types of berries are also potent infection fighters that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
Whether they are in fruit or juice form, they are loaded with bacteria fighting ingredients and anti-oxidants that contribute to healthy bladder function.
If you consume it in a juice form, make sure it has a high content of fruit and the minimum amount of sugar possible.
Getting the right amount of vitamin C in your diet is essential to many different bodily functions. Doctors have noticed that the powerhouse vitamin is especially good at acidifying your urine and preventing bacteria from developing in it.
Yogurt is kind of like the unsung hero of UTI treatments. Not many people have caught on to its effective infection fighting properties.
The healthy bacteria in it play a big role in treating UTI. Just make sure you avoid flavored ones that are loaded with sugar. Use plain unsweetened yogurt.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people that have struggled with UTI have flocked to this method of natural treatment. The enzymes present in apple cider vinegar thwart the growth of bacteria and prevent future issues from developing in the bladder.
Try consuming 2-3 tablespoons a day mixed with a tall glass of water for the best results.
Horseradish is a medicinal plant that is making its revival as a powerful herbal medicine.
When treating certain conditions, horseradish is just as effective as chemically-synthesized antibiotics and it can sometimes even be superior to over-the-counter drugs. One of these conditions is urinary tract infection.
It stimulates the flow of urine and can be safely used over a longer period of time.
Grapefruit seed extract (GSE)
GSE comes from the rind and seeds of the grapefruit. Maryland Medical Center recommends to take 100 mg capsule of GSE or 5 – 10 drops (in favorite beverage) 3 times daily, for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. Grapefruit may interact with a wide variety of medications, so speak with your doctor before taking it.
Preventing Future Issues
One of the worst things about UTI is its persistence. Once you get rid of one, it isn’t uncommon to contract another infection within a matter of weeks. There are a few things you can do to ensure you live an infection free life:
– Stay hydrated throughout the day, drinking plenty of water or herbal teas
– Focus on a balanced diet consisting of nutritionally dense foods
– Urinate immediately after having making love
– Wipe from the front to the back after going to the bathroom
– Never hold in urine for prolonged periods of time
– Take a shower instead of a bath that can provide a breeding ground for infection and avoid over cleaning the area.