What Is a UTI?
A UTI is an infection that affects the structures through which urine passes as it is being eliminated. These structures include the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys.
Symptoms of a UTI include:
- Mild discomfort to moderate pain during urination
- A need to urinate frequently
- Cloudy urine
- Pelvic pain for women
- Strong smelling urine
- A burning sensation when urinating
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common and often recurring. Symptoms range from slight discomfort to moderate pain. UTIs can be frustrating and persistent. They typically require medical treatment, but several home remedies may help resolve your UTI.
Antibiotics are a popular treatment for UTIs — but because infections like this are often chronic, antibiotic resistance is a concern when considering treatment plans for UTI patients. Apart from antibiotics, UTI home remedies have become increasingly popular.
Always seek medical advice before using home remedies to treat your UTI.
Home remedies for UTIs
While it seems simple, research shows that staying hydrated can lower your risk of developing a UTI. Consistent hydration helps prevent infection by flushing bacteria out of your urinary tract.
Drinking water when you are thirsty and developing a routine of hydrating throughout the day can have a significant impact on the health of your urinary tract.
Adding cranberries to your diet
A popular and well-known natural remedy for UTIs is drinking unsweetened cranberry juice. Research is less conclusive on the degree to which cranberry juice can prevent UTIs. One study suggested cranberries can interfere with bacteria’s ability to function inside the bladder, by stopping it from adhering to the urinary tract. Another study, though, showed that compared to a placebo, cranberry juice didn’t significantly reduce the risk of getting a UTI.
Studies show that this home remedy shows most promise for people with recurring UTIs. While there isn’t enough research to confirm how much cranberry you need to consume or how long you’ll need to take it to see any effects, there’s little risk to trying cranberry juice or extract. You might try incorporating unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry pills into your daily routine to help support your urinary tract health.
Using probiotics is a popular choice in supporting digestive health, sexual health, and immunity. Research shows that probiotics may also help reduce the risk of UTIs. Because of their symbiotic nature with the body’s existing bacteria, probiotics show promise as a potential alternative to antibiotics for treating UTIs.
Taking Vitamin C
Studies show that consuming Vitamin C as a part of your daily regimen can help resolve and prevent UTIs. The ascorbic acid present in Vitamin C helps increase acidity in your urine and kills off bacteria, ultimately preventing infection.
You can increase your Vitamin C intake by eating more vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables like grapefruit, oranges, and red peppers. You can also add Vitamin C supplements to your dietary routine.
Risks and outlook
Because of their recurring nature and an increase in the prevalence of antibiotic resistance, medical experts are exploring new ways to effectively treat UTIs. Infections like this can have a significant impact on daily life.
While natural remedies show promise and are gaining popularity, it is important to consult a doctor when you experience the symptoms of a UTI. Left untreated, UTIs can cause severe damage. Always consult with a physician before trying new home remedies.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy: “Inhibitory activity of cranberry juice on adherence of type 1 and type P fimbriated Escherichia coli to eucaryotic cells.”
Canadian Journal of Urology: “Lactobacillus for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in women: meta-analysis.”
Current Infectious Disease Reports: “Alternative Approaches to Conventional Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection in Women.”
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Mild dehydration: a risk factor of urinary tract infection?”
Journal of Global Infectious Diseases: “State of the Globe: Rising Antimicrobial Resistance of Pathogens in Urinary Tract Infection.”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings: “Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection and Urinary Escherichia coli in Women Ingesting Cranberry Juice Daily: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”
MedlinePlus: “Urinary Tract Infections.”
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research: “A systematic review of the evidence for cranberries and blueberries in UTI prevention.”
Nature Reviews Microbiology: “Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options.”
Penn Medicine: “Cranberry Juice Can Cure My UTI and Four Other Myths Debunked.”
Piedmont Healthcare: “Is cranberry juice effective at treating urinary tract infections?”
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