Urinary Tract Infections, or UTIs, affect millions of people each year, with the World Health Organization claiming that 50% of women have suffered from one at some point in their lives. They are very common infections suffered by people of all ages and gender. These infections typically do not cause significant health problems and are easy to treat. However, if you suffer from frequent or severe UTIs then you should see a doctor for information on urinary tract infection treatments.
There are a range of home remedies that have been proven to relieve UTIs, but before we dive into that, let’s first get to know exactly what UTIs are.
What Is a UTI?
A localized infection that occurs on any of the organs along the urinary tract is classed as a UTI. These organs include the kidneys, the ureters (tubes that take urine to the bladder), the bladder, and the urethra (the tube that passes urine out of the body).
Bacteria from the gut are the most common culprits when it comes to these kinds of infections, but fungi and viruses have also been seen in other cases.
UTI symptoms include pain or a burning sensation when urinating, increased frequency or urgency of urination, passing little amounts of urine at a time, dark-colored or cloudy urine, urine with a strong odor, and pelvic pain. These symptoms can sometimes be painful and uncomfortable. Upper UTIs which involve the kidneys may manifest with chills, fever, back or flank ache, and nausea or vomiting.
Women are more prone to UTIs than men. This can be attributed to the shorter distance between the urethra and the bladder. Bacteria and other causative agents can thus travel shorter distances to infect the bladder and other associated organs.
There are natural ways to treat UTI’s without requiring any drug or antibiotic intervention.
Here are 6 home remedies for relieving UTIs:
1. Drink more water
Proper hydration has been linked to a reduced risk of contracting urinary tract infections. This is because drinking more water increases the frequency of bathroom breaks, meaning that the microbes responsible for these infections get flushed out of the body more often.
Drinking water is crucial to the overall health of the urinary tract and the whole body in general. More water means that all the body parts and their respective functions will be in check.
2. Increase vitamin C intake
Increasing your intake of vitamin C reduces the risk of getting UTIs, according to studies. This can be attributed to the fact that the compound that constitutes vitamin C, ascorbic acid, makes the urine more acidic.
Acidic urine means that the microbes do not get conducive environments to thrive and reproduce. Fruits and vegetables are the best-known sources of this vitamin. Red peppers, kiwifruits, oranges, and grapefruits are rich sources of this compound.
3. Drink Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
This is one of the most well-known home remedies used for UTI treatment and works by preventing bacteria and other microbes from adhering the walls of the urinary tract.
These results apply only to unsweetened cranberry juice and not the sweetened commercial ones.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Sweetened Drinks
Alcohol and sweetened drinks such as tea, coffee, and sodas have been known to irritate the bladder and can aggravate what is already a bad situation. Tea and coffee are diuretics and can increase the urgency and frequency of urination.
5. Use Heating Pads
Cover your abdominal region with a heating pad. These pads produce a low heat that soothes the faint pain sometimes associated with bladder infections. This works best in combination with medication.
6. Consuming Bearberry leaf
Bearberry has been used as a remedy for urinary tract infections for millennia. It contains several chemicals, including arbutin and hydroquinone, used to fight infection by shrinking and tightening mucous membranes in the body.
Home remedies have been known to work for UTI treatment, but they will require you to exercise some patience. Their effects are not immediate and will take some time to manifest. Some, like bearberry leaf, should be taken with caution and remember to seek the advice of a doctor before going too far with them.