Urinary tract infection, or UTI, can affect any part of the urinary tract, that includes kidneys, ureters, urethra, or bladder. The most common cause of UTIs is bacteria from the bowel, although fungi and viruses can also cause these infections. Traditionally, antibiotics are used when we talk about urinary tract infection cure, but there are several home remedies too that can help in managing the symptoms of UTIs.
UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections in the United States. UTIs are more prevalent in women than in men. The reason for this is the urethra, which carries urine out of the bladder. Women have a shorter urethra than men, and due to this bacteria can easily enter and reach the bladder. In fact, almost 50 percent of all women experience a UTI once in their lives.
Some symptoms of urinary tract infections are –
- Frequent urination
- Strong odor from urine
- Pelvic pain
- A burning sensation while peeing
- A feeling that bladder is not empty after urinating
As I mentioned above, UTIs can be treated without using antibiotics with some remedies. And many of these remedies can be done at your home. These remedies can even reduce the chances of recurrence of UTIs. Having said that, let’s look at these home remedies.
1. Increase the intake of fluids
Keeping yourself hydrated is already very beneficial for your health, but it is also associated with the risk of urinary tract infection. It is one of the easiest ways to prevent and treat UTIs. Drinking a lot of water can help in flushing away the bacteria that can cause infection. Your urinary tract organs tend to remove the waste from your body more efficiently without losing the vital nutrients and electrolytes.
Drinking water helps in diluting the urine and making you pee more often and easily. This makes it difficult for bacteria to reach the bladder and cause an infection.
The amount of water a person should drink depends upon person to person. But, it is better for every individual to drink at least six to eight-ounce of water every day. And never ignore your thirst, drink whenever you feel thirsty. Drinking a lot of water will make you pee more, which will help in removing the bacteria from your urinary tract.
2. Urinate when the need arises
You should never hold the urge to urinating. Frequent urination pressurizes the bacteria in your urinary tract and then helps in removing it. Also, it reduces the time for that bacteria to get attached and form infection in the urinary tract. So, urinate as soon as possible whenever the urge arises.
3. Increase the intake of Vitamin C to keep your urinary tract healthy
There is some evidence that proves that increasing your consumption of Vitamin C can help in preventing urinary tract infections. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can improve the functioning of the immune system. It is also important as it can make the urine more acidic, which stops the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, or even kill the bacteria. Vitamin C can be used in various forms to treat UTIs. Many studies show that Vitamin C can have proactive effects that can reduce the risk of UTIs by more than 50 percent. More studies back this statement that a high intake of Vitamin C can decrease the risk of UTIs. The best way to increase your intake of Vitamin C is to eat fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of Vitamin C. Some examples are red peppers, grapefruit, kiwifruit, and oranges.
4. Drink unsweetened cranberry juice
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most popular natural treatments for urinary tract infections. It can also be used to deal with general infections and also reduce the amount of time for the recovery of a wound. Cranberries can prevent the bacteria from sticking to your urinary tract, and hence preventing infection.
Studies on the effectiveness of drinking cranberry juice for urinary tract infections have got mixed results and opinions over the years. But, most people believe that it may help in reducing the risk of UTIs. Cranberry juice also has antioxidants, such as polyphenols. This means cranberry juice has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. But remember, you will get the benefits only if you are consuming unsweetened cranberry juice, instead of sweetened commercial brands.
5. Take probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that you can consume through food or supplements. They can help in keeping your urinary tract healthy and free from harmful bacteria. Probiotics also help in promoting a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are also linked with improving digestive health and enhancing immune function.
Some studies show that a few strains of probiotics can help in reducing the risk of UTIs. A particular strain of probiotics, Lactobacillus, can help in treating and preventing UTIs. It does not let harmful bacteria from adhering to urinary tract cells and lower the pH levels in urine. It also produces hydrogen peroxide in urine, which is antibacterial.
There are various fermented and dairy products that contain probiotics. These are yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, and some types of cheese. You can also take probiotics supplements in the form of capsules or powder.
6. Soothe UTI pain with heat
Inflammation and irritation associated with urinary tract infections can cause burning, pain, and pressure in the area surrounding your pubic area. You can apply a heating pad to soothe the area. But there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before using heating pad –
1. Ensure that the heat setting is low.
2. Do not apply the pad directly to your skin.
3. Do not use it for more than15 minutes at once to avoid burns.
7. Try natural supplements
There are a few natural supplements that can help in reducing the risk of developing a urinary tract infection. Some of them are – D-Mannose, bearberry leaf, cranberry extract, and garlic extract. These natural supplements can also prevent the recurrence of UTIs.
Urinary tract infections are a common problem and people suffering from it can easily get frustrated. But, following these home remedies, such as drinking a lot of water, can help you in preventing these infections.