As a woman, one of the most dangerous yet curable health concerns you are vulnerable to is urinary tract infection or UTI. According to experts, nearly 1 in every 2 women have a lifetime risk of getting a UTI. Some of them are even susceptible to get repeat infections for years. Whether you are completely unaware of the potential dangers of the infection or have already been diagnosed with it, this post is for you. Know about some of the most effective home remedies for urinary tract infection along with everything else that you need to know regarding the condition.
What Is Urinary Tract Infection?
A Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is known to be one of the most common infections in humans that affect one or more part(s) of the urinary tract including urethra (urethritis), bladder (cystitis), ureters, and kidneys (acute pyelonephritis). It is prevalent among both men and women, with women at much greater risk. The infection is caused by microbes (microscopic organisms) – mostly by bacteria and sometimes by fungi.
Usually, it occurs when bacteria get into any part of the urinary tract through the urethra, begin to multiply in the bladder and infect the otherwise sterile urine. Lower tract UTIs are very common in which only the urethra and the bladder get infected. However, upper tract UTIs can also happen, which involve the ureters and the kidneys.
Bladder UTIs are very painful. Upper tract UTIs are rare yet more severe. The consequences become serious when the infection spreads to the kidneys and are left untreated.
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Causes And Associated Risk Factors
A urinary tract infection can be caused by anything that irritates the urinary tract fully/partially or decreases the emptying of the bladder. However, the main cause of the infection is a bacteria called Escherichia Coli (E. Coli) that resides in the colon of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Lack of hygiene can cause the bacteria to spread to the urethra after excretion, which can further travel up the bladder and even reach the kidneys, thereby causing infections.
Other risk factors associated with this condition are anatomical abnormalities, urinary tract blockage, poor immunity, sexual activity, menopause, certain birth control options (diaphragms, spermicidal agents, etc.), recent urinary surgery, prolonged use of a urinary catheter, and so on.
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infection
Not all types of UTI come with understandable signs. However, some of the common symptoms of the infection include:
- A strong, persistent urge of urination
- ‘Dysuria’ or pain during urination
- Burning sensation during urination
- Frequent urination in small amounts
- High fever with shivering and chills
- Cloudy or bloody (red or bright pink in color) urine
- Strong and unpleasant-smelling urine
- Lower abdominal discomfort
- Upper back and flank pain
- Pelvic pressure
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Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection
If you are suffering from UTI, you will probably be put on a course of antibiotics as the first line of treatment by your doctor. However, you can speed up the relief with the following home remedies or alternative medicines:
1. Baking Soda
Add a tsp. of baking soda to a glass of water and drink up the mixture. Do it every day whenever you start showing the signs of UTI. Baking soda neutralizes the acidity in the urine and helps us kill the infection-causing bacteria in the urinary system.
2. Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice is believed to prevent the UTI causing bacteria from sticking to the lining of the bladder. You can either drink up fresh cranberry juice or have it in the form of a tablet. But stay away from this remedy if you are on a blood-thinning medication, such as warfarin.
Studies about the benefits of cranberry juice in UTIs are not conclusive. Even though it is mostly harmful, rare side effects like upset stomach, diarrhea, etc. can happen.
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Probiotic-rich food items like yogurt contain good microorganisms that help us in dealing with infection-causing bacteria. So, follow up your meal with a cup of yogurt not only to soothe your digestive tract but also to relieve yourself from all kinds of urinary tract infection.
The Bromelain enzyme present in the pineapple is good for fighting the E. Coli bacteria. Eat a few slices of pineapple every day when you are suffering from UTI. It is a sweet way of getting rid of the infection.
With all the frequent urination and the burning sensation during the process, you might feel like avoiding your next trip to the loo by skimping on the water intake. But do not make that mistake. Drink up at least 8 glasses of water a day, because it dilutes the urine and frequent urination itself is a way to cure the infection by flushing away the bacteria.
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an important role in treating UTI-causing bacteria. Hence, vitamin C supplements are prescribed for this purpose. You can load up your plate with natural resources of vitamin C like citrus fruits in order to get rid of UTI as quickly as possible.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar or ACV is another miraculous home remedy for UTI. Drink a couple of glasses of water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar each. It neutralizes the urine and also kills the infection-causing bacteria effectively.
A Few Prevention Tips
Following are some preventive measures that you can take to reduce your risk of getting UITs in the first place or significantly ease your discomfort later:
- Every time you are done with your urination, make sure that you wipe the entire region from front to back. Do it even after each of your bowel movement session. This practice will avert the bacteria in your anal region from spreading to your urethra as well as the vagina.
- Never ever use any feminine product that is potentially irritating for your genital area. Avoid all sorts of sprays, deodorants, powders, douches, and other similar items that can affect your urethra.
- Once you are done with your intercourse, drink a full glass of water and empty your bladder immediately. This will flush out the bacteria and help you stay away from infections.
- Steer clear of drinks or fluids, such as alcohol, coffee, citrus juices, etc. that can irritate your bladder and aggravate your need for frequent urination.
So, start off with these home remedies in order to begin your recovery from the urinary tract infection and follow the prevention tips to stop it from getting repetitive.