This article is for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Seek medical care for your treatment.
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a very frequent bacterial infection in your urinary tract system, especially in women, elder persons and babies. Approximately one in two women and one in 20 men will get a UTI in their life. Women are at greater risk of bladder infections because of their body structure. In women urethra is near to anus and urethral opening is next to the bladder. This paves a way for bacteria around the anus to invade urethra and proceed to the bladder. It is an infection caused by microbes. Bacteria, fungi and some viruses create UTIs. Generally infections occur in the lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra) . Several germs can result in UTI or cystitis. E.coli is the most typical germ creating UTIs and is present in our digestive system. E.coli smoothly reaches to the urethra and the lining of urinary system. Mycoplasma and Chlamydia can cause urethritis in men and women.
What is Urinary Tract?
Urinary tract is the body’s drainage system for eliminating urine, which is a byproduct of kidneys. Urine doesn’t contain bacteria, it moves through without infecting our urinary system. Bacteria reside outside our body but when it enters the urinary tract it multiplies, giving rise to UTIs, causing inflammation. All urinary tract parts need to work together and in right manner for urination to occur. Urinary system eliminates body toxins through urination. Urinary tract includes:
Every urinary tract part needs to fulfill its all duties to keep the urinary tract working properly.
UTI makes the afflicted part red and irritated. Sometimes it is hard to determine UTIs because you don’t see visible symptoms. Some of the symptoms are:
- Pelvic pain
- Pain in abdomen area
- Discomfort or burning sensation when urinating
- Murky or foul-smelling urine
- Blood when urinating
- Passing small amounts of urine
- Urine leakage or urinating more than usual
- Urinating frequently at night
- Rectal pain in men
- Discomfort during intercourse
Types of urinary tract infections
Enlisted below are the types of UTIs that are caused by germs, generally bacteria:
- Cystitis – is the lower urinary tract, bladder infection.
- Urethritis – is the infection of urethra.
- Pyelonephritis – is the infection of kidneys.
- Vaginitis – is the infection of vagina.
Urinary tract infection diagnosis
Usually doctors recommend certain tests to identify UTI:
- Urine culture
- CT scan
5 home remedies for urinary tract infection
Antibiotics are considered to be the fastest and easiest way to treat UTI but sometimes they are not effective. Many people avoid taking antibiotics because of the certain health risks that accompany that treatment. They choose home remedies to treat UTI. Fortunately there are some effective home remedies for the infection which are mentioned below:
- Drink plenty of water
Dehydration leads to a greater risk of having UTIs. This is because normal urination can remove bacteria from the urinary tract. When you are dehydrated you don’t urinate frequently, which can create a nest for bacteria. When UTI hits in, you avoid drinking much water because of the burning sensation you may have every time you urinate. Drinking 8 glasses of water daily benefits our body and brain. Don’t wait to be thirsty to drink water. Drink water throughout the day. This keeps your bladder healthy and hydrated. Some people can clear their infection by taking lots of fluids. Try these certain tips to stay hydrated:
- If you can’t drink plenty of water, try to incorporate water-based foods like oranges, watermelon, grapes, various soups and broths. These high water content foods can also keep you hydrated.
- Buy a nice water bottle so that you can drink easily.
- Put some alarm, sticky notes or reminders to drink water, in case you cannot remember easily to drink water.
- Sugar free Fresh juices are also a source of keeping your body hydrated.
- Enhance Vitamin C intake
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which not only boosts our immune system, but it may also fend off bacteria by increasing the acidity of urine and preventing you from urinary tract infections. Avert abundant acidic foods when you have a UTI, as they can irk your bladder, which may worsen your UTI symptoms. Some research and studies reveal that enhancing vitamin c intake can guard you against UTIs. Studies carried out on pregnant women disclosed that taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C daily can prevent them from getting UTIs. Another result from 2016 study manifested that amalgamating vitamin C with other natural UTI remedies, such as cranberries can be a fruitful treatment for frequent UTIs.
Vegetables and fruits are a rich source of vitamin C and are a successful way to increase your vitamin C intake.
Oranges, grapefruit, red and yellow bell peppers, pineapple, guava, strawberry, broccoli, and mango are an ample source of vitamin C and probably fulfill our suggested daily intake of vitamin C in one serving. According to NIH females should consume 75 milligrams of vitamin daily, whereas, males recommended amount should be around 90 g daily. This varies in males who smoke; they need extra 35 mg of vitamin regularly.
- Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice
Unsweetened cranberry juice is a renowned home remedy for UTIs. Cranberry juice has antioxidants like polyphenols, which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes. Cranberries ward off bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. Some studies showed participants who drank an 8-ounce of cranberry juice daily for 24 weeks had fewer UTIs. Researchers recommended that cranberry followed by some therapies treat and fend off UTIs. One should know that unsweetened cranberry juice is beneficial for UTIs rather than sweetened ones. Cranberry juice with sugar will aggravate your infection. If you don’t want to drink cranberry juice, you can opt for cranberry supplements; these supplements have not shown the desired results yet.
Research shows that effect of cranberry against UTI has uncertain results. But one review Trusted Source, reveals that cranberry shuts out Escherichia coli (bacteria) from harming the urinary tract.
- Use probiotics
Probiotics are valuable microorganisms that are taken through foods or supplements. They encourage a healthy balance of bacteria in your stomach and minimize the side effects linked to the use of antibiotics. Probiotics keep urinary tract healthy and free from detrimental bacteria.
Submitting a probiotic to your system helps to refill the healthy bacteria that live in the gut. Probiotics avert injurious bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract cells and lower the urine Ph, making it less welcoming to detrimental bacteria. Antibiotics that are used to cure UTI also destroy healthy bacteria but intake of probiotics fortifies healthy bacteria during an antibiotic course. You can take probiotic supplements in the form of capsules or a powder that can be used with water or some other liquid. Probiotics are naturally present in various products like:
- Kefir or kombucha
- In some types of cheese
Certain studies reveal Lactobacillus (probitotic) lowers the risk of UTIs in adult females. Another study done in 2013 found that taking antibiotics and probiotics together are really effective in combating recurrent UTIs than using antibiotics alone.
According to some research Lactobacillus group help in treating and fending off UTIs by:
- Blocking harmful bacteria from sticking to urinary tract cells.
- Producing hydrogen peroxide in urine.
- Reducing urine’s pH, making conditions less supportive for bacteria.
It is important to know that Lactobacillus supplements make your body antibiotic resistant.
- Empty your bladder soon
We all are occupied with so many things in our lives but holding urine back gives birth to bacteria or only multiplies the already alive bacterial growth in our bladder, leading to infection. Make sure to empty your bladder often because bacteria snowball in cosy and wet places. This makes it hard for bacteria to survive in unfavourable conditions. You can empty your bladder five to eight times a day. Drink lots of water. Always urinate after having sex to flush away any dangerous bacteria.
Holding your urine not only affects the muscles of your bladder but makes it harder for your bladder to empty thoroughly. The left over urine in your bladder allows bacteria to augment and spread infection.
Many home remedies may relieve symptoms but if your infection keeps coming back it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor will run some tests to determine the reason and will suggest a course of antibiotics to prevent infections.