8 Effective & Home Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary Tract Infections or UTI’s are fairly common; however, they can be painful, and make you feel quite unwell. Typically, UTI’s will affect different parts of your urinary tract, which can include your bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Although often UTI’s will need medical intervention via antibiotics, they are usually not serious, and there are some natural remedies that you can use at home that will help the symptoms of UTI’s.
Symptoms typically include; needing to wee suddenly, or more often than usual; a pain or burning sensation when you pee; smelly or cloudy wee; blood in your wee; pain in your lower tummy; feeling tired and unwell; and confusion and agitation, although this is normally only in older people.
Although it is important that you make an appointment to see your GP, particularly If your symptoms have not improved over a couple of days, there are some things that you can do at home that will help to treat the symptoms of a UTI.
Here are just a few of the most effective natural treatments:
Fruit and Veg
There are a number of different foods that can make symptoms of a UTI worse. These can include foods that are hot or spicy fizzy drinks, caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks. So, avoid these if you are prone to UTI’s.
There are also a number of different things that can help you to recover quickly though as well, including high fibre foods, foods that are high in vitamin C, and plenty of vegetables. Eating the right things can aid and quicken your recovery time, and help to prevent infections from recurring.
D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is related to glucose and has been used to treat UTI’s naturally for a long time. It works by blocking certain bacteria from growing in the urinary tract, which will prevent the infection from occurring.
Although you can take D-Mannose supplements, and this is what most people do when they are trying to treat an existing infection, it can also be found in a number of different foods; including cranberries, apples, oranges, peaches, broccoli, and green beans.
In order to flush all of the bacteria from your urinary tract, you need to stay hydrated, so ensuring that you are drinking plenty will not only help to prevent an infection from occurring but will also help to speed up the recovery when an infection strikes.
Always drink when you are thirsty regardless, but avoid letting yourself get to this stage, by ensuring that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
It is no secret that vitamin C is absolutely vital to ensure that your immune system is working to the best of its ability, but further to this, research has suggested that increasing your intake of vitamin C could actually protect against urinary tract infections, as it increased the acidity of the urine, and kills off any bacteria that can cause an infection.
A number of different studies have backed these claims up, concluding that it is a great way of preventing and treating UTI’s. Although this is commonly taking in supplement form, some foods are really rich in vitamin C; including oranges, grapefruit, red peppers and kiwifruit, which all contain the recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving.
Drink cranberry juice
This is such a classic and well known natural remedy for treating UTI’s, but it is incredibly effective. This is because, like we have previously mentioned, cranberries help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, which will help to prevent an infection from forming.
It should be noted that there is conflicting evidence to suggest that this works, with a few studies claiming that drinking cranberry juice made little difference; however, it is certainly worth a try though.
Furthermore, keep in mind that the research has only looked at unsweetened cranberry juice, so the benefits might not be applied in the same way to the cranberry juice drinks that you can purchase in supermarkets.
Take a probiotic
Probiotics help to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut and can be found in various different supplement forms. Studies have suggested that probiotics can have hugely positive effects on our health in various different areas, but now research has suggested that certain strains of probiotics could actually decrease the risk of UTI’s.
Lactobacillus, which is a common probiotic strain, was found to help prevent UTI’s in adult women, and a number of different studies have suggested that taking probiotics alongside antibiotics was far more effective at preventing UTI’s from recurring, compared to using just antibiotics alone.
Adopt healthy habits
There are a number of different habits that you can pick up that will instantly reduce your chances of getting UTI’s. Ultimately, preventing urinary tract infections can start with just a few changes in your bathroom and hygiene habits.
Try not to hold onto urine for too long. When you feel like you need a wee, go, and do not wait until you get desperate. This can lead to a build-up of bacteria, which can end in an infection. Make sure you wee after sexual intercourse, in order to prevent the spread of bacteria. Finally, when you have been to the toilet, ensure that you wipe front to back, to prevent bacteria from spreading to the urinary tract.
It should be noted that heat therapy will not help to clear up or prevent any infection, but it can help with the symptoms if an infection is already present.
We have already noted that UTI’s are often accompanied by pain in the lower abdomen and in the tummy, so by applying a head pad to these areas can help to relieve the pain and discomfort, even for a little while.
Take care not to apply anything too hot directly to the skin though, as this can cause burning.