Have your bathroom visits become more frequent and painful? Are accidental leaks and urinary incontinence becoming daily struggles for you? If yes, it’s about time to be concerned about your health as these can be early signs of a Urinary Tract Infection.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infections or UTI’s are fast becoming prevalent health conditions among people of all ages in modern times. In fact, they are the second most common infection to occur in the human body.
As the name suggests, urinary tract infections can affect any part of our urinary system comprising of kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most often, UTI’s are bacterial infections caused by E.coli bacteria. These bacteria may enter the urinary tract through the opening of urethra. In few rare cases, these can be caused by some fungi and virus too. Women are more vulnerable to such infections mainly because of their anatomy.
Going by statistics, almost 40-60 % women are affected by UTI’s once in their lifetime and sometimes it becomes a recurring nuisance for them. In males, UTIs are generally caused by the inflammation of prostate gland. This obstructs the flow of urine and results in bacterial colonization. Infants and elderly people are also susceptible to this disease.
Treatment of UTI’s depends upon the spread of the bacteria within the urinary tract. If the infection reaches to kidneys and into the blood stream, it may turn life threatening and would require an intensive treatment.
But, if diagnosed at an early stage the treatment of these infections is simpler and easier. The conventional method to treat UTI’s is by taking antibiotics, but in current times it fails to eliminate the bacteria completely.
This happens because excessive usage of same antibiotics over and over again to treat UTIs, makes the bacteria resistant towards antibiotics. So it is wise to look for alternative ways to treat such infections. Nothing is better than tried and tested home remedies some of which are discussed below:-
Let us list a few here:
Drinking cranberry juice is a well known home remedy for Urinary Tract infections. Cranberry stops the bacteria from aligning to the walls of the urinary tract and hence expelling them from the body with urine, thereby helping in controlling & fighting the infection. So, munching on dried cranberries, taking cranberry supplements or drinking unsweetened cranberry juice are useful remedies; however, make sure:
- You are not opting for sweetened cranberry juices of commercialised brands.
- You are not under any blood thinning medications like aspirin.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help you in keeping away from many unwanted health conditions, and help to avoid UTI’s too. It leads to frequent urination, and thus flushes out the harmful bacteria from the body. So all the agony you go through during every washroom visit while having these infections will pay you well in the end.
Pee when you need to
You should never delay in responding to nature’s call. Many times, people have the habit of holding their urine until they finish their work. Specially for people with Urinary infection, urinating becomes difficult and painful and that is why they try to ignore the urge to urinate. This however allows the bacteria to spread into the urinary tract and thus worsen the infection.
Probiotics taken generally to improve digestion and strengthen the immune system can also help you against Urinary Tract infections. It has been observed that when probiotics are taken along with antibiotics, they nullify the side effects of antibiotics by restoring the good gut bacteria in the body. This effective combination of antibiotics with probiotics gives faster and better results. It is a good cure for reoccurring UTI’s.
Try apple cider vinegar
Drinking apple cider vinegar is also an effective natural remedy for these infections. This vinegar makes the urine slightly more acidic, and thus inhibits the growth and spread of the harmful bacteria within the urinary tract. However the patients of diabetes and heart disease must consult their physician before using it as a treatment.
Get more vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens our immune system to combat all kind of infections. Include a lot of oranges, kiwi, grapefruit and other rich sources of vitamin C in your diet to increase its intake in your body. It results in preserving the acidic environment in the urinary tract, which kills the bacteria and provides relief from the painful symptoms of UTI’s.
Practice Healthy Habits
Last but not the least, practising a few simple bathroom and self-hygiene habits will help controlling the urinary infection. And not only help you in controlling the UTI but also cut the risk of their re-occurrence in future.
- Do not hold back your urine
- Use wash room after having sex
- Do not wipe from back to front after the bowel movements
- Avoid using spermicides
- Avoid using public toilets
- Do not ignore the early signs of urinary tract infection.
UTI’s, generally are not serious, but they may turn fatal if ignored. So pay attention to their early signs & symptoms and use these home remedies to kill the infection at its onset.
Aafiya is a health and wellness enthusiast. She utilizes her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to.
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