Treatment for UTI: Ditch the Antibiotics with These Home Remedies
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) are generally caused by bacteria that enter the urogenital tract through the urethral opening. Our body has many defense mechanisms against these invading microbes, but sometimes, they do manage to get in and multiply in the bladder, taking hold on its lining and causing inflammation. UTIs can affect any part of the urinary tract, but lower urinary tract infections are the most common ones.
UTIs are some of the most frequent clinical bacterial infections in women, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all infections. More than 50 percent of women will develop a UTI and its symptoms in their lifetimes, and because antibiotics are the most common conventional treatment for UTIs, bacterias have become antibiotic-resistant and recurring infections are a major concern.
For this reason, it’s important to use home remedies for UTIs that eliminate bacteria completely and reduce the risk of developing recurrent urinary tract infections.
Some of the best home remedies for UTI include drinking plenty of fluids, staying clean and dry, and consuming things like cranberries, probiotics, vitamin C and using essential oils. Here are some of the all-natural home remedies that you can try before popping a pill.
Drinking water or fluids throughout the day helps flush bacteria from your system. A 2013 study conducted at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas found that chronic low fluid intake may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections — just one of the many reasons to stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of water to produce water-like urine and give a hard time to those microbes. Dehydration, in general, stunts immune function, so, that gives you one more reason to stay well hydrated.
Another substitute for water: Coconut water from tender coconuts is a refreshingly light drink, but it is rich in electrolytes and has a chemical composition similar to blood plasma. Drinking the water from 2-3 tender coconuts a day can get rid of the infection in just a few days.
Empty your bladder frequently
If you’re drinking sufficient amount of water, you’ll have the natural urge to empty the bladder often. However, many of us have developed a tendency to hold in the water, sometimes out of necessity. This gives pathogenic bacteria more time to multiply and invade the lining of the bladder, in addition to the tissue damage caused by highly concentrated urine. Given enough time, the bacteria can make biofilms that resist even the strongest antibiotic. Even more dangerous is the spread of the infection up to the ureters and into the kidneys.
Eat Greek yogurt & other probiotic foods
Greek yogurt contains active populations of ‘good bacteria’ such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus which ferments the milk. It is called a probiotic food because these bacteria can contribute to the intestinal flora, which is involved in the digestion of complex substances, production of B-complex vitamins and healthy immune function.
Sip some fresh and pure cranberry juice
“Drinking cranberry juice could reduce the worldwide use of antibiotics,” is the somewhat optimistic headline in The Daily Telegraph.
A new study found some modest preventative benefit in women with a history of reoccurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), though this arguably doesn’t amount to an effective weapon in the war against antibiotic resistance.
The study found that cranberry juice seemed to prevent the incidence of urine infection symptoms. It does not show that if you have an actual urine infection you are better off just drinking cranberry juice, as it is better or just as good at clearing the infection as antibiotics. Women who developed an infection in this study were still given antibiotic treatment.
Consider herbal remedies.
You may find some relief from taking the herb uva ursi (bearberry leaf), which is used as a treatment for lower urinary tract infections. But Rivers cautions that it should be taken only for short periods of time — five days or less — as it could cause liver damage.
In addition, the herb may be used as a remedy for UTIs, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It’s smart to tell your doctor about this and any other medications or herbs you’re taking, because side effects or drug interactions can sometimes be serious.
Shift to healthier habits
Lifestyle changes matter because they can help you recover from a UTI and might prevent another infection, according to the NIDDK.
- Quit smoking
- Wear loose cotton clothing and underwear
- Wipe yourself clean from front to back
- Choose only fragrance-free personal hygiene products
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