What is Urinary Track Infection (UTI)?
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract, the bladder and the urethra.
Women are at greater risk of developing UTI than men. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if UTI spreads to your kidneys.
UTI is the second most common infection in the body and prompt 8.3 million doctor visits every year, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Almost 20 percent of women who experience a UTI will have a recurrence of the infection, and then 30 percent of those women will have a second recurrence.
UTI is also called as Honeymoon cystitis or Honeymoon fever as this infection is common among young women during their honeymoon. This is not a critical condition when you treat it in the right time. If not it can affect your kidneys too.
There are few home remedies that works well on UTI. In todays article we discuss about urinary track infection, Its symptoms, preventive measures and home remedies.
Urinary track infection is very common now a days, the following are the symptoms of UTI
Symptoms For UTI
- Burning with urination
- Increased frequency of urination without passing much urine
- Increased urgency of urination
- Bloody urine
- Cloudy urine
- Urine that has a strong odor
- Pelvic pain in women
- Pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
Causes For Urinary Track Infection
UTI is caused when bacteria get into the urinary tract by wiping from back to front after a bowel movement (thereby pushing the bacteria closer to the urethra), having sex (where germs already in the vagina can be pushed into the urethra) and waiting too long to urinate.
Other causes for UTI are explained below as with out knowing the cause completely, cure is not possible.
- Less hygiene: During periods use of sanitary pad for long time with out changing it.
- Less intake of water: During hot summer months, when many of us don’t hydrate enough, pave way for UTI. When we drink plenty of water, we help flush out bacteria that can cause UTI.
- Holding urine: Holding urine for hours may make UTI more common, as bacteria that get into the bladder has lots of time to overgrow between voids.
- Constipation: Being constipated makes it difficult to empty your bladder all the way, which means trapped bacteria have lots of time to grow and cause infection.
- Birth Control: Birth control pills results in hormone shift could lead to a change in normal bacteria in your vagina, which could lead to UTI
Home Remedies For Urinary Track Infection
Home remedies for UTI works better in the initial stage of this infection than taking antibiotics. Few of the effective home remedies for UTI are explained below.
1. Drinking lot of water
Drink more water is important for healthy functioning of the body on the whole. Water flushes out the bacteria in your bladder. This helps to get rid of the infection faster. It also dilutes your urine, so urination may be less painful.
If the urine appears any darker than a very pale yellow, this means not enough liquid is being ingested. Then increase the fluid intake. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Urinate frequently and completely, to empty your bladder each time.
Frequent urination helps eliminate the infection by moving bacteria out of the bladder. Holding it, or not going to the toilet when you need to, allows time for the bacteria to continue multiplying in the bladder.
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract. If you have an active UTI, taking vitamin C supplements may help too.
Vitamin C, medically known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble nutrient found in fruits and vegetables and also as an over the counter supplement. It has antioxidant qualities.
Your body can not produce vitamin C, and thus is important to obtain it from foods and if necessary to take it as a supplement.
Dietary sources of vitamin C include citric fruits, berries, kiwi, red pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, tomatoes, cauliflower, green pea, spinach and potatoes.
Cranberry has been used in natural treatment for preventing bladder infections for generations. According to recent research, cranberry juice and cranberry tablets show some promise as a remedy for women who frequently get bladder infections.
Scientists used to think that cranberries protected against UTIs by making urine more acidic, which is less friendly to bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli).
But now, researchers have a different theory that cranberries make it harder for infection-causing bacteria to stick to the urinary tract walls.
Allicin, one of the active elements of freshly crushed raw garlic, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. In its pure form, allicin has been found to exhibit antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria, including multi-drug-resistant strains of E. coli. Garlic has anti fungal properties too.
Garlic is very rich in anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agents. There are many other sulfur compounds that are going to wipe out the bad bacteria in your body!
Because when you consume garlic, it’s going to release its active ingredients in your blood stream, and because your blood stream is going to get filtered by your kidney and then excess moisture and other chemical compounds are going to pass through your urinary tract.
Garlic’s antibiotic agents are going to help tremendously control the bad bacteria population and even get rid of them.
Probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live in your gut and are believed to keep “bad” bacteria (like the kind that can lead to UTIs) in check. To beef up the amount in your digestive tract, you can eat more foods like yogurt or you can buy probiotic capsules.
Probiotics help support the human body’s normal flora that serve as a line of defense. Eating fermented foods also helps restore the body’s natural flora and recolonize the bladder with helpful bacteria.
Antibiotics, the main line of defense against UTIs, can cause disturbances in levels of gut bacteria. Probiotics may be beneficial in restoring gut bacteria after antibiotic treatment. Probiotics could help prevent UTIs when used alone or in combination with antibiotics.
Foods To Avoid During UTI
When you eat certain foods you can actually worsen UTI and when you have a UTI, certain foods can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal it.
- Junk Food
High levels of trans fats is found in junk foods. Fast foods and processed foods may be laden with artificial flavourings and preservatives like sodium benzoate.
UTI is mainly caused due to bacteria. These bacteria require high humidity and heat to breed and live. Urine is an excellent medium if you’re eating or drinking sour things. To prevent your urine from becoming the ideal place for bacterial growth you have to stop the consumption of junk foods.
Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates (such as oatmeal or lentil soup), that are good for your digestive health.
You should limit caffeinated drinks. These are all bladder irritants and should not be consumed until the UTI is healed. It is important to be careful with caffeine because it is a stimulant and it increases the heart rate, which can circulate bacteria more quickly to the affected area.
Caffeinated coffee, teas and sodas should be avoided. Along with those items, chocolate, which contains caffeine, should be eliminated until the infection subsides.
You should avoid sugar when in the midst of UTI, as bacteria feeds on sugar. This is because certain bacteria use sugar as food. This includes avoiding refined sugars in foods such as such as cakes, cookies etc.
This slows down the healing process in your urinary tract and can worsen the symptoms of the infection.
When you have a UTI, drinking sugar-sweetened drinks like fruit juices, sports drinks and other sweetened beverages can have adverse effects.
Because you may be experiencing adverse symptoms like cramping and diarrhea, sugar-containing foods can contribute to or aggravate these symptoms.
Sugar can disturb your bladder, causing pain and discomfort. If you drink juices, look for ones that are 100 percent fruit juice or are unsweetened.
- Spicy Food
Adding heat to food may be a favorite of yours, but the irritation it can cause will put you in great pain. Spicy foods are known to irritate the bladder and worsen UTI symptoms, so cool down your meals and opt for blander choices to treat a urinary tract infection.
When you’re suffering from a urinary disease, stay away from sausages, processed meats, and all things spicy, including spicy curry or chili seasoning. Spices irritate the bladder and increase the acid levels in your body, creating an ideal environment for bacteria growth.
You may know that beer, wine, and liquor can irritate your stomach. If you’ve got reflux or an ulcer, and alcohol can irritate the bladder. Though you want to get plenty of fluids when you’ve got a UTI, it’s important to avoid alcohol.
Like caffeine, alcoholic beverages can stimulate the bladder. They also act as a natural diuretic, which can lead to urgent urination symptoms. Beer, wine and liquor have a dehydrating effect on the body.
If your body becomes dehydrated, your urine becomes concentrated with salts that irritate your bladder and can aggravate urinary tract infection symptoms.
Urinary track infection during pregnancy
UTI’s are more common during pregnancy because of changes in the urinary tract. The uterus sits directly on top of the bladder. As the uterus grows, its increased weight can block the drainage of urine from the bladder, causing an infection.
Women who are pregnant and have symptoms of a UTI should see their doctor right away. UTIs during pregnancy can cause high blood pressure. UTIs during pregnancy are also more likely to spread to the kidneys.
Kidney infections may cause early labor and low birth weight. If your doctor treats a urinary tract infection early and properly, the UTI will not cause harm to your baby. Urine analysis and a urine culture can detect a UTI throughout pregnancy.
Everyone can take the following steps to help prevent UTIs:
- Drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
- Don’t hold urine for long periods of time.
- Keep the genital area clean
- Thoroughly wipe your genital area after using the bathroom
- Avoid wearing pants that are too tight
- Wear cotton underwear
- Change your underwear every day
- Empty your bladder before and after sex
If you have the above mentioned UTI symptoms just started, then immediately start with the home remedies wait for 24 hours, if the symptoms still persist consult a Gyno. With the help of a urine test the doctor will come to a conclusion on the dosage of antibiotics to be taken.
UTI is an infection that occurs when bacteria get into the urine and begin to grow. The bacterial infection usually starts at the opening of the urethra where the urine leaves the body and moves upward into the urinary tract.
The bacteria can travel up the urethra to the bladder, where they can grow and cause an infection.The infection can spread further as the bacteria move up from the bladder via the ureters. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 5 women experiences a UTI at some point in her life.
Urinary Track Infection is not a critical condition but still the pain and irritation will take all your happy moments away from you. Home remedies works exceptionally well for UTI s. These home remedies for UTIs may help your body clear the infection faster.
Try these and let us know how it worked for you!