Team Inspiriko - April 2022
11 Most Effective UTI Home Remedies
Urinary tract infections, also known as UTI, water infection or cystitis, are common, especially in women. About half of women will get a UTI in their lifetime, and about one in four women will get one every year. A UTI is an infection of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. In most cases, the cause isn’t clear, but they seem to occur more often during or after a period of change, such as traveling, getting a new job, or switching birth control methods. There are many ways to treat a UTI, but many of them are not very effective. So, what's a girl to do? Fortunately, many home remedies exist for treating a UTI. Read on to learn about the most effective home remedies for UTI treatment at home. But first, let’s start with same basics.
What is a UTI?
A UTI (urinary tract infection) is an infection that affects any section in the urinary system. The urinary tract system includes your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. More often than not, these infections occur in the lower urinary tract, especially between the bladder and urethra. While UTIs affect men and women, they are most common in the female gender.
What are the Common Types of UTIs?
This is an infection that occurs on the urethra. This is the hollow tube that drains urine from the bladder. Urethritis is the most common type of UTI, and it mostly affects women because they have shorter urethras. Urethritis can be classified into sexually transmitted / Gonococcal Urethritis and Non-sexually transmitted / Non-Gonococcal.
Cystitis This is a bacterial infection that occurs in the bladder. Cystitis UTIs usually spread to the urethra, causing a more severe infection. It is characterized by inflammation and irritation in the bladder. In most cases, the affected person feels a burning sensation, especially when urinating
Pyelonephritis This infection mostly affects the kidneys. It is typically the result of the infection spreading up the urinary tract. Pyelonephritis also occurs if an obstruction in the urinary tract causes urine to flow back into the ureters and kidneys.
What is the Most Common Cause of UTI?
The most common cause of UTIs is a bacteria known as Escherichia Coli (E. Coli). This bacteria lives in the bowel and is the primary culprit for UTIs. This is the most common cause for women because their vagina is close to their anus. This gives the bacteria a shorter distance to travel to the urethra, leading to an infection in the urinary tract. Additionally, sexual activity can also cause the bacteria to move close to the urethral opening.
Besides E-coli, UTIs can also be caused by bacteria that grow when the skin is irritated. Skin irritation may occur because of some birth control methods, like spermicide. IUDs may also spread bacteria to the urethra and other parts of the urinary tract.
UTI-causing bacteria may also grow as a result of:
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Holding in urine for too long
• Hormonal changes in the urinary tract from pregnancy
• Spinal cord injuries and nerve damage make it harder for the bladder to empty when you urinate
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A UTI In Adults?
The symptoms of UTIs may differ depending on someone's age. Additionally, the symptoms usually depend on UTI type or where it occurs. Below are the symptoms of UTIs in adults:
• Irritation and pain in the pelvic region
• Pelvic pressure and lower abdomen discomfort
• Pain or stinging while urinating
• Strong, sudden, and frequent urges to urinate
• Unexpected and uncontrollable leaking of urine, especially with sudden pressure on the lower stomach when coughing, laughing or lifting something
• Milky, cloudy, dark, bloody, or foul-smelling urine
• Pain in the lower back or stomach
• If the infection has spread to the kidneys, then you might experience fever, chills and possibly nausea and vomiting.
It is important to note, that sometimes other conditions like infections in the vagina (Bacterial Vaginosis) or Irritable Bladder, can also cause symptoms similar to UTI. So always work with your GP to get an accurate diagnosis before you choose any treatment option.
How Can Home Remedies Be Used To Treat UTIs?
There are a few home remedies that can help you deal with UTIs. Below are some of the most effective ones:
Dmannose is our number one option for UTI treatment at home. A number of clinical studies have proven D-Mannose effectiveness in helping fight UTI infections.
D-mannose is a type of sugar that's related to glucose. But it has a lower glycemic index than glucose. It is commonly found in fruits, like Cranberries. However, it also occurs naturally in the human body.
It works by hindering bacteria adhesion to the urothelium. In simpler terms, It works by attaching to the E. coli bacteria, which is the most common UTI-causing bacteria. This causes the bacteria to be eliminated from the body when you go to the bathroom.
In a randomised clinical trial (Published by World Journal of Urology), 308 women were divided into 3 groups. One group was given 2 grams of D-Mannose, another group was given antibiotics, and the last group was not given any additional treatment – over a period of 6 months.
Results showed that in all 98 patients had recurrent UTI, of which 15 were from the D-Mannose group, 21 and 62 from the other 2 groups, respectively.
Researchers also noted that the patients from the D-Mannose group had significantly lower side effects compared to the other 2 groups. Researchers concluded that D-Mannose could be used as treatment option for recurrent UTI and for UTI prevention.
D-Mannose is found in a number of food sources like Cranberries, Apples, Blueberries, Mangos, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Turnips and Kidney Beans.
But if you are looking for a really focussed, D-Mannose treatment option then it can also be taken as a supplement. If you are taking D-mannose as a supplement, be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the package. Generally speaking aim for at least 500 mg of D-mannose every day but don’t go over 3000 mg per day.
Eat Lots of Cranberry
Whenever you are discussing how to get rid of a water infection or UTIs and keep them from reoccurring, cranberry is bound to pop up. Cranberry is believed to be an effective preventive strategy for UTI symptoms. It works by inhibiting the growth and colonization of bacteria in your urinary tract. Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanins that can prevent E-coli from sticking to the bladder's walls and surviving. This creates an inhospitable environment for UTI-causing bacteria. You can treat UTIs by snacking on raw cranberries or taking unsweetened cranberry juice. You can also take cranberry extract supplements to get a super concentrated amount of the beneficial proanthocyanins compound.
Eating Foods Containing Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also highly beneficial for cystitis treatment at home. This is because vitamin C makes urine more acidic. The acid creates an inhabitable environment for UTI causing bacteria. Some foods rich in Vitamin C are; blackberries, strawberries, oranges, Kiwis, lemon, grapefruit, and green leafy vegetables.
You can also boost your Vitamin C intake with the help of supplements. Choose gentler forms of Vitamin C, like Calcium Ascorbate or Magnesium Ascorbate. These forms are highly bioavailable and gentle on your stomach. Aim to take at least 100mg of Vitamin C every day.
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Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods
A highly promising natural treatment for UTIs is probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast beneficial to the body, especially the digestive system. In simpler terms, they are good bacteria and fungi. Probiotics help prevent the overgrowth of microorganisms that lead to illnesses. Additionally, probiotics can help restore the body's natural flora and recolonize the bladder. It is a friendly bacteria that takes the place of the UTI-causing bacteria.
Research shows, probiotics called lactobacillus increase hydrogen peroxide in the urine. This chemical is filled with antibacterial properties. It comes in handy in killing and hindering bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls and growing. You can get probiotics into your body by eating fermented foods like; kefir, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, and raw cheese. If this is not enough, you can opt for probiotic supplements.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
According to experts, a natural remedy for water infection, is to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Drinking fluids helps flush bacteria from your system. When you drink a lot of fluids, you also urinate a lot. The more you urinate, the more bacteria is eliminated from your system. Drinking fluids, especially water, can also reduce pain when urinating by diluting the urine.
Cloves are a natural antibacterial and can be used to help clear up a UTI. Add two or three cloves to one cup of boiling water and steep for five to ten minutes. Drink the infusion two or three times per day until the infection has cleared up. Research done at the University of Nottingham found that cloves are effective in killing bacteria responsible for UTIs.
Another great urine infection home treatment is garlic. Garlic has the active ingredient Allicin, which has strong antimicrobial properties. In its purest form, Allicin exhibits antibacterial activity against various bacteria, including the causes of UTIs (E-coli). In addition, they can fight candida Albicans, one of the fungal causes of UTIs and yeast infections. In addition to fighting bacteria, garlic has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body by reducing histamine released from mast cells. This reduces swelling and pain caused by an infection in the urinary tract.
Taking Care of Your Gut Health
Taking care of your gut health is a natural remedy for water infection. A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system and effective digestion. These two elements can help fight UTIs and prevent them from reoccurring. For example, your body can fight infections and symptoms with a strong immune system. You can take care of your gut health by eating the right foods, managing stress, getting more sleep, and managing weight.
Practice Proper Toilet Hygiene
Improper toilet hygiene practices can cause UTIs to occur and worsen. Therefore, another remedy and prevention tip for UTIs is proper toilet hygiene, like wiping after urinating. Keeping the urethra dry keeps the bacteria from spreading and growing. Always wipe from front to back after using the toilet, to avoid introducing bacteria from faecal matter to the vagina.
Urinating Frequently and After Sex
Another easy but effective practice is frequent urination. Urinating helps flush out the existing bacteria in your urinary tract. This keeps it from growing and developing into a severe condition. Urinating soon after sexual intercourse can also help flush out any bacteria that may have entered your urethra during sex.
Wear the Right Clothing
Wearing the right undergarments can also help prevent UTIs from occurring or becoming severe. For instance, when you wear tight undergarments or tight jeans, they prevent air from flowing and keep the urethra dry, they also tend to trap moisture which creates conditions for the bacteria to thrive and grow even more. Wear cotton undergarments and lose fitting bottoms that allows air to circulate around the vagina.
• Women are more susceptible to UTIs, and almost half of all women will experience UTI’s in their lifetime.
• If you suspect you have a UTI or notice the symptoms explained above, you should see a doctor for proper diagnosis
• Untreated UTI’s can cause serious health complications
• There are a number of effective natural treatments for UTI, like Cranberries, D-Mannose, Vitamin C, Garlic, Cloves etc
• Follow proper toilet hygiene practice to prevent chances of triggering a UTI
• Wearing the right clothes is an easy and effective way to prevent recurring UTI