A urinary tract infection, also called a UTI, occurs when any part of your urinary tract becomes infected with bacteria. That includes your kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. The Mayo Clinic reports that most UTIs affect the lower portion of your urinary tract and that women are at an increased risk of the condition. Left untreated, a urinary tract infection can lead to more serious complications, so it’s important to have yours treated as soon as possible.
Traditional treatment typically involves taking a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria that causes the UTI. However, that isn’t your only option. Consider these additional home remedies, each of which can battle symptoms and make you comfortable until the UTI heals and goes away.
You’ve probably heard that drinking cranberry juice is great for a urinary tract infection. That’s because cranberry helps prevent certain bacteria, including E.coli, from attaching to the lining in your urinary tract and the walls of your bladder. This helps treat a current UTI and can even prevent another one from occurring.
Your best bet is cranberry juice or extract without added sugar because the sweet stuff can reduce the effectiveness of the cranberry. Experts caution against this method if you are taking blood-thinning medications, are on an aspirin regimen or have liver problems.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains potassium, plant enzymes and minerals that are effective for treating a urinary tract infection. To reap the benefits, experts suggest adding a couple of tablespoons of the vinegar to a glass of water and drinking it. You can safely do this twice per day.
If you can’t stomach the taste, try some honey and lemon to balance it out and make the concoction a bit more palatable.
Getting an adequate amount of water each day helps flush harmful bacteria out of your urinary tract, helping to treat and prevent UTIs. If you worry that you’re not drinking enough water, try carrying a bottle of it with you and sipping regularly throughout the day.
You’ll know you’re getting enough fluids if your urine is light yellow or clear. If not, you should up the fluid intake for relief from your urinary tract infection.
Avoid Certain Drinks
While water and cranberry juice are ideal for treating a UTI, other beverages can make the condition worse. Cutting them from your routine can help alleviate the symptoms of a urinary tract infection and prevent future ones from sidelining you.
The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting or eliminating alcohol, caffeine and citrus juice, all of which can interfere with the delicate balance of bacteria in your urinary tract.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil
This oil contains a high concentration of both vitamin A and vitamin D. When you’re suffering from a UTI, this is important because the vitamin A works to build stronger cells that are better able to fend off the negative effects of bacteria in your urinary tract.
The vitamin D helps your body produce anti-microbial peptides that can counteract fungus, bacteria and viruses in your body.
Baking soda helps optimize the acidity levels in your body. Adding a teaspoon to a glass of water and drinking it twice daily can help lower the acidity in your urine, something that can help counteract the pain of urinating when you have a urinary tract infection. At the same time, eliminating that acidity can help you recover from a UTI much more quickly and much more comfortably.
This fruit might be small, but it packs a powerful punch when you’re sidelined with a urinary tract infection. Studies show that blueberries inhibit bacteria in your body, so when you eat them in adequate amounts on a regular basis, you can optimize the ratio of urinary tract bacteria, effectively preventing a UTI.
At the same time, eating blueberries when you already have a urinary tract infection can help speed recovery and lessen the discomfort of the symptoms.
As an added bonus, blueberries have a very high concentration of antioxidants, which promote healthy immunity and keep your body healthy overall.
Like blueberries, pineapple is rich in antioxidants. These plant compounds counteract free radical damage in your body that can lead to a broad spectrum of health problems, urinary tract infections included.
In addition, pineapple is rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that boosts immunity and helps your body ward off the negative impact of the bacteria that causes a UTI.
Finally, pineapple contains bromelain, which battles inflammation and helps control the painful symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is especially effective for a urinary tract infection that targets your bladder. All you have to do is add 10 drops of tea tree oil to your bath and then soak in the bathwater, making sure to bathe your urethra with the water. Soak for about 10 minutes, 10 days in a row for the best benefits. Look for tea tree oil at health food stores or farmers markets.
Gooseberries contain a high amount of vitamin C, which as mentioned previously, boosts immunity and promotes good health. Boil the gooseberry with turmeric, and drink it three times a day. This is an alternative approach to medicine, so be sure to clear it with your doctor before giving it a try.
You can find Indian gooseberries at health food stores or by seeing a specialist in alternative medicine.
When the discomfort of a urinary tract infection becomes too much to bear, experts suggest placing a warm heating pad to your stomach. The heat will penetrate your abdomen, helping the muscles relax and alleviating pain in the area of the infection. Be sure not to get the pad too hot or you could suffer burns. A heating pad is a non-invasive treatment approach that you can use for extended periods of time, several instances per day.
There are many ways to treat a urinary tract infection, and you can mix and match them to find the one that works best for you. Your best bet is to talk over the options with your doctor to find the most appropriate one for you.
In some cases, antibiotics will become necessary to kill the bacteria causing the infection. You can often use them in conjunction with the methods on this list for the best results.
An untreated UTI can cause a variety of problems, including recurrent infections, kidney damage, kidney infection, pregnancy complications, narrowing of the urethra and sepsis. Some of these conditions are life-threatening, so it’s vitally important to have a urinary tract infection treated appropriately and quickly.
Prognosis is very good with proper care and health management, so see your doctor anytime you suspect that you have a UTI.
You’ll be so glad to nip it in the bud rather than suffering the nasty side effects of letting it go.