A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection which affects any part of the urinary tract, including the ureters, kidneys, bladder or urethra.
UTIs are among the most common bacterial infections. They are especially predominant in women, about 50% of whom will have one during their life. These infections also tend to reoccur.
The most common cause of UTIs are bacteria from the bowel, but viruses and fungi can also cause infection. Some of the most common symptoms of UTI include;
- A burning sensation when peeing
- Frequent urination
- Dark or cloudy urine
- Urine with a strong odor
- A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Pelvic pain
Antibiotics are used for the treatment of UTIs and are sometimes used in low doses long-term to prevent the risk of recurrence. There are also a number of natural ways to protect against infections and to reduce the recurrence. Hence, here are some home remedies to fight UTI.
1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking fluids or water regularly throughout the day can help you flush bacteria from your system. A 2013 study found that chronic low fluid intake may be a factor in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infections. Drinking at least one glass of water for every meal and snack of the day is very important. It helps to flush out bacteria which can cause infection.
2. Urinate Often
Urinating often and when the need arises confirms that bacteria is not multiplying in urine which stays in the bladder.
It is also significant to urinate soon after sexual intercourse. This helps to flush out bacteria which may have entered the urethra. Many studies have found that holding urine for a long time allows bacterial multiplication within the urinary tract. This may result in a urinary tract infection.
3. Increase Vitamin C intake
There is some evidence which shows that increasing vitamin C intake could protect you against urinary tract infections. Vitamin C works by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby inhibiting the growth of bacteria causing infection. It also enhances immune function.
Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C and are a good mode to increase your intake. Oranges, grapefruit, red peppers, and kiwifruit all contain the recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving.
Probiotics are useful microorganisms. They are consumed through food or supplements and can help to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. They can also be found in fermented foods, like kefir, kimchi, probiotic yogurt, raw cheese, and kombucha.
Antibiotics which are the main line of defense against UTIs can cause disturbances in levels of gut bacteria. However, probiotics may be beneficial in restoring bacteria after antibiotic treatment.
Due to the development of bacterial resistance, probiotics is one of the most promising home remedies for recurring UTI. Probiotics support the body’s normal flora which serves as a line of defense. Consumption of fermented foods also helps restore the natural flora of the body and recolonize the bladder with beneficial bacteria.
5. Stay Clean and Dry
Many UTIs develop when bacteria from the feces or rectum gain access to the urethra. Once in the urethra, bacteria can travel up into other urinary tract organs where they can cause infections.
Therefore, after urinating wipe from front to back. Moreover, use separate toilet paper to wipe the genitals and anus after a bowel movement. This ensures that bacteria does not get into the urethra. It is also significant to wear loose-fitting clothes and underwear. This allows air to keep the urethra dry.
6. Avoid Spermicides
Spermicides can cause irritation and allow bacterial growth. Use of unlubricated condoms can also cause irritation. So, choose lubricated condoms which don’t contain spermicides.
A 1996 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that among sexually active young women, the occurrence of UTI is high. Moreover, the risk is intensely and individually associated with recent sexual intercourse, along with the use of a diaphragm with spermicide.
There are some studies which suggest that cranberry juice may help decrease the number of UTIs a person develops over a 12-month period. It is particularly beneficial for women with recurrent UTIs. moreover, some studies indicate that it can reduce the UTI risk by as much as 26%.
Although there is limited evidence regarding cranberry’s ability to manage UTI signs, there is strong evidence that cranberries can be used as a preventive approach. Through animal studies, it has been found that cranberry products work by inhibiting the growth and colonization of bacteria which cause infection, including E. coli.
Allicin is one of the active principles of freshly crushed raw garlic. It has a number of antimicrobial activities. Allicin, in its pure form, has been found to show antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria, comprising multi-drug-resistant strains of E. coli.
Garlic also has a variety of antifungal properties, mainly against Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections.
9. Clove Oil
Research published in Phytotherapy Research shows that clove oil has antifungal, antimicrobial and antiviral activity.
Another benefit of clove oil is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is used to relieve severe pain and promote healing. Clove can also be taken internally for 2 weeks at a time, but try to use it under the care of a nutritionist or health care provider.
10. Myrrh Oil
A number of human and animal studies indicate that myrrh oil has antiparasitic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Generally, it’s been used to prevent infections and treat wounds.
Myrrh oil can be applied topically with a warm or cool compress, or it can also be rubbed into the skin. However, use caution while using it internally. For that, make sure to use a pure, high-quality product and do it under the care of health care provider.
11. Oregano Oil
A 2012 study indicated the antibacterial activity of oregano oil. Researchers of the study found that oregano was active against all bacterial strains which were tested. And it effectively inhibited the growth of E. coli which is the most commonly seen bacteria in UTIs.
Researchers also believe that oregano oil can be used as an alternative antibacterial remedy for improving the healing process in bacterial infections. Moreover, it’s an active means for the prevention of antibiotic-resistant strain development.
In reality, oregano oil benefits may be better than prescription antibiotics as it doesn’t cause antibiotic resistance and it has no harmful side effects.
The bottom line
UTI is a common problem and can be annoying to deal with. Most of the people develop a Urinary tract infection at some point in their lifetime, particularly women. Many UTIs go away on with primary care.
Researchers are looking for ways to treat and prevent UTIs without antibiotics. However, several longstanding at-home remedies may help to prevent and treat UTIs.
But still, people who think they have a UTI should always consult with a doctor before trying to treat the infection themselves.