Use Essential Oils With Caution
Oregano essential oil is well known for its strong antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that oregano oil can be very effective at killing E.coli, but it should be noted these studies are generally done in vitromeaning in a lab using scientific techniques, not performed in humans with infections. Lemongrass oil and clove oil may also be a home remedy for UTIs because of their antimicrobial properties, but both have been studied against harmful bacteria in similar experiments as Oregano oil.
Its important to take care before using essential oils as a treatment. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy advises against ingesting these oils. Instead, essential oils may be safely used topically with a carrier oil or inhaled from a diffuser.
What Is A Uti
A urinary tract infection occurs when bacteria ends up in your urinary tract. Were not talking about the good kind of bacteriathe kind that keeps you alive and healthybut the bad kind like E. coli. This does not belong anywhere near your urethra or bladder, because when it does take up residence there, it can cause an infection.
UTIs generally fall into two categories:
- Lower tract UTIs: These are concentrated in the urethra and bladder, a.k.a. the lower urinary tract. If located in the bladder, the UTI is called a bladder infection or cystitis. Lower UTIs make up the vast majority of UTIs and are easily treated with antibiotics.
- Upper tract UTIs: These UTIs are more rare and serious. Upper tract UTIs usually occur when an untreated lower tract UTI spreads to the kidneys. A kidney infection requires medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.
Common lower tract UTI symptoms include:
- Pain or burning sensation during urination
- Having the urge to urinate frequently
- Blood in the urine
- Cramping or general discomfort in the lower abdomen
Upper tract UTIs share some of the same symptoms of lower tract UTIs, though more common symptoms are:
- Body chills
- Lower back pain
Understanding what causes a UTI may help you prevent one before it happens. Here are the risk factors:
- Age: Some evidence suggests that post-menopausal women are at higher risk for recurrent UTIs due to urinary incontinence and estrogen deficiency that naturally occurs after the menopause transition.
Vi Uti Prevention Tips
To avoid urinary tract infections, it is necessary to have good intimate hygiene. Clean yourself after having a bowel movement from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra.
Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear. Drink plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated to eliminate bacteria through urine.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
Many people say that cranberry juice can help treat, or even prevent, a UTI. Researchers are currently looking into the topic, but havent found a definitive answer yet. Healthcare providers recommend drinking lots of fluids if you have, or have a history of getting, a UTI. Adding a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice to your diet isnt a proven way to prevent a UTI, but it typically wont hurt you either.
How Do I Get Rid Of A Uti Quickly
There is no quick fix for a UTI. Taking cranberry supplements and drinking water could help flush bacteria out of your system more quickly. However, it can be dangerous to drink too much water in a short period of time. In many cases, taking an antibiotic for a UTI could be the quickest way to get rid of one.
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Which Antibiotic Will Work Best
Your doctor will take a urine sample to confirm that you have a UTI. Then the lab will grow the germs in a dish for a couple of days to find out which type of bacteria you have. This is called a culture. Itâll tell your doctor what type of germs caused your infection. Theyâll likely prescribe one of the following antibiotics to treat it before the culture comes back:
Which medication and dose you get depends on whether your infection is complicated or uncomplicated.
âUncomplicatedâ means your urinary tract is normal. âComplicatedâ means you have a disease or problem with your urinary tract. You could have a narrowing of your ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from your kidneys to your bladder, a narrowing in the urethra which transports urine from the bladder out of the body, or, you might have a blockage like a kidney stone or an enlarged prostate . It’s also possible you have a urinary fistula or a bladder diverticulum.
To treat a complicated infection, your doctor might prescribe a higher dose of antibiotics. If your UTI is severe or the infection is in your kidneys, you might need to be treated in a hospital or doctor’s office with high-dose antibiotics you get through an IV.
Your doctor will also consider these factors when choosing an antibiotic:
- Are you over age 65?
- Are you allergic to any antibiotics?
- Have you had any side effects from antibiotics in the past?
Treatment From A Gp For Utis That Keep Coming Back
If your UTI comes back after treatment, or you have 2 UTIs in 6 months, a GP may:
- prescribe a different antibiotic or prescribe a low-dose antibiotic to take for up to 6 months
- prescribe a vaginal cream containing oestrogen, if you have gone through the menopause
- refer you to a specialist for further tests and treatments
In some people, antibiotics do not work or urine tests do not pick up an infection, even though you have UTI symptoms.
This may mean you have a long-term UTI that is not picked up by current urine tests. Ask the GP for a referral to a specialist for further tests and treatments.
Long-term UTIs are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in people aged 60 and over.
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Can You Self Treat A Uti
Treating UTI on your own is possible but it will reoccur at a later time and that is why it is recommended to consult a specialist to conduct some test and examine the cause before being prescribed certain antibiotic drugs.The following are some of the natural remedies an infected person can use to alleviate the symptoms associated with UTIs. The remedies include:
Drinking plenty of water will help dilute the itchy infection in the urinary tract infection. That constant urge to pee will lessen, as will the sensation that you are whizzing out hydrochloric acid.
Drinking cranberry juice helps to relieve the symptoms of a UTI, help prevent a UTI, promote urinary tract health and get a healthy dose of Vitamin C.
This over the counter medication can be found at most Walmarts and most drug stores. A single dose of Azo will get rid of the urinary tract infections within the hour and last for quite a while. Before using the dose, consult a medical professional about its side effects.
Creating Stronger Strains Of Bacteria
Over time, some species of bacteria have become resistant to traditional antibiotics. According to some research , several species of E. coli, the primary cause of UTIs, are showing increasing drug resistance.
The more a person uses an antibiotic, the greater the risk of the bacteria developing resistance. This is even more likely when a person does not take the full prescribed course of treatment.
It is essential to continue taking antibiotics until the end date that the doctor provides. Also, never share antibiotics with others.
Is It Possible To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections With Diet And Supplements
It is possible to reduce the chance that a UTI will develop with dietary methods and some supplements but prevention of all UTIs is unlikely with these methods. Supplements such as eating cranberries, taking vitamin C tablets, and eating yogurt and other substances also may reduce the chance that a UTI will develop . However, as stated in the prevention section, changes in a persons lifestyle may reduce the chance getting a UTI as good as, if not better than, any diet or supplement.
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About Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.
Anyone can get them, but theyre particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly .
UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.
This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.
This page covers:
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
- Back pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, or your other symptoms continue after treatment, call your healthcare provider. A UTI can spread throughout your urinary tract and into other parts of your body. However, treatment is very effective and can quickly relieve your symptoms.
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Is It Safe To Treat Utis Without Antibiotics
Antibiotics are effective treatments for UTIs. Sometimes, the body can resolve minor, uncomplicated UTIs on its own, without antibiotics.
Complicated UTIs require medical treatment. These are some factors that can make the infection complicated:
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What Are Other Possible Causes Of Painful Urination
A painful burning feeling when you urinate is often a sign of a urinary tract infection . However, painful urination can occur even if you dont have an infection. Certain drugs, like some used in cancer chemotherapy, may inflame the bladder. Something pressing against the bladder or a kidney stone stuck near the entrance to the bladder can also cause painful urination.
Painful urination can also be caused by vaginal infection or irritation. You might be sensitive to chemicals in products such as douches, vaginal lubricants, soaps, scented toilet paper, or contraceptive foams or sponges. If it hurts to urinate after youve used these products, youre probably sensitive to them.
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Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection
UTI mainly occurs due to the following reasons:
- Cystitis: It is one of the most common causes of UTI. It mainly happens due to sexual intercourse when the harmful bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract cause infection in the bladder. Though, sometimes, females can also develop cystitis without having intercourse.
- Urethritis: When the harmful bacteria are pushed back in the urethra, urethritis occurs.
- Traces of blood with urine.
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Why Do I Keep Getting Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs can be extremely frustrating when they keep coming back. Most of the time, the recurrent infection is caused by the same pathogen as the initial infection. And about 80% of UTIs are reoccurring.
This could be due to the antibiotic resistance of the bacteria. Since we take so many antibiotics, they are becoming less and less effective against many strains of E. coli. It can also be simply physiology certain women are just more prone to urinary tract infections.
One of the keys is to make sure that you start treating a UTI as soon as you feel even very mild symptoms pop up. The longer the bacteria have a chance to multiply, the harder the infection is to get rid of.
Practicing the natural and preventive measures I’ve laid out here is a great idea take a daily probiotic, vitamin C, and drink plenty of watereven if you don’t have symptoms right now. These good habits can go a long way towards keeping a UTI from cropping back up.
Otc Uti Treatment: Key Takeaway
Women are prone to contracting a urinary tract infection at least once in their life. Certain UTIs do not need treatment if they are diagnosed on time and if the symptoms are cared for, however, some UTIs require medical intervention in the form of antibiotics.
While antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs, researchers are looking for better OTC treatment options for UTI symptoms that might eliminate their need. Several OTC UTI treatment drugs help prevent and manage UTI symptoms but should never be considered a replacement to prescribed antibiotics. The only clinically proven cure for a UTI is a prescribed antibiotic and nothing else as of yet.
If you think you have a UTI, you may visit Family Medicine Austin and consult our healthcare experts. It is always advised to avoid self-treatment and seek medical help.
I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.
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Practice Healthy Hygiene Habits
Preventing UTIs starts with practicing a few good bathroom and hygiene habits.
First, its important not to hold your urine for too long. This can lead to a buildup of bacteria, resulting in infection.
Peeing after sexual intercourse can also of UTIs by preventing the spread of bacteria.
Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs.
Finally, when using the toilet especially if you have a female urethra make sure you wipe front to back. Wiping from back to front can to the urinary tract and is associated with an increased risk of UTIs.
Benefits of healthy hygiene for UTI
Urinating frequently and after sexual intercourse can reduce the risk of UTI. Careful wiping when you use the toilet may also help decrease the risk of UTI.
Several natural supplements may decrease the risk of developing a UTI.
Here are a few supplements that have been studied and are all available in capsule form:
- D-Mannose.D-Mannose is a type of sugar that is found in cranberries. Research suggests its effective in treating UTIs and preventing recurrence.
- Cranberry extract. Like cranberry juice, cranberry extract works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
- Garlic extract. shows garlic and garlic extract to have antimicrobial properties, so they it may be able to block the growth of bacteria to prevent UTIs.
Change Menstrual Pads Tampons Or Cups Frequently
Low-absorbency pads made of synthetic materials can expose your vulva to bacteria and increase your risk of infection. Using tampons can encourage bacteria to develop faster, so its important to change your tampon regularly. Tampons and menstrual cups may increase your risk of getting or worsening a UTI if its not positioned correctly. If it pushes on your urethra and traps your urine, bacteria can spread to the bladder. Changing the size or shape of a menstrual cup may help prevent recurrent UTIs.
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Heres Potentially Good News For The Many Women And Others Who Have Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections New Research Reveals A Possibly Way To Tackle These Infections Without Antibiotics In This Episode Of Newsmds Health Fusion Viv Williams Checks Out What Researchers Are Saying About The Possibility
Itching, burning, bloody urine and the need to frequently pee. Those are symptoms of a urinary tract infection .
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University School of Medicine say that UTIs are not only common, but theyre also often recurrent and give rise to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
So they looked for a new way to treat the infections. They learned that most UTIs are caused by one type of bacteria. They also found out how they body protects good cells while getting rid of the bad bacteria. Thats the process they focused on. They say a certain type of medication already used to treat multiple sclerosis may speed the process of protecting the bladder while getting rid of the bacteria.
They say this is huge because many people, especially women, have recurrent UTIs, which can cause muscle damage over time. The new approach, while not ready for use in people yet, could lead the way to new treatments that can stop infections prevent damage without antibiotics.
The study was published in the journal Cell Reports.
Best Remedies For Bladder Infections
About bladder infections
The urethra is the tube that takes urine out of the body. Once bacteria go into the urethra, they can attach to the walls of the bladder and multiply quickly.
The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate. It may also cause pain while urinating and abdominal cramping.
A combination of medical and home treatments may ease these symptoms. If left untreated, bladder infections can become life-threatening. This is because the infection can spread to the kidneys or blood.
Here are seven effective bladder infection remedies.
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Does Cranberry Juice Prevent A Uti
Some patients may want to use cranberry or cranberry juice as a home remedy to treat a UTI. Cranberry juice has not been shown to cure an ongoing bacterial infection in the bladder or kidney.
Cranberry has been studied as a preventive maintenance agent for UTIs. Studies are mixed on whether cranberry can really prevent a UTI. Cranberry may work by preventing bacteria from sticking to the inside of the bladder however, it would take a large amount of cranberry juice to prevent bacterial adhesion. More recent research suggests cranberries may have no effect on preventing a UTI
- According to one expert, the active ingredient in cranberries A-type proanthocyanidins are effective against UTI-causing bacteria, but is only in highly concentrated cranberry capsules, not in cranberry juice.
- However, cranberry was not proven to prevent recurrent UTIs in several well-controlled studies, as seen in a 2012 meta-analysis of 24 trials published by the Cochrane group.
- While studies are not conclusive, there is no harm in drinking cranberry juice. However, if you develop symptoms, see your doctor. Some people find large quantities of cranberry juice upsetting to the stomach.
Increasing fluid intake like water, avoiding use of spermicides, and urinating after intercourse may be helpful in preventing UTIs, although limited data is available.