Urinary Tract Infection : What Foods To Eat And What To Avoid
According to a recent study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, urinary tract infections are closely linked to the food you consume. Namely, the molecules that are created during digestion along with your urine acidity significantly affect the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract.
When it comes to urinary infections, the most important thing is to drink large amounts of fluids so as to flush colonies of E. coli, the major cause of urethra infections. Drinking herbal teas and natural juices, especially cranberry and blueberry juice, is highly recommended in such cases. Cranberries and blueberries contain substances that inhibit the binding of bacteria to bladder tissue. Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice regularly helps lower the risk of UTIs.
However, increasing your fluid intake is not enough. Actually, your diet matters as well because certain foods can only worsen the symptoms. Such foods are coffee and chocolate, whose ingredients irritate the inflamed tissue.
Unlike coffee and chocolate, theres a wide array of foods that are extremely beneficial for relieving urinary tract infection.
Below, theres a list of foods to be avoided, as well as foods to stick to when dealing with UTI.
If Youre Suffering From Stubborn Recurring Urinary Tract Infections These Natural Home Remedies For Uti Can Help Relieve The Troublesome Symptoms
When we talk about treatments for urinary tract infections , antibiotics are probably the first thing that comes to your mind. However, a trip to the drugstore isnt the only way to get rid of your symptoms.
In fact, if youre experiencing relatively mild discomfort, chances are you dont need a prescription. Treatment can be done at the comfort of your home and at a cheaper cost. Be reminded, though, that you should be careful with self-administered solutions. Its still best to consult a doctors advice before trying out home remedies for UTI on your own.
How Does Caffeine Affect The Bladder
Caffeine raises blood pressure, which is the reason for that alert feeling you get when you drink a cup of coffee, have a cola or eat a chocolate bar. This increased blood pressure makes your bladder overactive, and caffeine consumption can contribute to including increased urination, bladder infections and urinary incontinence. Its also thought to have a direct effect on the bladders smooth muscle.
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Tea For Uti: Conclusion
There are other herbal teas that may offer relief from UTIs. Dandelion tea and horsetail tea come to mind. And cranberries have long been a natural remedy for UTIs. So drink cranberry tea. Theres also juniper berry tea. And marshmallow root. But dont assume roasting marshmallows at a campfire will cure UTI!
Have you tried tea for a UTI? Comment below.
How Much Caffeine Am I Consuming
You might use coffee or tea to help you wake up, stay energized or you might simply love the taste. You might have a cup of tea mid-morning or a soda with your lunch. Maybe you consume an energy drink in the afternoon and then have a chocolate dessert after dinner.
Do you know how much caffeine you are actually consuming? Lets look at the amounts in common food and drink:
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First Line Of Defense
If youre just feeling the first hint of a UTI, you can get ahead of the infection with AZO Urinary Tract DefenseÂ®. It includes a pain reliever to help soothe and a powerful antibacterial agent to help control your infection. If youre beyond that stage, relieve painful UTI symptoms FAST with an over-the-counter urinary pain reliever like AZO Urinary Pain ReliefÂ® or for a higher dose of the active ingredient, AZO Urinary Pain ReliefÂ® Maximum Strength.
Remember: Theres no over-the-counter cure for a UTI. Only your doctor can prescribe a UTI antibiotic to rid the bacteria causing the infection.
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Other Ways To Treat Uti
Apart from drinking clear liquids, there are other ways to get out of this painful situation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, antibiotics are the first line of treatment for UTI. How long the treatment and the specific drugs to take all depend on the severity of the infection.
You could also complement your cranberry intake with probiotics, which are known to help with digestion as well as UTI treatment and prevention. Probiotics also have good bacteria called Lactobacillus, which can replace the bad ones.
Another that works well in both preventing and treating UTI is a simple sugar pretty much like glucose that acts as an antibacterial agent, D-mannose.
According to Livestrong:
The sugars in D-mannose coat the lining of the urinary tract and bladder as they pass through the body. These sugars not only cover mucus membranes but they surround bacterial cells making it impossible for them to stick to the walls of the bladder or urinary tract. The bacteria remain free floating and are passed out of the body in the urine.
D-mannose can significantly lower the number of bacteria in the urinary tract and urine within a day. So if youre suffering from this pesky infection, go ahead and find yourself D-mannose right away!
What Is Urinary Tract Infection
The urinary tract comprises of organs which are involved in making and transporting urine out of the body. These organs include a pair of kidneys and ureters, a bladder, and a urethra.
A urinary tract infection is therefore, an infection of any or a combination of these organs. In 90% of the cases, infection can be caused due to bacteria called E.coli or Staphylococcus saprophyticus.
These bacteria are either neutral or beneficial until it stays in the digestive tract however when it migrates to urinary tract, it causes infection.
In some cases, it can be caused due to fungi or other common bacteria that causes UTI are Klebsiella species, and Proteus species.
Symptoms of UTI include lower abdominal pain, flank pain, bloody urine, or fever. However, sometimes you might have no symptom at all, which is described as asymptomatic bacteriuria.
Nowâ¦You might be wondering how these bacteria gain access to urinary organs.
There are few conditions that can help the bacteria or fungus to access the organs and cause an infection.
- Sexual intercourse
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Top 10 Things To Know About Urinary Tract Infections
Did you know that cranberries can be more than just another side dish on the dinner table? They actually contain compounds that can help prevent recurring urinary tract infections . UTI is the most common bacterial infection occurring in the kidney transplant recipient, particularly in the first few months post-transplant. The major risk factors for UTI in the kidney transplant recipient include bladder catheters, handling and trauma to the kidney and ureter during surgery, anatomic abnormalities of the native or transplanted kidneys and immunosuppression medication. But there are steps you can take to prevent and treat these infections. As part of a new educational partnership, the National Kidney Foundation and the Cranberry Marketing Committee have compiled a list of the top 10 most important facts about UTIs.
Things To Avoid: Sugar & Utis
Adjusting your diet for a UTI involves more than introducing certain foods and drinks it also means abstaining from things. Not sure where to start? Heres a simple rule of thumb to follow: Avoid sugar for a UTI. Sugar is laced in an overwhelming amount of commercial foods and drinks these days. Unfortunately, it can also aggravate an infection. To cut back on these sugary delights and boost your care plan for a UTI, avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners
Although theres no evidence that artificial sweeteners can worsen a UTI, they have been shown to exacerbate bladder symptoms for individuals with chronic interstitial cystitis, so you may want to avoid them. Other foods and beverages to avoid with a UTI include:
- Spicy foods. Certain spicy foods can irritate the bladder. Instead, try sticking to a bland dietlike the BRAT dietwhen you have a UTI.
- Citrus. Although theyre high in immunity-boosting vitamin C, highly acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits can irritate your bladder and aggravate UTI symptoms.
- Caffeinated drinks. Its important to stay hydrated when you have a UTI, but stay away from coffee and other caffeinated beverages. When in doubt, choose water!
Symptoms Of Urinary Tract Infections
How do you know if you have a UTI? Well, sometimes there are actually no symptoms at all and other times you will experience some pretty noticeable signs.
The most common symptoms associated with UTIs are:
- Strong, persistent need to urinate
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Urine with a strong odor
- Urinating small amounts frequently
- Pain in the pelvic area, particularly for women
If the infection has made it to your kidneys, you might have one or more of these symptoms:
- Pain located below the ribs in your back or side
If you think you have a UTI, especially if you think that its become a kidney infection, its important to see your doctor. They can rule out the cause and prescribe you antibacterial or antibiotic drugs to kill off the bacteria.
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What Not To Do If You Have A Uti
DO NOT have sexual intercourse. You dont want to have sex after your UTI for at least two weeks until your symptoms have cleared up. Intercourse can worsen your symptoms and possibly make your infection worse. Sex during a UTI could also be uncomfortable or painful.
DO NOT drink alcohol. While you should get plenty of fluids, you need to stay away from alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can irritate the bladder and worsen the infection.
DO NOT eat artificial sweetener. Even when you dont have a UTI, you should avoid artificial sweeteners. They can intensify your bladder symptoms.
DO NOT drink caffeine. You may think that you cant get by without your cup of coffee in the morning. However, it may be beneficial to skip it while youre suffering from a UTI. Those who regularly drink caffeine have more severe UTI symptoms. This is because caffeine has been shown to irritate the bladder.
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Acidic Fruits Can Worsen Symptoms Of A Bladder Infection
Fruit may be an essential part of a healthy diet, but fruits containing a lot of acid can irritate the bladder and worsen your UTI symptoms. So try to avoid lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes when you’re treating a UTI. Other fruits that may cause bladder irritation and worsen a urinary tract infection include apples, peaches, grapes, plums, strawberries, and pineapple. You should also steer clear of juices made from these fruits.
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Misconception: Drinking Buckets Of Cranberry Juice Can Cure And Even Prevent Bladder Infections
Actually: You may enjoy the taste but it wont cure and, probably, wont prevent recurrence.
This purported remedy is centuries old and there is a considerable amount of research investigating it. While some studies suggest that cranberry may reduce repeated infections in younger women, it is certainly not a treatment for an active case. The gold standard for treatment is antibiotics. Sometimes doctors just recommend rest and ibuprofen.
I was hoping it would work, said Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta, an infectious disease specialist at the Yale School of Medicine, and the lead author of a study published Thursday in the journal JAMA, which showed no reduction in urinary tract infections for female nursing home patients who took standardized, high-dose cranberry capsules the equivalent of 20 ounces of juice daily for a year.
Im not sure its worth spending money on, particularly for patients on a fixed income, she said.
In a strongly worded editorial also in JAMA, Dr. Lindsay E. Nicolle, an expert on urinary tract infections, or UTIs, at the University of Manitoba, concluded that the evidence is convincing that cranberry products should not be recommended as a medical intervention for the prevention of UTI. She added that clinicians should not be promoting cranberry use by suggesting that there is proven, or even possible, benefit.
She concluded, It is time to move on from cranberries.
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How Are Utis Diagnosed
Only a health care provider can treat urinary tract infections. The first thing a doctor will do is confirm that a person has a UTI by taking a clean-catch urine specimen. At the doctor’s office, you’ll be asked to clean your genital area with disposable wipes and then pee into a sterile cup.
The sample may be used for a urinalysis or a urine culture . Knowing what bacteria are causing the infection can help your doctor choose the best treatment.
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You Dont Pee After Sex
The threat of getting a UTI shouldnt stop you from getting it on. But that doesnt mean resigning yourself to the afterburn.
One simple way to cut your risk: Head to the potty after youve finished your romp. Youll possibly flush out the bacteria that may have made their way into your urinary tract. Urinary Tract Infection. .
Estrogen Therapy For Postmenopausal Women
For postmenopausal women who suffer from recurring UTIs, vaginal estrogen therapy has been shown to be effective. Estrogen therapy may be given intravaginally with creams or an estrogen ring. Side effects of estrogen therapy include breast tenderness, vaginal spotting, and vaginal irritation . A 2005 study found that estrogen therapy was effective for young women with recurrent UTIs, so it may be beneficial for others, too, not just for postmenopausal women . If you have recurrent UTIs, talk to your doctor about whether estrogen therapy may be helpful for you.
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Can Coffee Cause Urinary Tract Infections
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Caffeine use can contribute to urinary tract infections because they are often spread through inadequate bladder emptying or hydration. Caffeine dehydrates your body because it interferes with fluid retention, forcing you to eliminate liquids before they can be adequately absorbed.
Caffeine, in addition to increasing alertness and reducing fatigue, is a central nervous system stimulant. Caffeine, in both its direct effects on urinary function and indirect effects, has been shown to be related to infections and incontinence. Caffeine consumption can normalize bladder activity and reduce the likelihood of a UTI.
Avoid Insufficient Water Intake
Depleting your body of water leads to dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, bacteria can grow in the bladder. Additionally, not drinking sufficient amounts of water can keep your medication from penetrating into your kidneys and bladder. Drinking abundant amounts of water flushes the kidneys and bladder, helps deliver the antibiotic to the urinary tract, prevents dehydration, and, additionally, reduces risk of developing kidney stones.
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Herbal Remedies For Uti
There are several herbal remedies, which are also used to cure a urinary tract infection.
1. Uva Ursi
This herb contains a compound, known as arbutin, which kills the bacteria present in the lining of the urinary passage. It also helps in stimulating the urination.
Note- Children, nursing or pregnant women, and people with liver or kidney disease should not take this herb.
Horsetail is a good diuretic, which aids in the proper urine flow as well as stops the bleeding during the urinary tract infections.
Echinacea works as a natural antibiotic. Therefore, it helps to fight against the viruses and bacteria that are the main cause of infection in the urinary tract.
Parsley seeds are also helpful in treating the urinary tract infection as it reduces the inflammation and pain caused due to the UTI.
Another effective herb for treating the inflammation caused due to the UTI is Mullein.
Horseradish is a natural antibiotic, which is good for controlling the infection of the urinary tract.
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Cranberries And Blueberries To Promote Urinary Tract Health
You may have heard that drinking cranberry juice helps to combat UTIs, but did you know why? Cranberries and blueberries contain plant compounds called proanthocyanidins, which prevent infection-causing E. coli from attaching to the urinary tract cells. When they cant attach, they cant stay and wreak havoc in your system with a painful UTI. Make sure to include some of these berries or their juices in your diet to keep your system functioning at its best.
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Urinary Tract Infections: Foods That Fight Bacteria
Urinary Tract Infections affect millions of people every year. They occur when bacteria infects our urinary tract, causing unpleasant and sometimes painful side effects.
Although UTIs are traditionally treated with antibiotics, alongside this course of treatment there are also many at-home nutritional strategies available to help treat infections and prevent them from reoccurring!
If youre suffering from, or youve recently had, a UTI, then try out these top tips for keeping the infection at bay.
Evidence from John Hopkins Medicine has shown that your vitamin C intake can be linked to a reduced risk of UTIs.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that causes infection. In fact, a study by Universidad de Colima in Mexico found that pregnant women who ingested 100mg of vitamin C a day cut their risk of contracting a UTI by more than half.
Stock up on fruit and vegetables if youre looking to up your vitamin C intake â oranges, grapefruits, kiwis and red peppers are all great sources.
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that are consumed through food or supplements, and theyve been found to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in our guts.
There are other supplements you can take to help you battle regular UTIs: