Load Up On Vitamin C For A Healthy Urinary Tract
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s health library. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when youre having pain urinating.
Can You Treat A Uti Without Antibiotics
For some women with no other serious health problems, it can be possible to treat a UTI at home without antibiotics. For instance, mild or uncomplicated UTIs may clear out of the bladder naturally, as a strong immune system can help resolve these infections.
But if you’re experiencing the symptoms of a UTI, you should always check in with your doctor first. They can help you determine whether you’re able to treat your UTI at home, without antibiotics.
Because they’re at higher risk for complications, men and pregnant women should never try to treat a UTI at home, according to Rena Malik, M.D., a urologist and director of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Combine Home Remedies With Medical Care
All of the above home remedies may ease symptoms of a UTI. However, none of them are likely to cure a urinary tract infection. While it is not possible for the immune system to fight off the bacteria that causes UTIs on its own, antibiotics are usually necessary to aid in the process. You can combine home remedies for UTI relief with the medication your primary care provider prescribes to both treat the infection and minimize your discomfort.
If you decide to let your immune system fight the infection on its own, keep close tabs on your condition. Specifically, see your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- High fever
- Pain in your lower back
The above symptoms could indicate that the infection has spread to the kidneys. A kidney infection requires prompt medical care, since it can permanently damage the organs or move into the bloodstream and cause a potentially fatal infection.
Even without kidney infection symptoms, you should see your doctor if:
- Your symptoms dont improve after two or three days
- You have had three or more UTIs in the last 12 months
- Youre pregnant
- You have a medical condition or take a medication that suppresses your immune system
How Long Does It Take For A Uti To Go Away Without Antibiotics
It can take around nine days for a UTI to go away with antibiotics. It could take longer to go away without antibiotics, but everyone is different. It’s important to remember that an untreated UTI could lead to complications like a bladder or kidney infection. Make sure to talk to a doctor if you’re experiencing UTI symptoms.
Have A Good Sexual Hygiene
Sexual intercourse can invite some bacteria and other microbes to the urinary tract. So, having good sexual hygiene will help reduce the risk of lower urinary tract infections. To get good sexual hygiene, you can
urinate before and after sex
wash the genitals, especially the foreskin, after sexual acts or intercourse
use barrier contraception, which includes condoms
wash your genitals or change the condom, if you switch from anal to vaginal sex
ensure that the sexual partners are aware of the current and past UTIs
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What Is Urinary Tract Infection
The most common bacterial infection that you can find in the United States is Urinary Tract Infection. More than 50% of females have UTIs once in their lifetime.
This bacterial infection occurs when the bacteria enter the urinary tract and multiply. The bacteria can affect more areas in the urinary tract, and you can have
fever below 101 degrees Fahrenheit
cramps in th lower abdomen and groin
smell or color change in urine
Other Ways To Prevent Cystitis Coming Back
If you keep getting cystitis, there is some evidence you may find it helpful to take:
- D-mannose a sugar you can buy as a powder or tablets to take every day
- cranberry products available as juice, tablets or capsules to take every day
Be aware that D-mannose and cranberry products can contain a lot of sugar. If you’re taking warfarin, you should avoid cranberry products.
Page last reviewed: 11 February 2022 Next review due: 11 February 2025
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Seeking Medical Treatment For A Uti
A Pharmacist Can Help With Utis
You can ask a pharmacist about treatments for a UTI.
A pharmacist can:
- offer advice on things that can help you get better
- suggest the best painkiller to take
- tell you if you need to see a GP about your symptoms
Some pharmacies offer a UTI management service. They may be able to give antibiotics if they’re needed.
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What Are Home Remedies For A Uti
Urologists recommend that patients with UTIs drink extra fluids to flush the bacteria out of their bladders. Dont turn to sodas, juice, or sweet tea because the sugar in these beverages might irritate your already inflamed bladder. Instead, stick to unsweetened drinks such as water and herbal tea. Soups and broths are also excellent choices.
2. Cranberry juice
Youve probably heard from your mother, sister, or female friend that cranberry juice can cure a UTI. The good news is that theres some benefit to this folk remedy but the bad news is that most cranberry juice sold in stores is sweetened with sugar, which could make your UTI worse.
Before you run to the store and buy a bottle of cranberry juice, make sure its unsweetened. If you have frequent UTIs, consider cranberry tablets or D-mannose supplements to prevent recurring infections.
3. Vitamin C
If you keep vitamin C on hand for colds, try taking 1000 milligrams a few times a day for UTI symptoms. Some people take vitamin C as a preventive measure against UTIs because it makes your urine more acidic and less friendly to bacterial growth. Theres a slight chance that taking too much vitamin C or eating acidic foods will make your irritated bladder feel worse. Be careful with this approach and ask for a doctors advice if your symptoms worsen.
4. D-Mannose extract
7. Vitamin D
Treatment For Cystitis That Keeps Coming Back
If you keep getting cystitis, a GP may prescribe:
- a single-dose antibiotic to take within 2 hours of having sex, if you’ve noticed sex triggers cystitis
- a low-dose antibiotic to take for up to 6 months
- a vaginal oestrogen cream, if you have gone through the menopause
In some women, antibiotics do not work or urine tests do not pick up an infection even though you have cystitis symptoms.
This may mean you have a long-term bladder infection that is not picked up by current urine tests. Ask the GP for a referral to a specialist for further tests and treatment.
Long-term infections are linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer in people aged 60 and over.
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Ease Your Urinary Woes With Sips Of Green Tea
- Add a tablespoon of green tea to warm water.
- Let it soak for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Strain it and drink it.
Catechin is a component of green tea which has antimicrobial properties. Green tea also has diuretic properties to help flush out the bacteria from your urinary system.21 You can sip 4 to 5 cups of warm green tea throughout the day.
Try Taking A Probiotic
Introducing a probiotic to your system may help to replenish the naturally occurring, healthy bacteria that live in the gut. It is thought that probiotics may prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract cells, and may also lower the urine Ph, making it less hospitable to harmful bacteria. And, if you have taken an antibiotic to treat a UTI, taking a probiotic is a great way to build up the healthy bacteria that may have been killed during your course of treatment. Probiotics are found in supplement form , or they occur naturally in some types of food, including certain yogurts, kombucha, or kefir.
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Risk Factor Of Treating Utis Without Antibiotics
Some research has found that about 25 to 40 percent of uncomplicated UTIs may wither away on their own. In other words, the bacteria from E.coli may flush out from the urinary tract without any medications. However, this usually happens in women with no other health issues, which can complicate things.
But, one may have some serious risks due to leaving a UTI untreated. The person can have pyelonephritis and sepsis, which is why it becomes very important for the patient to consult with the doctor and seek treatment for betterment if any suspicious symptoms arrive.
However, there is some risk factor that can make the infection more complicated
bacteria species are already resistant
to conditions that affect the immune system and can have HIV, cardiac disease, or, at worst, cause lupus
changes in the urinary tract or organs can help in swollen prostate or reduce the urine flow.
When To See A Doctor For A Uti
Always go to your primary care physician immediately if there is blood in the urine, if you have a fever, and/or low back pain with your UTI symptoms, Sajdak advises. UTIs can move fast, so its better to go sooner than later.
Although natural remedies can be beneficial for alleviating UTI symptoms and preventing recurrent UTIs, they may not be effective in treating the infection.
If symptoms still persist after three days then it is time to move on to antibiotics, says Ivy Branin, ND, a naturopathic doctor in New York City who specializes in womens health. I often recommend a patient to see their doctor for a UA and a prescription for antibiotics just in case and to fill it if they have no improvement after three days.
Leaving a UTI untreated can cause additional health problems. Bacteria can reach the ureters or kidneys and cause kidney infections. Untreated UTIs during pregnancy can also potentially cause early labor and low birth weight. Seeking treatment for UTI that isnt going awayor one that keeps coming backis always a good thing.
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Help Us Create A Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Plan For You
Patients with any type of UTI condition should meet with our urinary tract infection specialists or our health care providers. Our health care provider will figure out a specific treatment plan for the concerned patient. Also, the individual treatment plan will depend on the frequency and severity of this medical condition.In addition to this, our doctors will also consider the patients medical history. And if a patient has been suffering from a cough and congested chest for more than 10 days, that specific patient will receive a proper treatment plan for urinary tract infection. Our doctors believe that some medications cannot be prescribed if severe medical conditions persist. Such medical conditions include kidney and heart diseases. Also, information like past allergies and any pregnancy plans should be conveyed to the doctor beforehand. A patients treatment plan will only be created after a thorough analysis and the same will be tested for a few weeks. This will help our health specialists determine whether a plan is working effectively for you or not.
How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
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Cut Bladder Irritants From Your Diet
When you have a UTI, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates , that are good for your digestive health, says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a naturopathic doctor in private practice in West Hollywood, California, and the author of Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Womans Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health.
What Are The Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
An infection occurs in the urinary tract when bacteria enter the urethra and sets up camp there. Sometimes they will migrate from there to the bladder, causing further infection. If you dont get treated, the bacteria can even move on to the kidney. When we urinate, we often flush out the bacteria, but sometimes this bacterium can take root.
You really dont want this to happen, as it can turn quite serious and require a hospital stay, as well as lead to an even worse kidney or bladder infection. These bacteria usually come from the colon. Sometimes other tiny organisms that are sexually transmitted can also cause these kinds of infections.
Common causes of UTIs include:
- Improper wiping, or anything which spreads bacteria from the anus to the genitals
- Sexual intercourse
- Kidney stones or other obstructions of the urinary tract
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder, often due to spinal cord injuries or other conditions
- Suppressed immune systems, which can occur with HIV/AIDS or diabetes
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Know The Difference Between Upper And Lower Urinary Tract Infections
While a lower urinary tract infection is typically managed easily with antibiotics, if the infection has spread up the urinary tract to the ureters or to the kidneys themselves, the condition can very dangerous. Symptoms of upper urinary tract infections can include back pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting as well as blood in the urine, and they require treatment with antibiotics to prevent possibly irreversible damage to the kidneys.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention. In addition to antibiotics, your healthcare provider may also suggest that you take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as acetaminophen to alleviate pain and fever.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Dehydration is linked to an increased risk of UTIs.
This is because regular urination can help flush bacteria from the urinary tract to prevent infection. When youre dehydrated, you arent urinating as often, which can create a breeding ground for bacteria.
A examined nursing home residents and administered a drinking schedule to participants to increase their fluid intake. Following the schedule decreased UTIs requiring antibiotics by 56%.
In a 2020 randomized control trial , 140 premenopausal participants prone to UTIs took part in a 12-month study to test if a higher fluid intake would decrease their risk of recurrent cystitis and, in turn, their risk of developing a UTI. Researchers found that an increase in fluid intake led to a decrease in UTI frequency.
To stay hydrated and meet your fluid needs, its best to drink water throughout the day and always when youre thirsty.
Benefits of drinking more fluids for UTI
Drinking plenty of liquids can decrease your risk of UTIs by making you pee more, which helps remove bacteria from your urinary tract.
evidence suggests that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against UTIs.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of urine, killing off the bacteria that cause infection.
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C every day.
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
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