Urinary Tract Infections Causes, Prevention And Home Remedies
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is a very common health problem that happens when the bladder and its exit tubes get infected by bacteria. Some of the main causes of urinary tract infections are sexual intercourse, waiting too long to urinate, pregnancy, menopause, and diabetes.
Urinary tract infections don't always cause signs and symptoms, but when they do they may include:
• A strong, persistent urge to urinate
• A burning sensation when urinating
• Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
• Urine that appears cloudy
• Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored a sign of blood in the urine
• Strong-smelling urine
• Pelvic pain, in women
• Rectal pain, in men
Causes Of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.
The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
• Infection of the bladder (cystitis). This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don't have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are at risk of cystitis because of their anatomy specifically, the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.
• Infection of the urethra (urethritis). This type of UTI can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Also, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia, can cause urethritis.
While both men and women suffer from UTI, women are more prone to suffer from it. Immediate treatment is necessary or else it can cause damage to the kidneys. There are many natural treatments that can be used to prevent and treat UTIs.
Prevention For Urinary Tract Infections
• Drink lots of water every day.
• Urinate often. Do not try to hold it.
• If you are a woman, urinate right after having sex.
• Postmenopausal women may want to ask their doctors about using vaginal estrogen to prevent recurrent UTIs.
Here are top 10 home remedies for Urinary Tract Infection.
1. Baking Soda: At the first sign of having Urinary Tract Infection, you need to prevent it from spreading with the help of baking soda. Add one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water and drink it once or twice in a day. The baking soda will raise the acid-base balance of the acidic urine and will give you relief from the pain. Once the acidity in the urine is neutralized, it will help in fast recovery. In fact, people who consume one teaspoon of baking soda added to a glass of water can never suffer from this kind of infection.
2. Blueberries: Blueberries have got bacteria-inhibiting properties that can help a lot in the treatment of Urinary Tract Infection. You can add some fresh blueberries in your favorite cereal and have it for breakfast. Else you can make your own fresh blueberry juice and have it daily in the morning and night for quick results. You must not add any artificial sweetener to this juice. The antioxidant present in blueberries is good for the immune system and it restricts and prevents growth of bacteria that causes UTI. In fact, including fresh blueberries juice in your daily diet is a good way to keep away from Urinary Tract Infection.
3. Cranberry Juice: Regularly drinking cranberry juice is one of the easiest ways to avoid urinary tract infections. Drinking half glass of cranberry juice daily will keep your bladder infection free. Those suffering from Urinary Tract Infection must drink at least three to four glasses of cranberry juice in a day to prevent the infection from causing any kind of damage to the kidneys. There are certain compounds like proanthocyanidins found in cranberries which prevent the bacteria from reaching the walls of the urethra that cause UTIs. At the same time cranberry juice has a very mild antibiotic affect. You must drink the unsweetened cranberry juice, or else you can mix it with apple juice to enhance the taste.
4. Pineapple: Pineapple contains an enzyme called Bromelain which has got anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce UTI symptoms. When a cupful of pineapple is consumed on regular basis it can help cure the urinary tract infection. In case you do not like the taste of this fruit, you can make juice of half pineapple and then drink it. Along with the pineapple you must also take the antibiotics prescribed by your doctor to quickly get rid of this kind infection. It is recommended by experts to eat fresh pineapple instead of the canned ones as they contain preservatives.
5. Water: If suffering from urinary tract infection, the very first thing that you need to do is drink plenty of water. Try to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water in a day. When you drink more water you will urinate more which is very essential while dealing with this kind of infection. By drinking lots of water, your urine will become less concentrated and the infection-causing bacteria will get flush out from your system and soon you will recover. Along with water, you can also drink fruit and vegetable juices in order to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it requires to fight off the infection.
6. Hot Water Compresses: For getting relief from urinary tract infection, you can also try hot water compresses. Take some hot water and pour it into a water bottle. Now place the hot water bottle on your lower abdomen for a few minutes. When done regularly it will help to minimize the bladder pressure and give you relief from any kind of pain caused by the infection. A hot compress will decrease the inflammation and also help to prevent the spread of the infection. Instead of hot water bottle you can also place a heating pad on the lower abdominal area to get relief from the pain.
7. Vitamin C: You must increase your regular intake of Vitamin C enriched food items when suffering from urinary tract infection. Vitamin C keeps the bladder healthy by acidifying the urine and restricting the growth of bacteria. Include fruits such as lemon and orange, banana, guava, kiwifruit, melon, pineapple, raspberry, tomato, papaya and watermelon in your diet as they contain a good amount of Vitamin C. To get the required dose of vitamin C, you can also take vitamin C supplements after consulting your doctor.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a rich source of enzymes and potassium and other useful minerals that can prevent the bacteria that cause UTIs from multiplying or growing. Those suffering from UTI can use apple cider vinegar as a natural antibiotic to treat the infection. To get rid of your urinary tract infection, add two to here teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water, add one teaspoon of honey and mix it properly. It is recommenced by experts to drink this mixture at least three times a day to get faster results.
9. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil has got antibacterial properties and so it can be used to fight against the bacteria that cause bladder infections such as urinary tract infection. Tea tree oil cannot be taken orally, so you can mix ten drops of tea tree oil to your bath water and then use this water as a wash for the urethra opening. Alternatively, you can mix tea tree oil with equal amount of juniper oil and sandalwood oil and use this mixture to rub on the abdominal region and on the area near the bladder. This is a very effective way to get rid of the pain associated with urinary tract infection. Follow this remedy once daily for three to four days to get positive results.
10. Uva Ursi: Uva ursi is an herb that contains a number of substances which help fight infections including UTI. This herb contains several chemicals with antiseptic properties that help in treating urinary tract infection. This herb is easily available at drugstores in supplement forms. When this supplement is taken, the antiseptic quality of this herb kills the bacteria and also gently stimulates urination. People with kidney or liver disease or pregnant or nursing women or children should not take Uva ursi.
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