Do you suffer from symptoms like frequent urination, pain while urinating, and dark and foul smelling urine? These are common symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections(UTIs) and studies show that women stand a higher risk of contracting UTIs; actually, 1 in 2 women might be infected at least once in their lifetime.
Causes and Symptoms of UTIs
UTIs are caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Our bodies are equipped to keep out unwanted microorganisms but there are instances when the defense system can be down and cause infections like UTIs.
UTIs are categorized into three types:
- Cystitis: Caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacteria found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The risk of contracting it is higher in women because of the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.
- Urethritis: Caused because of the spread of GI bacteria from the anus to the urethra. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) can also cause UTIs.
- Acute pyelonephritis: Infection of the kidneys, characterized by high fever, pain in the upper back, and nausea.
The most common symptoms of UTIs include:
- Burning feeling while urinating
- Urge to urinate, frequently
- Pain in lower back or abdomen
- Fever and chills
- Cloudy, dark colored, and foul-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain
UTIs are most commonly treated with a dose of antibiotics like:
Tips and Home Remedies for Dealing with UTIs
While some doctors may prescribe low-dose antibiotics for long-term use, it might also help to follow precautionary steps at home. Here are some tips and home remedies for preventing and dealing with UTIs.
- Wipe from the front to back after using the bathroom
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Empty the bladder, frequently and completely
- Avoid female hygiene sprays and scented bath products
- Keep the genital area clean before and after sex
- Urinate after sex to remove any bacteria
- Wear cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes
Home Remedies for UTIs
- Drink lots of water: Increased consumption of water promotes regular urination, which can help flush out bacteria from the urinary tract.
- Drink unsweetened cranberry juice: Unsweetened cranberry juice is known to prevent bacteria from staying in the urinary tract.
- Include probiotics: Probiotics are healthy microorganisms known to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
- Take more Vitamin C: Vitamin C may be able to increase acidity in the urine, thus destroying the bacteria in it.
- Try these natural remedies: Bearberry leaves, cranberry and garlic extracts, and D-mannose could help promote the health of the urinary tract, thus reducing chances of infections.
- Avoid fluids that irritate the bladder: Avoid coffee, drinks with caffeine or citrus juices, and alcohol at least until the infection is cleared.
It is proven that UTIs are a very common occurrence, so the next time you feel one or more of its symptoms, make sure you get it checked out immediately and take the recommended steps for getting your urinary tract health back on track.
6 Home Remedies for UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/uti-home-remedies#section7
Your Guide to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/your-guide-urinary-tract-infections#3
Urinary tract infection (UTI). (2017, August 25). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353453