A Urinary Tract Infection (Urinary Tract Infection) is a condition in which the urinary system is infected. Urinary Tract Infection can be in the urethra, the uterus, the kidneys and the bladder. In most cases, the infection occurs in the lower urinary tract which includes the urethra and the bladder. According to experts, a woman’s risk of getting infected with Urinary Tract Infection is 1 in 2 in her lifetime. Plus, the infection could also revisit you. This is because women have smaller urethras. This allows the bacteria a short and quick access to your bladder. Truth be told, Urinary Tract Infection can also be caused by sex.
Doctors sometimes recommend that after we use a public toilet, it is always important to wipe from front to back. This is because the urethra which passes the urine out of the body is located near the anus. Bacteria like E. coli sit in the perfect position to travel from the anus to the urethra. From there, it can escape to your bladder. If this infection remains untreated until then, it can spread to the kidneys as well.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
One in every five women is diagnosed with Urinary Tract Infection for the second time while some patients have the infection on and off. There are certain strains of bacteria which can form a community at the body’s cellular level. These cannot be easily cured by the body’s immune system or even with antibiotics. These types of bacterial infections affect the patient again and again.
Often, genetics plays a key role as heredity can make one more prone to UTI. Others who might have a structural abnormality in their urinary tract are also more prone to Urinary Tract Infection. Also, are prone diabetic women as their weakened immunity becomes an easier ground for such bacterial infections. Pregnancy, multiple sclerosis, kidney stones, spinal injuries, and stroke are other such conditions which can invite Urinary Tract Infection.
Signs and Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection
The symptoms of UTI are much the same whether it affects a man, woman or a child. You can easily recognize the early symptoms and signs. Primarily, patients experience a discomfort or a burning sensation when they urinate. It is also most commonly accompanied by pain. One gets the urge to urinate now and then, and the urge is often so much that it becomes difficult to hold. However, even with this urinary urgency, you may only urinate very little.
When you suffer from UTI, the urine is usually colored; sometimes it may appear bloody or may be cloudy in appearance. Usually, the urine also has a strong smell. When the infection affects men, they feel pain in their rectum. In the case of women, the pain is mostly localized around their pubic bone. Some severe cases of UTI may also have symptoms like severe weakness, shivers and chills, nausea and vomiting.
In certain cases, though, people might develop the infections of urinary tract even without any of the symptoms mentioned above. It applies in the case of infants. They may display non-specific signs and symptoms like fever, poor appetite, and fussiness. In the case of adults when there is a lack of symptoms, diagnosis becomes more difficult. Fever is not very common if the infection is localized in the lower urinary tract. However, if the infection spreads to the bloodstream or the kidney, one will most likely have a fever.
Urinary Tract Infection occurs when some bacteria infect the otherwise sterile environment of the urinary tract. 90% of these infections are caused by Escherichia coli better known in its abbreviated form as E. coli. These bacteria thrive in the colon region and, inhabit the area around the anus. It can also pass on to the region around the urethra. In rare cases, UTI is caused by other bacteria.
How do Home Remedies Work?
There are a few properties the natural sources have which make them a potent remedy for treating conditions like Urinary Tract Infection. The anti-microbial nature of the remedy helps in cleaning out the bacteria which has caused the infection. There are certain naturally occurring substances or parts of herbs, plants or trees which have diuretic properties. The diuretic action causes the expulsion of excess fluid from the kidneys through urine, flushing out the bacteria in the process. These powerful remedies also have anti-inflammatory properties, which lessens the inflammation and irritation of the urethral lining. Thus, we gradually feel the pain and burning sensation decreasing as you go on using these natural remedies. UTI is also associated with painful cramps and spasms. This can be relieved by the anti-spasmodic properties of these homemade remedies.
Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection
Doctors prescribe antibiotics for treating the condition. If you have already experienced or in the process of going through this troubling infection, read on to know how you can make the symptoms ease off gradually using some time proven homemade remedies.
While this may not seem like a remedy, after all, the truth is in the case of Urinary Tract Infection, water is the best healer. It will help you flush the bacteria out of your system. As you drink more and more water throughout the day, you will have more frequent urges to urinate. Relieve yourself as and when you get an urge and this way gradually your body will recover from the infection as it washes away with the urine. However, make sure you drink safe, filtered water free from any contamination.
By soda water, we don’t mean a carbonated beverage loaded with sugar. Baking soda is the soda we are talking about here. Baking soda is very effective in treating various disorders right from heartburn to Urinary Tract Infection. The alkaline nature of baking soda helps in lessening or neutralizing the high acidic content of the urine. Often, women with this condition would resist the urge to urinate because of the burning sensation it causes. With baking soda, this problem can be relieved.
Take a glass of fresh water measuring around 8 ounces. To it, stir in a teaspoon of baking soda. Drink this soda water first thing in the morning. However, it is not advisable to follow this remedy for more than a week, especially if you are on a low sodium diet for health reasons.
Parsley water can be a very relaxing drink to soothe the irritation caused by UTI. Ideally taken as an after-dinner drink, this medicinal water is very effective in relieving Urinary Tract Infection. Being a natural diuretic, it also speeds up your healing. Parsley water acts by increasing the content of sodium the kidneys release during urination. The sodium excretes along with water, and this gradually lessens the pressure of the fluid in the arteries. While this concept is used to treat high blood pressure, for Urinary Tract Infection, the main concern is to cause more urination. This is will automatically flush out the bacteria, and you will be relieved of any further discomfort.
Parsley inhibits the sodium-potassium pump and controls the reabsorption of potassium. This causes the levels of sodium to rise in the kidneys. The kidney, on the other hand, excretes the excess sodium through the urine. More concentration of sodium means more waters, and this increases the urge to urinate more.
You can use dried or fresh parsley for this remedy. Use a cup of the herb if using fresh. In the case of dried parsley, a couple of tablespoons will suffice. Bring about 2 cups of water to boil and simmer the parsley in it, allowing it to infuse for about 10minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it hot or cold.
Seeds of Celery
Celery seeds contain oil whose main component is butylphthalide. This property makes the seeds a natural diuretic. You can either soak the seeds of celery in water for refreshing, healing drink. Alternately, you can chew a handful of these medicinal seeds. In either way, it is going to help you by increasing the production of urine to get you relief from the infection of your urinary tract.
To make a relaxing tea with celery seeds, simmer a tablespoonful of the seeds in water. Let it infuse for around 10 minutes. Drink it hot or cold. Alternately, you can snack on these beneficial seeds once or twice every day. It is best to take the seeds right after you finish your meal to aid you with digestion as well. Doing this daily can prevent further UTI.
The high-water content of cucumber makes it yet another excellent natural remedy to cure Urinary Tract Infection. Eating cucumber adds more fluid to your system. If you find it difficult to gulp down more water, eating cucumber is one the best ways to add extra fluid to your body. Simply get a fresh, green cucumber, slice it and munch on it during any part of the day, before or after a meal as you please.
Cranberry juice can be helpful for you if you are suffering from UTI. Although there is still some debate about this remedy, there are many who swear by its effectiveness in lessening the infection and easing the symptoms. The common belief is that the bacterium which causes Urinary Tract Infection clings onto the urethral lining using its hairy appendages. The acidic compounds in the cranberry juice may make it difficult for the bacteria to adhere to the surface of the urethra. This will also reduce their chance of multiplying further and spread the infection.
However, as stated above this remedy is still debatable, and according to some, it is most effective in women who have had the infection before. Moreover, you are required to take quite a decent amount of the juice for effective results. In some studies, a few people were also seen to experience stomachache. However, in case the remedy works for you, it is worth trying. It is also important to get a real cranberry juice free from sugar. To ease the symptoms and cure the infection completely, you will need to drink 8 ounces of the juice thrice every day.
Blueberries belong to the same genus as the cranberries and may be equally effective in treating Urinary Tract Infection like its red counterpart. You can consume whole blueberries to reap its benefits. It is recommended to get fresh, organic blueberries for the best health value. Just rinse the berries well before snacking on them. You can eat them for breakfast or as a light later afternoon snack. Eat 1 to 2 cups of fresh blueberries every day to ease the symptoms of UTI.
This spicy and pungent vegetable from the cabbage family is a known remedy for Urinary Tract Infection. Horseradish contains a compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which has pronounced anti-microbial properties. This means that this compound can kill the bacteria causing the infection. This, it does by breaking the cell membrane of the bacteria which kills it promptly. You can start by taking a half teaspoon once every day. If you can adjust to the spiciness, half a teaspoon of fresh horseradish root is recommended to be taken twice every day. Grate the horseradish fresh and take it daily. However, if you feel you are rather getting an upset stomach, stop immediately. If the hotness of the root is bringing out all your sweat, follow up with a glass of milk or water.
Things to Avoid
Just like there are things to eat to ease the discomforts of Urinary Tract Infection and to heal the condition, there are certain foods to avoid helping you heal better. To begin with, avoid all citrus fruits when you are down with an infection in the urinary tract. There is a debate that the acidity of these fruits can make urinating more painful for you. However, some people have also found them to be to the contrary. Also, no carbonated drinks at this stage! Unfortunately, this one time you may also have to forget about the various other goodness of chocolate to keep your tract from getting irritated further. If you are in caffeine, it is best avoided when you have an infection in the urinary tract. This is because; all these food items are considered potential irritants to the bladder lining. This will only make the environment more favorable for bacteria to adhere and worsen your condition.