Did you know that contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI) is the number two reason that Americans go to the doctor? One in five women will develop at least one UTI within her lifetime and, although less common, many men are likely to suffer from one as well.
The cause of a urinary tract infection is bacteria build-up in the opening of the urethra that spreads to the urinary tract. If you’re wondering if you’ve ever had a UTI, the symptoms are hard to miss. It starts with a frequent urge to urinate, but only a small amount is able to pass. Many people feel tired, shaky and may develop a fever while they have the infection.
If left untreated, the bacteria could spread to the kidneys causing a more serious infection. Doctors usually stop the infection in its tracks before it gets to the kidneys with a quick prescription of antibiotics. However, there are a few tricks and tips you can try at home that will help prevent the development of a UTI. Of course we’ve all heard that cranberry juice can help keep the urinary tract healthy at the first sign of a UTI, but you may be surprised by some of the other home remedies!
If you feel a UTI coming on, try nipping it in the bud with baking soda. Just mix some into water and drink it. The baking soda naturalizes the acidity in your urine and can help pass the infection.
It’s been proven that cranberry juice has a mild antibiotic effect and can help you keep your bladder infection free. If you are prone to UTIs, try drinking a small amount everyday. If you are experiencing a UTI right now, increase your cranberry juice intake to about 3 or 4 glasses per day to help flush the infection out of your bladder.
These little berries are in the same family as cranberries and one study has shown that they may have the same healing properties. Try eating as many blueberries as you can – sprinkle them on your oatmeal, blend them up in a smoothie, or just eat them by the handful! An added advantage is that blueberries are a potent superfood with a multitude of other nutrients and health benefits.
This is probably the most important, and easiest way to keep your body UTI-free. If you frequently get UTIs, make sure you are drinking at least 8 ounces of water every hour, meaning you should be urinating every four hours. If you have a UTI now, double or even triple your water intake to dilute your urine and pass the infection.
It is important to remember that a UTI can become a serious health issue if left untreated. If you feel one coming on, you can try these at home remedies. However, if the symptoms are still present after 2 days you should go to the doctor immediately. Natural and home treatments are much more effective at keeping UTIs at bay rather than completely treating a full-blown infection.
Do you experience frequent UTIs? What are some of the at home tricks that you use to help prevent or treat the infection?