Urinary tract infection (UTI) UTI is the blanket term for both lower and upper urinary tract infections but the common UTI that is referred to here is the lower urinary tract infection that involves the bladder.
UTIs are generally caused by the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli) that is usually found in the digestive tract.
This bacteria can also make its way to the urinary tract through our poo which is why it is important to wipe from front to back and not vice versa.
UTI infection is more common in women than in men because women have shorter urethras so, the bacteria has a shorter distance to travel.
The following are the major symptoms of a UTI:
- Pain or tenderness on the lower stomach, back or sides
- Pain while urinating
- Frequent urge to urinate or frequent urinating
- A cloudy, bloody or smelly urine
- Feeling like your bladder is still full after urinating
- Fatigue, vomiting and weakness etc.
UTI is often mistaken for yeast infection and vice versa. If you think your symptoms don’t tally with the above, you probably have a yeast infection. Here is a post that I wrote on natural remedies for yeast infection.
I have included all that you need to get rid of it in less than a week. You will find it useful.
Back to UTIs, one of the important practices for prevention is to keep to the practice of wiping and washing from the front to the back while on the toilet seat. Also, do not use the same tissue or wipe on different private areas.
Hygiene is also an important factor in the occurrence and re-occurrence of UTI. It is important that we maintain good hygiene especially for such a sensitive and vital area.
Things that increase your chances of Getting a uTI
- Being a woman
- Bubble baths with soaps that contain chemicals. Natural soaps are best. This is esocially a commmon cause for UTI in little children
- Not emptying your bladder frequently/holding onto your pee
- For women, inserting anything into the private area
- Men with prostate health issues
- Poor hydration
When to visit the doctor
When your symptoms continue for more than 4 days and you are seeing blood in your urine, having fever, having reoccurring UTIs (more than 4 infections in a year), etc. It is time to see a doctor.
In severe cases when the bacteria have traveled through the urinary tract and have reached the kidney, you need to contact a doctor immediately.
Home remedies will not do it for you. You need swift and careful action to save your kidney.
According to doctors, about 30% of UTIs will resolve themselves within 3-4 days without medication but many of us will need an antibiotic to clear the infection.
Antibiotics usually clear the infection within 2-3 days but this might not be the option some would want because there has been much evidence on the negative impact of pharmaceutical antibiotics in our body.
All hope is not lost yet, there are natural and home remedies that you can use to alleviate symptoms and even clear the infection naturally.
Home and natural remedies for your urinary tract infection include:
Water is the source is life and is known to help with many health conditions and balance the body.
When the body is dealing with a UTI, it helps to stay hydrated. It can be uncomfortable to pee but it is important that we drink much water to help clean the kidney and other organs that can flush out the infection from the urinary tract.
If you know your daily water intake is not adequate, it is time to get it right and drink more water throughout the day.
If you are taking an adequate amount of water then increase it to a comfortable quantity. Flushing out the infection through constant water intake is one of the easiest methods to get rid of UTI quickly
Studies have shown that increasing water intake reduced the bacteria in the urine and frequent urination means the bacteria will stay in your body for a shorter time and causing less harm.
You should include fruits with high water content such as watermelon as part of your hydration because it contains important vitamins and minerals that will help your infection.
Baking soda/salt/Apple Vinegar sitz bath
Baking soda is commonly used to treat fungal infections, skin problems, etc. at home. In industries, it is added to toothpaste, cosmetic products, cleaning agents, etc.
Here, baking soda is used for UTIs because it can help in healing and removing the germs and bacteria of the private area on the outside while water and other remedies do the cleaning on the inside.
It is advised to add about 3 tablespoons of baking soda/salt to a big bowl of very warm water that you can sit inside comfortably for a sitz bath.
Soak for about 20-30 minutes or 10-15 minutes for children then get up and rinse the solution from your body. Do this not more than twice a day until you get better.
Be sure that you do not have any allergy to baking soda before using this remedy. Do a skin patch test by using baking soda on the inside of your arm and leave it for 30-40 minutes before rinsing it.
If all is well, then please proceed if not, simply use salt/apple vinegar instead for the sitz bath in a good proportion that doesn’t irritate your skin.
This bath is especially good for UTI symptom relief.
You might find vitamin C helpful because it is said to change the PH of the urine making it difficult for bacteria to survive or thrive.
It also strengthens the body’s immune system which fights against all infections and diseases.
Try it and let me know in the comments below if it worked for you or not.
You can take vitamin C supplements or try eating foods that have high vitamin C content. It is up to you.
Cranberry juice is commonly mentioned when discussing natural remedies for UTI. It is an old remedy and there are some studies that prove its effectiveness.
The only catch is that you need to take a lot of fresh cranberry juice for it to be effective. Like 2-4 mug-fulls in a day.
Science shows that this remedy works well because it prevents the bacteria from attaching itself to cells in the urinary tract. This makes it easy to be flushed out of the body when we pee.
It also contains antioxidants that have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
The cranberry juice referred to here is the freshly juiced cranberry juice or unsweetened cranberry juice with no additives. None of that packed juice stuff.
Many of the people that say cranberry doesn’t work either used a packed cranberry juice that contains sugar and other additives or they did not take enough of the juice for it to be effective.
Garlic is a known remedy that has prominent antibiotic properties. It is very good in treating infections, boosting immunity, and clearing the airways
This is very helpful for UTI especially because we don’t want to take pharmaceutical antibiotics unless necessary. This natural alternative does the job most of the time
How to use:
- Chop 2-3 pieces of raw garlic to small bits
- Allow them to sit for allow 10-15 minutes to activate its important compounds
- Swallow the garlic bits with water preferably and don’t chew. You need it in your digestive tract not between the teeth
- Reapeat twice in a day. In the morning and evening
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that have numerous health benefits especially to gut health.
A good probiotic is necessary in such cases where there is a need to boost the population of good bacteria in the gut.
A good example of an easily available probiotic is greek yoghurt. You need to take greek yoghurt and not other flavored yoghurts.
Taking a yoghurt with sugar and other additives can even worsen your UTI because it will support the multiplication of bad bacteria with its high sugar and other additives.
How to use:
- Take the greek yoghurt out of the fridge to allow it to cool to room tempreture
- Take a cup or more of the youghurt 1 hour before breakfast and another cup in the evening about 2 hours before meals and 2 hours after eating.
- Repeat for 3-5 days
This supplement is a type of sugar that is found in fruits like cranberries. Many have testified to its effectiveness in treating UTIs in both adults and children
It works by making it easy for the body to flush away the bacteria similar to cranberry juice.
The good thing is that this works fast and almost immediately because the d-mannose is concentrated unlike what you will get from cranberry juice which contains more than D-mannose
How to use:
Use as directed in the product pack.
Important Practices for faster relief:
Stop holding back your pee
Holding yourself back from peeing is a total no-no even though it might be painful to pee at the moment. The longer you hold onto that pee, the more likely the bacteria will multiply.
Remember peeing flushes out your body’s toxins which might include the bacteria growing in your urinary tract.
When you drink enough water and stay hydrated, it helps you flush out the bacteria more frequently until is completely cleaned from the body.
Fix your diet
To lessen your pain and suffering, remember to eat more plain and wholesome foods.
Spicy foods, sweet foods, sodas, alcohol, packed foods, coffee, etc. may irritate the bladder and you don’t want that while trying to get rid of UTI because it can make healing more difficult
This is why diabetic patients are very prone to having reoccurring UTI because of the high sugar in their body
Instead, eat potatoes, green vegetables, eggs, bananas, pears, and some bread. These plainer foods can really help your discomfort and the infection itself.
Maintain good hygiene
Our private areas are hidden sensitive places which makes them prone to being easily infected as they tend to be moist often.
Not only do we need to keep or under areas cleans and dry as much, we should also wear loose, airy clothes and not much underwear if possible especially if you are at home.
Avoid feminine hygiene products
If you are a woman, then you will need to stop using any kind of soap, feminine hygiene products, washes etc. that are used by many women.
It is best if you can stop using them forever but if you can’t, you need to stop using them during this period of infection.
This is because they tend to contain chemicals that introduce bacteria into the private area or disrupts the balance in that area.
One should also stop using anything the requires to be inserted into the private area such as menstrual cups, diva cups, diaphragms, vaginal sponges, etc. during this period
Limit/Avoid antibiotic use
Antibiotics often cause as much harm as they are helpful just like in the case of a UTI. I know it is not always possible to avoid taking an antibiotic because it can be necessary for a UTI sometimes.
What I am saying is that you need to make it your last option. Try natural remedies first. They work and you will probably find the remedy that works for you.
Taking antibiotics for a UTI can increase your frequency of developing a UTI because antibiotics tend to cause diarrhea which introduces more bacteria into the urinary tract.
The bacteria over time become resistant to antibiotics with frequent use. This is one of the major problems that the medical field is facing.
Antibiotics tend to destroy both the good bacteria that will help you get well, making you more prone to getting infected again, and the bad bacteria that is causing the infection.
Alternatives to antibiotics are garlic and a probiotic like greek yoghurt. Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Use them as described above.
When you have no other choice but to take an antibiotic for your UTI, remember to supplement your intake with yoghurt to help support good bacteria as the antibiotic is killing it.
Other tips include:
- Wear loose and airy clothing and when you are at home, you should do without your underwear. Keeping your under areas dry and well ventilated is very important
- Pee after intercourse and wash with water
- Avoid any remedy that asks you to put anything inside your private area such as garlic (when raw garlic is known to burn the skin). That is very dangerous. You should never do that
UTI treatment plan for quick relief
For a quick solution to your UTI, you will need to use a combination of the above remedies while keeping to all the tips mentioned in your lifestyle.
For a long-term solution to UTIs especially for those that are constantly getting this infection, you will need to keep to most of these tips for life. Below are how you use these remedies for best results:
- First of all, increase your water intake throughout the day
- Take your garlic and vitamin C not less than an hour apart
- You can choose between taking D-mannose, cranebeery juice or a probiotic but not all three.
- Do a sitz bath as described above twice in a day
- Repeat for 3-5 days or until you feel well again but not more than 5 days
- If after 5 days there are still no improvements, you need to go to the doctor
You might do all of these and the UTI is showing no sign of improving after a week, it keeps coming back, symptoms are getting severe, etc. These are signs that this is not a simple or normal UTI. You will need to make an appointment with a doctor.
Further testing with medical knowledge might be able to diagnose it properly and treat it more effectively.
Some people come to the crazy conclusion of using almost hazardous products such as detol, bleach, etc. on their under areas for this infection.
This is very wrong and dangerous, You will be upsetting the PH balance of the area and can even worsen your condition. Try any of the recommended remedies. They are safe and effective.
I hope these remedies help you with your infection and your general health. Don’t forget about the little habits that you need to maintain such as good hygiene, wiping and cleaning from front to back, wearing loose and airy clothes and underwear, etc.
Please try not to wear tight clothes or underwear while you are infected. These practices with the remedies in most cases will make the infection to be gone for good quickly.
Thank you for your time and subscribe if you like this post and would like to be notified of the upcoming articles on how to fix your health troubles easily.
Let me know in the comments below if there are any tips and tricks, foods, etc. that have helped you with your UTI.
Bye for now!