I use to suffer frequently from urinary tract infections and if you have ever experienced one yourself, you will understand that the burning sensation of a UTI is uncomfortable and painful. If a UTI is not treated correctly, it can lead to more serious conditions; trust me I have spent a decent amount of time in the emergency room to have experienced this firsthand.
After experiencing one painful urinary tract infection after the other, I quickly found out through the years how to treat them naturally and quickly. That is why I am here, to help you get through these horrible infections! In this article, I will guide you on how to treat a urinary tract infection – fast and effectively.
Step away from the medication, we got you!
What Is a UTI?
UTI stands for urinary tract infection. It is an infection that can occur in any part of the urinary tract such as the kidneys, ureters, and most commonly the bladder and urethra which are part of your lower urinary tract.
The infection is typically caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder, which is why most UTI’s are commonly called a bladder infection. For the most part, our body is designed to get rid of the tiny bacteria that enter into the bladder, but sometimes our defenses are low, allowing the bacteria to grow. Overconsumption of sugar, the use of antibiotics, and a lowered immune system are some of the causes behind a weak defense system.
UTI’s are most common in women because of their anatomy. Women have a shorter urethra than men do, which means the distance the bacteria must travel to reach the bladder is shorter for women than for men. That being said, it is not completely uncommon for a man to experience a urinary tract infection too.
Signs and symptoms don’t always show, but when they do (and you will definitely feel it when they do) they can include the following:
● A strong urge to urinate frequently, passing small amounts of urine at a time
● A painful burning sensation when urinating
● Urine that appears cloudy instead of clear
● Strong smelling urine that has an unusual smell
● Any red or pink color in the urine which indicates a sign of blood in the urine
● Pelvic pain in women, especially in the center of the pelvis around the pubic bone
If the bacteria spread to the kidneys, it can cause a kidney infection. You will need to seek medical assistance immediately. Symptoms of a kidney infection include high fevers and chills, kidney pain in the upper back and side flank, nausea, and vomiting.
Natural UTI Remedies
We always recommend trying natural remedies before seeking pharmaceutical treatment, however, if you are in a lot of pain, have fevers, or have blood in your urine, we encourage you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Most common UTI’s are, however, fully treatable using natural home remedies, especially if they are caught early. If you do not see any improvement after a week of natural treatment or you have a recurring infection, visit your family doctor for medical advice.
The following remedies are safe for pregnant women, but when it comes to herbal remedies, always consult your doctor first.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
One of the most effective and simple treatments for a urinary tract infection is to drink a lot of water. Filtered water helps to flush out toxins and minimize bacteria growth. It is also very effective for preventing the infection from recurring. Studies have shown that people who drink more than 1.5l of water per day have reduced symptoms and a lower risk of developing a UTI.
Increase Your Probiotics
Since a UTI is caused by “bad” bacteria, it makes sense to increase your “good” bacteria to help fight the bad ones. Taking a good probiotic supplement that contains lactobacillus can assist in clearing up your UTI. You should continue taking your probiotic as maintenance for a while after the symptoms have subsided to ensure it doesn’t recur.
Naturally occurring probiotics can be found in plain Greek yoghurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and pickles contain. These foods contain “good” bacteria that can help fight against the “bad” bacteria that cause UTIs.
Adjust Your Diet
The foods that you eat affect your health on an everyday basis. After all, you are what you eat! If you are suffering from a UTI you may want to consider adjusting your diet so that you aren’t feeding the bacteria or further irritating your bladder.
Foods to stay away from:
- Citrus fruits
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Tomato-based and spicy foods.
Food that you should include more of in your diet that won’t irritate your bladder and will provide good nutrients to your body are:
- Winter squash
- Green beans
- Lean proteins
- Whole grains
According to a recent study, following a plant-based diet may lower the risk of developing a UTI. This may be due to the strong antibacterial effect of antioxidants which are found abundantly in a plant-based diet. Processed foods have fewer antioxidants and nutrients that can increase the levels of free radicals which can lead to inflammation and illness.
As strange as it may sound, the clothing that you wear can either assist or worsen your UTI symptoms. You should wear breathable clothing (like cotton underwear) that is loose-fitting. Underwear should always be breathable to prevent moisture from forming in the pelvic area.
A UTI can cause pain in the pelvic area. Applying a heating pad for short periods of time can help with soothing the pain temporarily. Always be safe when using a heating pad, never apply it straight to the skin, and only use it for short periods of time.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
These are age-old, at-home remedies for treating bladder infections. Baking soda is alkaline in nature and helps to neutralize the acid in your bladder, allowing it to heal. This should be used temporarily and with caution. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that can help kill the UTI bacteria. You can drink 1 tablespoon of baking soda diluted in some water or take an apple cider vinegar bath to help destroy the bacteria.
Honey and Cinnamon
This is my personal go-to remedy as soon as I start using the bathroom far too often and when that dreaded burning sensation kicks in. Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and half a teaspoon of raw honey in a glass of lukewarm water.
Honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and a wide range of excellent health benefits to offer.
Herbs and Natural Supplements
Vitamin C and Cranberry
Vitamin C combined with Cranberry has proven to limit the growth of bacteria by acidifying the urine and boosting antioxidants while Cranberry prevents the bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract wall. Add 1000mg of vitamin C to your daily supplement routine and increase your intake of naturally occurring vitamin C foods such as strawberries, kiwi fruits, peppers, and guavas. Cranberry can be taken in supplement form or as a juice. Be sure to buy pure cranberry juice that has no added sugars or preservatives.
This is a type of simple sugar that is commonly used to treat UTI’s. It is a naturally occurring sugar in foods such as cranberries, apples, and oranges and is available in a supplement form. It is believed that this sugar inhibits the ability of certain bacteria from attaching to the cells of the urinary tract, allowing them to be flushed out. Research shows that you can safely consume 1.5g – 2g of D-Mannose 3 times a day until symptoms subside.
Uva Ursi – Bearberry Leaf
This is a folk remedy that has been used for treating UTI’s for centuries. The leaves of this wild plant are dried and used in capsules or can be steeped as a loose-leaf tea. Arbutin is the main compound found in the leaf that has UTI healing properties. It has a strong antibacterial effect on E.Coli which is the most common bacteria that causes UTIs. It is relatively safe to consume 200-800mg of this herb but it should not be taken for more than 1-2 weeks at a time.
Essential oils have been used for many centuries to treat and heal a variety of health conditions. Oregano oil has potent antibacterial properties and is highly effective at killing E.Coli. Lemongrass, clove, and thyme essential oils are also all good for treating UTI infections. These can be diffused, rubbed on your spine, under the feet, and over the affected area in a carrier oil (generally 2 drops per teaspoon of carrier oil is good) and taken internally in a capsule can help rid you of that UTI. Always choose the highest therapeutic grade, pure essential oil when using it in a capsule.
If you are looking for good quality, natural Oregano oil supplements follow the link below
Althaea Officinalis is the name not to be confused with the sugary treat that people eat around a campfire. Marshmallow root comes from a plant native to Africa and parts of Europe and has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. The root of this plant has been proven to effectively treat UTIs by naturally killing the bacteria and increases the secretion of urine which helps to flush the bacteria out. It is also said that it helps to speed up the healing process. Experts recommend that you consume marshmallow root separate from other medications (at least 1-2 hours before) and up to 6g daily in the form of a powder, capsule, or tea.
Once you get a UTI you are more than likely susceptible to getting it again (I know, you definitely did not want to hear this). To prevent a recurring urinary tract infection, follow these simple guidelines:
● Drink enough water each day to flush out toxins and bacteria
● Drink Cranberry juice or supplements if you are prone to UTI’s
● Women should always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from spreading
● Consider changing your birth control, speak to your doctor about options
● Empty the bladder after intercourse, this is effective at preventing bacteria from spreading and growing
● Avoid irritating feminine hygiene products, try to choose more natural options without synthetic fragrances and chemicals
● Eat a healthy diet reducing sugar and processed food intake
A Bathroom Break
If you are pregnant, an untreated UTI can cause complications in your pregnancy and can cause premature birth and low birth weight. Sepsis is another condition that can also occur if the UTI is left untreated. Sepsis is life-threatening, especially if the infection works its way into your kidneys.
At the initial onset of symptoms, start treating the urinary tract infection immediately to prevent the progression of the condition. Immediate treatment with our suggested natural remedies above will help limit those burning bathroom visits!
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Until Next Time