Priscilla works in a call center. While taking calls, she sometimes feels the urgency of rushing to the bathroom. She is finding it very difficult, as she has to wait for a call to end. Due to this, she is not able to concentrate on her work. Moreover, she gets severe pain in her abdomen. Doctors told that she is suffering from chronic Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). She had undergone many treatments in the past, but again she ended up with this problem of frequent UTI. She is fed up with this problem and thinking whether there is any way to get out of this?
Let’s get the information about the UTI.
What is Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is an infection in your urinary system which can happen in any part, be it your bladder, urethra and kidneys. Bladder and urethra are two parts which mostly get infected.
What Causes Urinary Tract Infection?
Urine is generally sterile. When the bacteria get into the urine and start to grow, then an infection occurs with the opening of the urethra from where the bacteria enter and move upwards to the urinary tract. If the bacteria reach till the kidneys, then it can infect your kidneys, which is very dangerous. Ninety percent of infections are caused by E.coli bacteria which stay normally around the anus and in the bowel.
People of any age and sex can develop a urinary tract infection, but it is more common in girls and women.
The following factors can cause frequent UTI:
- Poor personal care
- Sexual intercourse
- Problems in emptying the bladder completely
- Having a urinary catheter
- Blocked flow of urine
- Bowel incontinence
- Kidney stones
- Some forms of contraception
- Procedures involving the urinary tract
- Weak immune system
Signs and Symptoms of UTI
To ensure that whether you have UTI or not, take a look at the points that are mentioned below.
- Passing urine frequently.
- A burning sensation when you urinate.
- A strong or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do.
- Acute pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
- Pelvic pain in women.
- Rectal pain in men.
- Urine that appears cloudy, dark, and bloody.
- Strange or strong-smelling urine.
- Fever or chills (a sign of kidney infection).
- Feeling exhausted or lethargic.
Urinary Tract Infection in Women
Women are more prone to develop UTI than men. About 40 % of women have suffered from UTI at some time in their life, where the ratio is much lesser for men. Women are often told to keep their genital area clean, especially after using the toilet. Women have a shorter urethra, which allows bacteria to quickly get in contact with the bladder. Having intercourse can also let the bacteria go into the urinary tract. Therefore, it is very important for women to keep clean their pelvic area.
Urinary Tract Infection in Men
About 12% men have suffered from UTI at some point of time in their life.
There are certain factors which increase the risk of a UTI in men:
- Urinary Tract Problems: Inability to control when you urinate increases your risk for a urinary infection. If you have some surgery done in the past on your urinary tract, then it can increase the chances of developing UTI.
- Blockages: Sometimes due to kidney and bladder stones, there is a blockage in your urinary tract which does not allow urine to flow smoothly.
- Not Being Circumcised: Foreskin of the penis allows germs to get easily into the urine tract.
- Prostate Problems: An infected prostate or an enlarged prostate gland increases your chances of UTI.
- Sexual Intercourse: You will be more prone to infection if your partner is infected. Also, anal sex increases the risk of frequent UTI.
- Weak Immune System: Suppressed or weaker immune system is unable to fight against bacteria which cause UTI. Due to long term illness or diabetes your immune system may become weak.
Home Remedies for Treating Urinary Tract Infections:
To fight the infection in the beginning and to get rid of urinary tract infection, you can use some of the home remedies for UTI that are discussed below.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate works as an antacid. , It has alkaline substance which works against the formation of acid and neutralizes the acid content in your urine. Taking baking soda as a drink will give you relief from the burning sensation.
- Take1 tsp of baking soda and 1 cup of filtered water.
- Mix the baking soda in the water till it melts fully.
- After that, drink the entire glass (take this drink in empty stomach early in the morning).
- Have it twice a day to get rid of UTI.
Note: Do not try this for more than one week.
Parsley water is helpful in getting rid of UTI and boost up the curing process by working as a diuretic. This increases the sodium amount which is excreted in your urine by your kidneys.
Parsley works by stopping sodium and potassium pumping by preventing the sodium level to rise up. Then to level the absorption, kidneys expel more amount of sodium from the passing of urine which means more water. Overall it increases the output of urine which will result in flushing out the bacteria from the urinary tract and will give you relief from the discomfort.
- Take 1 cup of fresh parsley (can also use 2 tsp of dried parsley).
- Boil 2 cups of water and add fresh parsley to it.
- Reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 10 minutes so that the leaves soak the water.
- Drain the leaves out of the water, and then drink the water hot.
- You can also keep this water in the fridge, and drink it as an ice tea.
- If you are using dried parsley, then just put it in a cup of boiling water and close it with a lid, and steep for 10 minutes before draining and drinking.
Marshmallow Root Tea
This herb works excellent for UTI as it contains demulcent, emollient, and diuretic properties which not only soothe the inflammation but also provide nourishment to the tissues of the bladder. It inhibits the growth of bacteria by increasing the acid content of urine. It also stops the blood, if present in the urine. Marshmallow root is also effective in treating kidney stones.
- Place some marshmallow root in a jar to fill ¼ of it.
- Add lukewarm water to fill the jar.
- Cover it with the lid and leave it overnight or at least for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours or in the morning, strain the thick golden yellow or brownish water.
- Drink this tea throughout the day to get comfort from UTI.
- You can also keep the tea in a fridge and can have a cold marshmallow tea.
Marshmallow tea not only soothes the bladder, but also acts as a good remedy for heartburn.
Most of the people like to eat plain slices of cucumbers or some of them like it in salads. This veggie is high in water content which makes the cucumber a natural diuretic. It flushes out the toxins including pus cells from our body. It also helps you to get an extra fluid if you are finding hard in drinking enough water.
Cucumbers are good for your kidneys and bladder as it protects them from infections. It also acts as an alkaline which neutralizes the highly acidic nature of urine and gives you relief from the urinary tract infection.
- You can just eat 1 fresh cucumber or make a cucumber juice.
- Take 1 cucumber and grate it to make 2 tsp of juice.
- Mix 1 tsp of honey and ½ tsp of lemon juice in it.
- Drink this at least 3 times a day to treat UTI
Cranberry contains 80% water and 10% carbohydrates. They contain some amounts of benzoic acids which help in reducing the pH of urine. This fruit also has some anti-adherent properties which prevent bacteria from reaching the walls of the urethra causing UTI. Two compounds, such as fructose and proanthocyanidin in cranberries help the bladder to get rid of the pus cells and E.coli bacteria. Thus, cranberries are very effective in treating UTI.
- Get ¼ glass of unsweetened cranberry juice.
- Add ¾ glass of water to it. If you don’t like the taste of cranberry then you can mix some apple juice instead of water in this drink.
- Drink this juice 3 times a day to get relief from UTI.
Warning: Don’t take this juice if you have kidney stones.
These seeds are also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley. It is not only carminative, but also has some diuretic effects. Coriander seeds contain a volatile oil (linalool oil) which gives these seeds carminative, digestive and antiflatulent properties. Some tests have proven that coriander seeds are useful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. These seeds also give relief from the burning sensation.
- Get 250 gm of dry coriander seeds.
- Sometimes, it is hard to find coriander seeds without peel. So to remove the peel, you need to take help of some heavy kitchen equipment, which will help in breaking the outer shell to get the nuts that are inside the seed.
- After doing this, mix it with 250 gm powdered sugar candy.
- Now, store this mixture in an air-tight container.
- Take 5gm of this mixture with water every morning on an empty stomach.
- Give a gap of 1-2 hours. Don’t eat anything after taking this mixture.
- Take this mixture in the evening also. Repeat it twice a day for a week to get rid of UTI
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains enzymes, potassium and some useful minerals which are good for the immune system. It is a natural antibiotic which prevents the growth of bacteria caused by UTIs. It offers a natural treatment for UTI.
- Take2 tsp of apple cider vinegar and mix with 1 glass of water.
- Add ½ tsp of lemon juice and 1tsp of honey to get a good taste.
- Mix it well, and have this drink, twice a day for one week to treat UTI.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil consists of antibacterial properties which fight the bacteria that cause UTI. It kills the bacteria and quickens the healing process.
Process 1: (To Kill Bacteria)
- Take 10 drops of tea tree oil, and mix it in less than half bucket of water.
- Now, use this to wash your genital area (urethra opening).
Process 2: (To Reduce Pain)
- Mix tea tree oil with equal amounts of sandalwood and juniper oil.
- Use this mixture to rub on your abdominal region or bladder area wherever it is paining.
- This will help to reduce the pain caused by UTI.
- Follow this remedy every day for 3-5 days.
Blueberry is effective like cranberries. It is an antioxidant which strengthens the immune system. It contains bacteria-inhibiting properties, thus treats the UTI effectively.
- Take some blueberries. Rinse it and eat it every day.
- You can also add some fresh blueberries to your cereal of your choice and eat it for the breakfast or as a snack.
- If you like to take it as a juice then make fresh blueberry juice and drink it daily in the morning and evening.
- Don’t add any artificial sweetener or sugar to the juice. Instead, you can mix it with some water or apple juice.
- Add blueberries to your daily diet, as it is a good way of preventing the infections caused by bacteria.
This culinary herb is a natural antibiotic and a diuretic, which cleanses your whole system and not just the bladder. Garlic boosts up the immune system and protects the body against recurring infections by destroying the bacterial growth. It acts as a medicine in treating the UTI. It removes the pus cells from your body.
Process 1: (Chewing Raw Garlic)
- You can eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves every day on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Crush two garlic cloves and chew them in the morning (if you do not like to chew them, then cut the garlic cloves into small pieces and swallow them with water).
- You can use raw garlic in your salads too.
Process 2: Garlic Tea
- Take2-3 cloves of garlic and mash it.
- Pour 1 cup of hot water over it. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Strain it and have up to 3 cups of this garlic tea every day.
Celery seeds work like a diuretic as it contains butylphthalide. Chewing some celery seeds regularly can help to produce more urine. If you want to have some more fluid to flush out the germs, then make celery seed water and drink it.
- Take 1 or 2 cups of celery.
- Now add the seeds to it.
- Close it with the lid and steep for 6-8 minutes.
- Then strain it and drink it.
Horseradish belongs to the cabbage family. Originated from Europe, it is used in salads, sandwiches, burgers dressings.
This plant offers powerful antimicrobial effect, as it contains allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) which is bactericidal, meaning it kills bacteria completely.
- Take ½ tsp fresh horseradish root and grate it with the help of a grater.
- Have 1tsp 2 times in a day.
- If you are finding it difficult because of its spicy taste, then take it with water. Instead of water you can choose milk also.
Note: Stop using this if your stomach is getting upset.
Some of the other remedies like using a heating pad, drinking ginger and cinnamon tea also offer relief from the pain. Try any one or two home remedies to get rid of UTI and abdominal pain.
How to Prevent UTI Re-infection?
Prevention is always necessary so that you will not get an infection again. Go through the following tips which will help you to prevent UTI both in men and women:
- Drink lots of water, minimum 8 glasses a day. It helps in flushing out if any bacterium is growing inside.
- Load up on Vitamin C as it helps in fighting the infections as well as it boosts your immune system.
- Exercise daily for at least 30-40 minutes as it boosts your immune system.
- Pee frequently. It is necessary to empty your bladder regularly.
- Avoid Chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee and carbohydrates. You should avoid these things completely if you are getting UTI frequently as these things can aggravate the bladder lining, and then it is easy for bacteria to grow.
- Have cranberry or blueberries regularly as it helps to flush away the bacteria.
- Take yogurt daily, as it contains probiotics-good bacteria which keep the bad bacteria away.
- Eat pineapple as it contains ‘bromelain’ which has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing the urinary tract infection symptoms.
- Don’t use feminine hygiene sprays or wash and scented douches as they only increase irritation.
- Wipe from front to back after urinating.
- Wash your hands after using the toilet.
- Use sanitizers frequently to kill the germs.
- Avoid using tampons. Instead, use sanitary napkins during periods. Also, change the pads frequently to avoid any infection.
- Clean your genital area before and after having sex.
- Always urinate after having sex to flush out any bacteria if entered your urethra.
- Avoid using diaphragm, as it increases the chance of bacterial growth.
- Avoid nylon underwear, instead go for cotton ones, and wear loose fitting clothes as they can trap moisture which leads to bacterial growth.
If your UTI goes on for more than 3 days or gets worse, it is important to consult a doctor. Doctors will prescribe you some antibiotics to treat the infection and painkillers to give you relief from pain.
Try these home remedies to get rid of urinary tract infection and share with us which remedy worked best for you.