How to get rid of a urine infection: 7 simple UTI home remedies
Dr Chris reveals how 'healthy' urine should look like
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If you’ve been unlucky enough to have a urinary tract infection (UTI) then you don’t need to stress out, you’re not alone! Urology Health recently reported that around 60 percent of women and 12 percent of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.
What is a urinary tract infection and how do you get it?
A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system; your kidneys, uterus, bladder and urethra.
Most infections involve the lower urinary tract, which means the bladder and the urethra.
A UTI is typically caused by a build-up of bacteria in your urinary tract through the urethra, which then turns into a full-blown infection.
In most cases, UTIs are brought on after sexual intercourse, but there are two main kinds of infection:
Infection of the bladder, also known as cystitis.
This type of UTI is usually caused by E. coli, a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract (also known as the anus.)
Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don’t have to be sexually active to develop it.
All people with vaginas are at risk of cystitis, this is simply down to the shorter distance from the anus to the urethra.
Infection of the urethra, also known as urethritis.
Urethritis is when gastrointestinal bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra.
Also, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, can cause urethritis.
What are the symptoms of a UTI?
Some of those who contract a UTI are asymptomatic, which can be dangerous, but typically the symptoms are rather prominent.
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Urine that appears red, bright pink or brown (a sign of blood in the urine)
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain in the centre of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone (in women only)
Doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics.
However, they aren’t the only option as there are many remedies which don’t require a prescription and can be done right at home.
The following remedies are all very quick and easy and will aid to reduce any painful symptoms of your UTI before flushing the infection out of your system.
How to get rid of a urine infection
Drink plenty of water
One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is to drink plenty of water.
That’s because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria which are causing your infection.
Eat plenty of food and drink plenty of fluids high in vitamin C
Getting plenty of vitamin C is important because large quantities will make your urine more acidic.
This will then help prevent further growth of bacteria in your urinary tract.
However, it should be noted this method could cause your bladder to become irritated due to the acidic impact, so it might be painful when urinating.
Cut out spicy food, nicotine and more from your diet
Irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine or fizzy drinks can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal.
Instead, opt for healthy, high-fibre foods which are good for your digestive system such as oatmeal or lentil soup.
Go to the toilet as much as you can
Every time you empty your bladder you rid it of some of the bacteria causing the infection.
So drinking plenty of fluids and going to the bathroom regularly will help you flush away the infection in no time.
Try out some herbal remedies
Many have claimed the unique herb bearberry leaf is useful for soothing lower UTIs in the bladder or urethra.
Is cranberry juice helpful for UTIs?
Cranberry juice has long been used as a home remedy for UTIs, but despite this, there is a lot of conflicting information surrounding whether or not it actually works.
Scientists have argued over how effective cranberry juice actually is at preventing and flushing out UTIs due to conflicting conclusions in studies on the topic.
However, drinking it won’t do you any harm, so it could be worth a try.
Just ensure you pick unsweetened cranberry juice, as the sugar in sweetened cranberry juices can actually feed a bacterial infection.
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