Catching infections are common in people especially if their routine includes daily outdoor visits. Fortunately, they are not such a big issue mostly today in comparison with the time before medical advancements.
One of the most prevalent infections a person can catch is Urinary tract infection. By the statistics, over 50% of the women develop Urinary tract infection symptoms and the condition itself in their lifetimes.
UTI accounts for 25% of the infections occurring worldwide, and the number of patients has been observed to be on the rise reportedly.
Most of the times, urinary tract infections do not cause any serious health risks and are treated right after the diagnosis using conventional prescribed medication. The condition is as easy to manage as it is to catch.
However, it getting a urinary tract infection might become problematic when the constant use of antibiotics to treat them causes the bacteria to grow antibiotic-resistant. In such a case, treatment can be a prolonged process with different antibiotics to see which one works best.
On the other hand, there are some natural home remedies that a person can use to reverse the symptoms of urinary tract infection or treat the condition without switching medicines several times for an extended period.
What are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection?
A urinary tract infection can be a result of an attack from some microscopic organisms including bacteria, viruses or fungi. Certain types of these microorganisms can attach themselves to the lining urinary tract.
Consequently, an infection is caused by the spread of the specific microorganism’s range and inhabitation in the urethra, kidneys, and bladder. Most of the times the body’s natural defense can safeguard the urinary tract from such attacks, but specific organisms have been seen to be considerably influential.
The most common microorganism that can overcome the body’s natural defense mechanism and cause urinary tract infection is the bacterium, more specifically the bacteria known as E. Coli.
The E. Coli bacterium is found in more women than men as it resides in the vaginal cavity more often. Other places where this bacterium is found is in the urethral opening, bowel cavity, and of course the urinary tract.
In addition to E. Coli, other common pathogens that cause urinary tract infections are Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Klebsiella pneumonia. By studies, different types of pathogens may be responsible for people with particular health conditions.
For example, in Diabetic patients, Group B streptococcus and Klebsiella infections are more commonly observed. In catheterized patients, Pseudomonas infections have a higher chance of occurring than the other types.
Urinary tract infections are usually nowhere near serious health risks and can happen more frequently to sexually active women than men especially the ones between the ages of 20-25. However, like other infections, UTI is painful and can have negative impacts on a person’s life.
The symptoms of UTI are easy to diagnose in comparison with other infections. Some of the signs of a urinary tract infection are:
- Cloudy appearance of urine
- Painful urination
- Burning sensations felt in the urethra and bladder areas (usually and during urination)
- Frequent need to urinate
- A small amount of urination in comparison with the average amount
- The bloody appearance of the urine (red or pink tints)
- Abdominal pain
- Pelvic pain (usually in women)
- Sharp smell during urination
- Muscles aches
- Weakness and fatigue
- Difficulty in concentration
- Delirium in patients from older age groups
The typical healing time for a urinary tract infection is short, ranging from 2-4 days. In other cases, the infection can be severe and may last for long if the patient suffers from other health conditions such as people with weak immunity, autoimmune diseases can have UTI for 7-8 days.
Similarly, some people naturally have a higher chance of developing a urinary tract infection to others. Examples include people belonging to older age groups due to their body’s deteriorating defense system against the pathogens. Pregnant women may also be a higher risk of catching a UTI than others.
In such cases, stronger antibiotics are required and the expected period of recovery is higher ranging from 8-15 days. Some other factors that increase chances of a UTI are:
- Usage of Spermicide
- Usage of Diaphragm
- Utilization of Catheter
- Sexual intercourse (without protection)
- Diabetes (both type 1 and 2)
- Postmenopausal women
- Poor hygiene
According to the researchers, one in 6 people who get a UTI infection will have another attack in no less than six months. Urinary tract infections can reoccur countless times in the same person even after proper treatment.
Why sometimes antibiotics don’t work for you?
One common thing to assume at this stage is that using antibiotics kill all the responsible bacteria and heal the infection this way. To your surprise, urinary tract infections aren’t that serious for which you will consider taking a high potency antibiotic medicine.
It only becomes a problem when you decide not to do anything about it, expecting UTI symptoms to go away on their own. It never really happens. If you leave it untreated, there is a high risk that it will spread and involve other visceral organs too. Kidney and liver are more likely to be infected and cause destructive results.
What is antibiotic resistance?
In such cases, antibiotics can grow to be less efficient as most pathogens will develop resistance to the medication. However, these infections may be handled with a few new habits and remedies.
What Can You Do?
Most of the natural treatments for urinary tract infection are backed by scientific researchers and evidence. Using home-based remedies and lifestyle hacks are only the first line of defense. It is to tell you that using medicines is not the only option that you should start, even when you aren’t clear about having a UTI.
Uncomplicated cases of UTI can be treated using the following methods:
- Increasing your Fluid intake
The reasons for staying hydrated every day are well-known by a majority of the population. Another significant effect of increasing fluid intake can be the flushing out the bacteria from the body. According to a study conducted in 2013, low fluid intake can also increase the chances of getting a UTI.
Low fluid intake allows the pathogenesis to take place more easily, especially in cases of urinary tract infections. Drinking one glass of water every hour can show good results.
- Improve Urination Habits
Holding in and completing an important task before heading to the washroom is not an uncommon practice among the people. While the significance of work is understandable, it should also be noted that delaying urination can lead to multiple problems including UTI.
Urinating frequently is a mechanism by the body that ensures harmful pathogens and substances are flushed out of the body. It is also recommended to urinate after sexual intercourse, especially when protection is not used.
By studies, delaying urination can allow the bacteria to multiply at a much faster rate leading to their spread into the bladder and kidneys.
- Start using probiotics
According to a study published in Indian Journal of Urology, the perpetual use of antibiotics can destroy the body’s natural flora needed to fight bacterium in a person’s body. This is also why medicines may not work similarly in all patients.
An alternative to antibiotics is the use of probiotics. Along with other significant benefits of probiotics, storing the body’s natural flora is one. Probiotics are found in considerable amount in some of the most healthy fermented foods including Kefir, raw cheese, and probiotic yogurt.
- Increase the intake of Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been known to make the urine acidic which can prevent the growth of all types of UTI causing pathogens but more specifically the E. Coli Bacterium. By a research, pregnant women added 100 mg of Vitamin C to their daily intake had little or no symptoms of UTI in comparison with the ones who did not.
Using oils to cure UTI has been a common practice in South Asian countries such as India. Studies have shown that using oils such as Myrrh oil, Clove oil, and Oregano oil can reduce many attacks on foreign invaders generally due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties.
While both oregano and myrrh oil can be taken with meals to cure an infection, clove oil can be used in cold compresses and applied topically especially for relieving pains.
- Stop using spermicides
Spermicides are a popular product but what you don’t know is that they can play with your sexual organs. They can increase the irritation, itch and allow specific bacterial strains to grow. While selecting condoms, make sure that you choose a brand that doesn’t have spermicides in it.
The risk, in this case, is a lot higher in women when their partner uses a spermicide based condom. The chance to get a UTI in such a scene is high, and it can even turn out to be an even more uncomfortable infection.
- Start taking cranberry and its products
Cranberry is one of the proved solutions to heal UTI infections. The cranberry juice decreases the chances to get the infection by making the situation unable to invite discomforting bacteria. It is even proved by the researchers that cranberry is a string preventive agent against UTI infections, especially in women.
Cranberry juice inhibits the growth of those bacteria which colonize the inner sides of sexual organs and cause an infection. It is particularly useful for E coli which is one of the most frequent causes of urinary tract infections.
- Increase the use of garlic
Garlic is one superfood which is rich with antibacterial properties. It has one active ingredient called allicin that is abundant in raw and crushed garlic pieces. In its pure form, allicin kills most of the pathogenic bacterial strains. Not just this, it is also a powerful antifungal and antiviral.
Using raw garlic in foods introduces allicin to the normal chemical makeup of your body too. It is even helpful against the multidrug-resistant bacterial strains which you think are impossible to kill. Moreover, garlic is also helpful in bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis which is a yeast infection.
General precautions to follow
These home-based solutions are helpful to get rid of UTI easily and most of them are effective too. But the important thing is to know that which stage your infection has reached. Generally, using the home remedies on the initial and middle level of infection is the right time.
In case the infection has already taken over you and you are suffering from a very high level of discomfort, using remedies doesn’t heal it straight away. You should contact a health service provider in the first moment. However, you can always combine home solutions with medication for a better treatment of UTIs.