The human urinary tract comprises of the bladder and kidneys. An infection in any of these organs is termed as a urinary tract infection however generally the problem seems to be more in the bladder. UTI occurs more frequently in women than men apparently because women have shorter urethra so bacteria’s gain easier passage to the bladder. Diabetics and pregnant women are more at risk to developing urinary tract infections. The symptoms of urinary tract infections range from feeling the urge to urinate more often, burning sensation when urinating and a pain in the lower belly sometimes accompanied by nausea and fever.
UTI can be treated at home by following some of these time-tested remedies.
1. Drink lots of water
Doctors always recommend drinking lots of water when you have UTI. It is because when you drink water, your urine gets diluted which helps to flush out the bacteria from your body that is responsible for causing UTI. If you are fed up of drinking the recommended dosage of 7-8 glasses of water a day, you can also drink juices. These will not only make your urine less concentrated but also provide you with necessary minerals and vitamins which are essential to fight off this disease.
2. Take baking soda
Drinking a solution of baking soda and water also seems to do the trick. Baking soda being alkaline in nature cuts the acidic nature of urine thereby reducing the burning sensation which a UTI patient feels when urinating. Just add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water and drink twice a day. You will see relief after a couple of days.
3. Apply a heating pad
UTI causes a burning throbbing pain around the bladder area. Applying a hot compress to your bladder region can help dull the pain and provide you soothing comfort. Just remember to set the temperature low so as to prevent any burns.
4. Take probiotics
UTI occurs when bad bacteria invade the bladder. Probiotics help populate the gut with friendly bacteria that have great fighting qualities thus making you strong from inside. These good bacteria help destroy the harmful bacteria that are responsible for many ills plaguing the body. Consuming probiotics essentially leads to a stronger immune system and a stronger immune response means pathogens have lesser chances of surviving. If you are on antibiotics then you have greater reason to consume probiotics as antibiotics destroy the good bacteria living in our gut.
5. Have lots of Vitamin C
Vitamin C has the capacity to fight off the bacteria’s causing UTI. Vitamin C also increases the immunity levels and is also known to even out the excess acidity present in the bladder. It is therefore very important that you take fruits rich in Vitamin C such as lemons, oranges, papaya, raspberries etc. to provide your body with the necessary defenses.
6. Have cranberry juice
Cranberry juice is recommended by one and all when dealing with UTI. Cranberries not only have infection fighting properties; they also have a slight antibiotic effect which helps destroy the UTI causing bacteria. Having 2-4 glasses of cranberry juice a day should be sufficient to provide you relief. A note of caution though – if you have kidney stones then refrain from taking cranberry juice.
7.Take apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals and enzymes which prevent the bacteria causing UTI to spread further. To a glass of water add 2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and drink it. You can add a bit of honey to make it sweet. Drink this at least 2-3 times a day for a couple of days.
8. Consume amla juice
Indian gooseberry or amla as it is known colloquially is abundantly rich in Vitamin C thus making it a good berry to have when suffering from UTI. Boil a couple of amlas in water till the quantity is reduced by half. Now drink up this brew. If you feel the mixture to be too sour add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the taste.
9. Have blueberries
Blueberries known for their antioxidant properties are very good at fighting off the bacteria causing UTI. Therefore try to have as much of them as possible in the form of juices or smoothies. Sprinkle a fistful to your cereals or simply tuck into a bowl of delicious blueberries.
10. Eat pineapples
Pineapple is rich in an enzyme called Bromelain which has anti-inflammatory properties, thus it helps alleviate the symptoms of UTI. Have a bowl of pineapples daily to prevent the onset of UTI or to reduce its symptoms.
Measures to tackle UTI
Apart from the above mentioned remedies one must also keep in mind the following points when suffering from UTI.
- Preferably wear cotton clothing and loose clothes at that to help the area dry out quickly as bacteria breed more in a moist area.
- When washing yourself do not use perfumed soaps as they can aggravate the problem. Stick to plain soaps or just plain water.
- Don’t hold on to your urine because by holding back you are allowing the build-up of bacteria in the bladder.
- Avoid alcohol at least for the time you are suffering from UTI as alcohol further irritates the bladder.
- Try to cut down on your caffeine content as caffeine too like alcohol irritates the bladder.
These are some of the home-remedies which you can use to get rid of UTI symptoms, however if you feel your condition worsening or the symptoms persisting even after a couple of days it is safe to consult a doctor.