Although prescription antibiotics are generally given to patients with UTI’s, there are a number of effective natural remedies that have shown to be very helpful in treating and helping to prevent future UTIs as well. Listed below are the best and most effective natural remedies for a urinary tract infection.
Dehydration is linked to an increased risk of UTIs. When you’re dehydrated, you aren’t urinating enough, which can create an out of control breeding ground for undesirable bacteria.
A 2019 study examined nursing home residents and gave them a drinking schedule to increase their fluid intake. Following the schedule, the study showed a 56% decrease in UTIs. In a 2020 randomized control trial, 140 premenopausal women prone to UTIs took part in a 12-month study to test if a higher fluid intake would decrease their risk of recurrent cystitis and, in turn, their risk of developing a UTI. Researchers found that an increase in fluid intake did in fact lead to a significant decrease in UTI frequency.
To stay well hydrated and meet your daily fluid needs, set yourself a goal to drink at least 8 cups of water throughout the day.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for UTIs. If you don’t like unsweetened cranberry juice, you can also take it in capsule form. Cranberries work by helping to prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract.
In a 2016 study, participants with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce (240-mL) serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group.
Do keep in mind however, that the potential benefits of this home remedy only apply to unsweetened cranberry juice. Cranberry juice with added sugars will only make the infection worse, because the bacteria feeds on sugar.
Antibiotics destroy a lot of the good bacteria. Probiotics are good and beneficial microorganisms that are consumed through certain foods or supplements. They promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Probiotics are available in supplement form or can be found in fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and probiotic yogurt. Some studies from 2013 have found that certain probiotic strains, such as bifidus and lactobacillus, were especially effective in treating UTI’s.
Consuming probiotics has also been linked to many other benefits, from improved digestive health to enhanced immune function.
Some legitimate evidence suggests that increasing your intake of vitamin C via foods or supplements could protect you against UTIs. Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of urine, killing off the bad bacteria that causes infection.
A 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women examined the effects of taking 100 milligrams of vitamin C every day. The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with those who didn’t. Results from a small and more recent 2016 study showed that combining vitamin C with two other popular natural UTI remedies — cranberries and the probiotic lactobacillus rhamnosus — could be an effective treatment for recurrent UTIs.
Fruits and veggies such as red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended daily amount of vitamin C in just one serving.
When it comes to preventing UTIs, it all starts with practicing a few good critical hygiene habits and cutting out bad ones.p
Always change your underwear everyday, don’t hold your urine for too long, make a bee line to the bathroom after sexual intercourse, and if your a woman, wipe from front to back after you urinate. This is because women have shorter urethras then men do, which makes it easier for bad bacteria to infect their tract and bladder.
Not following these hygiene basics can easily lead to a buildup of unwanted bacteria, resulting in infection. Additionally, those who are prone to UTIs should avoid using spermicide, as it has been linked to an increase in UTIs.
UTI’s often get confused with sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) because they often share alot of the same symptoms. But they are totally different types of infections- STDs are viral infections, while UTI’s are either bacterial or fungal.
Never self diagnose or use any treatment/medication that wasn’t prescribed to you by a doctor. Even if it helps someone you know, it may be harmful for you. The only way to know for certain which kind of infection it may be is to get checked and tested by a gynecologist or other relevant healthcare professional.
Lastly, if left untreated for an extended period of time, UTIs can cause blood in the urine and spread to the kidneys, which can then become a life threatening condition. This is why it’s crucial to tackle the infection as soon as possible.