Urinary tract infection, also known as UTI, refers to the infection of the urinary tract, which involves the urethra, the ureters, and the bladder. The infection is caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and it is estimated that having the infection leads to more than a million visits to health care professionals annually. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for urinary tract infection.
According to Mayo Clinic, most urinary tract infections commonly affect women and the structures that are usually involved are the bladder and the urethra. Women have higher risk since their urethra is shorter than that of men. As per the publication, the infection of the bladder is called cystitis and it is usually due to infection from Escherichia coli, a type of bacteria that is found in the gastrointestinal or GI tract. On the other hand, urethritis is the term for the infection of the urethra and it happens when bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract spread from the anus to the urethra.
Signs and Symptoms
Urinary tract infection presents a number of signs and symptoms. According to Web MD, these include a burning feeling during urination, a frequent or intense urge to urinate, pain or pressure in the back or lower abdomen, feeling tired or shaky, presence of fever or chills, and presence of cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine.
Although medications like antibiotics are present as management or intervention for urinary tract infection, home remedies can also be done as additional strategies to treat the disorder.
Water is one of the best and natural home remedies for urinary tract infection, apart from medications. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases or NIDDK, as cited by Everyday Health, drinking water helps flush away the bacteria responsible for the infection. Also, West Hollywood private practice doctor and “Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health” author Holly Lucille said, as cited by the publication that how much a person should drink depends on his size; thus, his target is half of his body weight in ounces of water up to 80 ounces a day. That means a person who weighs 120 pounds should try to consume 60 ounces of water daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar also helps manage urinary tract infection. According to Top 10 Home Remedies, the vinegar contains minerals like potassium, as well as enzymes that help combat the microorganisms that cause the disorder. This makes the vinegar a natural antibiotic. To prepare, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar are added to a glass of water. Lemon juice can also be added. The resulting mixture is consumed two times a day for a few days.
Another remedy for urinary tract infection is cranberry juice. According to Health Line, cranberry juice has been known as a natural bladder infection for years and as per recent studies, cranberry, in both juice and tablet form, has demonstrated an efficacy as remedy in women who had bladder infections. Nonetheless, more studies have to be conducted to determine the recuperative capabilities of cranberry in larger populations.
Probiotics also acts as remedy for urinary tract infection. According to Dr. Axe’s official website, studies published in the “Indian Journal of Urology” mentioned that benign bacterial flora is critical when it comes to the prevention of excessive growth of microbes that contribute to illnesses. In addition, probiotics assists the body’s normal flora in acting as the second line of defense, following the skin. Also, probiotics restores the body’s natural flora, such as in the bladder. As per the publication, sources of probiotics include raw cheese, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, and kimchi.
Urinary tract infection does not carry the same nature as tuberculosis, heart disease, and cancer. However, it is still an infection that needs management. Thus, it is vital to seek medical consult from a health care provider for appropriate medical advice.