Home Remedies for Urinary Track Infections
- Most UTIs in women are a result of sexual intercourse. Gynecologists have cheekily dubbed these infections "honeymoon cystitis." The typical bacteria found in women's lab cultures are E. coli. This bacterium is usually harmless and resides in the intestine, but when accidentally swept into the urinary track, it is forced to latch onto the walls of the bladder in order to find the nutrients to survive. This event causes the uncomfortable bladder infection symptoms.
Infections in men are rare and are usually a result of another condition, such as an obstruction in the urinary track. While home remedies can still be tried, it is best to seek the assistance of a doctor.
- Common symptoms include a burning sensation while urinating, a constant urge to urinate, cloudy urine and a cramping feeling after urination. In order for home remedies to be effective, treatment should begin within the first day of sensing symptoms. If delayed the infection can spread to a point where the immune system is unable to fight it off without medical assistance.
- If an infection is detected early enough, the bacteria many not have attached themselves completely to the bladder's lining. If this is the case, the best treatment is to flush them out naturally with large amounts of water. Drink 8 ounces of water every hour for a full day. If the symptoms disappear, then the bacterium has been effectively flushed. If not, further treatment may be necessary.
- D-Mannose sugar is an extract taken from cranberries that has been shown to be very effective at curing a urinary track infection. When used in the early stages of an infection, the sugar coats the bladder and prevents the bacteria from colonizing in the walls and reproducing. D-Mannose is currently the most commonly recommended natural treatment for urinary track infections and will usually show results within two days. D-Mannose can be purchased at all natural food stores including Whole Foods Market; simply ask for it by name.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar has long been heralded for its natural health effects. In treating urinary track infections, it creates an acidic pH in the bladder. According to medical research, E. coli bacteria cannot survive when the body's pH is too acidic. Keeping this in mind, many naturopathic physicians recommend treatments with apple cider vinegar. To try this approach, drink a combination of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 oz. of water. Repeat the treatment five times each day until the infection resolves itself. If effective, the treatment will show results by three days.
- With regard to infections, an ounce of prevention is always worth more than a pound of cure. Keeping this in mind, always get plenty of sleep and take additional vitamin C daily to keep the immune system working its best. Always drink plenty of water and about 2 ounces of cranberry juice daily. Cranberry juice contains small amounts of D-Mannose and will help the bladder and urinary track remain protected. Avoid cranberry juices that contain added sugar, are combined with other fruit concentrates or that are labeled "cocktails", as these contain added ingredients that reduce the juice's effectiveness. Finally, for women, always urinate immediately after intercourse. This flushes any bacteria out of the urinary track, and always wipe from front to back to avoid contamination.