6 UTI Home Remedies and When to Go See a Doctor

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are common infections that occur when bacteria enter the body through the urethra, then move to the bladder where they multiply. They occur in the urinary system, which comprises the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra, and are most commonly found in the lower urinary tract – the bladder and urethra.

UTIs can affect anyone, although females are more prone to them. This is because their urethra – the tube that transports urine out of the bladder – is shorter than that of their male counterpart, thereby making it easy for bacteria to get to the bladder.

Common UTI symptoms

Here are common UTI symptoms.

  • frequent urination
  • urgency in urinating
  • dark or cloudy urine
  • urine with a strong odor
  • pelvic pain
  • burning sensation when peeing
  • incomplete bladder emptying sensation

Home remedies for UTI

Urinary tract infections often go away on their own. However, they sometimes need treatment. If you know what to do, you can treat a mild urinary tract infection at home.

Below are some remedies you should try if you have a UTI.

Drink lots of fluids

Dehydration is a common risk factor for urinary tract infections.

Regular urination will flush the bacteria in your urinary tract to prevent infection. The more fluids you drink, the more frequently you will urinate. This will ensure there is little to no chance of bacteria breeding in your urinary tract.

Limit diuretics and irritants

Although you need to drink as much fluids as you can, certain fluids may irritate your bladder. Examples include alcohol, coffee, caffeinated drinks, and citrus.

This is because these drinks function as diuretics; hence, they make you urinate more frequently. However, instead of improving your symptoms, diuretics make them more irritating.

Eat more cranberries

Cranberries are popular UTI remedies that have been used for centuries.

They contain proanthocyanidins – chemicals used to prevent bacteria from adhering to urinary tract walls. They also contain quinic acid, which kills bacteria in the urinary tract.

Unsweetened cranberries alone, rather than the sweetened ones, are beneficial to urinary tract infections.

Eat probiotics

Probiotics, which are bacteria found in certain foods and supplements, are vital to maintaining natural bacteria content in the urethra, bladder, and vagina.

Consuming probiotics, whether in foods or supplements, helps to treat UTIs by limiting the growth of E. coli, the bacteria responsible for UTIs. Also, probiotics help to prevent UTIs.

Use a heating pad

Further, you can relieve UTI by placing a heating pad on your abdomen. This will help you reduce your discomfort and soothe your urinary area.

However, place the heat setting on low and use it for a maximum of 15 minutes at any time to avoid burns. Also, do not apply directly to your skin.

Consume vitamin C

Consuming foods with high vitamin C content makes your urine more acidic. This prevents the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract.

However, if you have a UTI already, avoid citrus or acidic foods as this may irritate your bladder, thus worsening your symptoms.

When to go see a doctor

Your urinary tract infection may not clear up even after you apply certain home remedies. Unfortunately, untreated UTIs can be dangerous and leaves you at risk of severe complications, especially if the infection spreads to your kidneys. They can cause sepsis, premature birth, narrowing of the urethra, and kidney damage, among others.

To avoid these, visit your healthcare professional if you continue to experience this condition or any of the following symptoms.

  • shaking
  • chills
  • blood in urine
  • nausea
  • fevers over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, and
  • vomiting

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