Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be as annoying as they are painful. For years they have been commonly treated with antibiotics, although we have arrived in an era in which medical experts are shying away from using antibiotics. That’s because of the growing propensity of “super bugs” that continue to grow more resistant to such drugs. These are rendering antibiotics less effective in fighting bacterial-based health conditions – such as UTIs, also referred to as bladder infections.
What Causes Such Infections?
Per medicalnewstoday.com, urinary tract infections are one of the most common types of bacterial infections in America. They are most pervasive among women, more than half of whom will experience such an infection sometime in their lifetime. Such infections also have a tendency to return in women who have already had to deal with one.
The two most common symptoms of bladder infections are difficulty encountered when trying to urinate and the presence of pain. The primary cause of a UTI is the overgrowth of bacteria in the bladder or urethra, per effectiveremedies.com, in which the bacteria enters the urinary tract from outside the body, per medicalnewstoday.com. If such a condition persists for a long time without being successfully treated, it can turn into a more serious kidney infection that can affect your overall health and is hard to recover from.
How Much Can Antibiotics Help?
Even though many UTIs can be successfully treated with various natural remedies, perhaps in combination with one another, antibiotics are still used at the discretion of physicians, knowing that such drugs can kill the attacking bacteria efficiently and quickly – when they work. Some patients are allergic to antibiotics, per medicalnewstoday.com, and side effects from their use have included nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, development of a rash, headache, and abnormal liver function tests – classic cases of where the cure can be as aggravating as the symptoms, albeit for the short term.
7 Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections
Chances are if you have a UTI and it is diagnosed as uncomplicated, it is likely that your physician will seek a treatment regimen that doesn’t involve antibiotics. In fact, it could include natural remedies available over the counter or even on some of the main shopping aisles at the grocery store. Seven such natural remedies – and there are more that can be found through online research – are presented below. Before playing doctor and giving yourself your own prescribed treatment, be sure to discuss it at length with your physician, and note, too, that nothing in this blog is intended to be actual medical advice.
- Hydration. You’ve heard it before in regard to dozens of health issues – drink plenty of water throughout the day. Your body needs to remain hydrated at all times, which means water can be an elixir of life, able to solve many health issues on their own. Per medicalnewstoday.com, water can assist organs in the urinary tract in efficiently eliminating waste from your body while holding onto key nutrients and electrolytes. Additionally, water hydration can dilute your urine, hastening its trip through the body, thus making it that much more difficult for “bad” infection-causing bacteria (much of your bacteria is “good,” too) to reach the cells that line urinary organs.
- Uva ursi. Typically found in liquid or supplement form, uva ursi is an herb with an assortment of chemicals and antiseptic properties that has been demonstrated to kill more than 70 strains of bacteria known to reside in the urinary tract, per effectiveremedies.com. The antibacterial properties of uva ursi’s extract work to thwart bacteria from adhering to tissue walls. It’s no wonder why it has long been included among natural remedies tasked to alleviate urinary tract infections.
- Probiotics. Helpful bacteria that provide benefits to your health – known as “probiotics” – include among their many tasks the job of keeping your urinary tract protected from detrimental bacteria, per medicalnewstoday.com.
- Ginger. Whether working on its own or as the main ingredient in a tea, ginger is a popular go-to substance. That’s because of its proven track record in fighting harmful inflammation or bacterial infections, per facty.com. One of the things ginger does is release chemicals that block the nerves responsible for transmitting pain signals to your brain.
- Garlic. A 2015 Malaysia study cited at effectiveremedies.com pinpoints garlic extract as a substance that might be efficacious in fending off pathogenic bacteria linked to UTIs and otherwise impervious to multiple types of drugs.
- Virgin coconut oil. Per effectiveremedies.com, virgin coconut oil has the capability to squelch a bladder infection, in large part through its antibacterial properties.
- Vitamin C. Not only is vitamin C a robust antioxidant known best for its ability to enhance function of your immune system, it can also react with nitrates in your urine to create nitrogen oxides capable of wiping out bacteria. And by reducing urine’s pH level, it makes it that much more difficult for bad bacteria to exist there, per medicalnewstoday.com.