A bladder infection is an extremely uncomfortable condition that can affect the lower urinary tract, and more than 50 percent of all women will suffer from at least one bladder infection at some point in their life. The traditional treatment method for bladder infections is a course of antibiotics; however, taking antibiotics can cause a range of other unwanted health problems, including a higher risk of contracting other infections. The following natural remedies can help to encourage bladder health, reduce risk of bladder infection and, if your infection is caught early enough, may also help to treat your bladder infection without the need for antibiotics.
E. coli bacteria are estimated to be the cause of more than 80 percent of all bladder infections. And chickens are a carrier of a particularly nasty strain of E. coli bacteria, a strain that is resistant to antibiotic treatment. Consuming chickens that are infected with E. coli may result in the antibiotic-resistant bacteria being transferred to you. This can result in a very difficult-to-treat bladder infection, or an infection that seems to go away but then keeps on coming back. It is highly recommended that you properly and thoroughly cook chicken, to ensure that all bacteria are completely killed before consuming your meal.
Cranberry juice has been found to reduce the risk of developing a bladder infection by 35 percent. Studies show that certain compounds in cranberry juice prevent the E. coli bacteria from sticking to the bladder. In fact, just hours after drinking cranberry juice, the ability of E. coli bacteria to adhere to your bladder will drop, and the effects will last throughout much of the day. Unfortunately, once the E. coli has adhered and a full-on infection has developed, cranberry juice will not be able to detach and eliminate the bacteria. However, drinking it certainly won’t hurt and it may help prevent the infection from worsening. Just be sure to drink sugar-free cranberry juice, because sugar is a major immune suppressant and can reduce your body’s ability to fight infections.
Add 1 tsp. of baking soda to one cup of cold water and drink up. Baking soda is high in alkaline and it can help to reduce the acidity of your urine. The acidity of your urine causes the painful burning sensation associated with bladder infections, so when you reduce the acidity, you can also reduce the pain and the frequent urges to urinate. Too much acidity also encourages infections to grow and proliferate, so drinking baking soda may also help to both prevent and treat bladder infections.
Uva ursi (also known as bearberry) is an herb that can be made into a tea, and drinking it can help to restore bladder health and may even help put an end to chronic bladder infections. Uva ursi is helpful for two reasons. First off, it has diuretic properties, which helps to flush out the kidneys. Secondly it contains a compound called arbutin, which is converted in the body into the compound, hydroquinone. Hydroquinone has antiseptic properties that may help kill-off E. coli bacteria. The compound is thought to be most effective as an antiseptic when it is taken in an alkaline environment, so combining it with the baking soda drink may help increase your results.
A healthy bladder will not be a good host for E. coli bacteria, and removing added sugars, alcohol and refined foods from your diet, will go a long way towards increasing your bladder health. You should also consume plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. This will help prevent your body from becoming overly acidic and it will encourage a healthy immune system, so that your body can fight-off the bladder infection. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well, doing so will ensure that your bladder is constantly being flushed out, so that bacteria won’t have a chance to adhere and proliferate on your bladder walls.
The above recommendations will enhance your bladder health, however the infection may be too strong and resistant to natural remedies and it is vital that you consult with a health care practitioner if your symptoms don’t resolve within three days.