A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the kidneys, ureters, or bladder. UTIs are common and not usually serious if treated right away. If you don’t take action, though, the infection can spread to your kidneys, which can get serious and cause permanent damage. That’s why it’s good to keep in mind some preventative measures for bladder health and other natural remedies for UTIs.
For the most part, the body flushes out harmful bacteria without a problem. But sometimes an infection can happen when those bacteria stick around, literally, by attaching themselves to the lining of the urinary tract.
Both male and female urinary tracts can be at risk for an attack by nasty bacteria. In fact, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), urinary tract infections are the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting for about 8.1 million visits to healthcare providers each year. The first most common infection, as you may have guessed, is upper respiratory tract infection (URI), like the common cold.
Recognizing the symptoms early is essential for early treatment. Ideally, urine should be light yellow and clear, and your body should send you a signal in advance, as opposed to the sudden bladder pressure or pain that comes with a UTI.
That annoying frequent urge to go, but then passing only a small amount of urine is a very common symptom to watch out for. You’ll also experience a burning or itching sensation when you pee. Check your urine in the toilet bowl – if it’s bloody or cloudy, dark in color, or bad-smelling, this can also be a sign of UTI. Women may have pelvic pain, whereas men might have rectal pain.
You might also have pain on one side of your back under your ribs (where your kidneys are). Other symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. At this point, you should call your doctor right away. People with diabetes, kidney problems, or a weak immune system should be aware that UTIs can be more serious for their health.
A new study has found that ingesting cranberry products may offer little benefit in preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). The study looked at women living in a nursing home and the effects of cranberry capsules.
There was no significant difference between UTI rates among women taking the cranberry supplement and women who were not supplementing. On the other hand, researchers suggest that the study does not examine the benefits of cranberry juice in treating or preventing UTIs for younger women, so it may not be fair to rule out all cranberry products for all age groups.
Lead researcher Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta said, “Cranberry products have long been thought to prevent urinary tract infections, and many different cranberry products, including capsules, tablets, and powders, are promoted for this purpose, but this study did not show that this product worked.”
The study reveals that it may not be imperative that senior women living on a fixed income invest in cranberry supplements as a means of preventing UTIs. “Many people firmly believe in their cranberry product, and to those people, I tell them to continue what they feel works for them. There certainly seems to be little downside to drinking cranberry juice if you like it,” Dr. Juthani-Mehta continued.
Urinary tract infections are a common occurrence among elderly women, especially those living in nursing homes.
Rather than taking cranberry products, there are other means of preventing UTIs, such as keeping yourself clean, not holding in your urine, and wiping front to back.
The good news is, there are natural remedies for UTIs. So if you act promptly when you have the first symptoms, such as burning when you urinate, you can get rid of UTI at the onset. Here’s what to do:
Try these home remedies to keep your bladder in top form. They’re easier than you think – and a more natural fix than turning to your doctor for a prescription. So the next time you’re rushing to the bathroom, be aware of urinary tract infection symptoms.