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URINARY TRACT INFECTION

Urinary tract infection or UTI is a serious infection of the urinary system which typically consists of the kidneys, bladder and the tubes that connects these two organs. The cause of the infection is primarily bacteria that are already present within the body, most especially found in the large intestines. There are different types of urinary tract infection, one of which is the infection of the bladder. Although bladder infection is highly treatable through medication and natural methods, the infection can spread to the kidneys and cause permanent damage if not treated properly.

UTI is more common in women than in men. This is primarily due to them having shorter urethras which make it easier for the bacteria to spread and reach the bladders. The condition can also be transmitted sexually. The risk factors of developing urinary tract infection are insufficient liquid intake, pregnancy, diabetes and lack of proper hygiene. People who have existing health conditions involving the blockage of the urinary tract like enlarged prostate glands and kidney stones have higher risk of developing the disease.

The symptoms of UTI include pain or a burning sensation when urinating, frequent but limited flow of urine, a heavy feeling in the belly area, pain in the rib area, chills and fever, vomiting, and nausea. People who experience these symptoms are advised to immediately seek medical attention in order to fully determine the cause. You can begin with naturally treating UTI by drinking more water than usual. But it is still important to follow these tips diligently when seeking ways to naturally treat the condition.

1.      Drink Lots of Water

Water is needed by the body for many different reasons. In the case of urinary tract infection, water helps to flush out toxins and bacteria from the system. Drinking at least eight glasses of water in a day can help detoxify the urinary tract and this aid in flushing out any material that may be blocking the normal passage of urine. Once the urinary tract has been cleared out of any unwanted deposits, it will be easier to remove bacteria through the natural process of urination. Drinking lots of water can also help in treating other health conditions that may be causing UTI like kidney stone formation.

Make it a habit to drink water after every meal and avoid highly saturated drinks like sugar-rich beverages. Foods that are high in sodium can inhibit the health flow of urine and may lead to the formation of kidney stones. Filling up with water after each meal will not only make you feel fuller but it will also help prevent the reproduction of bacteria in your urinary tract.

2.      Fill up with Cranberry Juice

A study conducted by researchers from the Tel Aviv University found that cranberry juice can help treat urinary tract infection in women. Head researcher, Prof Itzhak Ofek, and his team found that cranberries have strong anti-viral properties and a teflon-like effect to the urinary tract. The results of the study were published in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research journal.  The researchers have suggested that cranberries can help treat UTI by fighting the bacteria that causes the infection and by protecting the surface of the urinary tract from further damage.

Cranberry's anti-bacterial property is a result of its high proanthocyanidin content. Proanthocyanidins have the ability to fight the accumulation of the E. coli bacteria by forming tendril-like structures called fimbrae on cell membranes. Once the structure is already in place, it will become almost impossible for the bacteria to cause any serious infection. If fresh cranberry juice is not readily available, you can take advantage of the berry's UTI-fighting properties by taking proanthocyanidin supplements. However, I highly discourage the use of cranberry juice from the grocery store for the simple reason that it has very high sugar content.

Ofek added that cranberries have high polyphenol content that was observed to target certain bacteria and viruses that enters the body. He recommended that women with UTI can drink at least 2 glasses of cranberry juice in a day to help treat the disease. Again, it is advisable to drink fresh cranberry juice instead of those which are bought from grocery stores since they are more likely loaded with sugar. The process of preserving and packing cranberry juice also reduces its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

3.      Make use of Natural Herbs

Taking herbal food supplements like echinacea, uva ursi, goldenseal and purslane can also help treat UTI. These herbs have the ability to kill E. coli bacteria that is causing the disease and helps in preventing the infection to develop. But note that taking herbal food supplements may not work for all cases. If you have not experienced any notable change in your condition after at least three days of taking these herbs, it would be better to seek the advice of a physician, or holistic healer if you prefer to pursue a natural approach to treating UTI instead of taking antibiotics.

More about UTI

Urinary tract infection is accounted for over 11 million doctor visits in a year in the United States alone according to the JAMA or Journal of the American Medical Association. The two types of UTI are lower and upper UTI.  Lower UTI is more common in women than in men and occurs in the bladder or urethra. And according to statistics, more than one third of women in the world experience lower UTI in their lifetime. Upper UTI, on the other hand, is considered to be the complication caused by lower UTI wherein the infection has spread to the ureters and/or the kidneys. The condition can also develop without having to precede lower UTI. The infection can start when the urinary tract is blocked by kidney stones or tumors.

For the first few symptoms of UTI, it is recommended to immediately seek the advice of a medical professional and begin to take the initiative to change your diet and reduce the consumption of foods that may only exacerbate the condition. Foods that are rich in sugar, for example, increase the concentration of glucose in the urine which provides for a suitable environment for bacterial growth and reproduction.

Urinary tract infection, or UTI, is perhaps one of the most common conditions of the urinary system of either male or female. However, it is most common in women largely because of her anatomy. Those who have experienced the condition report the following symptoms: pain in the lower part of the abdomen, frequency of urination and pain or a burning sensation during urination. The quality of urine also indicates that there is infection. Cloudy urine that is strong smelling indicates infection of the urinary tract. In some cases, the urine has the same color as cola drinks, indicating that there is already blood in the various urinary organs. There are various reasons why UTI develops. It can be due to infection of the bladder, which is called cystitis, or infection of the urethra, called urethritis. In most cases, cystitis is due to infection of the E. coli bacteria. If there are sexually-transmitted diseases, there are also high chances that UTI will develop. Because it is an infection, the common remedy by the medical practitioner is to prescribe the patient a regimen of antibiotics. However, there are ways to speed up the healing of the infection. Below are some of the cheapest and natural ways to get that urinary tract back in smooth action.

1.      Drink Plenty of Water

Think of the flooded sink. Think of the clogged pipes. Imagine the clogged pipes are the urethra and the sink as the bladder. Due to inflammation caused by infection of microorganisms, the very first remedy we usually do with the sink is flush it with strong stream of water. This is the same analogy with the urinary tract. If there is difficulty in urination due to the inflammation of the urethra, the first thing we need to do is increase the fluid intake. Drinking water is just equal to flushing the urinary system to get rid of stagnant urine that may cause more complication to the disease, as well as flush the bacteria that caused the infection thereby decreasing the inflammation tendencies. Drinking at least 2000 milliliters of water is not just advisable during the course of the disease. It is also recommended that one drinks plenty of water to regularly clean the urinary tract.

2.      Supplement with Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been suggested for those who are suffering from UTI. Vitamin C has several benefits to the body, and the number one of which is its ability to protect the cells from the damage that is caused by the free radicals. Vitamin C may be taken from food, like papaya, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli and pineapple. But vitamin C may also be in tablet or capsule form. Vitamin C is recommended in UTI because it increases the acidity level of the urine. In acid environment, bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms that invade the urinary tract cannot thrive. In a study conducted in the past years, doctors were able to conclude that to create an unfriendly environment for the bacteria; those with acute UTI should ingest at least 5000 mg of vitamin C every day.

3.      Eat Zinc-rich foods

Zinc and foods rich in zinc can help in fighting infections, such as the UTI. Zinc helps in boosting the cells of the immune system responsible for fighting the bacteria that flows in the blood. For those with cystitis, taking in zinc can help in protecting the cell walls of the bladder, or the bladder lining. If there is infection, there will usually be inflammation, in this case, of the bladder wall. With foods rich in zinc, such as the liver of the calf, venison meat, beef, lamb, scallops, sesame and pumpkin seeds, the bladder is not just protected, but the immune system is also strengthened.

4.      Flush with Fiber

Fiber rich foods are navy beans, dried peas, lentils, pinto beans, black beans, barley, lima beans, garbanzo and kidney beans. There are also other foods rich in fiber, but the ones enumerated are the excellent source of dietary fiber. For one, fiber can help bring regularity to the bowel movement. If bowel movement is good, UTI is prevented since with retained feces during constipation, there is higher tendency for bacteria from the anal area to travel to the urinary tract.

5.      Choose Cranberries

For many individuals, cranberry is largely associated with urinary tract infection, not as the cause, but as the cure. For several years, people are downing on cranberry juice because it is thought that cranberry is highly acidic and can create an acidic environment in the urinary tract that will inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. But research has shown that there is more to its being acidic that made cranberry a good remedy for UTI. Cranberry has proanthocyanidins that can help in the prevention of UTI. Proanthocyanidin (PAC) is a phytonutrient. If there is increased PAC in the urinary system, it becomes difficult for the bacteria to attach itself to the linings of the urinary tract. For those who are repeat victims of UTI, as well as those who never had experienced one, drinking cranberry juice is an assurance that bacteria will unlikely to invade the bladder and the urethra that will result to UTI.

6.      Make Use of Natural Antibiotics

There are antibiotics, and there are natural antibiotics. UTI are usually treated in the hospital and clinic using the antibiotic, synthetic substances to fight off bacterial infections and other infections by microorganisms. But there are also so-called antibiotics. These substances are unprocessed and can easily be found in nature. An example would be garlic, which is known universally as a natural antibiotic and can help in preventing UTI. There is also Echinacea, which when taken as a tea, can help boost the immune system of the person. Ginger is also a potent antibiotic. By adding them to your food, UTI treatment is assured.

7.      Eat Yogurt

Yogurt is perhaps one of the most common foods that are used to treat bacterial infections. Yogurt is a probiotic treat; it contains live microorganism that help in fighting the bad bacteria in the body. When taken regularly by those who are suffering from UTI, there is more effectiveness in the immune system response and immediate healing of infection and inflammation is possible.

 

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