Urinary Tract Infections – or UTIs – are an all too common ailment of the urinary system and most women will experience them at some time or another. Because they are such a painful nuisance, UTIs can interfere with how well you sleep and your daily activities. Whilst it’s generally advised that you should always consult a GP, you may end up feeling that antibiotics are the only choice. However, apart from damaging the liver, the human body can build up a resistance to them and this can reduce their effectiveness. Rather than rely on a cure, it is important to focus mainly on the prevention of UTIs. If we learn to take measures against it, cystitis is unlikely to return.
Know the primary causes of UTIs
Once the kidneys have completed their task of filtering and cleaning blood, resulting toxins are deposited in our bladders to be discharged in the urine. It is of key importance to keep the area between the kidneys to the urethra in optimal health. It’s also necessary to keep them free of obstacles and to maintain a properly acidic environment that will impede bacterial growth. Sometimes, however, certain factors can provoke the growth of bacteria and/or cause obstruction of the urinary pathways. This causes inflammation in the urinary tract, a condition known as cystitis or a UTI. Factors to consider can be age-related; due to pregnancy or menopause, or associated with certain contraceptives. Ailments such as prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), diabetes and physical changes in the urinary tract can all cause increased bacteria.
Symptoms can include:
- a sensation of itching or burning when urinating
- a feeling of pressure in the pelvic zone
- constantly feeling as though you need to pee
- the appearance of blood in the urine or smelly/cloudy pee
- presence of fever
Treat urinary tract infections naturally
The best way to treat cystitis or a UTI is with a course of natural antibiotics that will reduce and eliminate the bacteria in your urine. Try incorporating some things from the following list:
- Cranberries: superheroes in the fight against UTIs, these rich red berries contain high levels of the antioxidants anthocyanin and carotenoids. They’re also jammed with vitamin C. The cranberry’s antiseptic functions allow it to act directly on germs; so, for example, it can keep E. Coli-causing bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. As a bonus, their high vitamin C content reinforces the immune system’s defenses against infection.
- Parsley and garlic: who knew that these foods are such excellent antibiotics? Add them to your food or just eat them on their own. Parsley is lovely when mixed with fruit juice – especially acidic fruits such as lemons or grapefruit. Soak and soften garlic in olive oil, then eat. Make sure to brush your teeth well afterwards, though!
- Lactobacillus bacteria are beneficial to have in your bacteria-fighting arsenal. Easily found at any supermarket in fermented products such as yoghurt – either dairy or plant-based – they help to improve the bacterial equilibrium in your gut and they help to develop antibodies.
- Diuretics help to eliminate foreign bodies from your urinary pathways. In addition, they combat the retention of liquids. Given this, it’s very important to include foods like asparagus, cucumber, celery and alfalfa in your diet. Pineapple, too, is especially beneficial because it’s a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory enzymes.
Follow these recommendations to avoid UTIs
- Drink up! Increase your consumption of water. It’ll help wash away those pesky bacteria.
- Take a soluble form of vitamin C and consume as much orange, lemon, pineapple and blueberry juice as you can possibly manage.
- Keep vigilant about your intimate care! Wash with a mild cleanser and rinse thoroughly.
- Avoid increased discomfort by giving a wide berth to alcohol, coffee and green tea. They can irritate the bladder and you don’t need that!
Never fear! It’s fairly simple to treat UTIs. You just need a bit of wisdom and willpower along with a well-balanced diet abundant in liquids and high in cranberries. Cranberries’ marvellous infection-fighting properties scientifically proven, so they are always worth having to hand, whether fresh or in (pure, not from concentrate) juice form.