Author: Christin Sander, Health Writer
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are very common and will affect half of all women in their lifetime. Each year, 8 million people are treated for UTIs. Although they are more common in women, men can also get them.
Most people with a urinary tract infection will recognize it right away due to the distinct and uncomfortable symptoms. Symptoms include frequent urges to urinate with little urine production, cloudy urine, aches or pain in the lower abdomen and sometimes blood in the urine.
Pain in the back beneath the ribs can indicate a UTI that has spread to the kidneys and should be treated immediately. Any UTI that lasts longer than 48 hours should also be treated by a physician to prevent spread to the kidneys, which can be a serious and potentially life-threatening situation. If you suspect a urinary tract infection, drink plenty of water to help flush the bladder and kidneys.
There are several natural remedies that can help cure and prevent UTIs. They work best when started at the first signs of infection.
A half teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water can help relieve painful urination. The baking soda neutralizes the acid in the urine so it should be used together with vitamin C to balance pH levels. Add half a cup of baking soda to a warm sitz bath daily to ease the discomfort and itching associated with the infection.
Vitamin C is recommended for people who are prone to recurring UTIs. Vitamin C acidifies the urine, making it inhospitable to the bacteria that causes infection. 5,000 mg daily is the recommended dosage for prevention. In addition, vitamin C is a natural immunity booster that can help fight infections if they do occur.
Cranberry can help heal and prevent future infections. Cranberry prevents infection-causing bacteria from taking hold in the bladder and has a natural antibiotic effect. Cranberry juice should be natural and unsweetened. Cranberry juice cocktails are diluted and loaded with extra sugar, which could worsen the problem. Drink 2 to 4 glasses of pure, undiluted cranberry juice per day to fight infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Organic apple cider vinegar provides enzymes, potassium and other minerals that prevent UTI bacteria from growing and multiplying. It can be used as a natural antibiotic during a current infection or taken as a preventative measure. Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of raw, organic honey to a glass of water, mix well and drink. Use this blend 3 times daily during an infection or once per day to prevent it.
There are several herbs that can assist in the prevention and treatment of a UTI. Herbs like Buchu have been used for centuries to cleanse the entire urinary tract and flush out the bladder. Uva Ursi (bearberry) is another potent herb for fighting UTIs. It contains arbutin, a substance that is converted to the urinary antiseptic hydroquinone.