Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) account for, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a whopping 8 million visits to health practitioners each year. In fact, UTIs are the second most common infection in the human body. If you’ve suffered from a UTI, you know they can be very uncomfortable. And, unfortunately, the are often a recurring issue, particularly among women.
As you may know, a 20-minute office visit will quickly turn into a prescription for an antibiotic. The problem is, the main bacteria responsible for UTIs has become increasingly resistant to a lot of antibiotics prescribed today.
So how do you cure a UTI without antibiotics? Before paying that co-pay, and spending a half hour sitting in the waiting room, consider the following natural remedies for Urinary Tract Infections.
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Common Symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection
There are many symptoms associated with a UTI. Here are some typical warning signs to take note of:
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pain in the bladder while urinating
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle aches
- Fatigue or a constant feeling of weakness
- Red or pinkish urine (which can be a sign of blood)
- Urine that has a stronger smell than usual
- For women, UTIs can cause pelvic pain
- A consistent urge to pee, while passing tiny amounts of urine
Note that there can be different types of the infection. Infections that occur in the urethra can include symptoms such as fever, chills, nausea, and aches in the side and upper back. A lower UTI, also known as a bladder infection, can include abdominal discomfort, pelvic pain, and painful urination.
Bacteria can also infect the kidneys by going up the ureters. This is referred to as an upper urinary tract infection. Warning signs of an upper UTI are discharge and a burning feeling while peeing. An enlarged prostate or kidney stone could be the culprit to such discomfort.
Cure a UTI With Natural Remedies
Medications that fight bacteria, like antibiotics, are the typical solution prescribed by most doctors. The problem with such treatment is that immunities are developed for this particular drug in patients who have taken an antibiotic within the previous year.
According to papers noted in Current Infectious Disease Reports, there are many reasons not to resort to antibiotic medications for UTI treatment. First, the growing immunity to E. coli, which is the main bacterial culprit of Urinary Tract Infections. Additionally, research shows that using antibiotics to treat UTIs can lead to a vaginal infection in women. The common consensus is that antibiotics should not be consumed unless a UTI does not heal within the first few days of symptoms.
This is why natural remedies for UTIs have become increasingly popular. Before recommending our favorite UTI cure, consider these easy DIY “treatments.”
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Treat and Prevent UTIs at Home
Some of these recommendations aren’t remedies or treatments, per se, but they are important for both treatment and prevention.
- Drink lots of fluids: Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day will flush the bacteria that preempts UTIs out of your body.
- Urinate as much as possible: As soon as you feel the urge to pee, head to the bathroom. Urinating often helps ensure that bacteria doesn’t develop in urine that is still in the bladder.
- Dress loosely: Clothes and underwear that are loose-fitting will help keep you dry “downstairs.” Tight pants and underwear can trap moisture, which encourages bacteria to grow.
- Take probiotics: A great alternative treatment for UTIs is probiotics. Research has been done that shows benign bacterial flora is important for curbing the growth of illness-inducing microorganisms.
- Consume garlic: While it certainly puts off an unflattering scent to your breath, garlic has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties offer antibacterial benefits against a broad range of bacteria, including the bacteria most responsible for UTIs – E. coli. (A better option is odorless garlic capsules: BRI Nutrition has a great product).
Curing a Urinary Tract Infection With Essential Oils
Essential oils are among the most popular natural remedies that people use in their everyday lives. Note that not all brands are food grade. So be sure to check the manufacturer label before taking them internally.
Thanks to their antibacterial properties, the three best oils for UTIs are clove, oregano, and myrrh. There are others that can be used for infections in different ways. For instance, adding one to two drops of lemon oil to a glass of water can help immensely (it can even help with kidney stones).
Here are a few ways to apply the oils:
- Rub a few drops of clove, oregano, or myrrh on the bottom of your feet.
- For pain, mix a drop of oregano with a drop of peppermint and massage over your abdomen.
- Top off a gel capsule with 3 drops of clove, oregano, and myrrh and take internally two times a day.
Some Final Thoughts
- About half of women suffer from at least one UTI throughout their lifetime and one in five women suffer from recurrent Urinary Tract Infections.
- Certain risk factors are sexual intercourse, using spermicides or diaphragms, and having a suppressed immune system.
- The most popular treatment (at least, from doctors) for UTIs is antibiotics. The problem is antibiotic resistance boosts the risk of recurring infections.
- The most popular natural treatments for UTIs are essential oils, probiotics, garlic, and cranberry juice.