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Natural Remedies for UTI

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Natural Remedies for UTI

writtenByWritten by: Sara Menges
Sara Menges

Sara Menges

Sara enjoys research, art, and seeking a sustainably fun life, balancing physical and mental health. Read more on how she explores, learns, and balances all her interests at www.saramenges.com.

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reviewBy Reviewed by: Dr. Katalin Karolyi
Reviewer

Dr. Katalin Karolyi

Katalin Karolyi, M.D. earned her medical degree at the University of Debrecen. After completing her residency program in pathology at the Kenezy Hospital, she obtained a postdoctoral position at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Orlando, Florida.

February 12, 2021 Read Time - 7 minutes

What are Natural Remedies for UTI?

When deciding how to ease the pain of a UTI, don’t completely rule out natural cures. There are plenty of urinary tract infection home remedy options that can support recovery time by reducing the severity and duration of symptoms.

Most home treatments for UTI also double up as good preventative measures that also reduce the risk of recurring symptoms. While there will be infections requiring medication or advanced treatments, some do respond positively to UTI natural remedies. Taking too many antibiotics can also create antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains making alternative options great to know.

Learn about remedies you can try at home for faster relief from symptoms.

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What is a Urinary Tract Infection?

An infection anywhere along the urinary tract is called a urinary tract infection (UTI). The urinary tract system includes several different organs that extract, hold, and transport urine before it is flushed out of the body. This process of flushing out the urine is also supposed to remove any bacteria that may have entered the urinary tract. When bacteria in the tract multiply, it can lead to a full-blown infection.

The organs that make up the urinary tract are:

  • Kidneys that filter blood, and remove waste and excess water to form urine
  • Ureters, which are two thin tubes connecting the kidney to the bladder
  • The bladder, where the urine transported from the kidney through the ureter is stored
  • The urethra is a thin tube connecting the bladder to the outside of the body

The bacteria that commonly causes UTI cases is Eschericha coli, or E.coli. They are found in our digestive tract and is one of the main causes of UTI by accounting for about 90 percent of all uncomplicated UTI cases. Improper wiping or toilet backsplash can accidentally cause bacteria from the anus to contact the genitals; these are some of the most common ways to spread E. coli into the urinary tract.

Urine is normally sterile and an infection occurs when bacteria is introduced into the urinary tract. Inflammation usually starts at the opening of the urethra that connects to the bladder and the rest of the urinary tract. When bacteria reach the bladder where urine is stored, they can use the urine as food to grow and multiply. When enough bacteria are present in the organ, an infection can develop.

Common Symptoms of a UTI

Common symptoms of a UTI in the bladder include:

  • Painful or burning urination
  • Cloudy and dark urine that may appear red or pink from blood
  • Bad smelling urine
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • A mild fever under 101 degrees Fahrenheit

Common indicators that an infection has spread to the kidneys include:

  • Chills and shaking
  • A fever exceeding 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Whether you feel the onset of an infection in the urinary tract developing or are seeking a natural treatment for UTI as an added preventative care measure, there are plenty of options to explore for reducing bacteria build up.

While a natural remedy for UTI symptoms may be effective for mild cases, full-blown infections may require antibiotics or other treatment options. The faster you act on seeking relief from UTI signs and symptoms, the more effective the treatment will be. If your UTI is caused by a structural issue, your doctor may refer you to someone who can advise on urinary tract problems. For structural issues, a specialist called a urologist would be involved and surgery could be required.

Common Natural Remedies for UTI

You can get quick relief from mild symptoms or use natural remedies for UTI to ensure an infection stays away. Most natural remedies assist with flushing out bacteria from your urinary tract or preventing the spread and multiplication of bacteria.

If your UTI is the result of another health condition such as an inflamed prostate or kidney stone, different types of treatments may be needed in complement with any home remedy option.

People often think of drinking cranberry juice as a UTI natural remedy. For UTI symptoms that are mild or preventative care measures, it can be; however, there is conflicting data on its effectiveness. The data supporting consumption of cranberry juice includes one study indicating that cranberry and blueberry juice can stop bacteria from adhering to the cells lining the urinary tract, which could prevent the spread of infections.

If drinking cranberry juice as a natural cure for UTI, make sure it is unsweetened and in natural forms. Avoid drinking it if you take any blood-thinning medication and, in general, nobody should drink it in large quantities as it could deteriorate conditions in your kidneys. At most, one glass a day is recommended to avoid other risks such as kidney stones.

Foods as Natural Remedies for UTI

There are certain food items that can be consumed to help relieve symptoms of a UTI. Fresh parsley as garnish or a juice are known to help flush out toxins present and microorganisms in the urinary tract. One study found that parsley juice leads to increased urine amounts when compared to water, allowing for more bacteria flushed. Parsley also contains multiple nutrients, including vitamins A and C. Since parsley may interact with some medications, consult your doctor prior to trying this method.

Raw garlic cloves are another effective food item to start consuming today as a natural treatment for UTI. Garlic has antibacterial properties as well as works for pathogens resistant to antibiotic medications.

Constipation can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) in children. Eating plenty of fiber in combination with the increase of fluid intake is essential to prevent this condition. Apples are high in fiber and contain anti-inflammatory properties. Apples can be eaten raw, added to smoothies, or sliced thinly to add to various salads. Cabbage is also high in fiber and helps with fluid-related issues that may affect the urinary tract.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Other Habits For Preventing Infections

On top of choosing a home remedy for urinary tract infection symptoms, engaging in other preventative measures can reduce the likelihood of infections developing or spreading. Methods that decrease exposure of the urinary tract to bacteria are effective options and include the categorized examples below:

Proper Hygienic Routines

  • Good hygiene habits can ensure you never deal with an infection. This includes washing your genitals and wiping front to back.
  • Individuals with indwelling bladder catheters should remember to have their catheters changed regularly to avoid irritation and infection, including cleaning and monitoring the area surrounding where the catheter enters the urethra.
  • For women, change sanitary napkins or pads often to avoid bacteria build-up or overgrowth. Using tampons is recommended as they keep the bladder opening area drier than a sanitary pad. Note that douching, sprays, or powders in the genital area can irritate the urethra.

Healthy Urination Process

  • Don’t hold pee. Try to completely empty your bladder without rushing anything.
  • Urinate soon after sex, and make sure you practice safe sex in general.
  • Hydrate often for a healthy flow of urine that can flush out bacteria.

Dietary and Clothing Considerations

  • Eating plenty of fiber so stools pass easily; constipation can increase the risk of developing a UTI.
  • Avoid drinks that may irritate your bladder making it harder to heal, like coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks containing citrus juices or caffeine.
  • Avoiding synthetic undergarments or tight-fitting clothes that prevent air movement and increase the likelihood of sweating. These can create fertile environments for bacteria build-up.

If you experience any symptoms of a urinary tract infection, call or book online with PlushCare to set up a phone appointment with a top U.S. doctor today.


Read More About Remedies for UTI


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Urinary Tract Infection. Accessed on January 9, 2021 at https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/community/for-patients/common-illnesses/uti.html

Mayo Clinic. Urinary tract infection (UTI). Accessed on January 9, 2021 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447

National Library of Medicine. Cranberry Consumption Against Urinary Tract Infections: Clinical State of- the-Art and Future Perspectives. Accessed on January 9, 2021 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30520372/

National Library of Medicine. Efficient and Cost-Effective Alternative Treatment for Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Interstitial Cystitis in Women: A Two-Case Report. Accessed on January 9, 2021 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4283390/

National Library of Medicine. Parsley: a review of ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and biological activities. Accessed on January 9, 2021 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24660617/

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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