A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs when the bladder, kidney, or urethra becomes infected. Oftentimes, bacteria invades the urinary system from outside of the body and infects the lower part of the urinary tract. In more severe cases, a UTI may spread up to the kidneys, which can cause serious, painful symptoms.
Symptoms of a UTI
With a UTI, your bladder walls become inflamed and swollen, resulting in several painful symptoms. Some signs that you may have developed a UTI include:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen and pelvis
- Increased urge to urinate
- Fatigue and nausea
- Cloudy urine with a strong odor
- Blood in the urine
You may be at an elevated risk to develop a UTI if you have functional abnormalities of the urinary tract, frequently have kidney stones, or recently required the use of a catheter.
How to Treat a UTI
To get rid of a UTI, you can try several types of home remedies:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
One of the most effective and simple ways to treat a UTI is to drink lots of water. Hydrating yourself helps flush away any bacteria in the urinary tract and is also a successful way to help prevent UTIs from developing.
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Consuming significant amounts of Vitamin C in your diet may help inhibit growth of bacteria in the urinary tract by making your urine more acidic.
Try Heat Therapy
Although it may not heal the infection, applying a heating pad for 15 minutes at a time to your pelvic area can reduce painful symptoms caused by the inflammation in your urinary tract.
Drink Cranberry Juice
Research suggests that cranberries are able to prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract; thereby, healing and preventing UTIs from occurring.
Eat Healthy Foods
There are a plethora of unhealthy substances that can further irritate your urinary tract. If diagnosed with a UTI, make sure to avoid the following:
- Spicy food
- Carbonated drinks
- Artificial sweeteners
Instead, opt for high-fiber foods that can enhance your digestive and urinary tract health.
Consume a Probiotic
Probiotics contain living microorganisms that promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. Specifically, a group of probiotics known as lactobacilli can help make the urine more acidic and prevent harmful bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
Know When to Seek Treatment
A majority of the time, the above home remedies can be effective at clearing a UTI on their own. However, for more severe cases, you may need to see a specialist at The Kidney and Hypertension Center. There, you will usually be prescribed a type of antibiotic to resolve the UTI. It is very important to follow your healthcare provider’s directions regarding your antibiotics, as not taking the medications in their entirety will likely cause the infection to return.
Contact The Kidney and Hypertension Center today to learn more about UTIs, their treatment options, and how to prioritize your urinary tract care.