Preventing and Treating UTIs Naturally
In the 1964 comedy, The Disorderly Orderly, the hospital orderly Jerome Littlefield (played by Jerry Lewis) had a serious problem. Every day that he came to work at the hospital, sick people surrounded Jerome. His problem was that he suffered an extreme case of hypochondria!
So every time someone (usually an elderly person) described in detail the symptoms of their illness or condition, Jerome imagined himself contracting their ailments! At the time, only an uninhibited actor like Jerry Lewis could pull off such a hilarious role!
Why am I bringing up Jerome and his hypochondria? – Because we’re about to discuss urinary tract infections (UTI). And I know from experience that we all have vivid imaginations with a bit of the hypochondria in us! So I encourage you to take a deep breath and read this article with an objective mind.
As it happens, UTIs are quite common in the US with about 8 to 10 million people developing them each year. Due primarily to anatomical reasons, women are most likely to contract a UTI (about 20 percent of women per year). About 20 percent of those who experience a UTI will also have a recurrence. UTIs are also common in children who are still in diapers.
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enters the urethral opening. The most common form of bacteria found in UTIs is E. coli. Fortunately, most UTIs are confined to the lower urinary tract affecting the urethra and bladder.
Unless treated, a UTI can spread to the upper urinary tract including the ureters (that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder) and even to the kidneys. A UTI in the kidneys can cause serious damage and even death, so a UTI is not something to take lightly!
Symptoms of a UTI Include:
- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
- Cloudy urine
- Inability to urinate despite the urge
- Frequent need to urinate
- General discomfort
- Painful urination
If you develop any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away.
4 Natural Ways to Prevent and Treat UTIs
1. First, drink plenty of fresh water and avoid coffee, alcohol and soft drinks made with citric acid.
Those other drinks may irritate an already painful infection. And water is one of the best cleansing agents and will help flush toxins from your system.
2. Practice good hygiene daily to prevent bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
Shower instead of taking baths and avoid products that may irritate the urethra. In the case of small children, change their soiled diapers promptly to avoid infection.
3. Increase the pH of your urinary tract.
Historically, antibiotics are prescribed for a UTI. However, some physicians suspect that antibiotics may actually increase the risk of recurring UTIs since the bacteria develop resistance to the antibiotics.
There are some effective, more natural remedies for UTIs. Because of the potential seriousness of a UTI, always use these remedies under the care of a medical professional.
One great treatment is a magnesium citrate supplement. Remember, a UTI is a bacterial infection. Researchers have observed that creating an alkaline environment in the urinary tract inhibits the growth of these bacteria.
The pH level in our urinary tract determines how favorable conditions are for the growth of bacteria. A pH of 7 or less is considered acidic and conducive to bacterial growth. A pH above 7 falls into the alkaline range and is more likely to inhibit bacterial growth.
This is where the magnesium citrate supplement comes in as it can create that alkaline environment. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, take five to 10 oz. of magnesium citrate daily for a maximum of one week, unless your doctor directs otherwise. Again, it’s best to take this supplement under the supervision of a physician.
4. Drink 16 oz. of pure cranberry or blueberry juice each day.
These juices have antiseptic (antibacterial) properties. They have been clinically shown to have both a preventative and therapeutic effect.
Certainly, after reading this article, the hospital orderly Jerome Littlefield would be squirming in his chair! He would be convinced that he had an incurable urinary tract infection! I hope that’s not the case with you! Instead, now you are aware of the causes, symptoms and some natural treatments for UTI.
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Rob Fischer has been writing professionally for over 35 years. His experience includes writing curricula, study guides, articles, blogs, newsletters, manuals, workbooks, training courses, workshops, and books. Rob has written for numerous churches, for Burlington Northern Railroad, Kaiser Aluminum, and Barton Publishing. He has also trained managers in effective business writing. Rob holds two Master’s degrees, both focused heavily on writing. Rob has published eleven books and serves as an editor and ghostwriter for other authors.