Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a very common health problem. While both men and women get UTIs, women are more prone to them.
A UTI occurs when the bladder and its exit tubes are infected by bacteria. Some of the causes are sexual intercourse, waiting too long to urinate, pregnancy, menopause, and diabetes.
Common symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, passing small quantities of urine, a burning sensation when urinating, change in urine color, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Immediate treatment is necessary so that the infection does not cause damage to the kidneys. In addition to the conventional treatment, many natural remedies can help prevent and treat UTIs.
Among holistic treatments for UTI, cranberry has received the most thorough scrutiny. From the first day you suspect a UTI, drink three 8-ounce glasses of unsweetened cranberry juice daily, along with plenty of water to increase urine flow.
You can also take cranberry pills. Make sure your supplement contains whole cranberry extract and is free of fillers. Take as directed, or one to four 400 mg pills a day, depending on the severity of your symptoms, for two weeks.
Some studies, dating back to 2002, have shown that D-mannose, a naturally occurring simple sugar, in powdered form appears to offer relief from UTIs. Both cranberry pills and D-mannose are available in natural food stores.
Preventing a Relapse
If you’ve kicked one infection and want to stay UTI free, Rubman and Mindel recommend the following supplements:
Water: Why it helps: Water flushes out the bacteria in your bladder, helping to eliminate the infection faster. It also dilutes your urine, so urination may be less painful. Urine is made of waste products and acids from your body. Concentrated, dark urine is more acidic and is sometimes more painful to pass when you have a bladder infection. Diluted urine is lighter in color and usually doesn’t burn as much.
Vitamin C: Acidifies urine and reinforces cell membranes against germs; 2,000 to 4,000 mg daily.
Selenium: Constructs immunity and reduces inflammation; 1 to 2 mg daily.
Zinc: Boosts your resistance to germs and builds immunity; 20 mg each day.
Vitamin A: Promotes healthy tissue and decreases swelling; 10,000 to 20,000 IU each day.
Vitamin E: Strengthens cells and neutralizes complimentary radicals. For optimum efficiency, select d-tocopherol, the natural kind, instead of the artificial form, dl-tocopherol; 400 to 600 IU daily.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Lower inflammation and increase resistance; 500 mg each day with EHA and DPA fish oils.
Evening primrose oil: Minimizes swelling and tones mucus membranes; 500 to 1,000 mg each day.
Mindel also suggests removing sugars from the diet plan (they feed the germs) and preventing alcohol and caffeine (both can be dehydrating and aggravate to the urinary system). Eat dark green veggies, asparagus, and red and blue fruits such as plums, blueberries, and raspberries, however avoid citrus fruits while combating a UTI, as these actually lower urinary acidity and damage the beneficial action of vitamin C and cranberry juice.