by wowmagazine

You may be surprised by how much you can do at home to treat your discomfort.

How did you treat your most recent urinary tract infection (UTI)? Taking an antibiotic is the gold standard treatment for a urinary tract infection  — and may be necessary for a bad infection —but it isn’t the only way to alleviate symptoms of a UTI. Some remedies don’t require a prescription; and they can be done right at home, in addition to any treatment your doctor has recommended.

But it’s important to be cautious with do-it-yourself home solutions, and be sure to check in with your doctor before trying a new strategy on your own. For example, mixing baking soda and water as a drink to help fight a urinary tract infection can be risky if you drink too much of it as it can create baking soda–related poisonings.

The following eight viable home remedies — from drinking lots of water to applying heat and wearing loose cotton clothing — may ease your agonising UTI symptoms or prevent them in the first place:

 Get Your Fill of Water and Water-Based Foods

One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is drink plenty of water. That’s because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria that’s causing your infection and it puts you on the right track for recovery.

Most people can be assured they’re getting the water they need by simply drinking water when thirsty. But to be safe, you may want to make sure you are drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.

Load Up on Vitamin C for a Healthy Urinary Tract

Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when you are having pain urinating. 

Soothe UTI Pain With Heat

Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure and pain around your pubic area. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, don’t apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.

Cut Bladder Irritants From Your Diet

When you have a UTI, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal. Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates (including oatmeal or lentil soup), that are good for your digestive health.

Go Ahead, Empty Your Bladder Again

Every time you empty your bladder — even if it’s just a small amount — you rid it of some of the bacteria causing the infection. Keep making those bathroom runs.

Consider Herbal Remedies

You may find some relief from taking the herb uva ursi (bearberry leaf), which is sometimes used as an herbal remedy for lower urinary tract infections. But experts caution that it should be taken only for short periods of time — five days or less — as it could cause liver damage. 

It’s important to note that even though bearberry leaf may help some, there have been no large randomised controlled trials – the gold standard when it comes to proving the effectiveness of a drug or treatment in medicine – testing it as a remedy for UTIs.

Always be sure to check with your doctor before an herbal supplement. Supplements, herbs, and other medication you might be taking can cause side effects or may interact with one another. The effects can sometimes be serious.

Change to Healthier Daily Habits

Lifestyle changes matter because they can help you recover from a UTI and might prevent another infection. Quit smoking, wear loose cotton clothing and underwear, wipe yourself clean from front to back, choose only fragrance-free personal hygiene products.

Cut Back on Meat and Poultry

Some studies have linked contaminated poultry and meat to E.coli bacteria strains that can cause UTIs. These studies haven’t proven that eating meat or poultry causes UTIs. In fact, some E.coli can live in the intestines without causing any problems. However, bacteria from the gut can enter the urinary tract and cause infection. This risk is greater in women than men, because women have shorter urethras than men, meaning the bacteria has less distance to travel to reach the bladder. Cutting back on meat and focusing on fruits and veggies may slightly cut your risk of UTIs.

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