by- Panchali Moitra
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by harmful bacteria and leads to inflammation of the urinary tract. UTIs are quite common in women aged between 20 and 50 and statistics show that about one in five women will have at least one UTI during these years. If left untreated, UTIs can be quite painful. UTI may lead to serious consequences, if the infection travels upwards and reaches the kidneys.
Beside bacterial infections; stress, eating on the run and forgetting to drink enough water too can increase your risk of bladder infections. Patients with diabetes may show a higher risk of UTI because of modifications in the immune system.
Not everyone with a UTI has symptoms, but most people get at least some symptoms. When you get a burning sensation whilst passing urine, or you feel the need to pass urine frequently or when you see blood in your urine, then you should know that you have a urinary infection & call your doctor immediately.
The patients often feel tired, washed out—and pain even when not urinating. Often women feel an uncomfortable pressure above the pubic bone, and men might experience fullness in the rectum. It is common for a person with a urinary infection to complain that, despite the urge to urinate; only a small amount of urine is passed. The urine itself may look milky or cloudy, even reddish if blood is present. Other symptoms of a kidney infection include pain in the back or side below the ribs, nausea, or vomiting and fever.
Traditionally bladder infections are treated with antibiotics and the choice of drug and length of treatment depend on the patient’s history and the urine tests that identify the offending bacteria. Antibiotic treatments usually work, but also have their own set of problems. They destroy the friendly bacteria in the intestines, which help the body make their own B-vitamins.
Foods to Eat and to Avoid list
These natural interventions help to prevent the infection and cure the symptoms naturally –
Eat one cup of fresh cherries (rich in antioxidants) every 2 hours to help ease the burning sensation in the urine.
Garlic: is known to have anti bacterial properties. Eating 4-5 cloves of raw garlic a day helps combat urinary infections. You can chop it fine 7 gulp it down with warm water or, make garlic pickle in lime juice & eat 4-5 cloves daily for a week.
The fresh green leaves of radish are packed with anti-bacterial properties. Taking around 150 ml juice made from radish leaves for a fortnight can help reduce inflammation of the urinary bladder and reduce the burning sensation while passing urine.
Take a diet rich in vitamin C as it keeps the acidity level of urine high. Bacteria cannot thrive in an acidic medium. Taking high does of vitamin C may also help relieve a person of urinary infection. About 2000mg 2-3 times a day is recommended. Since this is a very high dose you must do it under your doctor supervision.
Drinking large amounts of fluids obviously helps as it dilutes the toxins in the urine and flushes the system. Drink one litre of water (normal temperature) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and another 6-8 glasses during the day. This habit will prevent recurrence of your problem.
You can make herbed tea at home with lemon rind and cinnamon (dalchini). Take one teaspoon each of grated lemon rind and cinnamon powder and boil it in a litre of water.
To increase the acid-base balance in the body, some people recommend drinking water in which half a teaspoon of baking powder has been added. However, do remember to check with your doctor before starting any home remedy.
Drink cranberry juice. According to a 1994 study, cranberry juice can reduce levels of bacteria in the urinary tract and prevent new bacteria from taking hold, so helping to prevent minor infections. In case of an infection, cranberry juice helps in fast recovery.
Other fluids that help clear UTI are tender coconut water, barley water, buttermilk, cucumber juice as these are believed to be diuretics. Cabbage, carrot, curd, coconut, clove, ginger, garlic, lime, onion, radish and turmeric retard infections and can be used liberally.
Alcohol is a diuretic and promotes dehydration. This may lead to further infection as there will be fewer fluids in the system. Chances of re-occurrence will also increase. Hence if you are prone to frequent urinary bladder infections you must avoid or restrict the intake of alcohol.
For a couple of days at the outset of the symptoms of bladder infection, avoid eating any type of protein. Just live on a whole lot of fruits and vegetables (raw or partially cooked) for about 2 days. This would case the load of digestion & direct the energies to fight off the infection. It would also help to detoxify your body.
Maintain good personal hygiene and avoid using public toilets.
Don’t suppress the need to urinate. Use the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. The longer the urine stays in the bladder, the higher the chances of an infection occurring.
Using natural remedies like herbs, diets, water has no unpleasant side effects. Eating right foods can help to prevent UTI, improve the urinary tract infection related discomforts and also promote good health.