There are a few times in life when you have a solid idea of what unwelcome symptoms mean. Chest congestion with a fever and chills? You probably have the flu. Burning, itching, and pain down there? It’s probably a yeast infection. What about burning and urgency when you need to pee? You guessed — all signs point to a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Millions of women (and a smaller number of men) develop UTIs every year. It’s painful, and you feel like you’re chained to the bathroom by the constant urge to empty your bladder. Treating a UTI is a must. If left unchecked, you could develop a kidney infection or even experience kidney failure over time.
It’s important to know what goes into battling a UTI and what options you may have. Keep reading for some valuable information about this battle for bladder relief.
To be honest, some UTIs will be worse than others. With some, that nagging need to pee is relatively minor. Other cases can produce intense burning during urination and give you a backache. You may even feel like stepping away from the bathroom is an invitation for an accident. For cases that bad, consider requesting a prescription.
If leaving home to get to the doctor sounds dicey, there’s good news! You can also find UTI treatment online. You can have a licensed healthcare professional evaluate your symptoms and determine if a prescription is necessary. If so, then, they can send an order to your closest pharmacy. Yay for limited driving!
OK, so downing multiple glasses of water may sound like it will only add to your woes. It is adding fluid to your body when it hurts to pee, after all. However, this is exactly what you need to do. The more your drink, the more your body flushes out the bad bacteria camping out in your bladder.
For an adult, drinking six-to-eight glasses of water every day is the goal. That much hydration is a good thing for your overall health. If you’re fighting a UTI, it’s even more important. When your bladder is full, it’s harder for the germs to cling to your bladder. Eventually, that water starts to flush the bacteria out with every bathroom trip.
Given all the yogurt commercials, you likely already associate probiotics with good gut health. That’s accurate and definitely helpful. Probiotics may improve your health in another way. They can also boost the power of the prescription antibiotics you’re taking. In some instances, they may help prevent a UTI in the first place.
Probiotics work in a simple, straightforward way. A UTI happens when bad bacteria overtake the good bacteria in your bladder. By taking a probiotic daily, you can help the good bacteria turn the tides in the battle. When this happens, you may see your symptoms get better. Sticking with probiotics could also help you sidestep another UTI.
When you think of medical treatment, a specific food rarely comes to mind. When you have a UTI, though, you should think about cranberries. Millions of people have had this pinky-red, tart berry come to their rescue during this painful infection. The fruit contains lots of vitamins, such as vitamin C, that stop bacteria from holding on to your urinary tract.
If cranberries are too tart for you to eat raw, you have other options. Try a cranberry powder caplet or supplement. The dried variety is sweeter and easier to work into your diet. If you’d prefer cranberry juice, stick with the unsweetened kind. It doesn’t have the added sugar that bad bacteria uses for food.
There’s one thing about having a UTI that’s undeniable. It can be incredibly uncomfortable. When you’re that miserable, it’s important to loosen up. No, that doesn’t mean to chill out and relax (although that would be nice). It means looking for some clothes that aren’t so tight.
First, tighter clothes are more likely to rub against your skin. That can add to your irritation. Second, tight pants can trap moisture — that’s the most inviting environment the bad bacteria could hope for.
Consider opting for looser clothes for a while. Even if it means leaving your favorite jeans or leggings in the closet for a few days, do it. Wear plain cotton or cotton-lined underwear, too. You’ll stay cleaner and drier. Just this one choice can potentially decrease your symptoms and increase your comfort.
If you stop and think about problem-causing foods, you probably flash back to your last stomachache. That’s understandable. Did you know, though, that some foods can also cause bladder trouble? If you have a UTI, they could make your symptoms worse and make it harder to shake the infection. Removing them from your diet — at least temporarily — can help.
While you’re dealing with the infection, there are many foods that can make things worse. Spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol can all be culprits. On the flip side, you can do yourself a favor and eat more high-fiber foods. Nuts, bananas, lentils, and oatmeal are great bad bacteria busters. If you haven’t already, consider adding them to your diet.
A UTI can bring your daily activities to a screeching halt. The pain can leave you curled on your couch, while the urge to pee ties you to the bathroom. Getting effective treatment for the infection is a top priority. If you follow the tactics above, you can strengthen your body’s defenses. Pretty soon, you could feel more comfortable venturing further away from the bathroom.