Today, I want to address a health issue that’s actually pretty common – urinary tract infections (UTIs). According to the National Kidney Foundation, around 1 in 5 women will experience a UTI in her lifetime, whether that be from sexual intercourse, a side effect of birth control, or other causes.
I’ve personally had plenty of experience with recurrent UTIs over the years. Many of those experiences have gone the same way: calling the doctor to make an appointment, going to the appointment, peeing in a cup, receiving a prescription, getting it filled, and then taking antibiotics until the UTI finally goes away.
Unfortunately for me, this process is often followed closely by yeast infections because the antibiotics killed the good bacteria that keep yeast levels in check by fighting harmful bacteria. Ugh!
Author’s Note: I would only recommend these home remedies if you’re sure that you’re suffering from a run-of-the-mill UTI and have only mild UTI symptoms. If you have intense pain, burning sensation during urination), fever, nausea, or vomiting, it may be a sign that the urinary tract infection has spread to your kidneys. If you suspect you may have a kidney infection or bladder infection, you should seek medical treatment from your healthcare provider or urologist immediately!
5 Natural Remedies For Urinary Tract Infections
The first thing I did was turn to my essential oils. After reading about several different protocols, I came up with my own blend of oils that I have been taking three times a day. (I call it the “Bladder Bomb,” but you can call it whatever you want.) ;-) Fill a gel capsule with the following oils, and take one tablet 3 times a day.
A few more essential oil remedies for UTIs and the associated pain:
I’d never heard of this before, but after reading several articles about D-mannose, I decided it was definitely worth trying. D-mannose is a type of sugar found in several fruits (including cranberries) and is available as a dietary supplement. I found a bottle at our local health food store, but you can also find it online!
It doesn’t kill any bacteria (good or bad) — it just helps to flush them out and keep them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Take the D-mannose capsules according to the package directions.
Vitamin C increases the acid content of urine, which helps chase bacteria away and strengthens the immune system. It’s recommended to take 1000mg of Vitamin C daily to help fight off an infection. (Stop taking it if you experience an upset stomach or loose bowel movements.) If you suffer from frequent UTIs, taking 1000mg of Vitamin C per day has been shown to be effective at preventing recurring infections.
Unsweetened cranberry juice works as a UTI remedy because it has been found to make urine more acidic, combating bad bacteria such as E. Coli. Look for beverages that are at least 25% cranberry juice and contain minimal amounts of added sugars. If drinking the tart beverage is not for you, cranberry capsules are another reliable option.
A 2015 study found that treatment with cranberry juice in a pill form that is equal to two 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice has the potential to minimize the occurrence of urinary tract infections by half!
It should also be noted that if you take the blood-thinning medication, Warfarin, you should not partake in this UTI treatment as it has been found to interact negatively and can cause bleeding.
Probiotics are the beneficial microorganisms that aid in balancing the good and bad bacteria in your tummy. Studies on probiotics have shown that they not only fight harmful bacteria and infections but also help with digestion.
You can find probiotic supplements in your local health market, or you can incorporate foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir into your diet.
Do’s And Don’ts For UTI Prevention
Treating UTIs naturally is great, but preventing UTIs is even better! Here are a few DO’S and DON’TS to consider:
- DON’T try to “hold it.” When you’ve got to go, go! If you hold your urine, you’re more likely to experience a backup of bacteria, which can lead to infection.
- DO wear cotton. Women should wear breathable cotton underwear or cotton-lined pantyhose to stay fresher and dryer. Guys should go for boxer shorts.
- DO make a habit of urinating after intercourse, even if you do not feel like you have to go; urinating will help to flush bacteria out of the urinary tract.
- DO practice good bathroom hygiene.
- DO supplement your diet with probiotic-rich foods or supplements). These friendly bacteria can reduce your chances of a repeat infection.
- DO drink water – and I mean LOTS OF WATER! If you tend to get recurrent urinary tract infections, drinking water is a must — about 8 cups per day. You should be urinating at least every four to five hours to prevent a bacterial infection.
For those of you who have experience with UTIs, do you have any tricks for treating them? Please share them below, I would love to know!