Infection that affects the urinary tract including Urethra (tube that carries urine from bladder to out of your body), kidneys, Ureters (tubes that connects kidneys with bladder) and bladder etc. are commonly known as Urinary tract infection. The urinary tract infection is usually caused by bacteria but sometimes viruses and fungi also may cause infection. UTI are common and not very serious but there are some exceptions.
Women are more likely than men to get diseases of the urinary tract because the urethra is closer to the anus than in men and therefore is more susceptible to infection through sexual intercourse or anus. Girls often suffer from frequent urinary infections due to various reasons like lack of cleanliness etc. Cleaning to avoid urinary infections should always be done from front to back, to avoid at all times that bacterial infiltration to the vaginal area. The bladder of the urine is usually affected by the infection that usually spreads to the urethra and occasionally it can also spread to the kidneys if it is not treated on time. The usual treatment for urinary tract infections are antibiotics to fight the pathogenic bacteria causing the infection and the durability of the treatment will depend on the degree of infection.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection include
- Difficulty in urination
- Pain in lower belly (above pubic bone/ over bladder)
- Burning, pain while urination
- Frequent urination
- Dark or bloody urine that may be accompanied by a bad smell
- In some cases fever, chill, nausea (severe condition like kidney infection)
- Low back pain
- Urge to pee right away
- Peeing in small amounts at a time
- Pelvic pain
- Painful ejaculation
- pain behind scrotum
- Bloody semen
Types Of Urine Infections
- Urethritis : It is the primary infection of urinary tract that affects the urethra.
- Cystitis is the infection of urinary tract that affects the bladder and is quite common, especially in women and is characterized by a lot of pain when urinating and passing little amount in each evacuation.
- The infection of ureters, the channels that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, is very rare, since infection of this area generally encompasses a spread of infection to bladder or kidneys.
- The pyelonephritis or kidney infection is serious in nature. It usually includes minor infections that have not been controlled affect the kidney, but the symptoms associated with kidney infections may also be indicative of other serious diseases such as cancer.
Urinary Tract Infection Causes
Among some of its main causes are:
- Lack of hygienic habits that facilitate the entry of bacteria from the anus
- Some sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia can cause urinary tract infections
- Public restrooms and toilets are a major source of germs that can cause urinary tract infections in people with a prone or depressed immune system
- During pregnancy, urinary tract infections are also common due to compression of the internal organs
- Age, as we grow older, susceptibility to infections increases progressively
- Mental illnesses that affect the state of consciousness of the individual, such as Alzheimer’s disease, also lead to urinary tract infections when normal guidelines of body hygiene are neglected
- Kidney stones have an influence on urinary tract infections when the normal process of eliminating toxic substances interferes
- Female contraceptive method can cause urinary tract infections in women
- Prolonged periods of immobility such as those carried out in the recovery of fractures
- Diabetes is a condition for urinary tract infections in relation to non-diabetics
- Some cancers such as prostate cancer are prone to produce urinary tract infections when they spread to surrounding tissues.
How Do I Get Rid Of A UTI Without Antibiotics?
Below are some Home remedies for UTI pain and discomfort that easily help to treat, prevent and relieve the symptoms of Urinary tract infection without antibiotics.
Can UTI Go Away Without Antibiotics?
However most of the remedies are effective for treating lower urinary tract infections but for upper urinary tract infections, it is advised to consult doctor for effective diagnosis and treatment based on the cause of infection. It will be treated with antibiotics if bacteria are the causative agents.
Home Remedies For UTI Pain and Discomfort
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium, enzymes along with other minerals that inhibit the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract and prevent an infection. Apple cider vinegar can be used as preventive measure. ACV has many health benefits, however no scientific evidence that link the usage of ACV in treating UTI. However usage of ACV keeps urinary tract slightly acidic which prevent bacterial growth. ACV acts as a natural antibiotic to treat infection.
What Should We Do?
- Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Mix well and drink the mixture. Add lemon juice and honey to the prepared mixture for better results and honey sweetens the mixture. You should consume ACV-water mixture twice a day for few days.
- Alternatively, add apple cider vinegar in the water of bath tub and take bath to prevent infection.
2. Sour Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice has antibiotic properties and rich in proanthocyanidins and other chemical compounds that help prevent the E. coli bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract and causing infections. Juice should be consumed in its natural state and not in cocktail that flush bacteria out and it should not have sugar or additives. Vitamin C is rich in cranberry, so it is a good diuretic that make you urinate more often. Phytochemical Tannin present in cranberry reduces vaginal colonization of E.coli. D-Mannose in cranberry also fights and prevents urinary tract infection. Cranberry has mild antibiotic nature.
What Should We Do?
- Drink half a glass of cranberry juice daily to prevent urinary tract infections
- To treat urinary tract infection, you should take 3 -4 glasses of cranberry juice a day
- Alternatively take cranberry supplements to prevent UTI
Things To Take Care
- Avoid drinking cranberry juice in case of past history of kidney stones because cranberry is rich in oxalate salts that make kidney stones.
- Avoid cranberry products if you are on blood thinning medication warfarin, it interfere with warfarin that causes bleeding.
Read more on 11 Natural Home Remedies For Yeast Infection
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has powerful antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that eliminate bacteria causing bladder infections and urinary tract infections. Studies show that it has efficacy to inhibit the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria. It can effectively treat UTI infections caused by bacteria.
What Should We Do?
- Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with water and use it to wash the genital area
- Combine one tsp tea tree oil, 2 tbsp liquid shower gel and cup of water in a bottle. Shake the bottle well and use it to wash the genital area. This can be used after sex to prevent the infection.
- Alternatively, put two drops of tea tree oil in your underwear to treat infection. With heat, it will act on infection.
- Alternatively, mix equal amounts of juniper and sandalwood oil with tea tree oil and rub this on abdomen and near bladder to reduce pain caused by urinary tract infection. Follow this once daily for 3 – 4 days.
4. Horsetail Tea
Horsetail tea is powerful diuretic that clear away urinary tract infections. By reducing water retention it brings down swelling. It also help in treating constant urge of urination. Horsetail tea improves overall health of urinary tract.
What Should We Do?
- Two or three cups of horsetail tea can be taken daily at the first symptoms of the infection. However it is not recommended to consume horsetail tea for longer periods.
5. Marshmallow Root Tea
It has antibacterial properties that inhibit growth of bacteria, cleanses bladder and due to diuretic nature, it increases the flow of urine. In case of irritation, it is the best method to relieve irritation. It reduces bleeding in urine and soothes the urinary tract.
What Should We Do?
- Take 1-2 tbsp of marshmallow roots and tie up in a cheese cloth
- Take 250 ml of water and bring it to boil and place tied up cheese cloth in the boiling water
- Leave it for 10 minutes and drink marshmallow tea two to three times a day to fight the infection. You can add honey to taste.
- Alternatively, put 2 tbsp of roots in quart water filled mug and keep it in refrigerator for overnight. Strain and drink the next day.
6. Garlic Tea
Garlic has antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties that help to fight and prevent the growth of bacteria causing urinary tract infections. Allicin, active component of freshly crushed garlic has antimicrobial properties. Garlic also has antifungal properties which prevent yeast infections.
What Should We Do?
- Add two cloves of freshly crushed garlic in a cup of hot water
- Allow it to sit for 5 minutes
- Strain and drink garlic tea. Take 3 cups a day for better result.
Alternatively, eat raw garlic daily.
7. Watermelon Juice
Watermelon removes excess heat and dampness from urinary tract and makes you urinate more frequent as it has diuretic properties. It is a good cleanser, alkalizing agent that reduce growth of bacteria. It also relieves symptoms of abnormal urination.
What Should We Do?
- Extract watermelon juice with an extractor or in the blender and drink daily
- Eat watermelon in pieces instead of juice.
8. Blueberry Juice
Blueberries are rich in Vitamin C and have inflammation fighting components that prevent urinary tract infections by preventing the bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and flush out bacteria from the body.
- Drinking a couple of glasses of blueberry juice a day can help prevent urinary tract infections.
- Prepare spicy blueberry juice by blending ¼ pineapple, 1 inch ginger and 1 cup blue berries and drink.
- Alternatively eat blueberries by adding it to cereal for breakfast to treat UTI. It is one of the best home remedies for urinary tract infection.
9. Baking Soda
Can Baking Soda Cure UTI?
There is less scientific evidence that support cure of UTI with baking soda. People suggest baking soda remedy for treating UTI by claiming that baking soda neutralizes acidic environment of urine and make it alkaline where bacteria struggle to survive. However it does harm if consumed in excess.
Water and Lemon Bicarbonate Remedy : High acidity of urine causes burning sensation. The bicarbonate helps to neutralize the acidity in the urine and thus reduce discomfort of burning sensation. Baking soda makes urine alkaline that reduce multiplication of bacteria. Baking soda detoxifies kidneys there by prevent spreading of infection.
Do not eat baking soda as it is harmful that may cause severe bleeding. Recommended dose of baking soda is ½ teaspoon dissolved in 4 to 8 ounces of water for every 2 hours.
- In a glass of 150 ml of water, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, mix well and drink. Before taking it, it is advisable to drink a whole glass of water.
Do not follow this remedy if you are pregnant, it may harm both you and your baby.
Drink plenty of water throughout a day to help prevent or treat UTI, water flush out bacteria through urine. When you drink a lot of water you will urinate more and this will eliminate more urine that contains the bacteria. Water dilutes salts in urine and urination will be less irritating.
- Drinking about 7 glass of water a day can be a good measure and you can gradually increase the water consumption. Taking more water prevent UTI from reoccurrence.
Asparagus is used along with other fluids to increase urine output which is called as irrigation therapy. Taking asparagus can help treat and prevent urinary tract infections. Asparagus reduce swelling/ inflammation of urinary tract, increase urine output when taken with water and treat urinary tract infections. This plant turns out to be a purifier and purgative for the urinary tract, while having diuretic properties that eliminate toxins.
Pineapple is a diuretic food and anti-inflammatory that contains the enzyme bromelain which helps to reduce inflammation and accelerate the recovery of the infection. It is a good remedy for urinary tract infection that reduces symptoms of UTI.
- Take fresh pineapple juice or eat fresh pineapple fruit to treat UTI
13. Cream Of Tartar and Lemon To Cure UTI Pain
This is one of the oldest methods used to treat the problem of UTI pain. These old methods are very useful without any kind of side effects. Tartar cream is potassium hydrogen tartar obtained from sediment produced from wine making through grapes. Grapes are the only significant natural source of tartar. Tartar is used to increase the pH level of urine that make hard for bacteria to thrive.
Things You Need
- 1 and half teaspoons cream of tartar
- Lemon or lemon juice
- Fresh warm water
Things To Do
Add 1.5 tbsp tartar cream to 1 glass of warm water. Then add some lemon or lemon juice in it. Once mixture get ready then use it at least 2 to 3 times per day on regular basis without any break. With this mixture it is easy to get rid of from the urinary infections within small interval of time. This mixture has no side effects on health.
Recommendations and Advice In The Treatment Of Urinary Tract Infections
- Maintain good hygiene habits especially during sexual inter course, clean the genital areas before and after intercourse
- Use barrier methods such as condoms especially during sporadic encounters and substitute contraceptives by other means because some contraceptive methods such as diaphragm and spermicides encourage unwanted bacterial growth, kill good bacteria, irritate urethra and cause urinary tract infections
- Urinating before and after intercourse helps eliminate possible agents that can cause infection
- Using lubricating cream during intercourse helps avoid postcoital vaginal irritation, which is a possible cause of bladder infection. When using lubricant, avoid rubbing which is the possible cause of infection
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to facilitate the elimination of toxins from the body
- Do not drink irritating liquids for the bladder such as alcohol or caffeine
- Do not smoke because tobacco has been identified as the main cause of bladder cancer
- Wear underwear made of breathable materials such as cotton and avoid them being too tight
- Do not hold the urine and perform the evacuation as soon as possible after the perception of the first symptoms
- Avoid genital lotions or deodorants that may interfere with the natural pH. Also as a general rule, do not use products containing perfumes in the genital area
- Do not take baths with bubbles because they increase the chances of infection if soap is the reason in prone people or they can worsen the one that already exists
- Use sanitary pads instead of tampons. Some medical specialists cite that infections may be more likely if tampons are used instead of sanitary napkins, which must be changed every time you go to the bathroom
- Go to the doctor immediately if you have fever, chills, vomiting or pain in the back or side. Also if the symptoms of the urinary tract infection come back soon after having been treated with antibiotic medicines
Can A UTI Go Away On Their Own?
UTI infection is most common infection because of presence of common bacteria E.coli in humans. 8 Out of 10 times E.coli bacteria are the main causative agents of bladder infection. Presence of E.coli in the bladder causes infection and inflammation and if untreated can spread to other parts of urinary tract like kidneys, ureters etc. and cause severe symptoms. It is very rare to clear UTI on its own because it easily spread to other parts and make situation worse, so it is recommended to treat UTI at the sight of first symptoms.
How Long It Will Take To Clear Up UTI?
- Regular urinary tract infections will clear up within a week in most of the people. With the aid of antibiotics, discomfort will subside in 0ne or 2 days. Pain, burning sensation, frequent urination will clear up in one or two days after the initial treatment.
- In case of complex infections like kidney infections it may take another 2 days to get relief from pain and discomfort. However it takes few days to clear up the infection.
- Patients with chronic UTI need to take treatment for long time to get rid of recurrent infection. It sometimes can be months and even years.
- Allow body to clear infection during a week treatment, it is advised to avoid sex during this period as it can irritate urethra and prolong healing.
Follow any of the above methods and take proper care and preventive measures to prevent infection and to get relief from UTI pain and discomfort because of infections.