Treating a Urinary or Bladder Infection Naturally: An Informative Guide

Treating a Urinary or Bladder Infection Naturally: An Informative Guide

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and bladder infections are common conditions that can cause significant discomfort, such as burning, itching, and stinging during Urination. While UTIs and bladder infections are often lumped into the same category, they are not the same, and they require different treatments. 

 

This article focuses on natural remedies for bladder infections called cystitis. Antibiotics are the standard treatment, and in some cases, natural remedies are effective. Some people prefer natural remedies to complement medical treatment or manage mild symptoms.

 

Here, we outline common causes, symptoms and several natural approaches to treating a minor Urinary bladder infection. Before we continue, I must emphasize the importance of consulting a healthcare professional for persistent or severe symptoms.

 

 

Bladder Infection (Cystitis)

Location

  • Bladder: A bladder infection, also known as cystitis, specifically affects the bladder, which is part of the lower urinary tract.

Causes

  • Bacterial Invasion: Typically caused by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli), entering the bladder through the urethra.
  • Recurring Cystitis: Once you get a bladder infection or UTI, you are more prone to another one, and because of this, you may get into a vicious perpetual cycle. Often, this cycle is generated by antibiotic resistance.
  • Sexual Activity: This can increase the risk of bacteria entering the urinary tract.
  • Hygiene Issues: Poor personal hygiene can contribute to bacterial spread.
  • Blockages: Conditions like kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can impede urine flow, leading to infections.

Symptoms

  • Painful Urination: A burning sensation during urination.
  • Frequent Urination: An increased urge to urinate, even when the bladder is not full.
  • Urgency: A strong, persistent urge to urinate.
  • Lower Abdominal Pain: Discomfort or pressure in the lower abdomen.
  • Cloudy or Bloody Urine: Urine may appear cloudy or contain blood.

Severity

  • Generally Less Severe: Bladder infections are typically less serious than kidney infections if treated promptly.

Treatment

  • Standard medical treatment is antibiotics, which are prescribed to clear the bacterial infection.
  • Hydration: Increased fluid intake to help flush out the bacteria.
  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain medications can help alleviate symptoms.
  • Natural Treatments- Continue reading for 10 ways to maintain urinary tract health.

 

 

1. Hydration is Key

 

Staying well-hydrated is one of the simplest and most effective ways to manage a UTI naturally.

  • Drink Plenty of Water: Consuming ample water helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract.

 

    • How much water should you drink? A common rule of thumb is that adults should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, the Mayo Clinic recommends that men drink about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids daily, while women should drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters). This includes fluids from water, other beverages, and food, with about 20% of your daily fluid intake coming from food. 

 

    • You can also gauge how hydrated you are by the color of your urine. If your urine is a clear pale yellow color, you're probably getting enough fluids.

 

    • Frequent Urination: Avoid holding in urine for prolonged periods, which can encourage bacterial growth.

 

2. Cranberry Products

 

Cranberries contain compounds that may prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract.

 

  • Pure Cranberry Juice: Opt for mouth puckering unsweetened cranberry juice to avoid excess sugar.

 

  • Cranberry Supplements: Available in capsule or tablet form, these are a convenient alternative to juice.

 

3. Probiotics

As mentioned earlier many UTI's and Bladder Infections are caused by overuse of antibiotics, creating antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria that cause an infection develop the ability to resist the effects of an antibiotic. This makes it increasingly more difficult to treat the infection. Antibiotic resistance is typically caused by overuse and misuse, but anytime you use an antibiotic, it can potentially lead to resistance.

 

This is where probiotics become incredibly important. Choosing the right probiotics for urinary tract health is essential.

  • Probiotic Supplements Can provide a higher concentration of beneficial bacteria. According to Pub Med, look for products that contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14, Lactobacillus crispatus CTV-05, and Lactobacillus casei shirota to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the urinary tract.

 

  • Probiotic Foods that contain live cultures are also very beneficial. Eat plenty of yogurts, keifer, sauerkrout, miso, tempeh, kimchi, kombucha, and buttermilk, to name a few.

 

 

4. D-Mannose

 

D-Mannose is a type of sugar that can prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract lining. D-Mannose has been shown to bind to microorganisms in the urine. So when present in urine, D-Mannose binds to microorganism structures and can help flush them out. Simply put, D-Mannose serves as a decoy, attracting microorganisms and encouraging them to be released through urine.

 

It's key to understand that D-Mannose cannot directly kill microorganisms. Thus, D-Mannose is not a replacement for antibiotics or infection treatment.

 

  • D-Mannose Supplements: These are available in powder or capsule form in higher concentrations.
  • D- Manose Foods: As D-Mannose is closely related to glucose, low concentrations can be found in various fruits such as cranberries, apples, and peaches. Cranberries and cranberry juice are often associated with urinary tract health and are one of the most widely touted natural dietary sources of D-Mannose.

 

5. Vitamin C:

According to Pub Med, Daily intake of 100 mg of ascorbic acid plays an important role in reducing urinary infections and improving urinary health. We recommend additional vitamin C intake for pregnant women in populations with a high incidence of bacteriuria and urinary infections.

 

Vitamin C may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) by making urine more acidic, which can limit the growth of some bacteria. Some recommend taking 100 mg of vitamin C daily for prevention, or 1,000 mg every two hours for two days, then 1,000 mg three times a day for five to 10 days when symptoms first appear. Pregnant women in areas with a high incidence of UTIs may also benefit from additional vitamin C, starting at 12 weeks of gestation.

 

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6. Herbs

 

Many herbs have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help maintain a healthy urinary tract and address bladder infections and UTIs. Here are a few effective ones to consider. We have blended many of them in our UT Harmony Herbal Supplement for a healthy urinary tract.

 

  • Uva Ursi: Known for its antiseptic properties, Uva Ursi helps maintain urinary tract health and prevent infections. Uva Ursi is said to work better in an alkaline environment and is often given with Baking Soda to work better.

 

  • Nettle Leaf: Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, Nettle Leaf supports bladder health and soothes and cools hot urinary discomfort.

 

  • Dandelion Root: Acts as a natural diuretic, helping to flush out toxins and support kidney and bladder function. It works so well that people with gallstones should not take Dandelion roots unless they want them to move.

 

  • Juniper Berries: Juniper berries are known for their detoxifying and anti-inflammatory effects. They also help promote a healthy urinary system. However, they are not intended for pregnancy or breastfeeding young infants.

 

  • Fresh Marshmallow Root: Provides soothing, cooling relief from the hot irritation and inflammation in the urinary tract.

 

  • Horsetail: Known for its diuretic properties, Horsetail aids in flushing out excess fluids and supporting bladder health. While horsetail is likely safe, it is not intended for pregnant or those who take cardiac medications.

 

  • Fresh Ginger Root helps reduce inflammation and provide relief from urinary discomfort. It also helps the body absorb and assimilate the other herbs in the blend, so they work better.

 

  • Garlic: With natural antibiotic properties, garlic can be consumed raw or in supplement form.

 

  • Oregon Grape Root: Contains berberine, which has been shown to inhibit bacteria growth.

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7. Dietary Adjustments

 

Modifying your diet can also support UTI prevention and treatment.

  • Reduce sugar and processed foods. Eat whole foods, especially prebiotic and probiotic foods, as well as foods high in Vitamin C.
  • Avoid Irritants: Cut back on caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and artificial sweeteners, as they can irritate the bladder.

 

8. Healthy Hygiene Practices

 

Maintaining proper hygiene is foundational to a healthy urinary tract and can help prevent UTIs from developing or worsening.

 

  • Wipe Correctly: Females should always wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering the urethra.
  • Urinate Before and After Intercourse: This helps flush out any bacteria that may have been introduced during sexual activity.
  • Choose clean feminine hygiene products without chemicals. If you are prone to urinary infections, consider pads instead of tampons.
  • Avoid douching or using any scented feminine wash. This disrupts the healthy vaginal flora, which is essential to urinary health as well.

 

 

9. Warm Compresses

 

Applying heat can alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with UTIs.

 

  • Heating Pad: Place a warm heating pad on your lower abdomen to help reduce bladder pressure and discomfort.
  • Warm Baths: Soaking in a warm (not hot) bath can also provide relief, but avoid bubble baths and harsh soaps. Either use clean water or consider herbal baths with a blend of the above-mentioned herbs to help clear the urinary tract of any problematic pathogen.

 

10. Baking Soda Solution

Urine pH can indicate whether someone has a urinary tract infection. Urine pH can be acidic or alkaline, and a pH of 8.5–9 can indicate a UTI, especially if the infection is caused by urease-producing bacteria. However, many UTIs occur in acidic urine. Baking soda can neutralize the acidity of urine, providing relief from the burning sensation during urination.

 

  • Baking Soda Drink: Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it. This should be done with caution and not on a regular basis, as excessive intake can lead to health issues.
  • Baking Soda Suppository: You can make a suppository with baking soda. Fill an empty gelatin capsule (you can buy these at health food stores) with baking soda. Put one capsule into your vagina twice a week for two weeks.

 

Conclusion

 

As you can see, many options exist beyond antibiotics to support urinary tract and bladder health. The information and suggestions given in this article are in service to your empowered health choices. Minor symptoms can be managed with food, supplements, herbs, and hygiene practices. They can be included as a medical treatment companion if needed. They are not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is crucial to consult a healthcare provider, get a diagnosis, especially if symptoms persist or worsen. Untreated bladder infections can lead to UTIs and potential serious complications, seeking timely medical attention is paramount!

 

 

I sincerely hope this helps!

 

Hugs,
Maria 

 

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