How To Treat A Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) can make peeing a painful process. Quite often a doctor will be able to prescribe antibiotics or other medicine to ease the pain and discomfort. However, there are many other methods that can speed up recovery or add relief. Here are just a few ways to get rid of your UTI.
Check the color
You can tell a lot about the state of your urine from the color. Healthy urine is generally light yellow in hue. Clear urine can also be healthy as it shows you’ve been drinking a lot of water, although may be an indication of diabetes insipidus in some rare cases.
Darker urine that is orange or yellow may be an indication of dehydration or a vitamin deficiency. Drinking more water and eating more fruit are a remedy for this.
Red or pink urine can be the result of dyes or energy drinks but could signal that there is blood in the urine, in which case you should see a doctor to try and diagnose the problem further. Green urine is also worth being cautious about – this is often a clear indication of an infection and could lead to cystitis if not treated. Effective treatment of a Urinary Tract Infection means looking for the signs.
A Urinary Tract Infection is a build up of bacteria. Drinking lots of water can help flush this bacteria away. Many medical professionals will recommend that you aim to drink half your body weight in water a day. Aim to drink more than two liters (the equivalent of eight 8-ounce glasses of water). In hot weather, you may even benefit from drinking more. The exception is kidney disease, in which drinking excessive water could be doing damage.
Get your fix of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is healthy for your urinary tract as it makes your urine more acidic. This helps to flush out any bacteria more effectively. Foods such as peppers, oranges and kiwis are a rich source of this vitamin. Those with more active UTIs may benefit from taking vitamin C supplements. The likes of Holland & Barrett have all kinds of vitamin supplements to choose from.
Consider herbal remedies
There are several herbal remedies that can be useful for curing urinary infections. Goldenseal is one such herb that is medically recognised as having a positive effect. Many people have also bearberry leaf to be an effective tonic, however this should not be taken for more than five days in a row as it can cause liver damage, making it unsuitable for those with an active Urinary Tract Infection.
Other herbal remedies exist on the market, which may or may not work. Always read reviews online and consult your doctor if you are taking these alongside prescription antibiotics or other medication which may interfere.
Fix up your diet
The foods and drinks you consume can have a great effect on your recovery rate. High-fibre carbohydrates are great at easing all digestive problems – these include brown rice, oats and barley. Consider dishes such as risotto or rice and stew. For breakfast, try cereals that are high in oats.
Certain foods and drinks should be avoided when you have a UTI as they could be irritating the urinary tract further. These include carbonated drinks, caffeine, alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Nicotine from cigarettes can also irritate the urinary tract.
Don’t hold it in
In some cases, a Urinary Tract Infection can be so painful that people delay going to the toilet until they physically cannot hold it any more. This however can be damaging to recovery and in some cases make the UTI worse. Holding it in promotes bacteria build-up that could be causing the infection.
You’re far better off taking as many trips to the loo as possible, no matter how little urine you manage to expel. Each time you will be flushing more bacteria out of your system, speeding up your recovery. Drinking lots of water will increase your need to go.
Get tested for an STI
In some cases, pain when urinating can be the result of an STI such as chlamydia. If other remedies aren’t working and you think an STI could be the cause, it could be worth getting tested. Sites such as Safer STD Testing can locate the nearest free test centre to you.
The likes of chlamydia can often be treated with prescribed drugs from a doctor and shouldn’t be feared. You should abstain from sex when suffering from any UTI, as many infections can be passed on sexually. In the case of a specific STI, always notify any previous partners so that they can seek medical attention too.
See A Urologist
In more extreme cases, a urologist may be needed to offer specialist treatment. Your local GP will be able to recommend you to a urologist, although you may be able to seek direct treatment from your hospital if the pain is severe and you feel it’s an emergency.
Kidney disease or kidney stones could be the culprit behind your pain. These may require x-rays or other scans to diagnose that your local GP cannot provide. In more severe cases, it could be the result of bladder or kidney cancer. Such a disease is often accompanied by blood in the urine and should be seen to immediately.
Some people will deliberately avoid seeking medical attention for a urinary pain as they may find it embarrassing. However, suffering in silence could cause a mild infection to evolve into something far more serious if not treated.
Many people will avoid going to the doctor to diagnose bladder cancer or a Urinary Tract Infection and as a result will let an easily curable tumor develop into something far more serious. Don’t let your pride get in the way and always get a professional opinion before seeking medication – especially in the case of blood in the urine.