A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a microbial infection that affects the urinary tract which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Bacteria are mostly responsible for UTIs and these are the most common infections in human, they are next to respiratory infections.
An infection can happen anywhere in the urinary tract and this infection is classified into two depending on the affected parts. An infection of the lower tract affects the urethra and bladder while an infection of the upper tract affects the kidneys and ureters, though rare, this type is more severe and requires urgent treatment before it damages the kidneys.
It can also cause urosepsis when the bacteria move from the infected kidney into the bloodstream. This can cause an extremely low blood pressure, shock and if not treated immediately, it can cause death. The farther up an infection goes into the urinary tract, the more dangerous it is.
The kidneys are important organs of elimination in the body. They remove wastes and toxins from the body in the forming urine and they also help to regulate blood pressure. The ureters drain urine from each kidney and empty them into the bladder.
The bladder is an organ that looks like a sac, it collects and stores urine till when they are expelled from the body. The urethra expels urine from the bladder.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
Escherichia coli is the bacterium responsible for urinary tract infections. It is usually present in the digestive system and this bacterium escapes from the large intestine to the urethra, anus and even travel up the urinary tract.
This is why it is advised to wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. It is also advisable to treat UTI quickly before it moves up and cause damages and even enter the blood.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections
The symptoms depend on the part of the urinary tract affected.
Symptoms of an infection of the lower tract are:
- A burning sensation while urinating
- Muscle aches and abdominal pains
- Increased frequency of urination
- Production of very little urine
- Increases urgency of urination
- Rectal pain in men
- Pelvic pain in women
- A bloody urine
- A cloudy urine
- Urine with a strong odor
- Urine with color that looks like tea or cola.
Symptoms of an infection of the upper tract are:
- Pain in the sides and upper back.
Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections
Drink Lots of Fluids
This helps to flush out harmful microbes out of your urinary tract, studies have even linked low intake of fluids with an accumulation of pathogens in the urinary tract.
Drink lots of water during the day, also include homemade fruit juices, herbal teas, smoothies, soups and broth in your meals. Eat lots of watery fruits and vegetables, all these will help you stay hydrated and expel harmful microbes from your system.
Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
This is one of the most popular remedies for UTIs, it fights harmful bacteria and protects the urinary tract by making it difficult for bacteria to stick to the walls urinary tract. It is also used to prevent it from recurring.
Studies have confirmed that women who regularly take cranberry juice have a lower risk of UTI than women who don’t. It cuts the risk of UTI by 50%
The active compound in garlic Allicin is a strong antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic compound. It inhibits their growth and kills them and it is effective against multi-drug resistant E. coli which are behind urinary tract infections.
SEE ALSO: Ten Health Benefits of Garlic and Uses
This is a powerful home remedy for UTI because it is even effective against recurring UTI and those resistant to antibacterial. It increases the population of beneficial bacteria which helps in the fight against harmful microbes and they also boost the immune system.
It prevents the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the body; fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, raw cheese, kimchi, and other fermented fruits, grains, and vegetables are rich in probiotics and taking them regularly will help you overcome this condition.
Clove Essential Oil
This oil has strong antimicrobial property, it also fights inflammation and relieves pains that come along with this infection. It hastens healing and prevents re-occurrence.
Take clove oil orally by taking two teaspoons daily, you can mix it in a glass of warm water or fruit juice if you can’t bear the taste or scent.
This oil should be taken under the supervision of a naturopath or health care provider.
Practice frequent urination by taking in lots of water, this helps in clearing off harmful microbes from the body but when you hold urine in, you are giving the bacteria time to multiply and even move up the urinary tract.
It is also advisable to urinate after sexual intercourse because this activity pushes bacteria into the urethra, so urinating after sex flushes bacteria out of your urinary tract.
This prevents them from settling, multiplying and causing an infection. Drink lots of water to help you urinate frequently.
Citrus Fruits and Vitamin C
Take lots of citrus fruits and vitamin C-rich foods, they boost the immune system and make the urine too acidic for microbes to survive. This helps to kill harmful microbes and inhibit their growth.
Citrus fruits are oranges, limes, lemons, grapes, and they are also rich in vitamin C.
Ginger has powerful antimicrobial properties against a wide range of bacteria including those resistant to many drugs. It kills them and relieves the symptoms of UTI.
Take many cups of ginger tea daily, you can add lemon or lime juice to boost its effectiveness. You can also add turmeric.
This is a well-known natural remedy for UTI, this is best taken on an empty stomach in the morning to hasten healing and clear symptoms. It also kills harmful microbes and boosts the immune system.
Make parsley tea with either fresh or dried leaves of parsley and take this tea many times daily until you see the desired results.