A Urinary Tract Infection(UTI) is an infection that can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the kidneys, bladder, or urethra. If you think you have a UTI, check out our article about UTI symptoms.
Antibiotics are the safest and most efficient UTI treatment option. For a simple infection, the treatments commonly recommended are trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid), cephalosporins (Omnicef, Keflex), or fluoroquinolones (Cipro, Levaquin). These medications have different side effect profiles, so they must be tailored to each individual patient. For frequent UTIs, there may be certain UTI treatments, such as low-dose antibiotics for six months or more. If you have a very severe UTI, you may need to go to the hospital and get antibiotics through an IV.
There are also natural home UTI remedies to ease the discomfort until antibiotics kick in.
Drink plenty of water to dilute your urine and flush out bacteria.
Avoiding drinks that may irritate your bladder, like coffee, alcohol, and sodas with citrus juices or caffeine until your infection has cleared. These drinks can irritate your bladder.
Using a heating pad to alleviate some bladder pressure or pain.
There are also UTI prevention options to help reduce the risk of future infection.
Drinking water decreases the risk of UTIs by increasing urine output, which helps removes bacteria from the urinary tract area. Low fluid intake and infrequent urination are generally associated with an increased risk of developing a UTI.
Increasing vitamin C intake is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, therefore killing off the bacteria that cause infection. Some examples of vitamin C- rich foods include oranges, kiwis, grapefruit, and red peppers.
Drinking (unsweetened) cranberry juice is a common method for preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract. There have been studies to show that treatment with cranberry juice can significantly help with the risk of a UTI, but there are also some that show that cranberries may not be as effective as people assume. Although the evidence is mixed, cranberry juice may be helpful in reducing the risk of urinary tract infections.
Taking probiotics, which are always beneficial microorganisms, can be taken with food or through a supplement. Some foods with healthy probiotics include kombucha, kimchi, and kefir. Using probiotics can not only enhance immune system function and decrease UTI risk but also may be beneficial in restoring healthy bacteria after antibiotic UTI treatment.
Urinating immediately after sexual intercourse.
Wiping from front to back instead of back to front to prevent anal bacteria from entering the urinary tract.
Urinary Tract Infections can be painful and frustrating, but thankfully, there are ways to get rid of them and alleviate pain.
*Reviewed and approved by Dr. Rob Lapporte
If you think you have UTI symptoms, get the UTI Test Kit now and get a prescription if appropriate within just minutes…without ever leaving your home! Please also check out our tests for flu, strep and anemia.