Safe and Effective Ways to Treat a UTI at HomeCheckable Health
Every woman (men, too) has probably suffered from a UTI at some point. Some more than others. A UTI (urinary tract infection) is a bacterial infection that enters the urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra) and can be quite a nuisance in your everyday life. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, UTIs are among the most common bacterial infections in the United States, and women are at greater risk of developing one. Lucky us.
Although doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics, some evidence-based home remedies can help treat uncomplicated UTIs on their own without needing antibiotics. However, they are still recommended to ensure the infection gets killed. While antibiotics usually treat UTIs quickly, using them often can build resistance; that's why it's important to know if you actually do have a UTI and not something else. Plus, they also often bring on a yeast infection on top of it; Yuck.
How Do I Know If I Have A UTI?
Before we can treat a UTI, let’s see if you could have one. Some people may not have symptoms at all, while others need a day in bed. Typical symptoms of a UTI can include:
- Frequent urge to urinate with small amounts of urine
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Urine that appears cloudy with a sour odor
- Urine that appears red — a sign of blood in the urine
- Pelvic pain and pressure
- Lower back pain
- Low-grade fever and chills
If those sound familiar, then here are a few ways to treat a UTI at home:
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is one of the easiest ways to help prevent and treat UTIs. Water helps the urinary tract organs remove waste from the body efficiently. Water also dilutes the urine and helps get rid of bacteria.
- Pee when you have to pee: Try not to hold your urine and go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge. Frequent urination flushes the bacteria in the urinary tract to clear them out. Try over-the-counter meds like AZO, which relieves pain during urination. NOTE: Your pee will be reddish-orange from AZO.
- Drink cranberry juice: It’s filled with antioxidants, including polyphenols, which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help clear general infections and speed up recovery.
- Take Vitamin C: Either eat foods rich in "C" or take a supplement. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to improve the immune system. It can also lower the pH of urine, making it less likely that bacteria will survive.
- Wipe from front to back: (Sounds easy, but you would be surprised how many don’t do this.) UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum or feces enter the urethra, which can then travel into other urinary tract organs and the bladder.
- Practice good sexual hygiene: Doing the deed (intercourse) can cause bacteria and microbes to enter the urinary tract. The best way to avoid a UTI is to urinate before and after sex. A shower after sex will also keep things fresh and clean. Be sure to always change condoms if switching sexual positions that may include "butt" play.
- Take or eat probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help keep the urinary tract healthy and free from harmful bacteria. Probiotics will also help lessen the chances of getting yeast infections. You can take a probiotic supplement or eat foods with naturally active cultures, like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut.
Tips to Prevent Chronic UTIs
If you’re one of the lucky ones that seem to get UTIs often, there are some things you can do to prevent them and incorporate them into your daily life.
- Drink more water: Urinating frequently allows bacteria to be flushed before an infection can even begin
- Wipe from front to back
- Urinate after intercourse (and before)
- Avoid potentially irritating feminine products
- Be careful of birth control: condoms with spermicide and diaphragms can lead to bacterial growth
- Take probiotics and special supplements created for the urinary tract. Checkable's Urinary Tract Balance is designed as a cleanser to help balance the urinary tract while giving you the nutrients you need to promote a healthy bladder. The special blend has a combination of the most effective ingredients available, including D-Mannose, Cranberry Juice Powder, Hibiscus, and natural Dandelion herb.
Remember, the only way to know if you actually have a UTI is to take a test. Checkable's new at-home UTI test strips can be done from anywhere there is a bathroom, and you'll have results in minutes! Don't guess; TEST!
Life is too short to sit in a doctor’s office
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