Science-backed home remedies for mild urinary tract infection

Your diet should be loaded with probiotics and vitamin C if you are suffering from urinary tract infection.

Urinary tract infection affects millions across the globe. While severe cases demand treatment with antibiotics, mild infection can be taken care of by some good habits and foods.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) turns the lives of many (especially women) into a nightmare, thanks to the burning sensation people experience each time they pee while having this condition. Caused mostly by two strains of bacteria E.coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus, this infection takes a toll on any part of the urinary tract: Kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Apart from a burning sensation while urinating, there are other symptoms including frequent urge to pee, feeling incomplete even after emptying the bladder, pelvic pain and dark urine with a strong odour. Though UTIs can affect anyone, women are more vulnerable to this condition. This is because bacteria sneak into their bladder easily, thanks to their urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the bladder) which is shorter than men.

The usual line of treatment for urinary tract infection includes antibiotics. However, mild cases resolve on their own without any medicine. According to some estimates, 25 to 42 per cent of uncomplicated UTI cases do not need any active treatment. However, some home care techniques can speed up the recovery process for sure. Here, we guide you through them.

Up your fluid intake

Staying hydrated is necessary for normal physiological functions. It becomes all the more crucial if you're suffering from urinary tract infection. If your water intake is high, your urinary tract organs remove waste efficiently from the body while ensuring that your essential nutrients and electrolytes are intact. Moreover, fluids dilute your urine, making it tough for the bacteria to infect the urinary organs. Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. Don't ignore your thirst. Drink water every time you feel dry from the inside.

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Include a lot of vitamin C in your diet

Scientific studies show that vitamin C protects you from urinary tract infections. This vitamin kills bacteria by increasing the acidity of your urine. Also, it reduces the pH of your urine. Bacteria cannot thrive well under such condition. Fruits and veggies peppers, oranges and grapefruit are good options if you want to increase your daily dose of vitamin C.

Maintain good sexual hygiene

Sexual intercourse is one way bacteria get into your urinary tract. So, it's best to avoid penetrative sex while you are undergoing UTI, even if it is mild. However, if you must, then make sure that you follow healthy sexual hygiene habits. Using condom, peeing and washing your genitals immediately before and after having an intercourse, are some of the habits you need to follow. These will make sure that your condition isn't worsened. Also, it's good to change condoms while switching from anal to vaginal penetration.

Practise healthy wiping methods

After peeing or pooping, always wash your genitals from the front to the back. This will prevent the bacteria in your rectum from travelling to your urethra. Also, it's best to use separate wipes to clean your genitals and the anus.

Up your probiotic intake

Yogurts, sauerkraut and kefir are the best sources of good bacteria known as probiotics. Research suggests that they improve your conditions if you are suffering from urinary tract infection and reduce the risk of the condition too. Probiotics work by producing an antibacterial agent in the urine and by bringing down urinary pH levels. These make it less conducive for UTI-causing bacteria to survive. A study published in Iranian Journal of Pediatrics found that taking both probiotics along with antibiotics was more effective in preventing the relapse of UTIs than popping antibiotics alone.

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