Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that line the urinary tract or bladder or in certain cases kidneys. This problem often faced by women and young girls might be a less spoken but there are millions of women plagued by this. It’s important to understand the root cause because once we figure that, we make appropriate lifestyle changes to heal and prevent it.
- Low water intake :
Our blood is 90% water. While a low water intake creates a perfect environment for bacteria to grow in the urinary tract lining, an adequate intake enables flushing out of these bacteria through urine. Most women go low on water intake due to the lack of infrastructure and access to public toilets. In this case, women must plan their water intake at places they have access to toilets (office / home)
- Holding Urine for a long time: Urine is toxic and needs to be flushed out. When urine is retained within our system, we allow bacteria to grow. Hence holding urine should be avoided.
- Using female condoms that have spermicides in them , intrauterine devices can promote UTI
- Not washing private parts immediately after a sexual intercourse. It’s best to urinate post an intercourse.
- In diabetic patients, who need to urinate frequently but don’t.
- Individuals with low immunity.
- Imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. Good bacteria are responsible for preventing and healing UTI. Due to rampant use of antibiotics, most bacteria have now become antibiotic resistant and hence such medications do work on them any more.
Symptoms: There are two kinds of UTI: Grade 1 and Grade 2
Grade 1 symptom:
Painful micturition (act of urination)
A burning sensation while urinating
Urge to constantly urinate, but the actual output is quite less
Turbid/ cloudy urine or sometimes with a pinkish hue
Muscle aches and general weakness
Heaviness in the pelvic region
Grade 2 symptoms:
They will be similar to Grade 1 just that it will be a bit more severe and accompanied by fever. In this case, the use of anti-biotics maybe necessary along with making parallel lifestyle changes.
The most common fix used is antibiotics, which maybe necessary in severe cases like Grade 2, but in most cases can be healed through natural remedies. Antibiotics can not only create a bigger problem, but also fails to address the root cause of infection and hence the infection may recur again and again.
- Improve hydration: Adequate hydration is necessary to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Cut down on caffeinated drinks: Coffee and Tea doesn’t count as water as they act as diuretic, flushing water and leaching minerals out of the system and rendering the body acidic. An acidic medium give bacteria the soil they need to grow. Infact as a thumb rule , every cup of tea / coffee should be followed by 1 glass of water to balance its diuretic effects
- Listen to your body’s biofeedback and do not resist the urge to pee.
- Maintain good hygiene and keep private parts clean and dry. Moisture promotes bacterial growth. Prefer cotton undergarments.
- Invest in a good probiotic supplement or add a probiotic food source into your eating plan.
- Vitamin C: it boosts immunity and fights bacterial infection.
- Cranberries or Cranberry extract: A mixture of cranberry extract, lemon water and ½ tsp sodium bicarbonate. Lemon and bi-carbonate makes the urine and blood alkaline. This provides relief within 1-2 hours, especially for Grade 1 UTI. If its grade 2 , follow this along with getting yourself checked by a doctor incase of a fever.
- Easting 2-3 pods of garlic. Garlic is highly antibacterial.