You wake up in the morning, and your bladder feels tight and warm. As you pee, the stream of urine feels hot, producing a burning sensation in your urethra. Great, you have a UTI. Urinary tract infections are usually more frustrating than they are dangerous.
However, while most UTI symptoms will fade away in a few days at most, some might stick around for longer than expected. So, how do you know it’s time to see a doctor? It’s a simple answer, if your UTI persists for more than 3-days without showing any signs of improvement, you develop a fever or increased pain, then you have a problem that needs medical attention.
UTIs can require the use of antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Your doctor will likely need a urine sample and may want to perform a urethra swab to rule out an STI (sexually transmitted disease). Both bacterial and viral sexually transmitted Infections (STIs) can produce similar symptoms to a UTI or result in the onset of infection in the urinary tract and bladder.
Women who are going through menopause may also find they get UTIs more frequently than premenopausal women.
When Can You Treat a UTI at Home?
When you notice the onset of symptoms related to a UTI, you can start a home protocol to reduce the intensity and duration of the infection. With the right home protocol, you can eliminate the UTI in a few days and have no issues with your recovery.
Here are our top five tips for beating the infection at home.
1. Hydration is Critical
As soon as you notice the onset of a UTI, increase your regular water intake. Chances are you’re not drinking enough water anyway – and that’s one of the reasons you got a UTI in the first place. When the kidneys don’t get enough water during the day, they have difficulty processing the waste products from your blood. When you start increasing your water consumption, you get your system moving, processing waste faster, giving the infection less chance to hang around and cause a problem in your bladder and urethra.
2. Urinate More Often than Usual
When you’re pounding the water, you’ll also notice that you need to go to the bathroom more frequently. Don’t fight the urge; urinate as often as possible throughout the day. Think of your pee as a way of clearing out your system; the more you drink, the faster the infection clears. Try to drink 1.5-gallons of clean, alkaline water during the day until the infection clears. After the UTI goes away, keep drinking at least six to eight 8-oz glasses of water each day.
3. Drink Cranberry Juice
If you want to clear your UTI fast, try drinking some cranberry juice a few times a day. We’re not talking about the type of cranberry juice blended with other fruit juices and sugar. We mean raw, unfiltered cranberry juice with no additives. 100% pure cranberry juice contains polyphenol antioxidants that help the kidneys filter out toxins and pathogens. The polyphenols have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, flushing out any problem-causing pathogens.
General guidelines for including cranberry juice in your therapy for UTI treatment is 400-ml of at least 25% cranberry juice to treat urinary tract infection.
4. Boost Your Biomes with Probiotics
Inside our digestive system, we have trillions of live, beneficial bacteria humming away at digesting our food and maintaining our immune system. When these bacteria experience an imbalance and bad bacteria start to take over, we experience a rise in systemic inflammation across all biological systems in the body.
The lactobacilli found in many probiotic complexes help to rebalance your biomes. These microorganisms improve the balance of lactobacillus in your gut.
Some foods you can eat during the day to boost lactobacillus in your gut and drive away a UTI include the following.
- Organic Greek yogurt with live cultures
- Fermented kefir
- Prebiotic fermented foods such as Kimchi and sauerkraut
People can also take probiotic supplements, usually in the form of a capsule or a powder that mixes into water or other beverages.
5. Pay Attention to Your Hygiene
If you’re dealing with recurrent UTIs, you need to assess your hygiene habits to discover why you got the infection in the first place. Make sure you’re wiping from front to back after finishing on the toilet. Many UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urethra. After gaining access to the urethra, they travel up to the bladder and the kidneys, leading to infection.
Sexual hygiene is another area where UTIs can cause a problem. Make sure you’re adhering to the following best hygiene practices in the bedroom.
- Urinate immediately after having sex
- Always use some form of protection, like a condom
- Never switch from anal sex directly to vaginal sex
- Avoid having sex when you have a UTI
6. Stop UTIs with Diet and Exercise
If you’re an active and healthy person, you shouldn’t experience UTIs regularly. If you find you get frequent UTIs, assess your lifestyle, and remove the causative factors for a UTI. Stop drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. These two factors alone can make a huge difference when incorporated with drinking more water.
Avoid eating too much sugar. Processed foods that are high in sugar create a significant amount of digestive inflammation. This systemic inflammation exacerbates the symptoms of a UTI. It also creates an environment in the body that makes it easy for a UTI to spread.