We are going to talk about UTI’s today. Urinary Tract Infections are common, unpleasant and often an indication of other health issues. They are not something to be ignored.
What is a UTI?
UTI’s occur when bacteria gets into our urethra. They can take several forms. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder. Urethritis is an infection of the urethra. We can also get kidney infection.
When you have a UTI you will probably feel extremely unwell. It can affect your cognitive processes making you confused or irritable. Your urine could be cloudy, bloody, and smelly and it may sting, burn or cause you pain. You will be visiting the toilet a lot more frequently and you may experience pain in your lower tummy, sides or back.
If your child starts holding off from going to the toilet this may indicate a UTI. They will be holding in the urine to stop the stinging pain. They may start wetting themselves or the bed. You will find that they will be irritable and not feeling very well.
UTI – who will get them?
They can affect anyone. Women have a 50% chance of experiencing the symptoms over their lifetime. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to the possibility of a UTI because of the physical changes that occur to their bodies.
Those with compromised immune systems through other illness such as diabetes, kidney stones, enlarged prostate or having chemotherapy are more at risk. Cystitis is known as the honeymoon illness because you may have a lot of sex!
There are daily habits that can make us more susceptible to getting a UTI. It is not good practice for example to hold your urine and delay going to the toilet, when you need to go – just go! Our choice of clothes can be a factor too; wear loose cotton underwear rather than synthetic materials. Avoid tight trousers and jeans. Women in particular can be very sensitive to bubble baths, soap and other personal hygiene products. Spermicidal products can trigger a reaction too – choose non spermicidal ones instead.
UTI – natural ways to manage and prevent
Anyone who reads this blog regularly will have already guessed water comes top of the list. A hydrated body is always more efficient, it is less exposed to toxins and working at a more optimum level. If you struggle with water consumption then why not try ginger tea? It is a tasty way to reduce inflammation. Alternatively, try our range of waters including coconut water which is fabulous for rehydrating the body.
Buy some fresh parsley infuse in boiling water for 10 minutes, strain and drink. Parsley is a good diuretic so it will flush toxins out of your system for you. Chewing on celery seeds also acts as a diuretic eat them after a meal regularly as part of a maintenance programme. Speaking of diuretics avoid caffeine as it is a bladder irritant along with chocolate, carbonated drinks and citrus fruits. When using diuretics it is very important to drink enough water each day – make it a minimum of two litres.
Another drink you can make is made with baking soda. If you are prone to burning sensations drinking this mixture will help to reduce the acidity in your urine. Put 1 tsp of baking soda in 8oz of water and drink first thing in the morning for a week. If there is no improvement in a week do not continue baking soda has a high salt content.
Probiotics help to keep our bacteria balance functioning well and should be considered an important part of your daily regime. This is particularly true if you have had antibiotics, you need to restore the balance within your body that will have been disrupted by the medicine.
Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant and so helps deal with toxicity in the body. It is also an effective immune support. D-Mannose is extremely useful for dealing with E.coli as it binds to the bacteria preventing adhesion to the gut and creation of more bacteria.
Raw garlic works to counteract fungal activity such as candida and offers lots of antimicrobial properties as well as immune supporting ones! Just make sure the family or your partner is on board with this one!
Cranberry Juice gets a mixed press. Our view is that it is worth a try, it can be successful for some people but not others. Look for low sugar content or eat raw cranberries.
Finally, the most obvious thing is take care of your personal hygiene. Practice good habits such as wiping from front to back visit the toilet soon after sex and change your underwear regularly!
When to visit the Doctor
UTI’s can lead to serious issues. A pregnant woman risks a premature or low weight baby. Recurrent and long lasting kidney infections can lead to permanent damage. Acute kidney infections can be life threatening especially if bacteria get into the blood stream causing septicaemia.
If you are male, experiencing a UTI for the first time or having recurrent symptoms or symptoms that don’t improve after a few days visit your doctor.
This also applies to pregnant ladies, elderly people, children and anyone experiencing blood in their urine.
Please do not ignore these symptoms go and get peace of mind by visiting your doctor if you have any doubts.