What is a UTI?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection that affects any part of the urinary tract. UTI may lead from the kidneys through the bladder and urethra. This is usually because of the result of E.coli (bacteria) working its way into the urinary tract. Bacteria from the bowel often cause UTI’s, but virus and fungi may also be its cause. A burning sensation while passing urine, the need to pee frequently or blood spots in the pee are symptoms of UTI. It affects millions of people every year and usually women are more prone to them than men.
Usually UTI or any bladder infection is treated with antibiotics which usually works but, they also have their set of side effects. These antibiotics kill both, the bad and the friendly bacteria. We all need to have the good bacteria to stay healthy and avoid future UTI’s. For this we need to make few changes in our lifestyle.
One of the most overlooked ways to manage the painful UTI is one’s diet. Whatever we put in our bodies becomes the first line of defence against any infection. Following are the simple changes we can make and add to the diet to naturally heal this infection and prevent it from reoccurring.
The main way to prevent a UTI is to keep the urine diluted and drink lots of water. Water is vital for our health, in particular for kidneys and urinary tract health. Drink as much as possible as it dilutes the toxins in urine and flushes them out. Drinking one litre of water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and another 8-10 glasses during the day will prevent this problem from occurring again. But, yes if you are not comfortable drinking 1 litre of water empty stomach, you may drink 2-3 liters of water in the day plus other fluids.
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Food rich in Vitamin C
Taking high doses of vitamin C may give relief as well. The natural sources of vitamin C helps our body to absorb bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoid helps in removing toxic radicals thereby improving our bodies immunity that prevent bacterial growth in the urinary tract. Also eating fruits or vegetables, raw or partially cooked, once the body starts showing the symptoms of UTI, helps to fight the infection at its earliest.
A healthy body requires a daily intake of 2,000mg of vitamin C about two to three times a day. Food like lemon, gooseberries, tomatoes, guava, oranges, bell pepper, papaya, parsley, strawberries, kiwi are rich in this vitamin.
Garlic for UTI
Garlic not only treats UTI but also helps to get rid of its main cause, which is the E.coli bacteria. The sulphur containing compound, allicin, found in raw garlic is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. Eating 4-5 cloves of raw garlic a day is the best way to get maximum benefits. Chop it fine and gulp it down with warm water, or have your meals with 4-5 cloves of garlic pickle everyday, at least for a week.
Parsley Tea for UTI
It is one of the effective home remedies for UTI. Apart from containing vitamin C, it has iron twice as that of spinach and is a very good source of vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Conventionally, parsley tea has been used to treat UTI, liver and kidney stones and relives bladder pain as well.
Celery seeds are diuretic, mainly due to the presence of butylphthalide. Diuretic means that it will increase urination and cause us to pee a lot, which helps us to flush the bladder and urinary tract of bacteria. Chewing a handful of these seeds can help increase in the production of urine. It is best to snack them after a meal. But, this method is effective only when you drink plenty of water.
Lifestyle Changes to be Made for UTI
Always remember never pass up an opportunity to pee. Its really well said, ‘Don’t prioritise your schedule, schedule your priorities’.
Cleanliness is of utmost importance for preventing UTI. After urinating, always wipe the area from front to the back. As when you reach from behind, germs from the rectum can be transferred. Also avoid the use of hygiene sprays or any scented bath washes. Always use mild and unscented bath products. And do wear a loose fitting cotton underwear, as it helps to breathe.
Just in order to maintain a good personal hygiene, please don’t douche. Douching not only washes the bad smelling vaginal bacteria but also washes out the good bacteria. This disrupts the natural balance in the vagina and allows more bad bacteria to grow.
And the last but not the least when having a UTI, the consumption of alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners and spicy food can irritate your bladder further. If your body starts showing the symptoms of UTI, avoid eating any type of protein.
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