How common is (Urinary Tract Infection) UTI in your lifetime? One in five women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime and 25% of women experience at least 1 proven recurrence of UTI within 6 months of the 1st attack. Women are more likely to develop UTIs than men because women have a shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.
What is UTI and what causes it?
Urinary Tract Infection is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower parts of the urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra. We all know the rule: wipe from front to back- the main reason for this is to avoid UTI. Urine is usually sterile, which means it does not have any bacteria, viruses or fungi present. A UTI can occur when a microorganism enters the urinary system through the urethra. Most infections are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is a digestive tract bacterium that lives in the colon, and spreads to the urethra from the anus.
The common types of UTI includes:
Infection of the bladder (cystitis). This type of UTI is usually caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, sometimes other bacteria are responsible.
Sexual intercourse may lead to cystitis, but you don't have to be sexually active to develop it. All women are at risk of cystitis because of their anatomy — specifically, the short distance from the urethra to the anus and the urethral opening to the bladder.
Infection of the urethra (urethritis). This type of UTI can occur when GI bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Also, because the female urethra is close to the vagina, sexually transmitted infections, such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia and mycoplasma, can cause urethritis.
Other possible causes include:
Not drinking enough fluids or dehydration from sports, hot weather, vomiting or diarrhea.
Passing urine infrequently because of e.g., your job (does not allow you to visit the toilet), fear of dirty toilets, long distance travel with infrequent toilet breaks.
Particular types of birth control- women who use diaphragms may be at higher risk, including women who use spermicidal agents.
Menopause- Post menopause, there’s a decline in circulating estrogen which then causes changes in the urinary tract that make you more vulnerable and susceptible to infection.
Obstacles in the urinary tract- kidney stones or an enlarged prostate can actually trap urine in the bladder and increase the risk of UTI.
Catheter dependant- those who use a tube to urinate for any type of medical condition, are at risk of contracting UTI.
A recent procedure that involved the urinary area- either urinary surgery or a medical exam that involves instruments that penetrate the urinary tract can increase the risk of UTI.
UTI Symptoms: Spot it to Stop it
Here are some of the most common signs attributed to UTI.
A burning sensation when you urinate A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out when you do Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen Urine that seems cloudy, dark or strange-smelling Feeling tired or shaky Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have reached your kidneys) Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
Prevention- The best treatment
Magic tonic- Water. Drink lots and lots of water. It basically dilutes your urine plus helps you urinate more frequently which then effectively flushes out any bacteria in the urinary tract.
Unsweetened cranberry juice- widely known as a way to prevent UTI naturally.
Sexual hygiene- empty your bladder after intercourse and drink a full glass of water.
Be careful with the use of feminine products- excessive use of deodorant sprays, douches and powders in the genital area can irritate the urethra.
Fight back- remedies for UTI
Sometimes, despite taking every precaution, there are still chances of contracting UTI. It’s just that common, wWhile antibiotics are one of the ways of curing a UTI, there are natural remedies as well.
This may be repetitive but it’s one of the most crucial ways of treating UTI- drinking lots of water. Water helps the urinary tract organs efficiently remove waste from the body while retaining vital nutrients and electrolytes. Every individual has their own requirement of water intake, however, 6-8 glasses of water every day is a universal requirement.
Don’t hold it in- urinate when the need arises.
Urinating frequently puts pressure on bacteria in the urinary tract and can help push them out. It also reduces the amount of time that bacteria in the urine are exposed to cells in the urinary tract, reducing the risk of them attaching and forming an infection. Therefore, always urinate as soon as possible when the urge strikes.
Probiotics for the win
Good vs. bad. The classic equation where the good bacteria keep the urinary tract healthy and free from harmful bacteria. In particular, a group of probiotics called lactobacillus may help with treating and preventing UTIs. They may do this by:
preventing harmful bacteria from attaching to urinary tract cells
producing hydrogen peroxide in urine, which is a strong antibacterial
Lowering the pH levels in urine, making conditions less favorable for bacteria
Probiotics occur in a variety of fermented and dairy products, including yogurt, kefir, some types of cheese and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage): Probiotic supplements are another option. They come in the form of a capsule, chewable tablet, liquid or powder that mixes into water or other beverages. Check out some of the most effective NaturesWisdom probiotics here.
Vitamin C to keep it UTI free
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and it helps improve the function of the immune system. Vitamin C also reacts with nitrates in urine to form nitrogen oxides that can kill bacteria. It lowers the pH of urine and makes it less likely for bacteria to survive. The National Institutes of Health recommend that for people aged 19 and over, women should get at least 75 mg of vitamin C per day, while men need around 90 mg per day. Adults who smoke should take an additional 35 mg of the vitamin C each day.
Nordic Flora Probiotic Woman blends 7 probiotic strains (15 billion CFU) with prebiotics, and D-mannose to help balance vaginal flora and support urinary tract health. An in vitro study discussed the potential synergies of L. acidophilus DDS®-1 combined with bioactive proanthocyanidins on reducing the invasiveness of Escherichia coli, a common urinary tract pathogen. Also, D-mannose prevents harmful pathogens (E.coli) attach to the urinary tract and reduced UTI symptoms in women with an active infection.
Research indicates that cranberry helps inhibit harmful pathogens from adhering to the mucosal cells lining the urinary tract. Ultra Cranberry 1000 is the highest quality cranberry supplement ever formulated. Just one sustained-release tablet supplies an unprecedented 1,000 mg of pure cranberry juice solids.
Nature’s Answer Alcohol-Free Cranberry Extract is an exceptional way to help keep your urinary tract healthy. Since it’s an extract, it’s absorbed faster than pills, capsules and softgels. Made from 10,000 mg of fresh cranberries, this highly concentrated extract gives you a full 1,500 mg of herb in each 2 ml serving.
CranBiotic™ provides 200 million friendly bacteria cells per daily dose. Lactospore® is a naturally microencapsulated sporiferous preparation of Lactobacillus sporogenes that is proven to deliver viable lactobacilli to the intestine, containing microorganisms capable of rectifying the gastro-intestinal flora imbalance. CranBiotic™ is further enhanced with Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which are non-digestible dietary fibers that help keep the gastrointestinal system healthy by nourishing and promoting friendly bacteria; and CYSTICRAN® a standardized cranberry extract that provides natural support for urinary health maintenance.
Having UTI is both mentally and physically draining. That’s why Natures Wisdom provides you with some of the best solutions that are truly effective and gentle for your system!