Urinary tract infections, commonly referred to as UTI’s, are one of the most common conditions encountered by millions of people every day. They are usually caused b bacteria entering the urethra and making their way into the bladder of kidneys. However despite the fact that they are very common, most people don’t tend to know how to treat one easily and how to reduce symptoms pending medically prescribed treatment.
The most common symptoms of a urinary tract infection are blood being present in the urine, as well as pain whilst urinating. Secondarily difficulty urinating, and often increased urge with little or no outcome are common as well.
A burning sensation while urinating is the most common symptoms however, and is usually how people know that they have a urinary tract infection. There are several other medical problems that can cause similar symptoms to those of a UTI however, so getting a medical opinion is always a good idea.
There are also several groups of people that are more at risk from urinary tract infections than most people. Women are generally a lot more at risk then men, and also the elderly are much more at risk as well. Women are more at risk then men due to the fact that they have a shorter urethra than men, as well as the anus being closer to the urethra then in men.
The elderly are more at risk because the protective lining of the urinary tract begins to weaken, meaning bacteria can adhere to the walls of the tract easier. Also weaker muscles in the bladder means that the urine is not expelled with as much force, lowering the amount of bacteria expelled.
People with sickle cell disorders as well as diabetics are also more at risk, as are people with some kind of malformation of the urinary tract. The prolonged use of catheters is also a risk factor for urinary tract infections to develop. There are certain allergies that can also irritate the bladder, causing infections to become more likely, which are usually either to new medications or sudden changes in diet.
The most common treatment for a urinary tract infection is a course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. This will clear up most infections in a few days, and most doctors will advise their patients about the best ways to avoid future infections through lifestyle changes.
There are times when urinary tract infections are caused by things such as kidney stones, or blockages in the urinary tract somewhere, in which case antibiotics wont always remove the infection completely however.
One of the most important ways that you can not only reduce symptoms, but avoid future infections of this nature is to increase your fluid intake. Which means drinking more water, and less unhealthy beverages such as alcohol and pop. Increasing water intake will mean that you will urinate more frequently, which in turn will help to remove more bacteria form the urinary tract. This will in turn lessen your symptoms as it stops bacteria from reproducing as easily.
Sugary drinks and alcohol are generally best avoided due to the fact that sugars and yeast are substances that some kinds of bacteria can feed on, allowing them to reproduce faster. When the bacteria can reproduce faster, the infections are often exacerbated, and can take a lot longer to cure. Also if you drink sugary drinks a lot during the onset of the infection, then the symptoms can quickly become a lot more pronounced and painful.
Cranberry juice is widely regarded as one of the most effective ways to reduce and even cure urinary tract infections. This is because there are certain chemicals present in this type of juice that inhibit bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. Which means basically that they cannot stick to the walls of the urinary tract as easily, meaning that they are easier to expel through urination.
As well as the more traditional treatments, there are also a number of different natural cures produced by health food chains and holistic companies. These typically consist of blends of different juices and herbs that are thought to lessen the effects of urinary pain. There are many of these products that tend to have positive reports about them and are seemingly effective. However since they are not medically tested or approved, it is difficult to know whether you are getting a good product or not.