Urinary Tract Infections: Natural Treatment
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|Urinary Tract Infections: Alternative Natural Treatments
The most common type of urinary tract infection (UTI) is of the lower urinary tract, that is, a bladder infection (cystitis). This type of infection is most likely to occur in warm, humid atmospheres or when the immune system is low after a cold or flu. UTI's are also more common in women prone to yeast infections (also known as thrush/Candida) or who have food intolerances. For this reason, building up the body’s natural immune and digestive system is important. Below is a guide to alternative remedies and home treatments which may help treat infections when they occur, as well as offer some prevention. What works for one person may not work for another, so some trial and error is required. Always discuss taking supplements with your doctor, especially if you are taking medications for another condition. See also, urinary tract infections treatment for medical alternatives.
Dietary Tips For Treating & Preventing UTI's
Yeast infection diet plan: When symptoms occur avoid foods with sugar and yeast, especially: alcohol, cheese, soy sauce, miso, pickled foods and breads. Avoid sugar in every form, including honey, maple syrup and maltose and in cookies, cakes, sodas and desserts. Continue to avoid for at least a week after the infection has cleared.
Avoid all junk food, including fried foods, burgers and pizza as they are difficult for the system to digest.
For the first few days of infection also avoid grapes, bananas, melon and dried fruit as they are high in natural sugar.
Drink plenty of fluids but not sodas. Water is an excellent choice.
As UTI's thrive in an acid environment it is important to keep the urinary tract pH balance as neutral as possible. Eat plenty of green vegetables and salads, especially cabbage, broccoli, parsley, kale and watercress. These are all alkaline foods and help to counteract acid.
Good fruit options are pineapples, pears, cherries, apples and papaya.
Add more garlic and onions to meals; these are natural antibiotics and have antibacterial properties. Garlic is best used raw and crushed; it loses some of its benefits by cooking and aging. Add it to meals just before serving or mix with olive oil for a tasty salad dressing.
Take a cranberry supplement. Choose a sugar-free and preservative-free free capsule (e.g. Cranberry Plus). One 500 mg supplement can help prevent UTI's
Bromelain supplements, extracted from pineapples have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain may also help people with rheumatoid arthritis or those recovering from a recent injury. Take 1000mg a day. Alternatively, eat pineapple regularly. For maximum effect, it needs to be eaten before a large meal, not after.
Choose a nutritional supplement which helps to re-alkalize your body. An incorrect pH balance in the body can cause infections, weight problems, arthritis and acne. Alkaline products are available in capsule and powder form. Examples include Alka Blast and pHion Booster.
Vitamin C is particularly important when an infection occurs. Take up to 4000 mg daily with food the first week and then reduce to 1000 mg daily there after. When you take a large dosage of vitamin C it is important to take it in an ascorbate form as this is gentler on the digestive system.
Try grapefruit seed extract in liquid form and add a few drops to your water. It has powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Alternatively a few drops of oregano tincture has the same effect.
Drink 3 cups of nettle tea a day. You can buy pre-made versions in most health stores; alternatively why not make your own. Boil 4 cups of filtered water and remove from heat. Chop up a handful of stinging nettles (using gloves!), including the stalks. Seep in the cooling water for 20 minutes. Strain the nettles and throw away. The tea can be drunk hot or cold, and can be reheated without losing it's beneficial properties.
Another alternative drink is Aloe Vera juice with added cranberry and cherries.
Take a high strength multivitamin.
Urinate as soon as possible after sexual intercourse to help prevent bacteria traveling to the bladder. This only works however if the bladder is full enough to produce a strong stream. Squeezing a few drops of urine will not wash out any bacteria. If you do have a UTI avoid intercourse for a week as you may pass the bacteria to your partner and risk re-infection.
Wear cotton underwear and avoid tight fitting jeans in hot weather. Antidotal evidence from women suggests this may help.
Many drug stores sell over the counter cystitis remedies which contain sodium citrate. You can make your own version by squeezing half a lemon into a glass. Quarter fill the glass with water and then add a third of a teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda. Stir and drink while it is still fizzing. Do this 3 times a day, before your 3 main meals until symptoms have disappeared. As a preventative measure, take once a day before breakfast.
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