Can U Get Rid Of A Uti Without Antibiotics – By Marissa Walsh, Pharm.D., BCPS-AQ ID | Medically reviewed by Marissa Walsh, Pharm.D., ID BCPS-AQ on September 8, 2022
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a general term that includes infections of the upper urinary tract – which includes the kidneys (pyelonephritis), as well as the lower urinary tract – which includes the bladder. (Cystitis). The term UTI is often used interchangeably with infections involving the lower urinary tract, which usually cause mild to moderate pain or discomfort. Although medication can quickly treat a UTI, many people find relief from UTI symptoms with home remedies. Let’s take a look at some common home remedies for UTIs.
Can U Get Rid Of A Uti Without Antibiotics
When bacteria enter the urinary system, they cause a urinary tract infection. Bacteria, particularly Escherichia coli (E. coli), are the most common cause of UTIs, but dehydration, prolonged urinary retention, certain health conditions, and hormonal changes can also occur. The average UTI lasts from a few days to more than a week. Some UTIs go away on their own, but more serious cases (including upper urinary tract infections) require medical attention. With antibiotic treatment, many people with acute UTIs begin to feel relief within days. For mild UTIs, home remedies may help ease symptoms and/or prevent an infection from developing.
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The best thing to do to prevent UTIs at home is to keep it as clean and dry as possible. Wiping from front to back after urinating or defecating is considered good hygiene and helps prevent bacteria from entering the urethra and traveling up the urethra.
Wear underwear made from natural fibers to ensure the urinary tract is always clean and dry to prevent bacteria from entering. Wearing clothes that are too tight can restrict air flow to the urethra. Without airflow, bacteria can enter and create an environment that allows a UTI to develop. Wearing clothes made of synthetic fibers like nylon can trap moisture, allowing bacteria to grow.
The presence of any bacteria in the urinary tract does not necessarily mean that there is an infection; “Good” bacteria are present and important for maintaining a healthy balance. Along with “bad” bacteria, douching can remove this “good” bacteria and change your body’s pH balance. Ultimately, this allows “bad” bacteria to grow. The vagina cleans itself with secretions. If you still feel the need to rinse there, use a pH-balanced formula like Summer’s Eve.
Your foaming shower gel, body wash, and other cleaning products can be the culprits of UTIs. Use gentle formulas without dyes and fragrances.
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Less absorbent pads made of synthetic materials can expose your vagina to bacteria and increase your risk of infection. Using tampons can encourage bacteria to multiply faster, so it’s important that you change your tampons often. Tampons and menstrual cups can increase the risk of urinary tract infections or worsen urinary tract infections if not properly placed. If it pushes up your urethra and holds your urine, the bacteria can spread to your bladder. Changing the size or shape of your menstrual cup can help prevent UTIs from recurring.
A spermicide is a type of birth control that is inserted into the vagina before sex to kill sperm. A spermicide can cause irritation, removing the natural barrier from bacterial invasion (and ultimately infection). Avoid spermicide during UTI. . Also, urinating before and after sex can help prevent UTIs.
A UTI can cause discomfort or pain in the pubic area. Heating pads or hot water bottles can help relieve pain in the area and are easy to use. Applying heat to the pelvic area for about 15 minutes can make a big difference. Making sure the temperature is not too hot and that the heat source does not directly touch the skin will prevent irritation or burns. A warm bath may seem like a reasonable solution to relieve the pain of a UTI, but most health professionals advise against bubble baths. If you shower, remove soaps and lathers and limit the time you soak.
One of the best home remedies for UTIs is drinking plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water helps flush bacteria out of the body. Harvard Health recommends that the average healthy person should drink at least four to six cups of water per day.
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When bacteria attach to the cell walls in the urinary tract, this can lead to a urinary tract infection. Proanthocyanidins, the active ingredient in cranberry juice, help prevent bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract wall, which helps prevent UTIs. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that cranberry juice can reduce the number of UTIs a person may develop over 12 months. In addition to cranberry juice, several over-the-counter cranberry supplements also serve the same purpose.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice to treat UTIs is much debated in the medical community. While drinking juice may help some, it may not work for others. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether cranberry juice has any role in their UTI treatment.
Frequent urination during a UTI helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract. Suppressing the urge to urinate can cause bacteria in the urine to get stuck in the bladder, making a UTI worse. Urinating before and after intercourse helps reduce the amount of bacteria entering the urinary tract.
Consuming garlic is a great way to boost your immunity and garlic is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Allicin, one of the compounds in garlic, has antibacterial properties and has been shown to be effective in killing E. coli bacteria.
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“Diet plays a big role in preventing UTIs because they are caused by bacterial infections,” says Sara Emily Sajdak, an acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner in New York City. “Bacteria love sugar, so the more sugar you eat, the more food you feed the bacteria.”
Probiotics are supplements of “good” bacteria that help support a healthy gut and immune system. They can help prevent harmful bacteria from growing and treat and prevent recurring urinary tract infections. The probiotic Lactobacillus has been shown to be particularly effective in preventing UTIs in women.
There are many different types of probiotics available for purchase at grocery stores or health food stores. If you want to take them for UTI treatment and don’t know what to buy, it’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional.
Uva ursi is an herb with anti-inflammatory, astringent and urinary tract antiseptic properties. Uva ursi has been shown to be effective in the treatment and prevention of UTIs. It can be purchased from health food stores and taken as directed by a nutritionist or health professional.
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D-mannose is a type of sugar that helps prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Some research suggests that taking D-mannose powder with water can help prevent UTIs, especially for people who have them frequently.
All herbal supplements should be taken in consultation with a healthcare professional, as they may interact with other medications you are taking for other indications.
Oregano essential oil is known for its strong antibacterial properties. Studies have shown that oregano oil is very effective at killing E.coli, but it should be noted that these studies are usually done in vitro – that is, the techniques are not done in a laboratory using science, on people suffering from the infection. They can be a home remedy for UTIs because of their antibacterial properties, but both have been studied against harmful bacteria in the same trials as oregano oil.
Care must be taken before using essential oils as a treatment. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy advises against consuming these oils. Instead, essential oils can be safely used topically with a carrier oil or inhaled through a diffuser.
Urinary Tract Infection (uti)
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, theoretically has the same UTI-preventing effects as cranberry juice or cranberry supplements. Large doses of vitamin C, above what can be achieved through conventional citrus fruit consumption, may acidify the urine sufficiently to limit bacterial growth, but clinical data availability is limited and contradictory. Once you have a UTI, vitamin C is not enough to kill the infection on its own.
As discussed above, spermicidal methods of birth control increase the risk of UTIs. In addition, other birth control methods, such as the intrauterine device (IUD), have been shown to cause recurrent UTIs. Talk to your health care provider about birth control options or if you suspect that your current birth control may be causing recurrent UTIs.
Loss of estrogen during menopause can lead to thin and dry vaginal tissue, making it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract and cause UTIs. Loss of estrogen has been shown to decrease the presence of lactobacilli – the “good” bacteria –
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