Urinary Tract Infections (cystitis), or UTIs, are a very common ailment of the urinary system that will affect most women at some point or another. In addition to being painful and annoying, UTIs can cause insomnia and limit our regular daily activities.
While it is generally true that we should never act without consulting a doctor, we often end up feeling that we have no other option but antibiotics, which, apart from damaging our livers, we can also build up a resistance to, thus reducing their effectiveness. Because of this, it is important to first focus on the prevention of UTIs and learn to take measures against them, so that the cystitis does not return to muddle with our daily needs.
What are the primary causes of Urinary Tract Infections?
After our kidneys have completed their excellent duty of filtering and cleaning blood, they deposit the toxins in our bladders so that they can be discharged with the urine. That is why it is so important that all of the parts connecting the kidney all the way to the urethra be in perfect condition, free of obstacles, and with a properly acidic environment that impedes the growth of bacteria. But sometimes, certain factors related to age, pregnancy, menopause, certain contraceptives, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland), conditions such as diabetes, physical changes in the urinary tract, etc., can provoke the growth of bacteria and/or the consequent obstruction of the urinary pathways, causing an inflammation in the urinary tract called cystitis or, in layman’s terms, a UTI.
- Itching or burning while urinating.
- Pressure in the pelvic zone.
- The constant need to pee.
- Stinky and/or cloudy pee, or the appearance of blood in the urine.
Natural treatments for Urinary Tract Infections
The best way to treat cistitis or a UTI is with a course of natural antibiotics that favor resolving the bacteria present in our urine.
- Cranberries: these rich red berries are great for fighting urinary infections thanks to their high levels of antioxidants such as anthocyanin and carotenoids, including Vitamin C. Their antiseptic functions allow them to act directly on the germs, for example keeping the bacteria that cause E. Coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract, while their high Vitamin C content reinforces the immune system’s defenses against the infection itself.
- Parsley and garlic: these foods are excellent as far as antibiotic properties go. We can add them to our food, or ingest them on their own. Parsley is best when mixed with fruit juice, especially acidic fruits, and garlic can be soaked and softened in olive oil and eaten (just make sure to brush your teeth well afterwards!).
- Lactobacillus bacteria are equally beneficial. These we can find at any supermarket in fermented dairy products such as yogurt. They help to improve the bacterial balance in our gut and develop antibodies.
- Diuretics help us eliminate foreign bodies from our urinary pathways and combat the retention of liquids. Therefore it is of high importance to include such foods as asparagus, cucumber, celery, and alfalfa in our diets… and especially pineapple, which is especially beneficial thanks to its anti-inflammatory enzymes.
Recommendations for avoiding UTIs
- Increase your liquid consumption in order to wash out those pesky bacteria.
- Take Vitamin C and consume as much orange, lemon, pineapple, and blueberry juice as possible.
- Always take good care of your intimate care! 😛
- Avoid coffee, alcoholic beverages, and green tea, as they can irritate the bladder and increase discomfort.
As you can see, it is relatively simple to treat UTIs. It just requires a bit of willpower and a well-balanced diet abundant in liquids and high in cranberries. Cranberries’ marvelous infection-fighting properties have been well-proven scientifically, so they are always worth having on hand, whether fresh or in any sort of juice we can get at the supermarket.