Urinary tract infection, or more commonly known as UTI, is far more common than you think. In the US, there are approximately 8.1 million visits made to doctors each year by patients experiencing these symptoms. Of these, about 60c percent are women and 12% are men, who report experiencing at least one bout of UTI during their lifetime, states the American Urological association.
Pain or burning while urinating, pain in lower abdomen, pelvic area and lower back are common symptoms of UTI. Another irritating part of UTI is the feeling of wanting to pee, even when you don’t have to. Smelly urine is another UTI symptom. Health Shots got in touch with pediatric surgeon and pediatric urologist Dr Antony Robert Charles, to understand the various home remedies for the prevention of UTI.
Urinary tract infection affects infants, children, young adults, and of course adults. It is the growth of bad bacteria in the urinary system ranging from the bladder all the way to the kidney. “Most commonly the causes of urinary tract infection (UTI) are acquired and due to causes of contamination and retaining of urine within the body for long periods. Rarely there may be structural problems in children in the bladder or kidneys which make infection common in them,” explains Dr Charles.
In fact, UTIs are very common in not only kids, but infants as well. “Extensive use of diapers with motions left in contact with the baby’s genitalia is a common cause. In older children, holding urine passage till the last minute and avoiding going to the toilet for hours also is a common cause,” says Dr Charles.
We all try home remedies for anything ranging from a common cold, to fever, don’t we? While UTI cannot be totally treated at home, there are various ways to prevent it. However, if you are sure that you have a UTI, it would always be better to book a doctor’s appointment, because UTIs should not be left untreated.
The treatment of UTI needs to be prompt and effective. “This is because the bad bacteria can grow rapidly in the system and even cause permanent scars in the kidney with lifelong implications. Most UTI will be treated by oral antibiotics and supportive measures after your pediatrician tests the baby’s urine. Complicated UTI where infection reaches the kidney will need Injectable antibiotics and maybe hospitalization. Any structural problem in the urinary system may need surgical correction,” says Dr Charles.
While UTI cannot be treated at home, these home remedies for UTI prevention are worth following. Dr Charles lists out all that you can do to ensure that you don’t get UTIs easily.
Good hygiene is what will ensure that you don’t get UTI. In fact, poor menstrual hygeine can also lead to UTI. In infants, avoid prolonged nappy usage, try to use cloth nappies and frequent changes rather than commercial ones that can trap bacteria for long hours if we don’t keep checking if stool is present.Staying hydrated also helps with keeping UTI at bay. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. It’s like giving your urinary tract a little rinse to flush out any unwelcome bacteria. Shoot for at least eight glasses a day – your bladder will thank you!
Don’t hold urine for prolonged periods. Urinate when you feel the need to, as this helps to expel bacteria from the urinary tract and prevents their multiplication.
Include unsweetened cranberry juice in your diet, as it may contribute to UTI prevention. Cranberries contain compounds that hinder bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract.
Consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt into your diet. Probiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can help maintain a healthy balance in the urinary tract.