A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is caused by microbes that are too small to be seen without a microscope, such as fungi, viruses and bacteria. Although the body has its many natural defenses, certain bacteria have the capability to attach themselves to the lining of the urinary tract and inhabit the urethra, bladder and kidneys. Most UTI cases are caused by E.Coli bacterium that can live in the bowel and vaginal cavities, around the urethral opening, and in the urinary tract.
Women have higher chances of getting UTI than men. This condition is characterized by variety of symptoms such as abnormally frequent urination, burning feeling during urination, back aches and pain in your lower abdomen, and smelly, discolored urine. When UTI isn’t immediately treated, you may have fever or chills which means the infection may have reached the kidneys.
In order to lessen your chances of getting UTI, here are a few things that you can do:
1. Drink adequate amount of water.
Drinking lots of water can urge you to pee more frequently, which flushes out bad bacteria from your urethra. The more you urinate, the more the bacterium is flushed out. Avoid holding urine for long periods of time.
It also helps to drink coconut juice or cranberry juice. Drink 2 glasses of cranberry juice without soda or sugar in it. This is known to have preventive action against recurrent UTI. Alternatively, go for 500mg cranberry supplements daily.
2. Cleanse your genital area before and after sex.
If you have poor personal hygiene, sexual intercourse is one of the easiest ways to contract UTI. Urinating and washing your genital area before and after sex can help you flush away any bacteria that may have entered your urethra.
3. Maintain your genital clean and dry.
Keep your genital area dry wearing cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. If you wear panty liners, change them as often as you can. Bacteria grow in warm and moist environments.
Tight jeans and other snugly fitting clothes can trap moisture in your most delicate areas, making bacteria propagate. Wearing loose, casual clothing that lets your skin breathe can keep the bacteria in your urinary tract at bay.
4. Dab from front to back.
Especially after bowel movement, wipe from front to back instead of back to front to avoid getting waste and bacteria near your vagina.
5. Avoid using feminine products.
Feminine products such as feminine hygiene sprays, scented douches, and scented bath products only increase irritation.
6. Avoid bladder irritants from your diet.
When you have a UTI, do not drink caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners which can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal. Consume healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates, which are good for your digestive health.
7. Take Vitamin C.
Vitamin C makes urine more acidic, prevents the growth of E. coli and improves immune function. Most bacteria hate acidic environments. Consuming vitamin C will create nitric acid, which is toxic to bad bacteria.
Try 500-2,000 milligrams every two hours for two days, then 500-2,000 milligrams three times a day for as long as symptoms persist. After the infection is gone, try 500-1,000 milligrams per day to help prevent UTIs from coming back.