Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the second most common type of infection that can affect the body and the most common nosocomial infection. Given the prevalence of such a condition, you would also expect that there would be more than a few ways to treat them.
Treatments for UTIs are available either as over-the-counter medications or home remedies that make use of natural products and lifestyle changes to get rid of the problem. Prescription medications are also available.
Simple antibiotics are the first line of treatment for UTIs, and a short course of antibiotics is usually prescribed for most cases of UTIs. These antibiotics are often in capsule form, and should be taken for a few days, perhaps 3 days, to get the UTI treated. Simple UTIs are usually treated in a few days, and the symptoms will go away if the affected individual takes the prescribed antibiotics. Be sure to take the antibiotics for the full term, as prescribed by the physician.
While the antibiotics take care of the UTI-causing bacteria, which can be resolved a few days, the person may still experience the symptoms of UTIs, which include:
- pain during urination
- increased urgency to urinate
- abdominal pain
- pain before urination
These symptoms are not very pleasant, and it may also be important to make the patient comfortable using pain relievers. The most commonly used painkiller for a UTI is paracetamol, although you can get stronger pain relievers if the symptoms are severe. The idea behind using pain relievers is to help make you comfortable and not experience too much pain. Other pain relievers may also have anti-inflammatory properties that help the irritated bladder and urethra heal.
When using antibiotics, it may be important to increase the amount of good bacteria in your system. This may be accomplished through eating certain foods, but it may be advisable to buy a probiotic, which can be found in most stores that sell vitamins and supplements. A probiotic will increase the good flora, which would otherwise be wiped out by the antibiotic. By replacing the good bacteria, side effects such as diarrhea may be avoided while taking the prescribed antibiotic.
Besides antibiotics, there are also a number of herbal remedies that have been shown to improve the symptoms of a UTI. Bearberry leaf, for example, can be taken as a remedy for UTIs, but users need to be careful, because extended use can lead to liver damage. Goldenseal is another known remedy for UTIs, and can also be taken to treat the problem.
It is important to inform your doctor about any herbal remedies you have been taking, because some may have negative reactions to prescribed medication. If you have not yet started taking an herbal supplement, it may be wise to ask your doctor about this to avoid any future complications/
At home remedies
Few people like visiting the doctor, and even fewer feel comfortable visiting their doctors for such a sensitive and private problem, such as a UTI. For these reasons, numerous home remedies have been devised that make UTIs easier to deal with and treat. The following strategies can help you get through a UTI:
Soothe the pain with heat
UTIs are often accompanied by some abdominal pain, usually around the lower abdomen. This is mostly due to an irritated bladder, but heat can help to soothe the irritation. Heating pads can be found at the pharmacy, but a towel soaked in warm water can also work. Apply either of the two around the lower abdomen for a few minutes, but don’t place it directly on your skin to avoid burns.
Avoid foods that may irritate your bladder
Whenever you’re recovering from a UTI, consider that your bladder is trying to heal from the infection, so you shouldn’t subject it to further irritants. Spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine are all irritants you should avoid to allow your bladder enough time to heal.
After your UTI has been treated, be sure to prevent future UTIs. One way to prevent a UTI is to practice healthy hygiene habits. Urinating before and after sex may prevent bacteria from entering the urethra, and therefore this may prevent UTIs from occurring. It is also important to avoid wiping back to front when using the restroom. This may also introduce bacteria to the urethra. Promoting good bacteria in the system is beneficial, as well. This may be done by avoiding certain cleansers and cleansing processes, including douching. These cleansers and processes will remove not only the bacteria that is causing the UTIs, but they will also remove beneficial bacteria that may prevent further UTIs. Also, there are supplements that may help prevent UTIs. You may consider a probiotic, as well as cranberry-based supplements, which are often available over-the-counter to promote a healthy urinary tract.
While it may feel embarrassing, it is important to go get adequate treatment for a suspected UTI. A doctor may choose to test a urine sample to determine whether or not a UTI is present. If a UTI is present, a physician may prescribe a round of antibiotics. It is important to finish the entire round of antibiotics to ensure that the bacteria is completely removed. Once again, probiotics may help to avoid the common side effects of antibiotics.
If the UTI is still present after treatment or if the UTI returns quickly, be sure to discuss this with your doctor. A different medication may be required, or a doctor may be able to determine what is causing your UTIs. There may be an underlying condition that needs to be resolved before the UTIs will stop returning. There also may be habits that you do not realize are causing recurrent UTIs. No matter what the cause, a doctor can help treat your UTIs, as well as determine any factors that may be contributing to your UTIs.
UTIs are very common, and they are very uncomfortable. If you suspect a UTI, you should seek treatment, which is generally very simple.