If you’ve ever had a bladder infection, chances are you remember it well. Bladder infections fall under the category of urinary tract infections or UTI’s, and they are quite unpleasant. Infections of the urinary tract can be bothersome and are often rather painful. You may be able to take some steps at home to help control your symptoms and prevent bladder infections from reoccurring.
[Related – Problems In The Urinary Tract]
What Is A Bladder Infection?
Bladder infections are a type of infection of the urinary tract. Typically, bacteria cause infections in the urinary tract. You develop a bladder infection when bacteria or other minute organisms latch onto the walls of the urethra and begin to grow, flourish and reproduce. The longer you wait to treat the symptoms, the worse your infection can get.
These bacteria can travel through the urinary tract affecting the bladder and kidneys. Urinary tract infections can happen to anyone, but are most prominently found in women. While it is important to know when to see a doctor, there are some home remedies that may be helpful in fighting off bladder infections.
Drink Water And Cranberry Juice
If you seem to be predestined to get urinary tract infections then you should definitely drink plenty of water. Water flowing trough your system will help to force out the bacteria and prevent infections by increasing your ability to urinate. It is recommended that you:
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
- Urinate every four hours.
Another powerful drink that can be effective at warding off infection and even curing less aggressive bacterial infections in the bladder is cranberry juice. Research shows that cranberry juice has the super ability to prevent bacteria from wreaking havoc in your bladder, and its properties may even have a subtle antibiotic effect. If you have the tendency to get bladder infections or have an infection now, you should drink at least 3 glasses of cranberry juice per day. Remember to never replace your doctor-prescribed antibiotics with cranberry juice, but rather to take them together.
[Related – 9 Surprising Health Benefits Of Cranberries]
Know What Drinks To Avoid
Certain beverages can irritate your bladder and cause an increase in the urge to urinate. You should avoid the following beverages when you have a bladder infection:
- Alcoholic drinks, as alcohol can irritate the bladder
- Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea and soda.
- Soft drinks and drinks that contain citrus juices should be avoided until your infection has healed.
Use Proper Hygiene
Ensuring that the area is clean is an effective way to prevent a bladder infection from occurring. Since women tend to get urinary tract infection more often than men, it is important for them to follow these guidelines regarding hygiene to prevent infection:
- Always wipe from front to back. This will prevent the spread of bacteria from traveling from the anus to the vagina.
- Shower prior to intercourse if you are susceptible to infection.
- Empty your bladder and drink a glass of water after intercourse to flush out any bacteria.
- Don’t use irritating feminine products. If you tend to get infections, avoid scented sprays, douches or powders that may cause an irritation to the urethra.
- Wear cotton underwear. Women should wear cotton-lined underwear and stockings to keep the vaginal area clean, dry and fresh.
Empty Your Bladder
It is important to remember never to hold in your urine. Holding in your urine can cause bacteria to build up, which can lead to an infection. Of course, we have all held our urine at some point, sometimes it’s inevitable, but if you have to go, make sure you go as soon as you can. If you’re in a meeting, excuse yourself, and if you’re in traffic, pull over and find a restroom whenever possible.
Try Some Baking Soda
If you think that you may be getting a bladder infection or if you are prone to them, try drinking some baking soda. Dissolving one teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water may help ward off infection. Baking soda helps infection by:
- Neutralizing the acid in urine.
- Shortening recovery time
Eat Blueberries And Pineapples
Cranberries are not the only fruit that are effective to use during a bladder infection. Research shows that blueberries have some of the same healing properties as cranberries and are useful in fighting off urinary tract infections. Additionally, pineapples can be helpful as well. Pineapples contain the enzyme Bromelain, which can help you to speed up your recovery when used in conjunction with your doctor- prescribed antibiotics.
Stock Up On Vitamin C
Many doctors recommend taking a daily dose of vitamin C, especially if you are prone to bladder infections. Consult your doctor on the recommended amount of vitamin C you should take if you are suffering from a bladder infection. Keep in mind, too much vitamin C can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. Vitamin C can help to prevent bladder infections by:
- Increasing the acidity of the urine.
- The increase in acid helps to prevent bacteria from growing in the urinary tract.
[Related – Vitamin C Facts: Everything You Need To Know]
Know When To See A Doctor
Of course home remedies can help to prevent and treat bladder infections, but it is also important to know when to see a doctor. If infections are left untreated they can become severe and cause complications. If your doctor has already prescribed you antibiotics, be sure to take them until they are finished. Do not use home remedies in the place of prescribed antibiotics. You should see a doctor if your infection lasts longer than 2 days or if your symptoms worsen.
An infection in the bladder can be painful and irritating, but can be treated and in most cases prevented. Use home remedies to help nip bladder infections in the bud and to speed the recovery process if your doctor has prescribed antibiotics. It is important to remember that while most bladder infections are not severe, they can cause complications and become severe if left untreated.