How to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection
A urinary tract infection can affect any part of the bladder, causing pain and irritation. Fortunately, this common ailment has a number of treatment options. Whether you prefer home remedies or professional help, you can find a safe way to heal your body.
A UTI often comes with significant pain and pressure. One of the easiest ways to alleviate both is to apply a heat pack to your stomach. Aim for a low or medium heat level, and keep a layer of clothing between the pack and your skin. A hot shower or bath can also help you relax and ease the pain. Herbs that help reduce inflammation, such as uva ursi, may also assist in pain reduction.
If you visit a doctor about a UTI, he is likely to prescribe a round of antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the infection, you may need to take the drugs for anywhere between a few days to several weeks. Antibiotics that are commonly used to treat UTIs include sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, amoxicillin and nitrofurantoin. If the infection is causing a significant amount of pain, you can ask the doctor to prescribe an analgesic to numb the area and make it easier to urinate.
Whether or not you are taking antibiotics, hydration is an important part of treating a UTI. As soon as you spot the signs of an infection, you should begin increasing your fluid intake. Doctors often advise frequent urination, and also recommend that patients make sure their bladder is completely empty each time. This process helps purge the bladder of fluid, dilute the urine and move the harmful bacteria out of the urinary tract, helping the infection clear up faster. You can also try drinking cranberry juice, which contains proanthocyanidins that may help heal the infection. According to Mayo Clinic, you should stay away from cranberry juice if you are taking warfarin.
The things you put into your body can irritate your urinary tract and bladder, causing sharp pain during urination. During a UTI, it is important to eliminate as many harsh substances as possible. Mayo Clinic advises UTI sufferers to avoid any drinks that contain caffeine. Acidic drinks, including citrus juices and sodas, can also cause pain. Stay away from foods with high spice levels and opt for lighter, more bland options. Trust your instincts; if you know that your body is sensitive to a particular food during healthy times, ensure that you avoid it during a UTI.
During a UTI, your clothing can aggravate the infection. Help your body heal by avoiding clothing that restricts airflow. Opt for loose cotton underwear, which are breathable and prevent trapped heat and moisture from promoting additional bacteria growth.