06 March 2006

Avoiding Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract Infections (Cystitis) is a common health problem, which about 20% of all women will experience sometimes in their lives. Men can also suffer from it, but to a far less degree however the risk increases with age for them.

UTI’s are caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract and once inside, the bacteria thrive in the warm, moist environment. The bacteria eventually affect the urine production and the function of the bladder, resulting in sometimes extremely painful as well as frequent urination. Other symptoms include: back pain; blood in the urine; cloudy urine; inability to urinate, despite the urge; fever; and a general feeling of being unwell. If there is presence of fever, chills & low back pain it may indicate that the kidneys are also involved, so get it checked out.

So, if you feel any sign of infection coming on, what can you do to combat it? If you get in early, you have a good chance of fighting it off.

To start with I repeat what you’ve heard so many times before: “Drink 8 glasses of water a day”, to help prevent UTI’s. This helps to flush out bacteria (and keeps just about everything in your body working properly). At the first sign that you may have an infection coming on, increase your water in take, by another 4 glasses a day. (Around 3 litres a day).

Keeping your immune system healthy is important. An increased dosage of Vitamin C can be helpful. Keep up a higher dose for a few days after the symptoms have gone, then gradually reduce over a couple of weeks.

Garlic is a great immune booster and fights of bacterial infections. Add it and onion to your diet.

Cranberry juice is a great treatment for UTI’s in around 73% of cases. It reduces the ability of bacteria to stick to lining of bladder & urethra. If it won’t stick, it will be washed away. (Sweetened cranberry juice is not recommended as sugar can be harmful to the immune system.) The recommended amount is about 2 glasses. (470 ml) A glass of cranberry juice daily has been shown to decrease the recurrence of UTI’s, so if you’re prone to these, it can be very helpful for you to make this apart of your day. Cranberry juice is also available in capsules. We have a great one on our site AIM CranVerry. It is an all-natural dried juice concentrate from raw cranberries and contains no added sugars, just the dried juice concentrate.