Urinary tract infection is a common infection that affects the urinary system, which includes the kidneys and ureters. It's caused by bacteria entering through these passageways and getting into your bladder or kidney. If left untreated, it can lead to UTI symptoms like frequent urination, burning during urination, cloudy urine and a strong smell.
Drinking plenty of water is an important part of the treatment for a urinary tract infection. The bacteria that cause UTIs can grow in your bladder if you don't drink enough fluids and urinate often, so staying hydrated helps flush out these germs as well as prevent constipation and kidney stones.
If you're not sure how much to drink every day, start with 8-12 cups (2 liters) per day. You should also increase this amount if you have any symptoms such as:
- Increased frequency of urination
- A burning or painful feeling when passing urine
Why Antibiotics Does Not Always Work
Most UTIs aren’t serious if treated promptly with antibiotics. But if left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and kidney scarring.Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within 2 to 4 days after starting antibiotic therapy. Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic for at least 3 days.But some UTIs don’t clear up after antibiotic therapy, which may mean that a different type of antibiotic is required.The overuse or misuse of antibiotics can also contribute to antibiotic resistance, a growing problem that can make it more challenging to treat issues like recurrent UTIs. Because of this risk, experts have been looking for other ways to treat UTIs alongside antibiotics.
Cranberry Juice or Sugary Cranberry Pills
Cranberries are a good source of antioxidants, which may be important for fighting bacteria that cause UTIs. They also contain vitamin C, which helps your body fight infection by boosting white blood cells' ability to destroy bacteria. Cranberry juice can be taken as a pill or in juice form; either way, drinking it regularly is likely to reduce your risk of getting another bout with an infection if you have one before this method becomes effective. You can find cranberries at most local grocery stores and online retailers.
The bacteria in the urinary tract adhere to the uroepithelial cells. These bacteria then multiply and cause infection.
The bacterial adhesion to uroepithelial cells is mediated by pili, which are small appendages that project from bacterial cell surfaces. Bacterial pili can be compared to hooks or faucets on a pipe; they protrude at right angles from the cell surface and allow it to interact with another surface (such as a host cell).
Nitrofurantoin and Cephalexin
Most UTIs are caused by E. coli, but it’s possible to have one caused by other bacteria or viruses.
If you have an active bladder infection, your doctor might prescribe nitrofurantoin and cephalexin (Keflex). These two medicines are antibiotics that work best against E. coli infections in women who haven't had a child yet; they're not effective against all types of UTIs and may not work at all in some cases.
For example, Nitrofurantoin works about 75% of the time for women with no previous history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). But it doesn't work at all for 20% of those infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia; those conditions often cause similar symptoms as those caused by E coli strains like O157:H7.
Recurrent UTI women had lower levels of Lactobacilli
Lactobacilli are good bacteria that live in your vagina, helping to keep it healthy. They also prevent infection by acting as a barrier between the bacteria and your body's defenses. In fact, studies show that 50-75% of recurrent-UTI women had lower levels of lactobacilli than normal controls, and treatment with lactobacilli showed significant reduction in UTI recurrences.
Lactobacillus is used to treat UTIs by giving probiotics (good bacteria) to help restore the balance of good vs bad bacteria in your body's digestive tract—a condition called dysbiosis or "bad gut syndrome." Probiotics can be found in yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut juice drinks like Bubly; fermented vegetables like kimchi; miso paste; tempeh; miso soup base made with tofu; miso-scented candles; kombucha tea drinks made from ingredients such as ginger root or chamomile flowers (Konbu).
You can help keep your vagina healthy by maintaining a healthy level of lactobacilli. They are not harmful, but they can be destroyed by antibiotics, which is why it's important to avoid them if you need antibiotics for a UTI due to their potential to interfere with treatment effectiveness.
It's also possible that there are some probiotics available as supplements or medications (like acidophilus), but these products aren't necessarily necessary if you're following our regimen above and eating plenty of yogurt every day the good bacteria from dairy foods will do much of what we want them to do anyway.
In summary, if you live with a urinary tract infection, it can be very difficult to get rid of them. As we’ve discussed, there are many causes for UTIs—and one of the most common is antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Unfortunately, this means that antibiotics may not be enough to cure your infection and put an end to symptoms like burning or irritation in your pee stream. But don’t worry! There are plenty of other things you can do at home without antibiotics.