What to eat Avoid, treat and reduce symptoms of urinary tract infections

Everyone in America who thought urinary tract infections were a female problem has just learned a valuable lesson from former President Bill Clinton. Hospitalized with a severe UTI that had spread to his bloodstream, Clinton ended up in Irvine Medical Center at the University of California, requiring a course of strong antibiotics to be administered intravenously for days. It turns out that UTIs can be more than annoying or painful, which is why you need to treat them quickly and seriously.

Since UTIs, like any uncontrolled bacterial infection, can also lead to sepsis, a dangerous disease in which the bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, it is important to recognize the symptoms and to consult a doctor. In Clinton’s case, any sepsis is especially dangerous for a 75-year-old with a history of heart problems, as the worry is that the infection will spread to the heart or the lining of the heart, further weakening the organ.

When an infection starts in the urinary tract, it often goes unnoticed until it enters the bloodstream or surrounding tissue, and since bacteria can double every eight hours, it is a good idea to see a doctor early. and eating certain foods known to help prevent, treat, and reduce symptoms of UTIs.

UTIs are more common in women

Most commonly a health problem for women, UTIs can affect the well-being of patients, causing painful trips to the toilet, swelling and bloating of the lower abdomen, and an inflexible itchy or even feeling of itching. blood in the urine. If you regularly suffer from UTIs and are frustrated with your current treatment options, making a few small changes to your diet can help provide relief while avoiding potential side effects from medications.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common ambulatory infections in the United States, affecting 50 to 60 percent of women at some point in their lives. Although common in young women aged 14 to 26, UTIs are more common in older people and the risk increases with age.

Fear and frustration in women with recurrent urinary tract infections

According to a new study published in The Journal of Urology who looked at focus groups of women with recurrent UTIs, women are frustrated with the medical profession for not addressing their concerns – and unhappy with the limited management options for the painful condition. They are also worried about the side effects of antibiotic treatment. The study concluded that doctors need to offer more options for the prevention and management of UTIs in order to better empower their patients who contract them.

UTI and antibiotics

Although antibiotics are effective in treating UTIs, some women find that they cause side effects and can actually lead to other infections such as yeast infections. Antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that cause UTIs, but they also kill others beneficial bacteria in the body. Research suggests that antibiotics are major disruptors of the gut microbiome, leaving it with less beneficial or diverse bacteria. The immune system is largely governed by the microbiome, so if the bacteria in the gut are disrupted, you are at greater risk for other types of infections. Common side effects of antibiotics are nausea, diarrhea, and yeast infections.

Antibiotics don’t always work because some bacteria that cause UTIs are resistant to them. As doctors prescribe more antibiotics and farmers administer more antibiotics to farm animals, humans face a growing crisis in antibiotic resistance. Eventually, antibiotics become less effective against UTIs. According to one estimate, between 1 in 3 and 1 in 5 ITUs do not respond to antibiotics.

However, it is important to note that with a severe UTI like Clinton’s, antibiotics are essential for restoring health and getting them quickly is vital, so call your doctor if you have any. urinary tract infection. Always discuss your treatment options with their doctor and should not stop taking prescribed medications without their doctor’s advice, as this could lead to complications.

Try plant-based foods

One of the ways to prevent or manage a UTI if they do end up having one is through diet. Many studies show that certain plant-based foods can actually reduce the risk of getting a urinary tract infection in the first place or prevent it from happening again. Here’s what to avoid and what plant-based foods to add to your diet to achieve it.

Foods to include

Researchers looked at natural remedies for UTIs, including plant foods, to provide relief. Here are the top foods studied that may help your condition.

Cranberry juice

Cranberry juice has been proven to work against urinary tract infections and a 2020 review suggested that while cranberry juice is an effective treatment for UTIs, it depends on the cranberry product used. Cranberries work because they contain polyphenols which inhibit bacteria such as E. coli to adhere to cells in the urinary tract and cause infection and possibly symptoms. But cranberry juice has another way of working – it can also interact with gut bacteria and can even prevent the colonization of infectious bacteria.

Cranberries, which are considered a super food, have not only been linked to a lower risk of urinary tract infection, but also to the prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function and lowered blood pressure.

If you are prone to UTIs, start drinking cranberry juice or using cranberries in cooking. You can also buy cranberry extract in tablet form designed to treat UTIs.

Cinnamon and turmeric

Many natural spices contain antioxidants that act as antimicrobial compounds that appear to be beneficial for UTIs. In a lab study of 26 Indian spices, cinnamon and turmeric were the most effective at killing bacteria.

Adding cinnamon to your diet may be an effective natural remedy for UTIs, the review confirmed. While you can’t always translate lab studies that use more potent extracts to the effects you might get using smaller doses of cinnamon in cooking, it’s worth using these spices to see if they have any effect. a beneficial effect.

Combine cinnamon and turmeric with grated root ginger (which added anti-inflammatory benefits) and mix it into warmed herbal milk or make it into a tea. You can also use these spices to cook Indian inspired dishes such as curries and dahls.

Fermented foods

If you’re taking antibiotics for a UTI, probiotics can help repopulate your gut with good bacteria and increase the variety of bacteria that your medications may have killed while treating UTI. Adding a probiotic supplement to your daily routine after stopping antibiotic treatment can help restore gut balance. The good news is that you can also get a lot of these beneficial probiotics just by eating fermented foods like kombucha or miso. Mix them together to get different strains of bacteria found in fermented foods and drinks.

Mix it up when choosing fermented foods:

  • Sauerkraut
  • kombucha
  • kefir
  • tempeh
  • miso
  • Kimchi
  • natto
  • plant-based fermented yogurts or nut cheeses

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables

A 2020 study indicated that a vegetarian diet protects against UTIs because plant foods contain beneficial phytochemicals and fibers that feed good gut bacteria. In addition to cranberries, other berries to add to your daily diet are blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and elderberries as they all have similar benefits against E. coli.

According to a 2020 study. Vitamin C may acidify urine and reduce the risk of UTIs. It may therefore be helpful to include many foods rich in vitamin C such as peppers, kiwis, broccoli, and citrus fruits.

Hibiscus tea for urinary tract infections

A lab study found that hibiscus extract was effective against bacteria that cause recurrent UTIs. Traditional cultures around the world use hibiscus tea for its antioxidant properties against UTIs and for bladder and kidney health. People can buy hibiscus tea in the form of dried flowers or tea bags.

Foods and drinks to avoid to prevent urinary tract infections

If you’re prone to UTIs, there are certain foods to avoid, according to Johns Hopkins, who advises people to avoid alcohol and coffee, spicy foods, and drink plenty of water. Replace your morning coffee with green tea, experts advise, as it’s packed with antioxidants, or grab some cranberry juice or mix blueberries, strawberries, elderberries, or pomegranate juice into a smoothie for smoothies. antioxidants.

Bottom Line: To help prevent or manage UTIs, drink cranberry juice

And add plenty of fruits, vegetables and especially colorful berries which contain powerful antioxidants that can protect against UTIs. This approach can help you avoid some of the unwanted side effects of antibiotics. Always discuss treatment for UTIs with your doctor.

About Francis Harris

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