Limit Sugar For A Healthy Urinary Tract
There have always been many reasons to limit the sugar in your diet, and now keeping a healthy urinary tract is on the list. Too much sugar promotes bacterial breeding in your urinary tract, so limiting your sugar will weaken the breeding ground and help avoid UTIs. Its another reason to think twice before reaching for a sugary sweet like cookies, candy or a sweetened beverage. Substituting water for soda can help to keep your sugar intake in moderation and keep your urinary health on track.
The foods that we choose to put in our bodies have many consequences, some positive, some negative. Learning about nutrition and making smart food choices is a great way to keep your urinary tract and your whole body in top operating condition. If you would like to learn more about nutrition as it relates to your urinary tract health, contact your urologist today.
Your #1 Coffee Alternative When You Have A Uti: Hibiscus Tea
So if you are missing your coffee while healing up from a UTI, I have a great alternative for you: Hibiscus Tea.
No this herbal tea wont give you a caffiene boost. But it is a warm, soothing drink to sip on in the mornings or before bed.
And the hibiscus itself can actually help fight off UTIs. Studies have shown that hibiscus is effective at helping fight infections.
- A 2011 study looked at hibiscus and found that it possesses antimicrobial activity and hold great promise as an antimicrobial agent.
- A 2012 study looked at the extract of the hibiscus plant and came to the conclusion that: The flower material can be taken as an alternative source of antibacterial agent against the human pathogens.
Interestingly enough, both of these studies were seeing how the hibiscus works against the E. coli bacteria in particular. And the #1 bacteria causing UTIs? E. coli.
If you want to harness the power of the hibiscus at a stronger level than tea, you can simply take it extract form. My favorite way to do that is by taking Eu Naturals Harmony Urinary Tract & Bladder Cleanse, which combines hibiscus extract with another important all-natural substance: D-mannose. This too has been shown to heal and prevent UTIs.
Diet Tips To Prevent Uti
Staying hydrated is the most foolproof way to help prevent UTIs and relieve symptoms of an existing UTI. Aim for six to eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid per day, mostly water, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases .
There is some evidence that cranberry products, like unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry pills, can help you ward off UTIs, per NIDDK. “Cranberry products are high in PACs , and PACs make it harder for certain bacteria to adhere to the bladder wall,” Bellin says. However, research on cranberry products’ preventive benefits is still ongoing, and there is certainly no evidence that they will treat an existing UTI.
Other potential preventive foods and supplements have less evidence on their side. Some say that probiotic foods like yogurt or probiotic supplements may help prevent UTIs by promoting the growth of “good” bacteria in the vagina and keeping “bad” bacteria at bay. Increasing your intake of vitamin C may also help by making your urine more acidic and less favorable to bacterial growth, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Just as nothing you can eat or drink is proven to cause UTIs, there are no dietary changes you can make to prevent them definitively.
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Utis And Hospital Stays
A hospital stay can put you at risk for a UTI, particularly if you need to use a catheter. This is a thin tube that’s inserted through the urethra to carry urine out of the body. Bacteria can enter through the catheter and reach the bladder. This is more often a problem for older adults who require prolonged hospital stays or who live in long-term care facilities.
What Sexual Problems Can Women With Diabetes Have
Low sexual desire and response, vaginal dryness, and painful sex can be caused by nerve damage, reduced blood flow to the genitals, and hormonal changes. Other conditions can cause these problems, too, including menopause. If you notice a change in your sex life, talk with your health care team. A physical exam, which will include a pelvic exam, and blood and urine tests may help your doctor find the cause of your problems.
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Itching And Too Much Sugar
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Choose Foods That Reduce Constipation
Constipation can often put extra pressure on the bladder and therefore increase the urge to urinate . If it is incontinence you are experiencing, you can eat foods high in fiber such as whole wheat bread, vegetables and fruits. It can be helpful to incorporate these into your daily life to prevent constipation from occurring. Many people find a small glass of prune juice and a tablespoon of flaxoil. Remember however that eating too much fiber without any water can sometimes worsen constipation. Ensure you drink a lot of water if you are also increasing fiber intake.
If eating foods to help constipation is unsuccessful for you can talk to your Doctor about prescribing laxatives.
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Don’t Be Surprised If Your Doctor Doesn’t Rush You Into Treatment
Urinary tract infections can be tricky in older age. They’re not always as easy to spot or treat as in youth. And the decades-long approach to treatment is changing. “We’ve been hasty in using antibiotics, and we’re learning there are significant consequences that can range from side effects of medication to infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” says Dr. Helen Chen, a geriatrician at Harvard-affiliated Hebrew Rehabilitation Center.
Treatment For Urinary Tract Infections
Lower urinary tract infections can often be treated by taking antibiotics for a few days. Painkillers may also be taken to treat any associated stomach or back pain.
Upper urinary tract infections may be treated at home or in hospital depending on your condition.
Treatment will involve a longer period of antibiotics, at least a week. The pain can be treated with Paracetemol, however, some painkillers, such as Ibuprofen are not suitable as they can up the risk of damage to the kidneys.
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Ways To Avoid Urinary Tract Infections
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, which increases urination, thereby flushing out bladder bacteria. How much should you drink? Enough to keep your urine looking clear.
Wipe properly. Women should wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Wiping from back to front may increase the risk of getting UTIs.
Use topical estrogen creams. These creams may help postmenopausal women who have vaginal dryness and struggle with recurrent urinary tract infections.
Don’t rely on cranberry juice. The evidence about whether it helps prevent UTIs is mixed. And the juice has lots of sugar and calories.
How Can I Manage Bladder Irritation
You can manage discomfort by avoiding foods you have identified as bladder irritants. But removing foods from your diet doesnt mean you can never have them again. You might be able to enjoy them in moderation . Drinking plenty of water will help reduce pain from any bladder-irritating foods you might ingest, in moderation or accidentally.
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Can I Prevent Utis From Developing
The following methods may help to lower the risk of urinary tract infection:
- Drink plenty of water
- Keeping your blood sugar under good control
- Drinking cranberry juice
- Try not to hold off the need to wee
- Going to the toilet after sex
- Making sure you regularly wash your genitals
- In particular, washing your genitals before sex
- Wiping your bum from front to back
If you experience a lot of UTIs, you may wish to avoid the use of spermicides. If you decide to do this, consult your healthcare team to ask about other forms of birth control
Take Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in fruits and vegetables which also serves as a supplement. It also has antioxidant properties that make it beneficial to your health in a number of ways. Vitamin C cannot be produced by the body and must therefore be obtained from foods and supplements.
Like cranberry juice, vitamin C limits the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Studies show that it could protect against urinary tract infections. It was shown that pregnant women with UTIs who took vitamin C received a protective effect from the C vitamin, thereby cutting the risk of infection by half.
A study also looked at behavioral factors that affected the risk of UTIs. The results showed that taking vitamin C in high doses reduced the risk of getting a UTI. Everybody knows that fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C in substantial quantities. Even so, taking them will not only help prevent and fight a UTI but also boost the immune system. Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving.
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Know The Symptoms Of A Uti
If you or someone you are caring for has diabetes, call the doctor if you notice these symptoms: Frequent and strong urge to pee Pain, a burning feeling or discomfort when peeing Urine that has a strong smell, is cloudy, dark or bloody Pain in the back and/or lower abdomen Fever or chills
Note that you do not have to have all of these symptoms, and symptoms can be different in different people. For example, in some elderly patients, a UTI can also present as dementia, increased dementia or agitation. Some diabetes patients, especially those with diabetic neuropathy, may not experience the same pain in the abdomen or back when they have a UTI.
What To Eat During A Uti
Medically reviewed by Dr. Nick Rosen, MD on February 1st, 2021
A burning sensation, abdominal pain, and cloudy urine are all signs of a potential urinary tract infection . This uncomfortable infection can affect any part of your urinary systemkidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethrahowever, most UTIs involve the lower urinary tract . The painful symptoms of a UTI are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerousleading to serious consequences if the infection reaches the kidneys. The first step to feeling better is contacting a doctor, but there are some ways you may be able to relieve UTI symptoms in addition to following a professional care plan. Before we get into foods and drinks for UTIs, lets cover some basics:
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The Worst Things For Utis
When it comes to trying to clear up a UTI and ease the symptoms, there are some home remedies that can be used in conjunction with antibiotics. However, prescription medication is required to truly defeat the offensive bacteria. At the same time, there are also practices at home that should be avoided, since they will harm the body or, at the least, increase pain levels.
Prune and cranberry juice may help ease the pain, but really, water is the answer. Six to eight eight-ounce glasses per day is the recommended minimum, and more may be helpful to dilute the urine and help expel the bacteria faster during a UTI. In addition, eating barley and oats can help ease the pain of a UTI, since these are soothing to the bladder. Sources rich in protein are best for the diet, as opposed to a heavy carbohydrate-based diet, until the UTI clears up.
Your Health Care Team
If you have diabetes and also have urology-related health problems, you may work with a primary care doctor , endocrinologist and a urologist .
It’s important to work with your doctors to make a plan to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range and to arrange for an A1C test. This plan may involve a blend of lifestyle changes, oral medications and insulin. You should also feel empowered to talk to your doctors about sexual function and bladder control concerns, as your provider may not always ask about these “quality of life” issues.
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Good Quality Probiotics And Fermented Foods
What happens in the gut doesnt stay in the gut, Nielsen says. Taking oral probiotics actually changes the flora of the vagina, and by default, the urinary tract.
Taking a probiotic during a UTI will help restore microbial balance. I like Bio-K+ fermented probiotic as a clinical strength option, and recommend also eating good quality fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut and kombucha, daily.
Risk Factors For Urinary Tract Infections
And now a brief note about reproductive parts: Although people with penises do get UTIs, people with vaginas are more at risk. It all boils down to the anatomy, Minkin says.
Bacteria that cause UTIs often make their way from the back door to the front and then up the urethra to wreak havoc on the urinary system.
Because the male reproductive system has a longer urethra than the female reproductive system, the bacteria have farther to travel, which makes it more difficult for a UTI to develop.
But regardless of anatomy, once youve had one UTI, youre more likely to get another, especially if you have a vagina. Hickling DR, et al. . Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women.
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Pregnancy Concerns And Fertility Problems
If you have diabetes and plan to become pregnant, its important to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. High blood glucose can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know youre pregnant.
If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Conditions such as obesity and polycystic ovarian syndrome that are linked to diabetes can make it harder to conceive a child. Talk with a health care professional, such as a gynecologist or a fertility specialist, if youre having problems conceiving a child.
Relief Without A Prescription
An over-the-counter drug called phenazopyridine can help ease your pain, burning, and irritation. It also controls your need to pee frequently and urgently.
But there’s a catch. It only works on your symptoms. It doesn’t cure your infection. You still need to see your doctor to make sure you get treatment to fight the bacteria that’s causing your UTI.
Also, one common side effect: It turns your pee dark red or orange while you take it.
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What Should You Do Now
Seeing a primary care doctor is still your best option if you experience symptoms of a urinary tract infection. While it is always advisable to see a healthcare professional if you suspect you have some sort of infection, the information given in this article is still important. If followed properly, it could be the deciding factor between a recurring UTI and a cured one.
Lets go over the important tips for preventing future infections again.
- Drink lots of water.
- Dont hold in the waste product urinate as soon as you need to.
- Take showers instead of baths avoid hot tubs and Jacuzzis.
- Use cranberries as an antibiotic and prophylaxis.
- Supplement your diet with probiotic-rich foods.
- Wear comfortable clothes, like cotton. Anything that comes into contact with your private areas should be cotton.
- Baking soda, both drinking and bathing with it, can go a long way to relieve pain.
- Avoiding sugars and bowel irritants will reduce the number of times you have to bear that burning sensation. Cut out caffeine, avoid caffeine-loaded soft drinks, and dont drink alcohol.
- Consume large amounts of Vitamin C to limit the growth of bacteria.
Healthy Steps: Urinary Tract Infectionsfirst Steps
For the greatest improvement with the fewest steps, do the following:
- Stop eating all sweeteners. Sugar impairs the body’s ability to fight infection. The worst sweets are likely to be those with high-fructose content such as soft drinks.
- Pure Encapsulations D-Mannose Powder. Take 1 teaspoon and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon three to four times daily. Continue for two to three days after symptoms have disappeared.
- Urinate fully to clean out the bladder. Urinate whenever you have the urge, or after any time you have pressure against the urethra, and be sure it’s a generous and well-diluted urination.
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Support Your Good Bacteria Instead Of The Bad
Whilst we can aim to avoid excess sugar which risks spurring on our bad bacteria, another tactic is to focus on supporting our good bacteria instead. See, we have both good and bad types of bacteria throughout our system naturally however, these operate in a delicate balance and our good bacteria need to be of adequate numbers to help keep the bad guys in check.
To help support your good bacteria, a combination of prebiotics and probiotics work particularly well. Prebiotics such as our Molkosan help to correct the internal environment and the pH in and around our digestive and urinary tracts, which helps set the scene to top up our numbers of good bacteria themselves . For urinary tract or intimate issues, I often recommend Optibac For Women.