What To Drink And Avoid If You Have A Urinary Tract Infection
Drink a lot of water, even if you are not thirsty. Drinking a lot of water all through the day will help flush out the bacteria.
You should also drink sugar-free cranberry juice. Cranberry juice can readily help fight the urinary tract infection and is even good for your bladder.
Avoid drinking alcohol, coffee or other caffeinated drinks until your urinary tract infection is cured as these drinks can irritate your bladder and make the symptoms of UTI more severe and complicated.
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When Should You Seek Medical Attention For A Uti
Always, Dr. Mueller says. Self-treatment is not a great idea. And while popular over-the-counter relief products like Azo do exist, theyre not recommended as treatment on their own. can help with some of the symptoms, Dr. Mueller explains, “but they have has no antibacterial properties. Going to your doc for a prescribed antibiotic is your best bet, along with adding in those lifestyle best practices mentioned earlier.
And if theres any indication that youre experiencing a kidney infection, like blood in your urine or pain around your torso, head to the emergency room ASAP for urgent care. This will likely require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
Beverages That May Increase Or Reduce Uti Risk
Studies have also found a connection between the consumption of certain beverages and UTIs.
Older research has shown that soda intake may be associated with recurrent UTIs. An older study from 1985 involving 225 women demonstrated that drinking cola soft drinks was strongly associated with UTIs .
Some studies have likewise shown that certain beverages can act as irritants to the bladder and are connected to lower urinary tract symptoms.
A study in 30 women found that reducing potentially irritating foods and beverages, including coffee, tea, alcohol, and carbonated and artificially sweetened beverages, reduced lower urinary tract symptoms, including how urgently and frequently they needed to urinate .
However, the researchers could not determine whether the reduction in symptoms was caused by the reduction of one or all of the potentially irritating beverages .
Another study that included 4,145 adults also found associations between coffee and soda intake and infections of the lower urinary tract .
Conversely, some studies have shown that certain foods and beverages may help reduce the risk of UTIs.
A 2003 study that included 324 women found that frequently drinking freshly squeezed, 100% juice especially berry juice, as well as consuming fermented dairy products like yogurt, was associated with a decreased risk of UTI occurrence .
Additionally, increasing water intake may help reduce UTI occurrence in certain populations.
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Foods To Avoid If You Have Overactive Bladder
If you have overactive bladder, you may feel strong, sudden urges to urinate, even during the night. Eating or drinking certain things can make symptoms worse, mainly because your bladder is sensitive to irritants that can trigger the urge to go.Paying attention to these triggersand avoiding them if possiblecan go a long way toward cutting down on sudden bathroom trips. Here are 10 types of food and drink that can worsen overactive bladder.
Things To Avoid: Sugar & Utis
Adjusting your diet for a UTI involves more than introducing certain foods and drinks it also means abstaining from things. Not sure where to start? Heres a simple rule of thumb to follow: Avoid sugar for a UTI. Sugar is laced in an overwhelming amount of commercial foods and drinks these days. Unfortunately, it can also aggravate an infection. To cut back on these sugary delights and boost your care plan for a UTI, avoid:
- Artificial sweeteners
Although theres no evidence that artificial sweeteners can worsen a UTI, they have been shown to exacerbate bladder symptoms for individuals with chronic interstitial cystitis, so you may want to avoid them. Other foods and beverages to avoid with a UTI include:
- Spicy foods. Certain spicy foods can irritate the bladder. Instead, try sticking to a bland dietlike the BRAT dietwhen you have a UTI.
- Citrus. Although theyre high in immunity-boosting vitamin C, highly acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits can irritate your bladder and aggravate UTI symptoms.
- Caffeinated drinks. Its important to stay hydrated when you have a UTI, but stay away from coffee and other caffeinated beverages. When in doubt, choose water!
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Foods And Beverages That Affect Symptoms Are Different For Each Person With Ic
Studies have consistently found that diet triggers vary greatly among IC patients. Some individuals with IC are very aware that certain foods cause their bladders to flare, while other patients have not figured out what foods might bother their bladders. To make it more challenging, some fresh foods that bother your IC may not cause flares when they are canned or cooked. Also, if you have allergies or intolerances, your symptoms may worsen when you consume certain products. To learn what foods might trigger your IC and get your symptoms under control, following an elimination diet is key.
How Do You Know If Youre Dealing With A Standard Uti Or Severe Kidney Infection
Both are technically forms of UTIs. A standard UTI, though, typically just means you’re dealing with cystitis, or inflammation of the bladder. That inflammation causes those typical UTI symptoms like painful or burning urination and urgent or frequent urination, explains Dr. Mueller.
But a kidney infection, also known as pyelonephritis, is caused by the same bacteria and oftentimes results from an untreated bladder infection. These symptoms are typically much more severe.
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When To See A Gp
Women do not necessarily need to see a GP if they have cystitis, as mild cases often get better without treatment.
Try some self-help measures or ask a pharmacist for advice.
See a GP if:
- you’re not sure whether you have cystitis
- your symptoms do not start to improve within 3 days
- you get cystitis frequently
- you have severe symptoms, such as blood in your urine, a fever or pain in your side
- you’re pregnant and have symptoms of cystitis
- you’re a man and have symptoms of cystitis
- your child has symptoms of cystitis
A GP should be able to diagnose cystitis by asking about your symptoms.
They may test a sample of your urine for bacteria to help confirm the diagnosis.
What Not To Do If You Have A Uti
DO NOT have sexual intercourse. You dont want to have sex after your UTI for at least two weeks until your symptoms have cleared up. Intercourse can worsen your symptoms and possibly make your infection worse. Sex during a UTI could also be uncomfortable or painful.
DO NOT drink alcohol. While you should get plenty of fluids, you need to stay away from alcohol. Alcoholic drinks can irritate the bladder and worsen the infection.
DO NOT eat artificial sweetener. Even when you dont have a UTI, you should avoid artificial sweeteners. They can intensify your bladder symptoms.
DO NOT drink caffeine. You may think that you cant get by without your cup of coffee in the morning. However, it may be beneficial to skip it while youre suffering from a UTI. Those who regularly drink caffeine have more severe UTI symptoms. This is because caffeine has been shown to irritate the bladder.
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Can Drinking Alcohol Cause A Uti
You may know that beer, wine, and liquor can irritate your stomach if you’ve got reflux or an ulcer, and alcohol can irritate the bladder, too, particularly if you have a bladder infection. Though you want to get plenty of fluids when you’ve got a UTI, it’s important to avoid alcohol. So, take a hiatus from cocktails at least while you’re trying to flush out the bacteria and recover from a urinary tract infection.
Foods To Eat When You Have A Uti
Youve probably heard about this one. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, downing that tart cranberry juice likely wont cure your UTI, and research on its role in prevention is mixed, at best. Cranberry juice contains a unique set of phytochemicals that may help to prevent infection-causing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract walls. When tested, however, the results have been conflicting.
One meta-analysis found that cranberry juice and supplements helped reduce the occurrence of UTIs, while a Cochrane review found that it may help reduce the number of UTIs in women who are prone to them.
While it doesnt seem to work for everyone, it also cant really hurtespecially if youre a fan of the stuff. We recommend choosing pure cranberry juice with no sugar added to avoid overdoing it on the refined carbs.
Again, you dont need a listicle to confirm the importance of getting enough water, but this is probably the most important thing you can consume when youre dealing with a UTI. Water helps dilute the contents of the bladder and flush out any bacteria, reducing the risk of a UTI.
Its also the drink of choice because it wont irritate or exacerbate an existing infection like our list of no-nos above. While every body has different fluid needs, we recommend drinking as soon as you feel the slightest bit thirsty and keeping a full bottle of water nearby at all times.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Cystitis
The main symptoms of cystitis include:
- pain, burning or stinging when you pee
- needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
- urine that’s dark, cloudy or strong smelling
- pain low down in your tummy
- feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired
Possible symptoms in young children include:
- pain in their tummy
- reduced appetite and vomiting
Foods To Avoid When You Have A Uti
Ugh. I hate this list already. A common stimulant and irritant of the bladder, caffeinated beverages like coffee are probably not your BFFs if youre battling recurrent UTIs. One study found that women who increased their coffee consumption by two servings a day had a 64-percent higher risk of urinary urgency, while women who drank caffeinated soda also had urgency and urinary tract symptoms. Try swapping your daily joe out slowly for decaf or go cold turkey by choosing herbal tea instead.
Noooooo.Sometimes you just gotta choose between bladder pain and the legitimate pain in your heart associated with swearing off chocolaty treats. Since chocolate, like our other true love, coffee, contains some caffeine, it could irritate your already-sensitive bladder.
The good news: You would need to eat a lot of chocolate in order for its small caffeine contents to have a major effect. But if the UTIs keep coming back, and if chocolate is your usual sweet vice, try swapping it out occasionally for something equally delicious with zero caffeine, like these vegan peanut butter blondies.
A common diuretic, alcohol can create large volumes of urine quickly that may irritate the bladder and weaken your pelvic muscle tone. For days when you feel the UTI coming on, try cutting back on the fun juice and volunteer to be the DD for the night.
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Urinary Tract Infection Treatment
If you are a healthy adult man or a woman who is not pregnant, a few days of antibiotic pills will usually cure your urinary tract infection. If you are pregnant, your doctor will prescribe a medicine that is safe for you and the baby. Usually, symptoms of the infection go away 1 to 2 days after you start taking the medicine. Its important that you follow your doctors instructions for taking the medicine, even if you start to feel better. Skipping pills could make the treatment less effective.
Your doctor may also suggest a medicine to numb your urinary tract and make you feel better while the antibiotic starts to work. The medicine makes your urine turn bright orange, so dont be alarmed by the color when you urinate.
Can Utis Be Prevented
A few things can help prevent UTIs. After peeing, girls should wipe from front to back with toilet paper. After BMs, wipe from front to back to avoid spreading bacteria from the rectal area to the urethra.
Also, go to the bathroom when needed and don’t hold the pee in. Pee that stays in the bladder gives bacteria a good place to grow.
Keep the genital area clean and dry. Girls should change their tampons and pads regularly during their periods. Bubble baths can irritate the vaginal area, so girls should take showers or plain baths. Avoid long exposure to moisture in the genital area by not wearing nylon underwear or wet swimsuits. Wearing underwear with cotton crotches is also helpful. Skip using feminine hygiene sprays or douches, as these can irritate the urethra.
If you are sexually active, go to the bathroom both before and within 15 minutes after sex. After sex, gently wash the genital area to remove any bacteria. Avoid sexual positions that irritate or hurt the urethra or bladder. Couples who use lubrication during sex should use a water-soluble lubricant such as K-Y Jelly.
Finally, drinking lots of water each day keeps the bladder active and bacteria-free.
UTIs are uncomfortable and often painful, but they’re common and easily treated. The sooner you contact your doctor, the sooner you’ll be able to get rid of the problem.
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What Causes A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by microorganisms usually bacteria that enter the urethra and bladder, causing inflammation and infection. Though a UTI most commonly happens in the urethra and bladder, bacteria can also travel up the ureters and infect your kidneys.
More than 90% of bladder infection cases are caused by E. coli, a bacterium normally found in the intestines.
Can I Prevent A Urinary Tract Infection
You can usually prevent a urinary tract infection with lifestyle changes. These tips can include:
In some post-menopausal women, a healthcare provider may suggest an estrogen-containing vaginal cream. This may reduce the risk of developing a UTI by changing the pH of the vagina. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have recurrent UTIs and have already gone through menopause.
Over-the-counter supplements are also available for UTIs. These are sometimes recommended for people who have frequent UTIs as another way to prevent them. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and ask if these could be a good choice for you.
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How Are Urinary Tract Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will use the following tests to diagnose a urinary tract infection:
- Urinalysis: This test will examine the urine for red blood cells, white blood cells and bacteria. The number of white and red blood cells found in your urine can actually indicate an infection.
- Urine culture: A urine culture is used to determine the type of bacteria in your urine. This is an important test because it helps determine the appropriate treatment.
If your infection does not respond to treatment or if you keep getting infections over and over again, your doctor may use the following tests to examine your urinary tract for disease or injury:
- Ultrasound: In this test, sound waves create an image of the internal organs. This test is done on top of your skin, is painless and doesnt typically need any preparation.
- Cystoscopy: This test uses a special instrument fitted with a lens and a light source to see inside the bladder from the urethra.
- CT scan: Another imaging test, a CT scan is a type of X-ray that takes cross sections of the body . This test is much more precise than typical X-rays.
Can Urinary Tract Infections Be Prevented
These steps may help reduce the chance of getting UTIs:
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink cranberry juice. Large amounts of vitamin C limit the growth of some bacteria by acidifying the urine. Vitamin C supplements have the same effect.
- Urinate when you feel the need. Do not wait.
- Females, wipe from front to back to keep bacteria around the anus from going in the vagina or urethra.
- Take showers instead of tub baths.
- Clean the genital area before and after sex, and urinate shortly after sex.
- Women should not use feminine hygiene sprays or scented douches.
- Cotton underwear and loose fitting clothes help keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight clothes and nylon underwear trap moisture. This can help bacteria grow.
- Repeated bouts of urinary tract infections can be treated with small doses of regular antibiotics.
Please consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you may have about UTIs.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
If you have a UTI, you may have some or all of these symptoms:6,7
- Pain or burning when urinating
- An urge to urinate often, but not much comes out when you go
- Pressure in your lower abdomen
- Urine that smells bad or looks milky or cloudy
- Blood in the urine. This is more common in younger women. If you see blood in your urine, tell a doctor or nurse right away.
- Feeling tired, shaky, confused, or weak. This is more common in older women.
- Having a fever, which may mean the infection has reached your kidneys
Do I Need To See A Doctor
Yes. Painful urination can be a symptom of a more serious problem. You should tell your doctor about your symptoms and how long youve had them. Tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have, such as diabetes mellitus or AIDS, because these could affect your bodys response to infection. Tell your doctor about any known abnormality in your urinary tract, and if you are or might be pregnant. Tell your doctor if youve had any procedures or surgeries on your urinary tract. He or she also need to know if you were recently hospitalized or stayed in a nursing home.
If your doctor thinks your pain may be from vaginal inflammation, he or she may wipe the lining of your vagina with a swab to collect mucus. The mucus will be looked at under a microscope to see if it has yeast or other organisms. If your pain is from an infection in your urethra , your doctor may swab it to test for bacteria. If an infection cant be found, your doctor may suggest other tests.
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