How to heal from UTI naturally

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a common problem worldwide, and they affect millions of people every year. Around 60% of all women experience a UTI in their lifetime.

Conventional medicine treats UTI’s with antibiotics just as with most other bacterial infections, however, this may form a severe problem with recurrent UTI’s, and, as a new 2019 study suggests, the benefits of antibiotic therapy are not good enough to counteract the negatives.

Research clearly shows that recurrent UTIs are due to the long-term existence of dietary and hygienic factors affecting UTI risk.

In this article, I will focus on how you can avoid UTI’s by enhancing specific lifestyle and dietary habits, and if you currently suffer from a UTI, I will also discuss the best methods of treatment.

UTIs are ubiquitous and can affect any part of the urinary tract. They may also recur if the leading causes are not removed. The infections are most common among older people and women of all ages.

Two types of bacteria are usually the underlying cause of UTI’s (in 80% of cases):

  • Escherichia coli
  • Staphylococcus saprophyticus

Disregard for proper dietary and lifestyle habits can create favorable conditions for these bacteria to multiply, causing UTIs to persist.

Therefore, even though in most cases, antibiotics are used as a first lie of treatment, my suggestion is to start with the following natural methods as both preventative and healing methods. [2]

5 Dietary Habits That Heal UTI

1.   It has been shown that a high urine pH (not acidic) and higher levels of specific metabolites formed by a healthy gut microbiome can help suppress the growth of these bacteria. 

To reduce urine pH, one can ensure that the diet is rich in low acidity foods, including:

Pumpkin seeds, soybeans, book Choy, and other green leafy vegetables, okra, tahini, almonds, broccoli, citrus fruits (yes citrus fruits are not acidic by nature) and navy beans. [3]

2.  You also want to eat more berries that are rich in antioxidants, especially cranberries, which are rich in a compound called tannin, or proanthocyanidin, which reduces E. coli vaginal colonization [4-5]. Cranberries can be eaten as a food or through sugar-free cranberry juice or cranberry tablets.

3. Also eating foods rich in Vitamin C is very beneficial against UTI’s. Foods rich in vitamin C include acerola cherries, Kakadu plums, chili peppers, sweet yellow peppers, guavas, mustard spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

4. It is also important to prevent constipation by consuming a high fiber diet since constipation was found to be associated with an increased risk of UTI. High fiber foods include all legumes, all whole grains, and fruits.

5. Foods rich in probiotics containing healthy bacteria such as fermented foods were associated with a decreased risk of recurrence of UTI and have been shown to help heal urinary tract infections. In fact, fermented foods consumed 3 or more time a week, reduced risk by 21% relative to consumption of one time or less per week. Fermented foods include:

  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Natto
  • Tempeh
  • Miso
  • Kefir 
  • Kimchi

5 Lifestyle habits to heal from UTI

There are several different lifestyle habits that can prevent or heal UTI’s and these include:

  • Making sure that you urinate whenever you feel the need and not wait with urination.
  • Reduce the frequency of intercourse, and the number of partners has been proven again and again in all research regarding UTI’s (4-13).
  • Also placing emphasis on menstrual hygiene is of utmost importance, and changing tampons or pads frequently is a must.
  • Additionally, it’s essential to drink sufficient water, as water helps dilute your urine and enables you to urinate more frequently, which in turn results in the flushing of bacteria out of your body. [15]
  • Post-menopausal women have lower estrogen levels and also lower lactobacilli numbers, which play a significant role in the development of UTI’s.  Research shows that local vaginal estrogen application twice a week reduces recurrent UTIs by 36–75% after 12 weeks of use, by restoring vaginal flora, and reducing pH, and the topical estrogen application has minimal systemic absorption.

All in all, by making sure you lead a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and good personal hygiene care, UTIs will quickly become a thing of the past.

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Galit Goldfarb

References:

  • [1] Minardi D, d’Anzeo G, Cantoro D, Conti A, Muzzonigro G. Urinary tract infections in women: etiology and treatment options. Int J Gen Med. ;4:333–343. doi:10.2147/IJGM.S11767
  • [2] Williams  G, Craig  JC. Long?term antibiotics for preventing recurrent urinary tract infection in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD001534. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001534.pub4.
  • [3] Robin R. Shields-Cutler, Jan R. Crowley, Chia S. Hung, Ann E. Stapleton, Courtney C. Aldrich, Jonas Marschall and Jeffrey P. Henderson. Human Urinary Composition Controls Antibacterial Activity of Siderocalin. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 290, 15949-15960. June 26, 2015. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.645812
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  • [15] Isabel M. Aragóna, Bernardo Herrera-Imbroda, María I. Queipo-Ortuño, Elisabeth Castillo, Julia Sequeira-García Del Moral, Jaime Gómez-Millán, Gozde Yucel, María F.Lara. The Urinary Tract Microbiome in Health and Disease. European Urology Focus, Volume 4, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 128-138. https://doi.org/