Only you yourself know when you have the symptoms
of urinary tract infection. Learn what is available
to be rid of that burning sensation that comes with UTI.
Understanding Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) occurs when bacteria or other infectious organisms invade any part of the urinary tract. Infections of the lower tract are of the urethra (urethritis) or the bladder (cystitis). Infections of the upper tract are of the kidney (pyelonephritis) or the ureters (ureteritis).
Although UTIs occur in both men and women, women tend to suffer more from it because of the anatomical difference.
Women’s urethra tube is shorter than men’s, and the opening is just a short distance away from the vaginal tract and the rectal openings. Because of this, there is a higher risk of bacteria from these adjacent areas to scuttle up the tube into the bladder.
Among infants, UTI occurs more often with boys, but among toddlers, girls are more prone. Uncircumcised baby boys tend to accumulate bacteria under the foreskin. Young children with severe constipation problems are also more prone to UTIs.
Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Individuals who suffer from UTI often have an urgent need to urinate, and experience a painful burning sensation while urinating. The urgent need to urinate may cause uncontrollable loss of urine (incontinence), especially in older people. Urinary frequency (in small amounts) also increases during the night.
Fever is absent during UTI, but some may feel pain in the lower abdomen (above the pubic bone) and often in the lower back as well. The urine is often cloudy, with strong odor, and may contain visible blood in some.
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A healthy person with good immune defense system is able to fend off bladder and kidney infections. However, when there is stress, illness, physical injury or nutritional deficiency, immune defenses weaken allowing the bacteria to take over. Pregnancy, menopause and sexual intercourse also increase the risks of UTI.
Urinary tract infections are almost always caused by the Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacterium, although some viruses, fungi and parasites can also infect the urinary tract. A majority of infections are caused by bacteria entering from the intestine or vagina. Bacteria that enter through the urinary tract are often flushed out when the bladder is being emptied.
Viruses: The herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) may infect the urethra, making urination painful and emptying of bladder difficult.
Fungi: A common type of fungi that causes UTI is Candida (causing candidiasis). This usually happens to individuals whose immune system is impaired.
Parasites: Trichomoniasis, caused by a type of microscopic parasite, is a sexually transmitted disease that produces greenish yellow and frothy discharge from the vagina in women. There is usually no symptoms in men, although it can cause inflammation of the prostate gland.
Malaria is a disease caused by another type of microscopic parasite carried by mosquitoes. It destroys the small blood vessels of the kidney and can rapidly damage red blood cells, causing acute kidney failure.
Worm: Schistosomiasis is another kind of worm that can affect the kidneys, ureters and bladder. Persistent infection of this kind may eventually result in bladder cancer.
The most important dietary recommendation that I can offer anyone who suffers from UTI is to increase the consumption of liquids. Drink plenty of liquids in the form of pure water, herbal teas, fresh fruit and vegetable juices diluted with water. These liquids help frequent flushing out of the bladder.
Drinking juices high in vitamin C helps to provide an environment in your urine that is hostile to most bacteria.
Avoid foods and drinks rich in sugar. Curtail your intake of table sugar, soft drinks, concentrated sweet fruit drinks, coffee and alcoholic beverages. Bacteria thrive in a sugary environment as it impairs the ability of white bloodcells to destroy bacteria.
Other foods to avoid are spicy foods, fats, dairy products, red meats and shellfish. These foods are acid-forming (not to be mistaken with acid tasting food like the citrus fruits). Acidity formed from these foods increase the bacterial infection.
Take foods high in vitamin A to build your immune system. It is also essential during this time, to eat more foods containing active lactobacillus acidophilus (probiotics) and all the friendly bacteria that helps fight the unfriendly bacteria. Some other probiotics food beside yogurt, are sauerkraut, sourdough breads, soy miso, tempeh and apple cider vinegar.
Foods high in zinc also help by producing white blood cells and eliminate bacteria. Some of the best sources of zinc are oysters, brewer’s yeast, ginger, beef liver, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, egg yolks, peanuts, oats, almonds and tofu.
There is a simple sugar that occurs naturally in some plants, including cranberries, called D-mannose. In the bladder, D-mannose can adhere to undesirable foreign substances, preventing them from sticking to the lining of the bladder. Because insubstantial amounts of D-mannose are used by the body, it does not interfere with blood sugar regulation. The following are some recommended UTI relief and prevention foods:
|Recommended Healing Foods To Remedy Urinary Tract Infection|
When you have UTI, avoid sugary fruit juices, soda/fizzy drinks, black tea, coffee and alcohol. If you have a tendency for recurrent UTI, include the following ingredients in your juices regularly for prevention.
Always check with your medical provider before you go on a juice diet. These suggestions are good for prevention. It might help when the problem is not yet too serious/severe.
Drink a glass of fresh cranberry or blueberry juice first thing in the morning and wait at least half an hour before you have breakfast. This drink is helpful for prevention of UTI. Besides all the healthful properties of these juices, they may also help in restraining the E.coli that cause UTI by stripping the bacteria off the bladder walls.
|Orange||Lime & Lemon||Guava||Wheatgrass|
The high content of vitamin C in guava, pomegranate and citrus fruits such as grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime, make excellent healing food for UTI sufferers. Juice any combo made up of these fruits or just wheatgrass juice (1 oz each time). The acidic taste (not acid-forming) from the citrus food helps inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Make lemongrass-ginger tea that is anti-septic and helps remove bacteria from the system.
Some Suggested Combos (measurement for one portion):
- 2 cups of cranberries + 2 cups of blueberries + 2 cups of pomegranate
- ¼ watermelon + a squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 grapefruits + 2 oranges +¼ lemon slice
- 2 green apples + 2 oranges + 1 guava