Urination is often called “relieving yourself” for a good reason: after hours of holding in urine, you feel very relieved when you release the contents of your bladder. For some people, however, taking a leak is a very painful and uncomfortable experience. If you feel stinging pains in your urinary system whenever you pee, you may be suffering from a urinary tract infection or UTI.
UTI is a common disease, especially among children and women. Even though it’s a fairly common malady, it can be quite dangerous. Most cases of UTI are temporary, and the infection cures itself after a few days. Yet like any mild disease, UTI can be a symptom of a more serious problem, like kidney infections. It is very important to treat UTI before it becomes a really serious, life-threatening condition. Here are some ways to get rid of UTI, and bring back the relief in relieving yourself.
Causes of UTI
Contrary to popular belief, urine is a very sterile liquid. It contains many waste products, but the high amounts of salts and other substances found in it are sufficient to kill and inhibit the growth of bacteria. When bacteria and other microorganisms do enter and multiply in the urinary system, you have the beginnings of a UTI.
There are two kinds of UTI:
- Cystitis is a mild bladder infection that occurs when bacteria enters and inflames the delicate cells and tissues that make up the urinary bladder. Cystitis is the most common cause of UTI, especially among women and children.
- Pyelonephritis, also known as urosepsis or pyelitis, is an infection of the kidney that occurs when the infection from the bottom of the urinary system travels upward. Depending on the severity of the illness, pyelonephritis may need powerful antibiotics or a hospital stay to stem and remove the infection.
Signs and Symptoms of UTI
Here are some of the most common signs that you may have UTI:
- Frequent urination, or the urge to relieve yourself even if little to no urine passes through your urinary system
- The seeming need to relieve yourself during nighttime (nocturia)
- A painful, burning sensation in your urinary system or pelvic area whenever you urinate
- Blood, pus, or any other liquid or discoloration found in your urine
- Foul-smelling urine
Other symptoms consistent with a more serious form of UTI include the following:
- Dizziness, vomiting, and nausea
- Chills and high fever
- Extreme feelings of fatigue and tiredness
- A stabbing feeling in the groin, abdominal, and/or kidney area
Take Prescribed Antibiotics
At the first sign of UTI, you should go to a hospital and see your doctor. He or she will prescribe the right type and dosage of antibiotics needed to prevent the infection from getting worse. The doctor may also prescribe analgesics and antipyretics to relieve secondary symptoms associated with UTI.
While it’s OK to use over-the-counter antibiotics and painkillers, it’s still best to follow the advice and prescriptions of a doctor. Some medical preparations may cause UTI, and some medicines may not be powerful or potent enough to prevent the onset of secondary symptoms. If you do need to take over-the-counter medicines, read through the pamphlet first to see if you have any conditions that may trigger adverse reactions.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of the best things you can do to yourself when you have UTI is to rehydrate yourself. Having more water in your system can help flush out the bacteria in your bladder and urethra. Most doctors recommend taking in eight glasses of water a day, but when you have UTI, an extra two glasses of water can help flush out the bacterial infection.
It’s also important for you to time and to “schedule” your intake of water. For the ten-glasses-of-water therapy, follow this simple timetable:
- One glass of water before a meal, three times a day
- One glass of water after a meal, three times a day
- One glass of water when you wake up in the morning
- One glass of water before you sleep
- One glass of water each after your morning and afternoon snack breaks
Be very careful not to drink too much water to the point of bloating. Drinking too much water can cause water intoxication, which sends your body into a potentially fatal electrolyte imbalance. Just drink enough water to stimulate urination so that you can flush out the bacteria and other microorganisms that cause the UTI.
Avoid Bladder Irritants
Urination is one of your body’s ways to eliminate waste products. When you have UTI, it’s best to stay away from salty, spicy, sweet, and other strongly flavored foods. It’s also very important for you to stay away from processed foods and drink, especially cola, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. Do not aggravate the infection further by irritating your bladder and urethra with salts, complex sugars, or caffeine.
Try the Power of Juice
A good way to introduce water into your system and flush out the bacteria is to use all-natural fruit juice or vegetable juice. While it’s OK to use all-natural juice that come from boxes or bottles, it’s a very good idea to make and process your own juice drink using a blender or a food processor. Fresh juice is an excellent diuretic, and the pulp also adds fiber and other nutrients that can help stop the infection and flush out the bacteria that causes UTI.
Here are some juice recipe ideas that you can use to help cure the infection:
- Oranges and cranberries. Blend together some fresh squeezed orange juice with the blended pulp of cranberries. Serve the juice at room temperature.
- Vegetable juice. When you have UTI, it’s best to stay away from salty, spicy, sweet, and other strongly flavored foods. Blend celery, carrots, tomatoes, and spinach leaves together to form a flavorful and healthy vegetable cocktail. Add a bit of ice to cool down the juice and make it refreshing.
- Lemons and prunes. Blend lemons (pith, zest and all) and mix the pulp with bottled, all-natural prune juice. Serve the juice warm.
It may also help to take in alternative herbal supplements like vitamins and cranberry-based food supplements to get rid of the infection. Unless specified by your doctor, you should not stop taking in the prescribed dose of antibiotics.
Seek Emergency Treatment
Sometimes a urinary tract infection can be so uncomfortable that you can’t get up from bed, or you’re literally urinating blood. When this happens, you need to seek medical attention immediately. Do not delay medical treatment, especially because serious cases of UTI can lead to serious diseases like blood poisoning and systemic infections. If antibiotic treatments do not work and the pain does not subside with the strongest painkillers prescribed by the doctor, seek emergency medical care.
After holding it in for so long, urinating can relieve you of the pressure building up inside your bladder. While UTI is a fairly common disease, it’s still uncomfortable, and it still needs to be cured. With these simple tips, you can easily get rid of even the most painful, irritating, and annoying urinary tract infections you’ll ever experience.
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