How Did I Get a Urinary Tract Infection and How Can I Treat It?

Urinary Tract Infection
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Urinary tract infections are one of the most common and annoying health issues women face. In most cases, they are not going to cause you any significant harm but they are going to ruin a couple days while you experience extremely painful urination. They are the second most common type of infection in the human body that sends millions of people to their doctors every year throughout the world.

Women suffer from UTIs far more often than men do due to their shorter urethra, meaning bacteria does not have to travel far before it reaches the urinary tract and can cause an infection. Half of all woman will develop a urinary tract infection during their lifetime and a fifth of women will suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections. 

While urinary tract infections may be an absolute pain for some people, this article will help you understand why you're getting them in the first place and offer a solution to treating them quickly.

What caused my urinary tract infection? 
Approximately 85% of urinary tract infections are generally caused by the E.Coli bacteria. When this bacteria makes contact with the urinary tract it can cause an infection if it is not flushed away soon after contact. Intercourse or incorrect wiping are the most common ways bacteria can make it into the bladder. After intercourse make sure you urination to flush any bacteria out before they get a chance to cause harm. Other things that may increase your chance of a UTI are Menopause and birth control diaphragms. 

Some people with medical conditions such as a spinal cord injury may not be able to empty their bladder properly and become more susceptible to urinary tract infections.
People with suppressed immune systems and those with blockages in the urinary tract such as kidney stones or an enlarged prostate.
Pregnant women, sexually active women and those experiencing reduced estrogen levels after menopause are at higher risk. [1]

How do I treat my Urinary Tract Infection?
Typically most doctors will prescribe antibiotics for a urinary infection because its quick and easy and will hopefully get rid of the infection. However antibiotics come with a large number of side effects such as the destruction of healthy gut bacteria which help maintain our general health and wellbeing. Overuse of antibiotics can also result in a resistance where they become less useful and sometimes stop working so it's recommended to only take antibiotics if absolutely necessary.

An upper urinary tract infection or an infection of the kidneys is an example of when antibiotics should be used. These UTI's are serious and can cause long term damage if left untreated. However for the majority of UTIs, when it is just localised to painful urination, you want to try everything else before you destroy all your good and bad bacteria with antibiotics.

Alternative urinary tract infection treatments for lower urinary tract infections include D-mannose, the active ingredient in cranberry which has been shown to inhibit the E.Coli's ability to stick to the walls of the bladder and form an infection. Aside from D-mannose which would be your best form of natural treatment, drinking plenty of water is important to help flush the infection out.

Drinking cranberry juice is often recommended for the treatment of UTIs, as studies have shown that cranberry juice can help promote a healthy flora, thus enhancing the immune system and your urinary tract. Unfortunately cranberry juice can be loaded with sugar and be an unhealthy solution.

Alternative UTI treatments you may not have heard of include D-mannose, the active ingredient in cranberry which has been shown to inhibit the E.Coli's ability to stick to the walls of the bladder and form an infection. Aside from D-mannose which would be your best form of natural treatment, drinking plenty of water is important to help flush the infection out. [2]

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[1] - https://uti.co.nz

[2] - https://www.biospherenutrition.co.nz/urinary-tract-support/

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