Load Up On Vitamin C For A Healthy Urinary Tract
Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to Johns Hopkins Medicines health library. However, if you have an active UTI, you may want to avoid citrus or other acidic foods. These foods are known to irritate the bladder, which is the last thing you need when youre having pain urinating.
The Risks Of Leaving A Uti Untreated
There was a suggestion in a small German study in 2010 that using just painkillers may be no worse than antibiotics, adds Ali. But a more extensive study by the same group in 2015 refuted this and showed that women who did not take antibiotics had a significantly higher total burden of symptoms, and more cases of pyelonephritis a severe infection of the kidney which can require hospital admission and can lead to sepsis.
Similar results to the German trial were seen in a Swiss study in 2017 and a recent Norwegian one in 2018. Both showed that avoiding antibiotics was an inferior approach to treating UTIs. While many women will get over the infection without antibiotics, a proportion will experience severe complications.
Although substantial numbers of women recovered without antibiotics, between 4-5% of the women not treated with antibiotics went on to develop pyelonephritis, explains Ali. The authors of the Norwegian paper stated that they could not recommend ibuprofen alone as initial treatment for women with uncomplicated UTIs.
Can Utis Resolve On Their Own
According to a 2014 study published in JAMA, UTIs can resolve on their own within one week without antibiotics in 25% to 50% of women with these infections.
The body can fight a urinary tract infection on its own by recruiting white blood cells to kill the bacteria, says Dr. Tharakan.
A UTI may resolve on its own if the infection is mild, or if you do not have a history of multiple past infections. A UTI may also resolve on its own if you take steps to clear bacteria from your urinary tract. This may include drinking more water than usual, urinating as soon as you feel the urge, and avoiding sprays, powders, and douches that can introduce bacteria to the urinary tract.
Many doctors advise against waiting for a UTI to resolve on its own, given how it can lead to complications if it doesnt go away. Complications of a UTI include:
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Add Vitamin C To Your Diet
Not only does vitamin C help strengthen your immune system, but it may also acidify your urine, which limits the growth of some bacteria and may prevent urinary tract infections from occurring. Just be careful of eating too many acidic foods when you have a UTI, as they can potentially irritate your bladder, which may only make your UTI symptoms worse.
Things You Can Try Yourself
If you have mild symptoms of cystitis, it can help to:
- take paracetamol up to 4 times a day to reduce pain
- give children liquid paracetamol follow the instructions on the bottle
- drink plenty of water
- avoid drinks that may irritate your bladder, like fruit juices, coffee and alcohol
Some people take cystitis sachets or cranberry drinks and products every day to prevent cystitis from happening, which might help. However, theres no evidence they help ease symptoms or treat cystitis if the infection has already started.
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Seek Medical Attention For Utis
It is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have a UTI particularly if you think you may have a bladder or kidney infection, both of which are very serious conditions. Early treatment of urinary infection can help to prevent infection spreading to the bladder or kidneys.
Your doctor will test your urine to check which micro-organism is present. Urinary tract infections usually respond quickly and well to antibiotics.
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Antibiotics For Uti Vs Home Remedies For Uti
Are there UTI treatments without antibiotics? While antibiotics are the most common and effective treatment for UTIs, natural remedies are an increasingly popular way to treat such infections without antibiotics.
It is important to consult a doctor to determine which treatment approach is best for you.
Below are some common at-home UTI treatment options that can help relieve symptoms:
- Drink plenty of water to flush the bacteria from your system.
- Get plenty of vitamin C to make your urine more acidic, which makes it less hospitable for bacteria.
- Use a heating pad to reduce pelvic pain.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners because they can irritate your bladder.
- There is no evidence or proof that drinking pure, unsweetened cranberry juice can help prevent or treat UTIs however, this is still a commonly used home remedy.
- Urinate as frequently as possible to eliminate bacteria from your urinary tract.
- Wear loose clothing and cotton underwear to prevent bacteria-loving moisture from building up.
- Quit smoking to improve your immune system.
- Wipe from front to back to prevent spreading bacteria.
- Avoid using scented feminine products since they can lead to infections.
In addition to these lifestyle changes, PlushCare recommends that you meet with a licensed physician to ensure you receive proper treatment, including any necessary antibiotics for UTI treatment.
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From Garden To Medicine Chest:
Asparagus extract supplements are another option. When it was tested against 18 different strains of bacteria, asparagus demonstrated strong anti-bacterial properties. And a second study showed that asparagus extract relieved inflammation, like the kind caused by a UTI.
So even though there are no studies testing its effectiveness specifically on UTIs, asparagus extracts have worked so well for my patients that they rave about its ability to ease symptoms.
Finally, to prevent re-infections, drink plenty of fresh, filtered water throughout the day to flush bacteria from your urinary tract.
Even better, add Â½ cup unsweetened cranberry juice to 32 ounces of pure water, and drink throughout the day. Itll provide a steady supply of bacteria-fighting substances to prevent recurrences.
One caution: If you use D-Mannose or cranberry juice for several days and the UTI symptoms dont go away, see your physician to determine if the infection could be caused by something other than bacteria.
Untreated, UTIs can turn into a lethal blood infection known as sepsis. So please dont ignore these symptoms.
August 2, 2021Originally Published: August 13, 2014
How Long Can It Take A Uti To Clear Fast Without Antibiotics
Fortunately, a few tested methods of natural treatment and prevention have worked immensely well for some patients. Even to the extent that they no longer worry about the UTI re-occurring.
These types of treatments dont require prescriptions, they are not expensive, and they are completely drug-free. Some doctors may not be aware of them, I really hope this article will help you completely avoid UTIs, or at least largely reduce their persistence and severity.
However, the application of natural treatments, for a normal UTI, has proven to be effective. Such treatment may take the space of 3 days for women and 7 to 14 days for men to clear. The time frame is slightly different for anyone who is pregnant or has diabetes or has a mild kidney infection. For this group of people, treatment often takes 7 to 14 days.
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What If I Don’t Go To The Doctor
What happens when UTIs are left untreated? Contrary to popular belief, your immune system is often able to clear a UTI on its own. Studies have found that 25-42% of women are able to recover from an uncomplicated UTI without antibiotics.
But that means a majority of UTIs do not go away on their own. If left untreated, they can lead to continued discomfort and other more serious health issues, such as kidney damage or a severe infection. Therefore, treatment is recommended.
“Physicians tailor care plans to each patient, and there is no sole treatment for everyone,” says Stanford physician Kim Chiang, MD. During your visit, feel free to ask in-depth questions, particularly if a non-recommended antibiotic is prescribed.
This is the fifth post in the series Understanding UTIs. The goal of this seven-part series is to provide easy-to-understand, scientifically grounded information about UTIs. Patients referenced are composites, compiled from actual patient experiences.Data on medications used for UTIs were extracted from the National Disease and Therapeutic Index, a nationally representative physician survey produced by IQVIA.
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Some evidence shows that increasing your intake of vitamin C could protect against urinary tract infections.
Vitamin C is thought to work by increasing the acidity of the urine, thereby killing off the bacteria that cause infection .
An older 2007 study of UTIs in pregnant women looked at the effects of taking 100 mg of vitamin C every day .
The study found that vitamin C had a protective effect, cutting the risk of UTIs by more than half in those taking vitamin C, compared with the control group .
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in vitamin C and are a good way to increase your intake.
Red peppers, oranges, grapefruit, and kiwifruit all contain the full recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving .
Despite these studies, there is still more research needed to prove the effectiveness of vitamin C for reducing UTIs. .
Increasing vitamin C intake may decrease the risk of UTIs by making the urine more acidic, thus killing off infection-causing bacteria.
Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.
Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing infection .
In a 2016 study, women with recent histories of UTIs drank an 8-ounce serving of cranberry juice every day for 24 weeks. Those who drank cranberry juice had fewer UTI episodes than the control group .
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What Will Happen If I Dont Seek Medical Treatment
Without antibiotic treatment, cellulitis can spread beyond the skin. It can enter your lymph nodes and spread into your bloodstream. Once it reaches your bloodstream, bacteria can cause quickly cause a life-threatening infection known as blood poisoning.
Without proper treatment, cellulitis can also return. Repeated cellulitis can cause permanent damage to your lymph nodes, which play an important role in your immune system.
In rare cases, severe cellulitis infections can spread into deep layers of tissue. An infection of the fascia, a deep layer of tissue surrounding your muscles and organs, is known as necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease. People with necrotizing fasciitis usually need multiple surgeries to remove dead tissue, often entire limbs.
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Box 1 Evidence For Nonantibiotic Agents In Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection In Premenopausal Women
Recent sexual intercourse within the past week and use of spermicide contraceptives have been shown to increase the risk of developing urinary tract infection in case-controlled and observational studies. Evidence for voiding habit, douching and wiping back to front have not been well studied and require further assessment.
Hydration and urinary concentration have been poorly studied as a way to reduce UTI recurrence. Evidence from survey-based studies has suggested that fluid restriction increases the risk of UTI, but further study of fluid intake and modification of urinary pH and osmolality is required. Evidence for the role of ascorbic acid in UTI prevention is lacking.
Chinese herbal medicine
Studies of Chinese herbal medicine are small with a high risk of bias. Further studies are required before this approach can be recommended for the prevention of recurrent UTI.
Cranberry products might be effective in reducing recurrent UTI in women with a history of recurrent UTI. A Cochrane review has reported no statistically significant benefit for cranberry products, but the level of heterogeneity among studies is high, and well-conducted, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials have reported positive results,, supported by a meta-analysis. Further well-powered randomized trials with strict inclusion criteria and consistent dosing are required.
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Discuss With Your Doctor If Some Of Your Uti Symptoms Persist After Antibiotics
Here are several questions that you should think about prior to your doctor visit to help your physician with the right information:
- Are your symptoms stronger when the bladder is full and you feel better after urination?
- Does a certain position trigger bladder pain?
- Do you feel that your symptoms stay the same over the course of days and even weeks?
- Is there blood in your urine, foul smell, or is your urine cloudy?
- If youd like more help on how to discuss your UTI with your provider and how to make the most out of your patient-doctor relationships, check out my Actionable Guide here.
Ways To Recognize Serious Signs Of Sinus Infections
The length of the infection is an important determinant of the seriousness of the infection.
I usually consider most infections less than 3 weeks to be viral or inflammation related to congestion. At this point, the best treatment is usually medications that decrease the congestion and inflammation. This in turn will alleviate the symptoms and ultimately cure the illness.
When the illness continues beyond 3 weeks, bacterial infection can begin to develop. Though antibiotics can be considered at this point, other treatments may still be the best answer if they have not yet been given a try.
#2: Mucous Color
I will dispel a myth right here and now. Yellowish/greenish mucous does not necessarily mean the infection is bacterial.
Viruses can cause the same color mucous. The reason for the mucous is generally not the actual bacteria or virus, but the bodys immune response to the intruder.
So dont worry just because you see a colored mucous when you blow your nose. This will also improve as the infection abates.
#3: Sinus Pain
Sinus pain can occur anytime throughout a sinus infection. This is normal and means there is inflammation in the sinuses, as we discussed previously.
However, severe pain, redness over the skin, hardened skin over the sinuses, or even a severe headache are not generally normal and can indicate a bacterial infection.
A fever can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. So how do you differentiate between the two?
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How Long Does It Take To Get A Prescription For Uti Antibiotics
The wait time for a prescription depends on how quickly you can meet with a healthcare provider and whether it is in person, on the phone, or over video. If you need to see a doctor in person, it will depend on what appointments are available in the office. If you are looking for an online doctor, you can usually get an appointment and prescription the same day.
Keep in mind that using a mail order service means it might take 2 to 5 days for the medication to arrive. It can be hard to wait for your medication to come in the mail when your UTI symptoms are interfering with daily life. Some telemedicine services like GoodRx Care allow you to meet with a doctor online, and then pick up your prescription later the same day at a local pharmacy.
To Recap The Steps To Treat Utis
- Its better to prevent UTIs instead of having to continuously treat UTIs. Look at your lifestyle and see if theres anything that youre doing that could be contributing to UTIs. This may require some detective work . When in doubt, work on strengthening your immune system and overall health you can do this by eating whole foods , taking probiotics, drinking plenty of water, correcting any nutrient deficiencies , limiting exposure to environmental toxins, getting sufficient sleep, lowering stress, being active, reducing food-induced inflammation among other things.
- If you have symptoms of a UTI, go to your doctor or take an at-home UTI test, then treat the UTI ASAP the earlier you treat it, the better. If you can, take another UTI test after treatment to help ensure that the infection is actually gone.
- If you want to treat your UTI without antibiotics, D-mannose shows a lot of promise for UTIs in the few studies that have been conducted so far .
This article was originally published on November 17, 2014, but was updated and re-published on March 10, 2019.
Amanda Austin is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified LEAP Therapist who approaches health and wellness from an integrative and functional perspective. She loves a good DIY, making a mess in the kitchen, and working up a sweat. Shes also obsessed with her incredibly spoiled fur-babies, which includes a rambunctious Boston Terrier, 2 cranky house cats, and 3 boisterous chickens.
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What Is An Inner Ear Infection
Inner ear infections usually develop when a virus attacks the inner ear or the nerve branches that run through it. Most inner ear infections are viral. In some cases, the infection directly affects the labyrinth or vestibulocochlear nerve. In others, a virus like measles, influenza, or mononucleosis affects the entire body including the inner ear.
Bacterial infections are less common. Most of the time, a bacterial inner ear infection happens because of a chronic middle ear infection. Toxins from this infection invade the inner ear structures and nerve. In rarer cases, the bacteria themselves invade the labyrinth from the middle ear or the cerebrospinal fluid that flows in or around the brain.
Symptoms of inner ear infections usually come on quickly. Symptoms can be mild to severe and include:
- Ringing in the ear
- Feelings of fullness in the ear
Different types of inner ear infections cause different symptoms. The two main types of inner ear infections are:
- Neuronitis, which only affects the branch of the nerve that controls balance
- Labyrinthitis, which causes inflammation and irritation of the vestibulocochlear nerve
The primary difference is that labyrinthitis causes hearing-related symptoms, while neuronitis doesnt. Your treatment will depend primarily on whether you have a viral or bacterial infection.