A urinary tract infection is often politely referred to as UTI, because it is considered perhaps the most embarrassing and discomforting of all infections to go through. If you have suffered it even once, you would know exactly what I am going on about. But for those of you who have had the good luck to not succumb to this dreaded infection, here is a low down on what it is all about, and worse what it does and feels like. To begin with this infection is embarrassing because, you guessed it; it attacks our delicate urogenital zone, an area we also fondly call our privates.
And for this same reason it is dangerous because if ignored or not treated it can both, temporarily and permanently; impair the functioning of the delicate organs in this part, which includes our kidneys, bladder and most importantly the uterus, which houses the womb. As the name suggest, the UTI is essentially an infection of the urinary tract, and since this tract is directly connected to our privates, they are often the first ones to get infected.
But if you thought that women are the only ones prone to it, since they have to sit to pee, then think again, as men are equally vulnerable. People with multiple sex partners, diabetes, cancer, AIDs and lastly pregnant women are all very prone to catching this infection as their immune systems are already weak.
Signs And Symptoms
UTI’s can be bacterial, viral or worse even fungal in nature, meaning their pathogens could be both air-borne and surface-crawling. Irrespective of which kind of pathogen has attacked you, chances are it has gained entry into your body through your urinary tract. Hence the symptoms that this kind of infection creates are also very similar to any common infection. You will experience fever, cold and hold shivers, lower back ache or body ache. That is precisely the reason why UTI’s are often the most misdiagnosed infections.
However if along with these symptoms, you notice a white or colourless discharge in your urine, or a kind of burning sensation while passing urine, then there are high chances you have caught an UTI. Other such symptoms include frequent and urgent need to pee, change in color of urine to red or cloudy and lastly dribbling of urine.
While you can walk across to your local doctor and get treated, the thing is that the medicines he gives you are bound to cure you only temporarily, as this kind of infection is infamous for its recurrent nature. So rest assured when your medicine course finishes, the strong infection causing particles, and there are always some lurking in the shadows, will rise up, leaving you infected once again.
Another danger of these strong allopathic medicines, like antibiotics, is that while they may prevent a relapse, but there are high chances that these medicines will kill not just the foreign bacteria, but also all those good bacteria lurking in our urogenital area, that help our body carry out its day-day chores.
Flush It Out
The best thing that you can do for yourself, when diagnosed with a UTI, or even any other infection is to drink buckets of water. Believe it or not, you can actually never drink too much water, as water will help you hydrate and cool your otherwise dry and parched body, which has been fighting the infection non-stop since it arrived.
But more importantly, the more water you drink, the more you sweat and pee, thereby slowly and gradually flushing out the infection from your system. Here, fresh fruit and vegetable juices are even better, as along with hydrating your system, they strengthen your already tired immune system, which is grateful for any/all help that it can get.
Special mention needs to be made of cranberry juice and curd, as they are both considered the best things to fight this infection. Cranberries are good for you because they have some compound in them that does not allow the infection causing bacteria to cling on to the cells lining the urinary tract, hence preventing any/all infections.
The best way to drink it is of course, to make a fresh glass of cranberry juice and drink it without any sugar additives. If you are not fond of this taste then you can always mix it with a little orange juice or any other citrus juice, as vitamin C is also much needed by your body when infected.
Curd, especially the pro-biotic variety made at home is considered good because it introduces good bacteria into our system which then lends a helping hand to our immune system.
Some people also say that having slices of fresh pineapple provides relief, as it has natural anti-inflammatory goodness. Similarly, drinking baking soda mixed with a little water is supposed help in the early stages of a UTI, as it helps restore the acidic-base balance of our urine.
What To Avoid?
Keep in mind to never ever share or even use a toilet seat in public places. Please don’t think that cleaning or spraying the seat with some disinfectant can help, because it does not. While it is always a good idea to carry a branded disinfectant, but using it is no guarantee that you are not going to catch anything dreadful sitting on that seat.
Hence, don’t take a chance at all. Even in hotels, swimming pools try to carry your own towels and toilet paper, as you never know which towel has been dry-cleaned, and which has been hung in the sun to simply dry. Also, never share your underclothes with anybody, even your siblings. You can never gauge a person’s private hygiene simply on account of their clean and tidy looks.
To conclude, if you suspect that you are suffering from a UTI, then please never ignore it and keep this infection of your privates, private. For the simple reason that it can often lead to serious organ infection, sterilization, organ failure and in acute cases even death. So try to catch this infection early and use these home remedies to rid yourself of it at the earliest.