Home Remedies for Bladder Infections
Bladder infections, or urinary tract infections, are a very common ailment in both men and women. Never a good thing to have, they are caused by bacteria that enters the urethra-the tube that lets the urine leave your body-and stays and grows in your bladder. Because of this, the lining of the bladder becomes swollen. These infections are more common in females than males. Irritating the bladder wall when you urinate, you can experience a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to feeling sick to the stomach.
Signs of a Bladder Infection
These are signs to look for to indicate that you are getting an infection:
- A Burning Sensation When You Urinate
- Urinating Often
- Pressure While Urinating
- The Feeling That You Need to Urinate Again
- Inability to Urinate
- Blood In Urine
- Lower Back Pains
Sometimes there are no symptoms of a bladder infection. A person going to his yearly physical may find out that he is in the early stages of an infection and the doctor catches it after doing a urine analysis. It might come as a shock to the patient. However, it is better to catch it early than later.
While mild forms of bladder infections sometimes clear up by themselves, doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat more severe infections. Even though it is true that medications clear up these infections fast, since we have good bacteria in our body as well as the bad, these antibiotics will attack the good when it is taking care of the bad. There is also the risk of the infections coming back. If you have repeat bladder infections, eventually the body is going to become resistant to the antibiotics. While you can take pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to help lessen the pain and reduce inflammation, you still have to get rid of the harmful bacteria which are causing the infection. It may be a good idea to try the following home remedies to get rid of your bladder infection.
Stop drinking carbonated beverages and caffeinated coffee once you see the signs. Instead drink six to eight glasses of water a day. When you drink more water, this dilutes the urine and you have a better chance of flushing the toxins out of your body. Some people might decide to limit their fluids, since running to the bathroom every ten minutes is an inconvenience. This, however, can worsen the symptoms of bladder infections.
Sugary foods such as soft drinks, baked goods and candy, as well as other food that is high in sugar, slow down the recovery from a bladder infection. Therefore, you should avoid or reduce the sugar content in your diet when you have an infection. If you need something sweet, try a tablespoon of honey rather than sugar.
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Bladder Flushing Teas
While you should avoid coffee when you are suffering from a bladder infection, there are many medicinal herbal teas you can try. Since many herbs contain diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties, they can reduce the pain, stimulate the kidneys and flush out the harmful bacteria. Some excellent herbs include:
- Marshmallow Root
You can purchase bagged tea from any store or brew your own by adding a herb to a cup of hot water and allow it to brew for fifteen minutes before drinking.
Precautions For the Above Herbs
While it is safe to use this plant, it is important to talk to your doctor since this herb can interact with medications and vitamins you are already taking. If you are pregnant, talk to you doctor before using couch grass or any other herbal remedies. You can buy couch grass from your local florist and plant them in the backyard. However, if you are planning to gather couch grass from the wild, it is best to talk to a qualified herbalist since poisonous plants can easily be confused for couch grass.
Avoid dandelion if you are allergic to honey, chamomile, chrysanthemums. You should also avoid dandelion if you either have a blocked bile duct or have an inflamed gall bladder. Also, if you are on blood thinners or are either pregnant or nursing, you should not use these products.
Do not use Echinacea for more than eight weeks. Avoid this herb if you are pregnant or nursing. If you are allergic to daisies or marigold, do not use Echinacea. Stop using if your experience these reactions, hives , rashes, respiratory problems, vomiting
There are no known side effects with the use of this root. However, it can cause low blood sugar. If you are diabetic, check with your doctor before using the root of this plant.
Do not take more than the recommended dosage of meadowsweet. Do not give it to children. Do not take if if you are allergic to aspirin. If you suffer from asthma do not take meadowsweet. Do not take if you are taking anticoagulant medications Do not use it if you are pregnant or nursing. Some people get an upset stomach after using meadowsweet. Stop using it if you get a rash on your skin. If you are planning to gather meadowsweet from the wild, it is best to talk to a qualified herbalist since poisonous plants can easily be confused for this plant. Before you use meadowsweet to treat any health ailments, talk to your doctor. Even though it is safe to take, it may interact with medications and vitamins you are already taking.
Nettle is safe to take. However, do not take more than the recommended dosage. Some side effects of this herb include fluid retention and mild upset stomach. Avoid this herb if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not use nettle if you are currently on other diuretic medications. Avoid using if you have kidney or heart disease.
If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid using yarrow. If you are allergic to ragweed, avoid using yarrow. Before treating a skin condition with yarrow, test a small area and check for redness or any other reactions. If you are planning to gather yarrow from the wild, it is best to talk to a qualified herbalist since poisonous plants can easily be confused for this plant. Before you use yarrow to treat any health ailments, talk to your doctor. Even though it is safe to take, it may interact with medications and vitamins you are already taking.
Juicing It Up
Drinking cranberry juice prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of your bladder. However, make sure that you drink 100% pure juice. If you drink juice that has added sugar, it may make your infection worse. If you do not like the taste of straight cranberry juice, get one that has another juice mixed in, such as cranapple. Some of the bacteria responsible for causing bladder infections can be tricky to get rid of because they attach to the wall of the bladder with their fimbria. Once attached in the bladder, this bacteria can easily multiply and grow. Cranberries contain a compound called proanthyabudin which binds to the fimbria of the harmful bacteria and prevents the bacteria from binding to the wall of the bladder. If you are prone to bladder infections, include cranberry juice in your daily diet to prevent them.
Purchase cranberry capsules from the health food store. They contain d-mannose which is the main property in cranberries. You may think cranberry juice is too bitter for you and since the healing properties of this juice may wear off in eight hours, taking cranberry supplements or extracts twice a day may be more effective.
Drinking juice that contains Vitamin C helps relieve bladder infections. That is because this vitamin plays a role in acidifying the urine which in turn fights against the bacteria causing the infection. Juices with Vitamin C help stop the growth of the bacteria and helps change the acidity in the body. You can also eat citrus fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, that contain Vitamin C to help flush of the bladder.
Vitamins A and B1
Other vitamins also play a role in fighting bladder infections by reducing irritation. This includes vitamins A, B1, and E. Many food items contain these vitamins and should be included in your diet since they also can prevent infections as well.
For Vitamin A, include:
- Sunflower Oil
- Cayenne Pepper
- Morel Mushrooms
- Passion Fruit
- Bell Peppers
- White Beans
- Mustard Greens
For vitamin B1, include:
- Portobello Mushrooms
- Goji Berries
- Durian Fruit
- Swiss Chard
Vitamin E and Zinc
For Vitamin E, include:
- Flaxseed Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
- Hemp Oil
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Olive Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
While we need many vitamins to heal your body and to maintain it as well, we also need minerals. One of the necessary minerals is zinc, which provides your body with antioxidant properties. These are needed to fight the free radicals, which are damaged cells. When you do not include enough antioxidants in your diet, you are opening a can of worms since these damaged cells will attack the healthy ones and damage them as well. That is the main reason why you fall victim to many illnesses and infections. Most of the above foods are major sources of zinc. You can also find this mineral in foods such as:
- Bulgur Wheat
- Coriander Seeds
- Red Meat
- Dairy Products
Did you know that cranberry juice is effective for bladder infections?
Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of warm water. Drink three times a day. You can also add some to a tub of hot water. Baths are excellent whenever you are in any sort of pain. The baking soda plays a role in balancing out the correct acid/alkaline balance in your body.
There are several essential oils that contain soothing, pain fighting and infection fighting properties. The most effective ones include:
- Juniper Berry
Add two drops of each to a tub of hot water and relax in this soothing bath for at least ten minutes. Only take a bath as needed for pain relief. Taking frequent baths can lead to bladder infections, since you are exposing your urethra to more water as opposed to taking a shower. If you still want to take the occasional bath, avoid using bubble bath, bath salts and perfumed soap.
Precautions For the Above Essential Oils
Only use essential oils to treat external ailments. Consuming them can be harmful or fatal. Talk to a qualified aromatherapist to see which ones are safe to take internally.
Some essential oils, such as bergamot and lemon can cause skin reactions if you are out in the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure if you use essential oils to treat skin conditions.
Before using essential oils, test a small section of your skin. If there is any redness, rash or other irritation, do not use that essential oil.
Before using essential oils dilute them in a carrier oil such as unscented body lotion.
Always try to urinate frequently even if you do experience a burning sensation when you do so. Every time you urinate, you are getting rid of some of the bacteria that is causing the infection. When you urinate more frequently, you are flushing the bacteria out quickly. By not urinating, you can cause further problems since the bacteria will still be in your bladder and will continue to grow. These problems include:
When you have a bladder infection, you have to allow your body to rest. Avoid things such as working out at the gym, cleaning house and other activities. Doing this can put pressure on your bladder and make you feel more uncomfortable. If you have a job, your doctor can write a note to your employee. If you still want to work, you can talk to your supervisor and he can assign you tasks that are less strenuous.
Preventing Bladder Infections
To prevent bladder infections from occurring:
1. If you have to urinate. Do so. Do not keep holding it in until you are about to burst.
2. Keep your genital area clean. Make sure when you use soap to make sure the area is completely rinsed off.
3. Wear cotton underwear. Your underwear needs to breath. When you have man-made fabrics they tend to get wet and moist and allow bacteria to grow.
4. Wear looser pants. If your jeans are too tight, they can push bacteria into the urethra.
5. If you are a female, wipe from front to back after you urinate. When you wipe this way, you are moving the bacteria found in fecal matter away from the urethra and not towards it.
6. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugary drinks
7. Eat natural yogurt. This has the good bacteria which can fight the bad.
8. When cooking, include onions and garlic in your meals. These are both excellent infection fighters.
When you follow these simple remedies, you bladder infection will disappear in no time at all. However, see your doctor if the symptoms do not go away, if your lower back hurts or if you have a fever. These can be a sign of something more serious such as a kidney infection.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Urinary symptoms — such as blood in the urine and burning with urination — could result from a UTI. Learn about UTI causes, treatments and self-care.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Lois Ryan