Urinary tract infections, cystitis or UTIs, are inflammatory processes that affect any part of the urinary tract, both the upper urinary tract (kidneys and ureters) and the lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder).
These infections are caused by microorganisms, usually bacteria, although they can also be caused by fungi or viruses. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus saprophyticus bacteria are responsible for most cases.
Causes and symptoms of UTIs
Several circumstances explain why UTIs are much more common in women than in men: pregnancy, menopause, intrauterine contraceptives, spermicides and having a shorter urethral canal.
Other causes that are common for both sexes can be: a cold, a drop in defences, an imbalance in the genital microbiota, holding urine for a long time, drinking little water, ingestion of certain medicines, radiotherapy, poor genital hygiene, sitting for a long time…
- Difficulty urinating, often accompanied by a feeling of discomfort or burning.
- An urge to urinate constantly, even when there is no urine to pass.
- Sensation of a full bladder, even after urinating.
- Darker, foamy, and strong-smelling urine.
- Sometimes, the presence of blood in the urine.
- Pain in the pelvic region and lower back.
Natural remedies for urinary tract infections
Drinking plenty of water will help eliminate bacteria out of your urinary tract. You can also make some cleansing of the area in mild water; this will improve some symptoms, even more if you add some herbal tea with soothing effects or some antibiotics.
Applying hit to the lower abdomen, as in many other cases, is also beneficial. Eat healthy, avoiding coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and spicy foods as much as possible. They will irritate the urinary tract, so it is better to not include them in your diet.
Natural substances that will help you fighting a UTI
- Cranberry: more specifically the American cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, which has been shown in in vitro tests to inhibit the adherence of bacteria to the wall of the urinary tract, thus preventing their proliferation. This action is carried out by proanthocyanidins (PACs) -the minimum amount of PACS to be ingested to achieve therapeutic effects is 36 mg. per day-.
- D-Mannose: a simple sugar that blocks the proliferation of infection-causing bacteria. As well as the cranberry, it prevents bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. Its advantage over antibiotics is that it does not create bacteria that are resistant to their effect, keeping its efficacy intact.
- Lactobacillus: these micro-organisms are crucial in the treatment of cystitis. They protect the vagina from colonization by uropathogens, prevent them to adhere to the vaginal epithelium, and inhibit their multiplication. They work most effectively in synergy with PACs. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, L. reuteri RC-14 and L. crispatus (CTV-05) strains have been shown to be effective in controlling recurrent infections. Studies have found a reduction in cystitis of 50-73%. Taken together with antibiotics, they have been shown to increase the efficacy of these ones.
- Vitamin C: it increases the acidity of urine and prevents the growth of bacteria causing UTIs. In addition, vitamin C increases the body’s natural defences, which are essential for fighting infections.
- Hibiscus sabdariffa or hibiscus rose: it has diuretic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action. It also acidifies urine, making it more difficult for pathogenic bacteria to spread. Its action is enhanced when used together with cranberries and vitamin C.
- Other natural substances with a significant antibiotic effect: garlic, coconut oil, lemon, hawthorn berry leaves and onion.
- Diuretic plants that can also help urination: barley, horsetail, dandelion, and parsley.
Try to choose supplements that have a complementary (synergistic) formulation, in an effective quantity and standardization.
Be careful not to ingest unformulated substances without consulting a professional. Plants such as bearberry, a very effective urinary antiseptic, can be toxic.
If minor symptoms do not disappear within a couple of days, or worsen, do not hesitate to visit a doctor. There are diseases with similar symptoms such as kidney stones or chlamydia.
Lanier Pharma has formulated Istivan, a supplement that helps you fight cystitis naturally. It can be taken alone or, if needed, in addition to an antibiotic treatment. It will help you prevent and even stop an unwanted UTI if it is already present.