12 Natural Ways To Prevent Bladder And Urinary Tract Infections

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Bladder and urinary tract infections are quite common but rather painful. Although anyone can contract this type of infection, women are more apt to get it because they have shorter urethra, which makes it much easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract and travel to the bladder.

There are a few other factors that can increase the risk of bladder infections, which include (but are not limited to) surgery in the urinary tract, a catheter in the body, aging, bowel incontinence, enlarged prostate, diabetes, and pregnancy.

Symptoms of a bladder infection is blood in the urine, foul smelling urine, cloudy colored urine, a frequent need to urinate, chills, sweating, a burning sensation or pain while urinating, only urinating a few drops even though the urge is very strong, and pressure in the lower back or abdomen area.

By changing some of your lifestyle factors and diet, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing a bladder infection.  Keep reading for 12 ways you can naturally prevent a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection.

 

1. Water, Water, Water!

The best way to prevent a urinary tract infection is to drink plenty of water, and other fluids, each and every day. Drinking plenty of fluids will flush out the bacteria that naturally live in the body. It will also dilute the urine, allowing you to pee more freely. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, along with herbal teas, vegetable juices, fruit juices, and broth.

 

2.  Instant Urinary Alkalizer

Keep these items in your medicine chest so that you can make up this super alkalizing drink the instant you feel the first signs of a urinary tract infection,

  • ¼ Cup of baking soda
  • 1 Drop of lemon, orange, and lime essential oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of citric acid
  • Stevia to taste

Stir these ingredients together in small bowl. Put half a teaspoon of this mixture in four ounces of water and drink it every two or three hours until you get relief from your symptoms.

 

3.  Maintain Good Hygiene

Keeping good hygiene is important when it comes to stopping all types of infections. After using the toilet, ladies should wipe from front to back. Never use the same piece of toilet paper more than once. Never used deodorants in the genital area as these chemicals block the natural cleansing process. If you are prone to developing urinary tract infections, wear sanitary napkins rather than tampons and be sure to change the pads every few hours. Keep your bathroom as clean and sanitary as possible.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4.  Cranberries And Blueberries

Cranberry juice is excellent for stopping bladder infections and urinary tract infections. This juice contains special compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the wall of the urinary tract and bladder. Blueberries are also good for this purpose. It can be difficult to find pure, unsweetened, organic cranberry juice, so if you cannot find pure juice, you might want to consider taking cranberry extract supplements.

 

5.  Don’t Hold It

Keeping your bladder full or delaying going pee can be a big contributor to urinary tract and bladder infections. Holding it can increase the risk that bacteria growing inside the bladder. This also puts increased pressure on your kidneys, which can also cause kidney infections or other types of kidney problems. As soon as you feel the urge to go — go ahead and go! You should also urinate after having sex. This will flush out the bacteria from the bladder and the urinary tract.

 

6. Avoid Irritants

There are some fairly common food and drink that can irritate the bladder and urinary tract. This increases the risk of developing an infection in the bladder or the urinary tract itself. If you are prone to developing bladder infections, you should avoid chocolate, sodas, caffeinated drinks such as coffee or tea, as well as alcoholic beverages, including beer and wine. You should also avoid sugary foods as these can feed the bacteria in the bladder. Very spicy foods also irritate the bladder and should be avoided.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7. Eat More Immune-Boosting Foods

One of the main functions of your immune system is to fight off infections. By eating more of the foods that improve your immune system, you can prevent many types of infections before they get started. Start off your day with a glass of lemon water and end it with a glass of turmeric powder mixed in milk. Drink two or three glasses of green tea each day in addition to your eight glasses of water. Include plenty of vitamin C rich foods in your diet such as tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, bell peppers, and kiwi fruit. Include plenty of garlic and ginger in your cooking and don’t forget vitamin D rich foods such as salmon, liver, cheese, and eggs.

 

8. Don’t Forget The Yogurt

Yogurt that contains plenty of probiotic cultures is a terrific way to fill your body with the good type of bacteria that fight off and kill the type of bacteria that can cause infections. Since a great deal of your immune system is located in your gut, it can help to strengthen your immune system. Try to eat one or two cups of probiotic yogurt with live cultures each day. You can also eat fermented foods that naturally contain probiotics such as tempeh, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, and miso.

 

9. Stop Smoking

Besides all the numerous other health problems that smoking brings, it also increases your susceptibility to developing bacterial infections. It increases your risk of developing bladder cancer as well. Do whatever it takes to break the nicotine habit. Your body will thank you with better health and a longer life.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10. Beware Of Birth Control

This is something that your doctor probably never told you; some birth control measures increase your risk of developing bladder infections. Using a diaphragm or spermicides that contain nonoxynol-9 can both be problematic. The diaphragm can slow your urinary flow, which allows bacteria to multiply inside the urinary tract and the bladder. Spermicides that contain nonoxynol-9 irritate the skin, which can allow bacteria to grow inside the irritated tissues. Certain other types of birth control pills reduce the level of estrogen in the body, which can dry out the vaginal tissues. If you suffer from chronic yeast infections or urinary tract infections, you should discuss alternative methods of birth control.

 

11. Apple Cider Vinegar

Drinking apple cider vinegar each day is one of the best preventative measures when it comes to urinary tract infections. Apple cider vinegar has powerful antibacterial compounds that can help to treat infections as well. This mixture also balances the pH levels in the body. Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one glass of water and drink twice a day. You can add a bit of honey if you find the taste too strong for you.

 

SEE ALSO: 12 Natural Remedies to Beat Urinary Incontinence (# 6 is fantastic!)

 

12. Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wearing sensible clothes can help avoid bladder and urinary tract infections. Wear natural fibers such as cotton or chiffon that allow the skin to breathe. Breathable materials avoid trapping moisture against the genitals, which makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Wear losing fitting and comfortable pants and skirts that allow proper air circulation. Wear cotton underwear and change them every day. You should also wash underwear in hot water. Avoid wearing a wet swimsuit for a long period of time as well.

Extra Tips:

  • When traveling or sitting for long period, stand up, walk around, and take frequent bathroom breaks
  • Whenever possible, take showers rather than baths
  • Be sure to eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin C
  • Try rubbing some frankincense essential oil on the bottom of your feet each night before bed to help fight off bacterial infections

References:

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Umm.edu