March is Kidney Awareness Month, so we thought it a good time to explore how to prevent, as well as cure a UTI. The connection may not leap to the eye, but in fact Urinary Tract Infections can lead to kidney infections, and eventually kidney disease. This is why it is so important that we know how to cure a UTI, and of course, at all costs prevent it.
Nine times out of ten, a urinary tract infection is caused by the bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract. In some cases, sexually transmitted bacteria can also cause infection. Rest assured that you can begin taking small steps each day to help set yourself up for success, and prevent and cure a UTI.
Since a urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria, most prevention is based around hygiene, as well as hydration in order to frequently flush your system of anything harmful.
- Drink plenty of water. As we said, hydration is key when it comes to preventing a UTI. You want to dilute, and rid your body of all the harmful bacteria, and precursors to infection.
- Taking a daily probiotic can help change the type of bacteria that resides in your body, and encourage the good and healthy strains, as opposed to the bad or unhealthy.
- Drink cranberry juice. This is not only a treatment, but a preventative measure.
- Take showers instead of baths. In a bath, you wind up sitting in your own dirt and bacteria.
How to cure a UTI
Steps taken to cure a UTI in some part overlap with the preventative steps. The following steps are in order of how severe, or how how long you have had the infection:
- Staying hydrated by drinking more water, as well as cranberry juice is a key factor in both prevention and cure. Dehydration is actually one of the most common causes of a UTI. This cure will work for the early and mild stages of a urinary tract infection.
- We would also suggest using a heating pad on the stomach or back for 15-minute intervals. (Be sure not to overheat the area). The heat won’t actually cure a UTI, but it will do a lot of good in the way of relieving any pain from the urinary tract infection while other steps are being taken.
- If you do decide to seek medical attention in the early stages, you may be prescribed an antibiotic. You’ll be tested using a urine test, and possibly other tests if the doctor thinks that it is necessary. When on antibiotics it is especially important to stay hydrated.
- In extreme cases, you may need an operation if your UTI is due to backflow (reflux) of urine from the bladder to the kidneys. Or you could need an operation if a blockage, such as a kidney stone or enlarged prostate, is the cause.
My UTI won’t go away
If you have symptoms such as fever, chills, or nausea, it might be a more serious infection and you should most definitely seek medical attention. Left untreated is when complications can form. Chronic infections may result in urinary strictures, kidney stones, and, rarely, kidney damage or bladder cancer. Rapid advancement of UTIs can lead to dehydration, kidney failure, and death. Pregnant females with untreated UTIs may develop premature delivery and other complications.
If you are experiencing a UTI, walk-ins are always welcome at AFC Urgent Care New Britain. We are located at 135 East Mains Street any day of the week and are open from 8am-8pm Mondays through Fridays and 8am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays.