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7 Home Remedies for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Symptoms

Do you have frequent, painful UTIs? You may be surprised by how much you can do at home to relieve your discomfort.

Taking an antibiotic isn’t the only way to get over symptoms of a urinary tract infection.

In fact, some remedies don’t require a prescription — and they can be done right at home in addition to any treatment your doctor has recommended. But be cautious with do-it-yourself home solutions, and check in with your doctor before trying a new strategy.

For example, mixing baking soda and water as a drink to help fight a urinary tract infection (UTI) can be risky if you drink too much of it as it can result in baking soda-related poisonings.

The following seven viable home remedies — from drinking lots of water to applying heat and wearing loose cotton clothing — may ease your agonising UTI symptoms or prevent them in the first place:

1. Get Your Fill of Water

One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is drink plenty of water. That’s because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria that’s causing your infection and puts you on the right track for recovery.
How much should you drink depends on your size. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 140 pounds, that means you should try to get 70 oz of water a day. And if you have kidney disease, be cautious and check with your physician about how much fluid is safe for you to drink.

2. Load Up on Vitamin C for a Healthy Urinary Tract

Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important, because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract. If you have an active UTI, taking vitamin C supplements may help, too.

3. Soothe UTI Pain with Heat

Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure and pain around your pubic area. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, don’t apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.

4. Cut Bladder Irritants from Your Diet

When you have a UTI, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal. Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates, which are good for your digestive health.

5. Go Ahead, Empty Your Bladder Again

Every time you empty your bladder — even if it’s just a small amount — you rid it of some of the bacteria causing the infection. So keep making those bathroom runs.

6. Consider Herbal Remedies

You may find some relief from taking the herb uva ursi (bearberry leaf), which is used as a treatment for lower urinary tract infections. But it should be taken only for short periods of time — five days or less — as it could cause liver damage. In addition, the herb goldenseal may be used as a remedy for UTIs. It›s smart to tell your doctor about this and any other medications or herbs you’re taking, because side effects or drug interactions can sometimes be serious.

7. Change to Healthier Habits

  • Lifestyle changes matter because they can help you recover from a UTI and might prevent another infection.
  • Quit smoking
  • Wear loose cotton clothing and underwear
  • Wipe yourself clean from front to back
  • Choose only fragrance-free personal hygiene products

About Cranberry Juice and UTIs

For years, unsweetened cranberry juice was thought to help flush away bacteria and keep them from sticking to the bladder wall, possibly helping to prevent or reduce recurrent UTIs. But a review of 14 studies showed that cranberry juice might not have real benefits. While more studies may clear up this issue, for now cranberry juice is no longer recommended as a UTI fighter.