Urinary tract infections are very common and women are usually more prone to getting them than men. Typically, a urinary tract infection is treated with antibiotics. However, mild infections are treatable with medications available over the counter or with homeopathic remedies such as vitamins and supplements.
What Is a Urinary Tract Infection?
Any type of bacteria that gets caught in the urinary tract can develop into an infection. Women tend to be at a much greater risk of developing this type of infection than men due to the shortness of the female urethra and its proximity to the anus. Urinary tract infections (UTI) are typically caused by germs moving into the urethra. Causes of UTI's can include wiping from back to front after a bowel movement, waiting too long to urinate, and sexual intercourse, when bacteria from the vaginal area easily moves into the urethra.
The symptoms for a UTI usually include the following: pain, burning or stinging during urination; the persistent urge to urinate, yet you are unable to do so; cramping or pressure in your lower abdomen; urine with a strong and unpleasant odour; urine that is cloudy, milky or reddish in colour; blood in your urine; and feelings of fatigue and fever.
According to the National Institute of Health, if you are diagnosed with a urinary tract infection by your doctor, the best course of action is to take an antibiotic to prevent the infection from spreading to your kidneys. A mild infection may clear up on its own; however, there are alternative methods available to treat the infection. These treatments include homeopathic remedies and over-the-counter medication.
One of the most popular medications available without a prescription is Uristat. Uristat will not cure your UTI, but it can provide relief from the symptoms. Also available at your local drugstore are UTI home-screening kits that can detect whether or not you have an infection. These kits include test sticks--when you urinate on the stick it will identify bacteria levels in your urine and confirm whether or not you have an infection.
Homeopathic alternatives to treat UTIs include large doses of vitamin C to help to make your urine acidic and reduce the harmful bacteria in the urinary tract. Cranberry juice is also a popular treatment, though it is important to remember to drink pure cranberry juice and not a cranberry juice cocktail, which has a lot of added sugar. Cranberry supplements are also an option and usually come in a capsule form and can be found in your local health food store. Finally, drinking plenty of water also proves to be beneficial in overcoming the infection.