- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Treating Urinary Tract Infection with Cider Vinegar
Treating Urinary Tract Infections With Apple Cider Vinegar
Urinary tract infections are not only painful and embarrassing, but also they can lead to more serious medical complications if not treated immediately.
In this article, I will cover:
- Causes and symptoms of urinary tract infections.
- How to use apple cider vinegar and other home remedies to treat UTIs.
- How much apple cider vinegar to use.
- How long the treatment takes.
- Whether to take antibiotics.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
Those who have had a UTI before know how painful they can be. It starts with a burning sensation when you pee and develops into a stomach- and backache. If not treated, it can cause fever, fatigue, and damage to your kidneys and bladder.
Here are the common symptoms of urinary tract infection.
- A cloudy, dark urine with a strong smell
- A burning sensation during urination. This is the worst symptom as the pain only grows with every instance
- The urge to urinate more frequently
Urinary tract infections are more common among women than men. This is for anatomical reasons, as women have shorter urinary tracts and their urinary tracts are closer to the anus, which increases the risk of infection.
To make things complicated, women often have trouble identifying the UTI, brushing the pain off as related to their period.
Why Women Get UTI More Frequently
Causes of Urinary Tract Infection
To understand what causes urinary infection, let's look at the anatomy in a simple way. The body's liquid waste (urine) is collected and stored in the bladder. At the time of urination, the urine then moves into the urethra and travels out of the body.
The infectious bacteria enters through urethra. When it contaminates the urethra, it is known as urethritis (infection of the urethra). If this infection moves up and enters the bladder, it causes cistitis (infection of the bladder).
The urinary system is designed to fight such bacteria, and nine out of 10 times, it does so successfully. However, we become vulnerable if our immune system is weak, and the bacteria can win the battle. This is when we're likely to get a urinary tract infection.
Common causes of urinary tract infection include:
- Sexual intercourse
- Poor vaginal hygiene
- Poor lavatory hygiene (unclean public toilets)
- Weakened immunity
Treating UTIs with Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the more popular remedies for treating and preventing urinary tract infections.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Treat UTIs?
Apple cider vinegar contains important enzymes, rich minerals, and nutrients such as potassium. Combined with its acidity, the vinegar works as an antibiotic, stopping the growth of harmful bacteria.
However, in the case of a severe infection, always consult a doctor and take proper medication.
How to Treat UTIs with Apple Cider Vinegar
Put two to three teaspoons of cider vinegar in a cup of lukewarm water, and drink it twice or thrice a day. For a better taste, some people prefer to add a bit of honey.
You could also make one litre of cider vinegar drink following the above ratio and carry that water with you and drink it as you go about your day.
You will notice the difference in three to five days. In fact, drinking apple cider vinegar every day can provide lots of other health benefits including:
- weight loss
- better digestion
- stronger immune system
- acid reflux prevention
- lower cholesterol
Which Brand of Apple Cider Vinegar to Buy
The brand matters less than making sure the vinegar you buy is unfiltered and unpasteurized. Only the unpasteurized and unfiltered kind contains the 'mother' of vinegar – the cloudy sediment you see at the bottom of the bottle. The 'mother' contains all the enzymes, amino acids, and probiotics that give apple cider vinegar its health benefits. The filtered and pasteurized version will look clear, almost like apple juice, while the unfiltered and unpasteurized kind will look cloudy.
More Home Remedies for UTIs
Drink Lots of Water
Yup. Plain ol' H2O. Drinking lots of water can help you flush out the bacteria from your system and, more importantly, it will make sure you actually have some waste to eliminate when you get that urge to pee. You should try to flush as much fluid through your system as you can in order to eliminate all the nasty bacteria. That's why so many UTI remedies are drinks!
Baking soda is an alkaline, meaning that it can counteract the acidity of your urine and relieve some of the pain that comes with urination. If you find yourself dreading going to the bathroom then baking soda can definitely give you some help.
Add one teaspoon of baking soda to one cup of water and drink it once a day. Be careful not too add too much baking soda.
Don't use this remedy for more than a week or if you're trying to avoid sodium since baking soda contains a significant amount of salt.
Cranberry juice is the most widely known home remedy for urinary tract infections.
Cranberry juice contains proanthocyanidins, which prevent E.coli and other bacteria from sticking to the walls of urethra. The bacteria, once removed from the walls, is flushed out of the body. Cranberry juice also acts as an antibiotic. Make sure to check the ingredients and make sure your drink is 100% cranberry juice. You want to avoid "cranberry juice cocktails," which are mostly sugar, water, and just a little bit of cranberry juice.
For best results, drink cranberry juice regularly to prevent UTIs.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has anti-bacterial properties. However, it is not for eating! You should use it as an external treatment. Put one teaspoon of tea tree oil in your bathwater and clean the infected area with it. This will help flush out the bacteria.
In addition to giving you fresh breath, parsley can also help treat urinary tract infections. Parsley water can help you heal faster by acting as a diuretic. A diuretic is a substance that flushes water from your system making you pee more frequently. By increasing the frequency and amount of urination, parsley water flushes out bacteria and relieves discomfort.
To make parsley water, you need:
- 1 cup of fresh parsley OR 2 tablespoons of dried parsley
- 1-2 cups of boiling water
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Add the parsley (if you are using fresh).
- Lower the heat to a simmer and let the parsley leaves steep for 6-10 minutes.
- Then, strain the leaves our and drink the water. If it's a hot summer day, feel free to put it in the fridge first or wait for it to cool down.
Alternatively, if you're using dried parsley,
- Put two tablespoons into a cup of boiling water.
- Cover and steep for 8 minutes.
- Strain the mixture before drinking.
Should I Take Antibiotics for a Urinary Tract Infection?
Urinary tract infections can occur suddenly and get worse quickly. It is therefore important to visit your doctor and take the prescribed medicine.
UTIs can also recur frequently, and prolonged use of antibiotics can make the bacteria resistant to the drugs.
Always consider the natural home remedies mentioned in this article for long-term protection and prevention.
It is also important to drink cranberry juice or apple cider vinegar every day to keep your whole system running smoothly and to help strengthen your immune system.
Facts About Urinary Tract Infection
It might be helpful to keep these facts in mind as you decide how best to treat your UTI.
- It's a bacterial infection. To cure the infection, you need to either wash out the infection-causing microbes, or kill the microbes. Treating the symptoms alone is not sufficient.
- Natural remedies are very effective in treating urinary infection as well as in preventing bacteria from infecting your urinary tract. You don't always need expensive medicines to treat UTI. Cider vinegar can help wash out the bacteria and guard against the growth of bad bacteria in your urinary tract.
- Natural remedies can't treat all forms of infection. Not all bacteria are killed by these natural remedies. You must know what kind of bacteria has caused the infection and choose your treatment accordingly. For example, apple cider vinegar and many other home remedies are effective in killing E.coli bacteria. D-Mannose, Cystex tablets, and cranberry juice helps in killing E.coli too.
- Some bacteria need medication. This is true for gram-positive bacteria like staph saprophyticus, which is a leading cause of cistitis (UTI of bladder) in young women. These bacteria are more resistant to treatment. To cure staph infection, you need to kill staph, as it cannot be washed out of the body easily. You can either kill staph by taking medication, or by eating lots of raw onion and garlic.
- The same bacteria can strike twice. You will usually find that recurrence by UTI is caused by the same type of bacteria. It is important to make a note of which bacteria are causing urinary infection.
- Don't wait to see a doctor if you sense a UTI coming up. Not only will the pain get unbearable, it may lead to serious consequences including kidney damage.
Tips To Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Prevention is better than cure. Take these steps to prevent future urinary tract infections.
- Drink lots of water.
- Avoid carbonated drinks if you are infected – they can make urination more painful.
- Don't resist the urge to urinate. Holding it in can make the infection worse.
- Urinate more frequently.
- Have yoghurt with lunch or breakfast. This introduces "good" bacteria into your system.
- For women, clean the vaginal area with a tissue, after urination. Move the tissue from vagina to anus, and NOT the other way around.
- Urinate after sexual intercourse, and then drink a glass of water.
- Avoid mixing anal and vaginal intercourse.
- If you are prone to suffering from a gram-positive bacteria, drink baking soda water regularly. This will keep the pH factor of your urine high and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Clean the vaginal area with tea-tree oil mixed in bathwater.
- Take vitamin C tablets on a regular basis. They build immunity. You could also take cranberry tablets. I cannot overemphasize this tip, as it has proved useful for many people.
- Drink apple cider vinegar regularly. Apple cider vinegar is a century-old tonic and has an amazing effect on our overall wellbeing.
This article is not medical advice. Use this article for entertainment only. Please consult a medical practitioner. The author disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
© 2014 Alana Niall