There’s no doubt about it—a urinary tract infection (UTI) can really mess up your style. For instance…
It may hurt or burn when you pee. You may feel a continual urge to go, even after you just went. Your pee may be really cloudy, have a particularly strong odor or it might have traces of blood. A fever, lower back pain and cramping are all also symptoms you might suffer. If it gets worse, you might experience night sweats, chills or shaking. Your fever may increase. That pain in your lower back may move further up (where your kidneys are) or to the side. Your skin might get flushed accompanied by fatigue, nausea and a generally crappy feeling all day long.1
In short, a UTI can become a serious drag.
There’s no doubt that most UTIs will respond very well to antibiotic treatment. If you think you have a UTI, save time with an at-home UTI test and then call your doctor with the results. It is especially important to speak with a healthcare professional as soon as possible if you are pregnant, have diabetes or suffer from frequent kidney stones, as these conditions can be further affected by a UTI.2
In the meantime, there’s a lot you can do to lessen the duration of your UTI and the severity of your UTI symptoms.3
A hot water bottle is a great way to help relieve some of the aches that come with cramping or lower back pain. Keep the heat low and only use it for 15 minutes at a time to avoid any burns. The moist heat is especially effective in working through the dense tissue of your abdomen. Your diet can play a big part in UTI relief. Try cutting out caffeine, alcohol, carbonated drinks and nicotine, which are all irritants to your bladder and have the ability to make the healing process harder and potentially slower. Plus, caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, which may increase blood pressure, making your kidneys work harder. With more blood to filter through the kidneys, the body needs more fluid to expel the extra waste, running the risk of dehydration. Caffeine can also hinder the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis in the bloodstream (the balance between sodium and water).4
Though caffeine will cause you to use the bathroom more often, the healthiest way to flush out the infection-causing bacteria in your urinary tract is to make sure you stay hydrated with plain ol’ water. Drinking plenty of water is going to make you pee more, sure, but that’s good––it will help your body process the bacteria and all the by-products of fighting an infection.5
SEE, HERE’S THE DEAL…
Think of a urinary tract infection like a rude surprise house guest. You don’t expect them, they take a lot of managing, they’re not likely to leave on their own and they can really make it hard to get work done.
But if you start giving them chores, don’t throw any parties for a while and ask them to start taking out the garbage, you can be sure that eventually, they’re going to get the message!