Bladder infections are the most common type of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). They are mainly caused by bacteria entering the bladder via the urethra. And symptoms include more frequent and painful urination.
Although bladder infections can happen to anyone, they are more common in women. In fact, almost half of all women experience at least one bladder infection in their lives.
This is mainly due to the location of the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder. In women, the urethra is shorter and located closer to the anus, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder.
While antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat bladder infections, many natural remedies help too.
Read on for our top 5 natural remedies to fight bladder infections.
1. Drink More Water
A great way to fight a bladder infection is to drink plenty of water.
Not only will the extra water help to flush bacteria out of the bladder by making you pee more, but it will also dilute the urine. This dilution helps to relieve the pain experienced when urinating.
In a 2003 study of 141 girls, for example, it was reported that low water intake and infrequent urination were directly linked to recurrent UTIs.
The bottom line, stay hydrated. In addition to a regular intake of water improving overall health and wellness, water also helps to flush bacteria from the urinary tract.
2. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
As well as hydrating with water, unsweetened cranberry juice is also thought to help prevent bladder infections. Cranberry properties are believed to make it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to the urinary tract walls, thereby lowering the risk of bladder infections.
In a 2008 study, women who suffered from recurring UTIs were given a 240ml drink of cranberry juice consecutively for 24 weeks. Compared to the control group, the women who drank daily cranberry juice reported fewer UTI recurrences.
When it comes to using cranberry juice for treating bladder infections, it is important to remember that it is a preventative method, as opposed to a treatment. Additionally, the benefits will only be felt by using unsweetened cranberry juice.
3. Take D-Mannose
Natural supplements are proving to be incredibly successful in not only treating bladder infections but preventing them too.
D-Mannose, for example, is a type of sugar found in cranberries known to protect the urinary tract walls from unhealthy bacteria.
Researchers believe that while in the urinary tract D-Mannose can attach itself to unhealthy bacteria such as E. coli, thereby preventing the bacteria from adhering to healthy cells and causing infection.
When taken with plenty of water, it also flushes bacteria from the urinary tract.
In a 2013 study, 308 women who suffered from frequent UTIs were given a regular dose of D-Mannose. When evaluated after six months, it was found that D-Mannose worked just as well as antibiotics for treating, as well as preventing recurring infections.
4. Re-balancing Probiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms that help to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut and improve immune function.
Naturally found in fermented foods and yogurts, they can also be taken in supplement form for those who dislike the odor or texture of fermented foods.
When taken as a supplement to fight bladder infections, probiotics help to eliminate bacteria in the urinary tract.
They also restore gut bacteria that can become unbalanced from antibiotic treatments, which are commonly prescribed to treat severe bladder infections.
To further support urinary tract health, Intimate Rose has added cranberry and D-Mannose in its probiotic formula Flora Bloom Probiotics for Women.
5. Healthy Habits for Prevention
To prevent bladder infections, try incorporating the following healthy habits into your bathroom and hygiene routines.
Don’t hold your pee for too long. Go when you need to. Holding it can lead to a buildup of bacteria in the urinary tract, which inevitably leads to infection.
Remember to pee after sexual intercourse to flush any bacteria.
When using the bathroom, always wipe from back to front to avoid spreading bacteria from the anus to the urinary tract.
Bladder infections can be painful, irritating, and often recurring in over 50 percent of women. While doctors may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection, natural remedies are also proving successful.
Staying hydrated, using natural supplements, and practicing good hygiene habits are just some of the natural ways to reduce the risk of infection, as well as prevent repeat infections.
Silvio Altarac & Dino Papeš - Use of d-mannose in prophylaxis of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women - https://bjui-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bju.12492
L Domenici , M Monti, C Bracchi, M Giorgini, V Colagiovanni, L Muzii, P Benedetti Panici - D-mannose: a promising support for acute urinary tract infections in women. A pilot study - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27424995/
Lactobacillus for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in women: meta-analysis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23433130/