The Main Squeeze: Can Fruit Juice Cure Your Urinary Tract Infection?
Are you experiencing a persistent need to use the facilities? What about a burning sensation when you urinate? These may be symptoms of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – an infection that targets the urinary system, whether it be the bladder, kidneys, or urethra. Other commonly reported symptoms are cloudy, red or strong-smelling urine, and pelvic pain. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 1 in 5 women have dealt with this discomfort at some point in their lifetime.
While men can also encounter these uncomfortable infections, a woman’s anatomy makes her more susceptible to them. A compacted urethra means that bacteria can travel a significantly shorter distance to reach, and infect, the bladder. Certain modes of birth control – while great as a safety measure – can leave a woman more prone to developing a UTI; spermicidal agents in particular can cause an upset in vaginal flora and pH levels. Menopause, the inevitable “change of life” can also cause fluctuations in estrogen which can exacerbate urinary issues.
But just because you have that extra X chromosome, don’t assume you’re doomed for a life plagued by UTIs. A reputable urologist can recommend a variety of ways to limit the occurrence of these pesky problems. One long-standing question surrounding UTIs has been whether or not fruit juice – the cranberry variety in particular, can cure this infection. The reality is that we should never self-diagnose. It has been proven that there’s an active ingredient in the cranberry that can prevent bacteria (such as E. coli) from clinging to a patient’s bladder wall; however, most people can’t consume a significant enough amount to ward off these microbes.3 So, rather than chugging cranberry juice, and stocking your medicine cabinet with cranberry capsules – seek the advice of a specialist. Most UTIs can be treated quickly with the use of an antibiotic prescribed by your Urologist.
If it seems that you’re prone to having UTIs pop up, you may want to try practicing preventive care. One way to flush toxins out of your system is by drinking plenty of water. In addition to diluting your urine, this practice promotes a constant flow of urine through the tract & will keep bacteria at bay. Are you practicing your best bathroom hygiene? While we all learn the proper way to use the facilities as children, it never hurts to have a refresher course. For instance, you must wipe front to back to prevent the transfer of bowel bacteria into the bladder, and always listen to your body. If you feel as though your birth control method is causing recurrent UTIs, try something that is devoid of spermicidal agents that can cause irritation in the urethra.
If you’re experiencing frequent pelvic pain, or any of the aforementioned symptoms – don’t hold it in. The knowledgeable staff at Urologic Surgeons of Arizona will offer the advice and treatment you need to prevent future UTI occurrences and cure existing issues. For more information, contact their office at 480-409-5060.