How to Treat Your UTI the Natural Way
If you’re a woman, chances are you’ve already had a urinary tract infection (UTI), or will have one at some point in your life. They’re common infections that occur when bacteria enter your urinary system. In most cases, E. coli is the culprit as it transfers from the anus to the urethra. Although they can affect men, women are more at risk of getting UTIs, especially those who are sexually active and post-menopausal. But whoever you are, and whatever stage you’re at in life, the resulting inflammation from a UTI can wreak havoc not only on your body but on your life.
Symptoms of a UTI
If you know what to look for, you’ll have an easier time managing your UTI and preventing it from turning into something more serious. If it hurts, burns or stings when you pee, this could be your first sign of a UTI. If you can’t hold it in, feel like you constantly have to pee, or have discolored or smelly urine, these could also be further signs. Beyond looking for signs in your urine, a UTI can also cause pain in and around your bladder, fever, and extreme fatigue. If any of these sound familiar, you may be suffering from a UTI.
Natural Remedies for a UTI
Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics to women with UTIs. However, there are several natural things you can do right now that may prove just as effective. First, drink lots of fluids. This can help remove the bacteria that are causing the inflammation. Second, reassess your diet. You want to avoid foods that are high in sugars and carbohydrates because they feed the bacteria, as well as foods that are acidifying. Instead, try alkaline-forming foods, such as berries or broccoli. Some berries, like blueberries, also contain mannose, which acidifies urine. This may cause more pain in the short-term, but can actually help prevent bacteria from sticking to any part of your urinary system, and improve your condition in the long run. Garlic and onion are also your friends as you manage your symptoms, as are supplements of Vitamin A and probiotics. But I still haven’t told you my preferred treatment of UTIs, and the one that I have seen to be highly effective: grapefruit seed extract.
The Benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract
Next time you eat a grapefruit, make sure you don’t throw away the seeds. Those seeds, especially as grapefruit seed extract (GSE), are a powerhouse of health benefits. If you don’t have access to seeds, the supplement is also available online through major sellers such as Amazon. GSE can help not only in your UTI treatment but with everything from earaches and throat infections, to candida and diarrhea. How? Because it contains elements that are antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral all at once.
With candida, for instance, GSE helps kill the yeast cells that have overgrown in your body. Similarly, with fungal infections, such as Histoplasmosis, GSE can help fight infection by making the immune system stronger. GSE applied two to three times a day to the affected area can also help treat athlete’s foot, or applied twice a day to toenails to treat fungus. GSE has also been known to treat imbalances in your gut bacteria, and even as a general antimicrobial. You’ll find GSE in many of your common pharmaceutical products, including toothpaste and ear drops because it is adept at removing bacteria that shouldn’t be there.
Back to UTIs, research has found GSE to be extremely effective at killing UTIs, even those that were resistant to antibiotics. In a 2005 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, scientists found that grapefruit seeds were extremely successful at killing UTIs that were resistant to antibiotics. The study examined a group of patients who were given grapefruit seeds orally. By ingesting five to six grapefruit seeds every eight hours for two weeks, all but one patient in the trial had been treated. The patient who was the exception, however, did see a reversal of a previous resistance to antibiotics after taking grapefruit seed. Although a small study, it still points to the effectiveness of grapefruit seeds in achieving comparable, if not better, results than antibiotics.
If you’ve suffered from a UTI, share your story below and let us know what worked for you!