A UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) is an infection in any part of the urinary system.
The urinary system is responsible for filtering blood, eliminating waste from the body, creating urine, regulating blood pressure, adjusting blood volume, controlling electrolyte levels, regulating blood PH, and much more.
The urinary tract consists of the bladder, kidneys, renal pelvis, ureters, and urethra.
Image Credit - Freepik
In most cases, urinary tract infections originate when bacteria enter the urinary tract via the urethra and reproduce in the bladder.
Even though the urinary system is meant to keep such minuscule intruders out, these defenses do fail from time to time.
Bacteria may then enter the body and grow into a full-fledged infection in the urinary system if this occurs.
UTIs are most frequent in women and can potentially cause substantial damage to the bladder and urethra. However, they can also affect men. Studies have shown that a UTI is the second most common infection in the body. (1)
Therefore, it is crucial for patients to understand what a UTI is and how they can avoid it.
1. Symptoms Of A UTI
Patients may experience any or all of the following symptoms if they contract a UTI:
- Cloud or red urine
- Strong smelling urine discharge
- Increased frequency of urination
- The presence of blood in urinal discharge
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Lower abdominal, side, and back pain
2. Why Are UTI Symptoms Worse At Night?
You may be wondering- “Why do I only have UTI symptoms at night?”
Because urine flow is lowest at night or early in the morning, many patients with a urinary tract infection may experience worsened symptoms.
Reduced urination permits urine to accumulate in the bladder, increasing the risk of pain and discomfort.
Most patients tend to urinate less at night and so the urinal discharge and the bacterial load tend to become more concentrated at night than during the day.
However, there are numerous remedies that can help patients understand how to sleep with UTI discomfort.
Image credit - Freepik
3. How To Relieve UTI Pain - Effective Home Remedies
- Increase Water Intake
Water and other non-carbonated beverages can help dilute urine and eliminate bacteria from the urinary tract. Proper hydration can also help to keep developing bacteria at bay.
A key indicator of hydration levels to monitor when addressing a UTI should be to urinate at least every four hours and to observe clear or light yellow urine.
- Urinate Frequently
It is essential to completely empty your bladder to avoid the formation of bacteria, especially when dealing with a UTI. Patients may also find themselves wondering, “How to stop the need to pee with a UTI?”
However, frequently urinating is critical for ridding your bladder of dangerous bacteria and preventing the illness UTI from further progressing.
- Herbal Supplements and Vitamins
Herbal treatments haven't been proved to reduce the risk of developing or controlling a UTI, and not all have been studied for safety, so it's recommended to see a healthcare expert before trying any herbal therapies.
Some herbal supplements may have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial characteristics that can aid in the treatment of certain UTI symptoms.
Certain herbal supplements, such as garlic extract, have been proven to have some strong anti-inflammatory qualities and may ultimately help limit the development of bacteria.
While herbal remedies have not been proved to treat a UTI, they may help patients alleviate certain symptoms.
- Heating Pads
Placing a heated heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower stomach might help relieve abdominal and low back discomfort or cramps that may accompany a urinary tract infection.
4. Foods That Can Help With A UTI
Image Credit - Freepik
The following foods can help you in the presence of a UTI:
- Fish Oil Supplements
- Greek yogurt, pickles, and other probiotic-rich foods
- Whole grains, bananas, and other high fiber foods
5. How To Prevent A UTI
- Maintain Personal Hygiene
Because the rectum is a primary source of E.coli, it is essential for patients to clean their genitals from front to back after using the restroom. This practice reduces the chance of E.coli spreading from the anus to the urethra.
This is especially crucial if you have diarrhoea. Diarrhoea can make it difficult to regulate bowel motions, thus increasing the risk of E.coli spreading to the urethra.
- Wear Breathable Underwear
How to stop UTI pain? Ensure that you wear breathable underwear made from natural materials. Bacteria flourish in warm, damp conditions, thus avoiding synthetic, tight-fitting underwear can aid in infection prevention.
- Avoid Personal Hygiene Products With Fragrance
Highly scented bath and shower products, especially those marketed for genital application, can cause discomfort and may alter the normal protective pH of the vagina, leading to infections. (3)
These scented products may also significantly irritate the skin.
- Avoid Douching
Douching not only irritates the urethra but also alters the vagina's natural protective pH balance and natural bacteria. This might put you at risk for both a UTI and several other vaginal infections.
- Urinating After Sexual Intercourse
Urinating after sexual intercourse may aid in the removal of bacteria from the urethra, hence reducing the risk of a urinary tract infection. It may be especially beneficial for women and those who are more susceptible to UTIs.
Contracting a UTI can be an extremely uncomfortable and painful ordeal.
A UTI has several symptoms such as fatigue, fever, increased urine frequency, and much more. Symptoms of urinary tract infections tend to feel worse at night and patients may be wondering, “How to manage UTI pain?”
Patients should carefully monitor symptoms, try home remedies, consume foods that may reduce or negate symptoms and bacterial buildup and practice preventative measures.