What foods help in preventing a UTI?
Foods and drinks high in antioxidants and with a slight acidic taste can help keep everything in check. These foods include cranberries, blueberries, oranges, dark chocolate, unsweetened probiotic yogurt, tomatoes, broccoli and spinach. Smart drink choices are decaf coffee; cranberry, blueberry, or pomegranate juices; and black and green tea. Of course, plenty of water is also essential when fighting off a UTI.
UTIs, or urinary tract infections, are actually fairly easy to control and/or avoid with a balanced diet. In fact, your diet is often the first place you should look to improve when trying to increase your overall health. Not only food, but also the beverages you drink have a heavy influence on bladder health and UTI contractions.
What is a UTI and its causes?
Urinary tract infections are among the most common bacterial infections in adults and may involve the lower or upper urinary tract or both. Asymptomatic bacteriuria refers to considerable bacteria in the urine of woman without symptoms. When the infection is limited to the lower urinary tract and occurs with symptoms of dysuria and frequent and urgent urination and, occasionally, tenderness above the pubic, it is termed cystitis.
During sex, the bacteria near the vagina can get into the urethra from contact with the penis, fingers or stimulating devices.
- The most common sign of a UTI is a strong urgency to urinate.
- Dysuria is when sharp pains or burning is felt when urinating.
- The urge to urinate returns minutes later (frequency).
- Soreness may be felt in the lower abdomen, in the back or in the sides.If you notice a strong odor, cloudy urine or even blood presence, you should walk-in to the GYN Emergent Care Center for immediate care.
If bacteria enters the ureters and spreads to the kidneys, symptoms may include back pain, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting.
What happens when a UTI is untreated?
If the infection moves up the urethra, they may cause a bladder infection (called cystitis). Bacteria that have infected the bladder may travel to the upper urinary tract, the ureters and the kidneys. An infection of the kidneys is called pyelonephritis. An upper urinary tract infection may cause a more severe illness than a lower urinary tract infection.
Prevention: Probiotic Foods
Probiotics offer beneficial bacteria. What are probiotic foods?
- Yogurt – Milk, fermented by good bacteria
- Kefir – Fermented probiotic milk drink
- Sauerkraut – Finely shredd cabbage, fermented by lactic acid bacteria
- Tempeh – Fermented soybean product
- Kimchi – Fermented, spicy Korean side dish
- Miso – Japaneses seasoning
- Kombucha – Fermented green or black tea drink
- Pickles – Pickled cucumbers, soaked in a water and salt solution
- Traditional Buttermilk – Fermented dairy drink
- Natto – Fermented soy bean product
- Some types of cheeses – Gouda, mozzarella, cheddar and cottage cheese
How to choose a probiotic supplement?
Probiotics can have specific benefits.
- Lactobacillus benefits:
- Vaginal Health
- Preventing Diarrhea/GI Support
- Brain Health
- Bifidobacterium benefits:
- Brain Function
- Preventing Constipation/GI Support
- Streptococcus benefits:
- Skin support