What? Never heard of it? Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is not the exclusive domain of women. Everyone suffers from it one time or other.
I don’t know what it is, but the three friends I chatted with last week all had varying stages of UTI or the dreaded Urinary Tract Infection. The weather was partially responsible for the frequent “urge” and there were other issues, too.
So I figured, why not kick this week off with a health post!
By the way, the post title is totally inspired by the creative folks I live with. They love to pun. Even bad puns. Like you know ur-ine trouble when you want go once too often for your comfort.
Okay, let’s get serious now.
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI symptoms
If you’ve ever suffered from a Urinary Tract Infections or UTI, you know what that feels like – pretty much awful, and world-please-leave-me-alone!
The worst part is, there’s no way to stop it happening again, or even knowing what the heck triggers it. All you know is you don’t want it. Ever. That constant need to visit the washroom is annoying and as if that weren’t enough, you have to put up with the burning and pain down there, sometimes with cramps, maybe fever and utter fatigue to top it all off.
UTI symptoms are usually burning when you pass urine, increased frequency of going to the washroom but actually passing very little urine, urine that appears bloody or cloudy or just dark, urine that smells, pain in the pelvis for women and rectal pain for men.
UTI happens when bacteria get in the urinary tract. This causes the irritation and painful urination, often with cramps.
No need to get pissed off, though (sorry, I just had to!) You really don’t have to suffer in silence. Because…
You can protect yourself from UTI
Prevention is not in your hands, but protection is. How can you minimize your chances of getting a UTI and if you do start one, ease the symptoms?
- Don’t wear those painted-on-skin pants. Yes, yes, you have a cute butt, but you’ll have to shelve that cuteness for a bit because UTI is definitely not cute. You want your lady parts to breathe. And stock up on cotton underwear, rather than synthetic. I really don’t have to say it, but I’ll say it anyway – wear a fresh one every day.
- Diffrn’t strokes for diffr’nt folks, I know, but during that time of the month, opt for pads over tampons. Tampons are known to increase the risk of UTI. Pads mean fewer infections. Change it often, as in every time you visit that washroom.
- Stay away from perfumed douches. Yes, also the real kind,ha ha. So maybe you’re thinking about smelling good, but believe me, UTI does NOT smell good. And no perfumed powders or sprays either.
- Love bath tubs? I’ve been dreaming of lying in one for years. Never have, though. When we think bath tubs, we think “relaxing” But it is also an invitation to bacteria to relax right along with us. A shower is a better idea.
- Hygiene is supreme.Wash your anus and genitals thoroughly before and after sex. Also, experts advise urinating before and after. Imagine running off to take an emergency break right in the middle of….you know what I mean!
- Wipe front to back to avoid dragging bacteria from the anus to the genitals.
- Stay hydrated with lots of fluids. This keeps you healthy and keeps many health problems at bay, and that includes UTI. Water is an easy choice. Some people say cranberry juice is good for UTI, but don’t touch it if you have kidney stones or taking blood thinners. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and acidic fruit juices if you feel the symptoms, as these can make it worse.
- Wearing a diaphragm? It is known to raise your risk for UTI. The not quite empty bladder is a party place for bacteria.
- Need to go? GO! Don’t delay.
- Taking antibiotics for a chronic problem? Go the full course. There’s a reason why there’s a prescription for these. You just follow it.
So you’re already suffering from UTI. What to do?
Some helpful tips to ease UTI symptoms:
- Avoid citrusy and caffeinated soda, lemons, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes, apples, peaches, plums, strawberries, pineapples. These make UTI worse.
- Stay away from spicy foods and artificial sweeteners.
- Get enough vitamin C to fight the bacteria in your urinary tract
- Consume yogurt. The probiotics in this has good bacteria that can fight the bad bacteria causing the UTI. Yogurt not part of your diet? Take probiotic supplements.
- Use a heating pad around the pubic area to relieve the pain and irritation – just for 15 minutes, no more.
- Half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water is known to relieve the burning sensation.
- Eat healthy. Choose fiber-rich carbs and healthy fats.
- As I said earlier, when you have to go, GO. And when you’re at it, lean forward a little when you think you’re done so you do a good job of emptying that bladder. I learned this when I was pregnant.
Fortunately, UTI is not life-threatening. But you don’t want to ignore it hoping it will go away and make it worse. Most times, the body fights the infection and relieves it, but if the symptoms persist, you must see your doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics and topical creams.
Was this helpful to you? Got a tip to add? Please tell me in the comments and I’ll add it to the post as user contributions and credit you. Thanks!
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