How to reduce recurrent cystitis and UTI's
by N J Howell
Natural UTI Remedy
This is part of our series on women's health and how to reduce your risk of a UTI. Of course, the biggest tip is worth repeating ... be sure, when you go to the bathroom, that you always wipe from front to back. Otherwise, the risk of bringing harmful bacteria from the back to the front increases drastically and may contribute to recurrent cystitis or UTI. Now, let's look at some more helpful tips for the woman suffering with a recurrent pattern of urinary problems.
Preventing UTI's could be as simple as answering nature's call in a timely manner. Do you go when you need to go? You know who you are. There you are at the desk, typing away and you know you need to go to the bathroom but you have just one more page to finish or one more call to make or one more thing to do for one of your children .... don't put off urinating when you need to do so because nature made us in a wonderful way so that the very act of urination helps to flush out bacteria that may be accumulating in the urinary tract and could develop into infection. Holding it in is not good for your health.
What to rule out if you have recurring infections: If you are having chronic reinfections of the bladder or urinary tract, rule out kidney stones which may sometimes cause the bladder not to empty fully. Also rule out interstitial cystitis, which is a more serious condition. Interstitial cystitis has some of the same symptoms as regular UTI or cystitis, such as frequent urination. However, the frequency may be quite extreme, needing to urinate as often as every few minutes, strong smelling urine, and/or pain as the bladder fills up, which relieves as the bladder empties. In addition, suspect this more serious form of infection if you have trouble getting your urine to start at all or experience excessive urination at night.
Do you drink enough water? I'm one of those that harps on adequate fluid intake, to help the body in almost every situation except edema. Most people I know do not drink enough water. How much is enough? Well, that's debatable but there is a good test to see if you drink enough water for your body's needs ... if you drink water only when you've become consciously aware of being thirsty, then you are probably dehydrated to some extent every day. An active signal of thirst is the body's way of telling you that dehydration has already set in. . I personally recommend drinking alkaline water for about 1/2 of your daily intake.
Most people drink coffee, diet sodas, tea or other liquids a lot more than they drink pure water. These do not serve the same purpose and our body does not process them the same way as water. A good rule of thumb is the old half your weight rule. In other words, if there are no medical contraindications to doing so, a person should consume half their weight in water per day. What does this have to do with recurrent UTI's and chronic cystitis? I firmly believe that a dehydrated body is a compromised system. Drinking adequate fluids on a regular basis may not ward off these infections but I believe the body has an easier time dealing with them and also an easier time avoiding them if adequately supplied with water.
Health Disclaimer: The information within this educational article on urinary health is not intended to take the place of medical attention that may also be warranted. In particular, if you are pregnant and suspsect you may be developing a UTI or cystitis, it's important to consult with your obstetrician asap to avoid complications and greater discomfort with the pregnancy.