Bladder Infections: Warning Signs and Natural Prevention
According to the National Institutes of Health, bladder infections are the second most common type of infection in the body. They are the reason for nearly 8.1 million doctor visits each year. Due to the female anatomy of the bladder, women are much more prone to bladder infections than men. Bladder infections can be quite uncomfortable and highly disruptive to your everyday life. It is important that you recognize the warning signs of a bladder infection so that you can seek treatment promptly. Call your physician if you experience the following:
- Blood in the urine
- Burning/pain with urination
- Urinating more frequently
- Intense urge to urinate
Time is of the essence if you are suffering from a bladder infection, as it can quickly progress to compromise the kidneys.
Natural Ways to Prevent Bladder Infections
Fortunately, there are some very easy steps you can take to keep your bladder healthy and avoid disruptive infections. Consider adding these natural remedies for bladder infection prevention to your lifestyle:
Are you drinking enough water? You should be drinking one-half your body weight in ounces of water every single day. This supports your overall body function but also works to flush out bacterial toxins from your bladder that could trigger an infection. Dehydration is a primary reason for bladder infections.
Consider Your Berries
Cranberries have long been associated with controlling bladder infections. The potent sugars (d-mannose) found in cranberry juice have the ability to support healthy bladder cells. If you don’t like to drink it, you can choose a cranberry supplement; 800 mg per day is typically sufficient. There is another berry that aids in bladder health – blueberries! Blueberries have flavonoids as well as d-mannose, which are nutrients that your bladder can use to fight off harmful bacteria.
Lower Your Stress Level
When stress hormones are raging, your body’s immunity is compromised. This can make you more susceptible to any type of infection, including bladder infections.
Decrease Sugar Intake
Sugar is another culprit that suppresses your natural immunity. High blood glucose levels have been known to increase the risk of a UTI. In fact, some diabetics battle frequent bladder infections because their bladder doesn’t empty as well as it should, causing the bacteria to linger and breed instead of being flushed out.
Urinate After Sex
A woman’s urinary opening is very close in proximity to the vaginal opening. Therefore, it is important to urinate immediately after sex to ensure the extra bacteria is washed away.
Wear Cotton Underwear
You may have to sacrifice your fancy panties for underwear that is more breathable. Cotton underwear and loose clothing are key to preventing trapped heat and moisture, which fosters bacteria growth.
Do you battle frequent bladder infections? Schedule an appointment with one of our leading physicians at North Pointe OB/GYN. We treat all types of bladder concerns, including UTI’s, urinary continence and much more.