Many women suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs) every year. But many of them don’t know how long it takes for a UTI to go away without antibiotics.
Women usually have no idea if they have a UTI or not, so they often ignore the symptoms and take antibiotics unnecessarily. This leads to antibiotic resistance and other problems in the future, because most people get frequent UTIs when growing up.
The answer is simple – use cranberry extract as prevention against recurring UTIs, but also for fast relief from an acute infection.
Facts surrounding UTIs
If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know how unpleasant they can be, and the most difficult part is waiting for them to go away.
UTIs are more common than most people realize—it’s estimated that nearly 50% of women will have one at some point in their lives.
That adds up to around 40 million cases of UTIs in the U.S. and 15 million cases within the UK each year.
Therefore, as a woman, it’s very likely that at some point in your life a UTI might strike—and they can be tough to get rid of without antibiotics.
What is a UTI?
UTIs are caused when bacteria make their way from the rectum or vagina up to the bladder where they can multiply and cause pain, burning and a frequent need to urinate.
While UTIs themselves are not life-threatening, antibiotics can greatly reduce your recovery time and discomfort, so it’s important that you start treatment as soon as possible.
The body has several natural defences against infection: our skin and saliva contain small amounts of bacteria, but these are usually kept in check by the immune system.
Our skin is especially effective against bacterial invasion because it’s a very good barrier to pathogens.
In other words, it’s difficult for bacteria to get from our skin into our bodies and cause problems.
This is why most UTIs occur when bacteria gets trapped somewhere it shouldn’t be, like the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body).
So what happens when these self-defences break down?
Then it’s up to your immune system to fight off the bacteria.
This is why UTIs are more common in women than men; because the female urethra is shorter it is easier for bacteria to travel up into the bladder.
This same difference can also make UTIs more likely in older women as well as anyone with a history of urinary tract infections or those who have weakened immune systems.
How long will a UTI last without antibiotics?
Many times a UTI will go away on its own. In fact, in several studies of women with UTI symptoms, 25% to 50% got better within a week — without antibiotics.
But unfortunately, it’s hard to predict how long it will take for your UTI to go away, and whether it will go away completely. And for many people, the symptoms are just too uncomfortable to wait and see.
Here we list some helpful and more importantly, natural remedies to treat your UTI.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can help your body fight infection naturally and relieve some of the discomforts until it goes away on its own.
Here are some tips for treating UTIs without antibiotics:
- Drink lots of water to flush bacteria out of your system
- Drinking Cranberry juice
- Garlic extract
- Ginger drinks
Drinking enough fluids is key to helping your body rid itself of the infection, but too much water can actually worsen symptoms (and potentially cause dangerous water intoxication ), so you’ll need to use common sense here.
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of drinking more water throughout the day, but if you’re sick with a UTI or vomiting or have diarrhea, it’s probably best to hold off until you feel better.
The exception is if your symptoms are mild—in that case, dehydration may be an issue and extra fluids would be a good idea.
There are some fluids that can help you fight a UTI, though.
Cranberry juice contains a chemical called proanthocyanidin which prevents E. coli from sticking to the cells of your urinary tract and causing infection—this is why cranberry juice has been used as a folk remedy for bladder infections for centuries.
Some studies have found that cranberry juice can be just as effective as antibiotics when treating UTIs, and it’s safer and has fewer side effects. However, this is only the case with fresh (not canned) or pure cranberry juice —other fruit juices don’t have the same protective properties.
Cranberry juice is the safest and best option if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, so it’s definitely worth giving a try if that’s the case. However, when in doubt honey is always your best bet because it has additional benefits—just make sure to use raw local honey to get the most benefits!
Garlic is another natural antimicrobial that can help fight bacteria in your urinary tract. A 2012 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that garlic extract was able to inhibit multiple strains of E. coli, one of the most common causes of UTIs, and showed no signs of toxicity or mutagenicity (which means it didn’t cause harmful genetic changes).
Garlic has also shown potential benefits for preventing kidney stones, which are another possible complication of UTIs.
If you haven’t noticed, antibiotics aren’t the only antimicrobial substances out there.
If you have access to fresh or powdered garlic cloves or garlic oil capsules, adding it to your diet can help fight off the infection naturally without having side effects, but supplements work just as well. Take one 200mg capsule of garlic oil three times a day for a total of 600mg.
If you want to go the traditional route, make a tea out of 1 tsp. of dried or fresh rosemary and steep it in boiling water for 10 minutes. Let it cool down slightly, then drink as much as you need to get relief from your UTIs.
Ginger may also help with UTIs thanks to its antimicrobial effects, but the benefits of ginger drinks go beyond their ability to fight infections.
Ginger tea can also act as a diuretic, making it easier for your body to get rid of toxins and rehydrate itself. It has anti-inflammatory properties which is another big part of UTIs, and it has even been found to relax the muscles in your bladder which can help with discomfort.
Honey is another natural antimicrobial that can help you fight a UTI naturally, but this one brings an additional benefit—it also acts as a cough suppressant.
You may have noticed that many of these remedies for UTIs also have properties that can help with other symptoms, which is a great benefit if you’re looking for a more holistic treatment option.
Take 1 tsp of honey once or twice a day until your UTI clears up to get rid of your infection and the cough at the same time. Eating local raw honey, as opposed to processed honey in most grocery stores, has even more benefits.
There are many different remedies for UTIs, but this is probably the best one to use if you have a cough as well as an infection.
Honey can help suppress it while also having antibacterial properties that will fight the infection itself. If you’re only dealing with UTIs and no other symptoms, though, any of these remedies can help you get rid of your infection.
Remember, always talk to your doctor before trying any supplements or remedies for UTIs. They can help you find out what’s causing your infections and give you the best plan for treatment—it’s especially important if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
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