The urinary tract includes the kidneys, bladder, urethra and ureters. When bacteria forms in the urethra and becomes over abundant anywhere along the urinary tract, an infection can occur. A urinary tract infection, also called a UTI, causes painful urination, the constant need to urinate and blood in the urine. It can also be accompanied with nausea and vomiting. Often, UTIs are treated with antibiotics, but there are some alternatives that can also be tried.
Clean up your diet. Various foods and beverages can irritate a UTI and should be avoided. These include chocolate, cheese, spicy foods, soda and any other beverages that have a fizz to them. Artificial sweeteners should also be avoided.
Get rid of bad habits. Some lifestyle habits can contribute to a UTI and they should be stopped or avoided. These include drinking alcohol, smoking and drinking caffeinated beverages.
Take Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help keep bacterial growth in check. You can get Vitamin C in supplement form or find it naturally in citrus fruits, tomatoes, cauliflower, kiwis and red peppers.
Drink some juice. Cranberry and blueberry juice have substances in them called proanthocyanidins, which help eliminate and prevent buildup of bacteria on the urinary tract walls. You can drink these juices by themselves or mix them with some apple juice if they are too tart.
Mix up some oils. Aromatherapy is an alternative approach that can help treat the symptoms of a urinary tract infection. Mix together some bergamot, juniper, fennel, frankincense and sandalwood. You can then massage it into your skin at the location of your bladder or put it into bath water and soak.
Drink water with baking soda. Water by itself helps flush the body of toxins, which makes it beneficial to a urinary tract infection. Adding baking soda can raise the acid/base of the urine to help keep the urine acidic. Add 1/2 tsp. of baking soda to 8 oz. of water and then drink.