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How to stop a UTI from progressing

By Karen Taylor ; Updated July 27, 2017

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) include a strong, constant urge to urinate, urinating frequently but small amounts, burning sensation when urinating and possibly blood in the urine. Pelvic pressure, fever, chills, nausea and lower abdomen discomfort may also occur. Sometimes you can clear up your UTI at home and stop it from progressing to the point where you need to take a course of antibiotics.

Relieve the symptoms. Phenazopyridine is a common ingredient in over the counter UTI medications. These medications help treat painful burning, but they do not cure the infection. Some may turn your urine an orange or red color. Check the box and consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage. Don’t take over the counter medications for more than 2 days. They may cause headaches and stomach issues and may not be appropriate for patients with other health issues.

Stay hydrated. Drink water or clear liquids to help flush the infection out of the bladder. According to DeepFitness.com, you may need to drink up to a gallon a day to totally flush the infection out. Cranberry juice, widely known as a folk remedy for treating UTIs, acts like a natural antibiotic. Try to find cranberry juice without the added sweeteners. According to Carol J. Mulvihill, unsweetened cranberry juice helps prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. Blueberry juice also has similar properties.

Avoid irritating the bladder. Limit your intake of alcohol, citrus and drinks with caffeine. Citrus drinks may also create an alkaline environment in the bladder, which only encourages bacterial growth. If you feel the urge to urinate, do so as soon as possible. “Holding it” will only increase your chances of further developing a UTI.

Stay comfortable. Keep your genital area clean to prevent additional bacteria from growing. Wearing loose clothes will also help prevent the spread of infection. Females should also avoid tampons, bubble baths and hygiene sprays.

Give natural supplements a try. If you find the cranberry juice too tart, try taking it in pill form. Garlic supplements also have an antibacterial effect, according to DeepFitness.com.

Tip

See a doctor if you symptoms do not subside after 1 week. Other conditions, including several sexually transmitted diseases, can have similar symptoms as a UTI. Delaying antibiotic treatment can result in the UTI becoming worse and spreading to the kidneys. Many pharmacies will sell test trips to help you determine if you have a UTI.

Warnings

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should not drink cranberry juice if you're taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin as there could be possible interactions. Call your doctor if you experience shortness of breath, confusion or blueish skin. Hospitalization and treatment with intravenous antibiotics may be necessary for severe infections.

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