Kidneys are body’s natural filters to rid the body of germs, bacteria, waste, and toxic substances etc, as well as returning vitamins, amino acids, glucose, hormones, and other vital substances into the bloodstream. Sometimes germs and bacteria get into the urethra (the tube where urine comes out), stick to its walls, grow, and cause urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Though the occurrence of urinary tract infections is more common in women because they have a shorter urethra which makes it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder, men can also get it.
- Those suffering from such types of infections may experience varied symptoms:
- pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- a need to urinate more often
- back pain, pain in the lower abdomen (tummy) etc.
- cloudy or blood-tinged urine and a strong urine odour
- 80 percent of all urinary tract infections occur in women, whereas 30 percent of women with such infections will have recurrences.1
- Some useful tips to avoid urinary tract infections:
- plenty of fluids should be consumed to avoid dehydration and help clear bacteria from urinary tract
- rather than holding urine, it is better to urinate as soon as the urge arises.
- practice good hygiene, wash genitals properly
- empty bladder after intercourse
- Many studies suggest that cranberry may help prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberries contain compounds that may stop certain bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract wall. Similar effect can be achieved from other cranberry products, including cranberry juice and cranberry supplements. For those with diabetes or at-risk for diabetes, sugar-free options may be considered.
- Urinary tract infections sometimes require antibiotics and other medicines, consult your doctor if you have related symptoms.
Urinary tract infections can be very discomforting and painful, but right measures and lifestyle modification can prevent infections and its recurrence. Remember to choose your berries wisely (pun intended).
 Luís Â, Domingues F, Pereira L. Can Cranberries Contribute to Reduce the Incidence of Urinary Tract Infections? A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis of Clinical Trials. J Urol. 2017 Sep;198(3):614-621. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2017.03.078. Epub 2017 Mar 10. PMID: 28288837