Urinary tract infection or UTI is characterized by any infection that occurs within the urinary tract, which affects the kidneys, ureter, urinary bladder, and urethra. Any infection within these four organs is considered a UTI. It can be from various causes, but the effects of the infection are similar no matter what causes it. These symptoms include painful urination, foul urine smell, burning sensation when urinating, painful pelvic area, painful lower back are, fever, chills, and even blood in the urine. In a urinalysis or laboratory urine test, the pus or white blood cells in the urine sample are higher than normal and bacteria or viruses are found in the sample.
There are various treatments for the medical problem, but most of them are strong antibiotics. There are antibiotics used for most infections, and there are others formulated especially for UTI. Antibiotics for most infections include penicillins, cephalosphorins, and beta-lactam antibiotics. For UTI alone, antibiotics include nitrofurantoin, fosfomycin, and doripenem. All these drugs have side effects and they may not be very good to use for long-term treatment. Although most antibiotics are only used for seven days, there are still adverse effects brought about by taking these drugs.
If you don’t want to buy these drugs, if you’d prefer natural treatments, or if you’re allergic to antibiotics, you might want to use some over-the-counter drugs that are especially designed for UTI. They may be feminine in design and addressed to women, but men can also use them. Since women are a lot more prone to UTI because of the short urethra and closeness of the urethra to the outside environment where a lot of bacteria dwell, most UTI treatments are designed and marketed for female use.
Some of these over-the-counter drugs include phenazopyridine and cystex. Phenazopyridine is an analgesic that has excellent pain-relieving effects to the urinary bladder and the other urinary tract organs. The drug alleviates discomfort, irritation, pain, and other symptoms that are associated with urinary tract infections. The side effects of this drug include the discoloration of the urine, usually to orange-red colors, and the discoloration of contact lenses. Headaches, stomachaches, and dizziness are other minor side effects of the drug. The drug should not be taken for more than two days, or else it may create toxicity in the body.
Cystex is both a pain-relieving drug and an anti-bacterial medication. The manufacturer claims that the drug has a dual-action formula that effectively eases the pain of urinary infections by incorporating salicylic acid, which acts as an analgesic. It also eliminates bacteria using the anti-bacterial chemical methenamine. It is very good for recurrent UTI.
But if you don’t want to use medications, there are always natural treatments that you can use to cure or at least reduce the effects of UTI to your body. Cranberry juice is a well-known effective home remedy for most urinary problems. Water is also the best cleanser for the body, and drinking as much as 15 glasses a day can help eliminate the bacteria in the urinary tract and wash away other bacteria and impurities in the body.
Coconut milk is also an excellent diuretic that allows an individual to frequently go to the bathroom. This effectively washes away most bacteria and relieves the pain in the urinary tract, allowing the improvement of the urinary tract’s condition and gradually eliminating UTI.
If you have mild UTI, you can just use these over-the-counter or natural remedies to cure your illness. You don’t have to visit a doctor anymore. But it is still advisable especially if you have other medical conditions or if you’re pregnant. Remember that UTI may be signs of other conditions, and self-medication is never advisable under any conditions.