Over 50 & Experiencing UTI’s?

**Daily steps that prevent them!

Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) occur when bacteria, from the skin or rectum, enters the urethra. Infections can happen in any part of the urinary tract, but bladder infections are most common.

As women age, the urethra and bladder tissues thin out and become drier, making them more susceptible to infection.   

Common UTI symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Pain or burning when urinating
  • Cloudy or dark urine
  • Urine with a strong odor
  • A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor, who likely will prescribe antibiotics. 

But….. there are some daily habits that will help reduce your risk of a painful UTI:

1)  Stay hydrated. 

Drinking plenty of liquids can decrease your risk of UTI’s by making you urinate more often, helping to remove bacteria from the urinary tract. 

2)  Increase vitamin C.

Ingesting more vitamin C may decrease your UTI risk by making your urine more acidic, thus killing infection causing bacteria. 

3)  Drink unsweetened cranberry juice. 

Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for UTIs.  Cranberries work by helping to prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.

4)  Take probiotics.

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that can promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.  They are available in supplement form or can be found in fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and probiotic yogurt.  Some studies have shown that probiotics may reduce the risk of UTIs. These studies have involved the use of oral and vaginally administered probiotics, as well as different probiotic strains.

In addition, antibiotics, the main line of defense against UTIs, can disturb the levels of good and bad gut bacteria. Probiotics may be beneficial in restoring gut bacteria after antibiotic treatment.

5)  Practice good hygiene.

Do not hold your urine for a long time.  This leads to a buildup of bacteria.  Also, urinating after intercourse is recommended to prevent the spread of bacteria.  And we all know…. wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from spreading to the urinary tract. 

6)  Natural supplements.

There are some natural supplements that may reduce the risk of UTIs.  Here are three supplements in capsule form:

  • D-mannose – a type of sugar found in cranberries. 
  • Cranberry extract – like cranberry juice, this works by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract. 
  • Garlic extract – research shows garlic and garlic extract have antimicrobial properties and may block the growth of bacteria, preventing UTIs. 

Source:  K.Watson/A.Sontos-Longhurst, Healthline, Dec. 13, 2022

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