Urinary tract infections are one of the most frequent bacterial infections that plague women, accounting for nearly 25% of all infections, according to research. If left untreated, these troublesome infections can lead to cognitive dysfunction. About 30% of older people with UTIs develop delirium, and infections account for about half of delirium cases, says The Washington Post.
And experts say that delirium is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, so people suffering from bouts of confusion should seek medical advice to see if the underlying cause is a UTI.
While a round of antibiotics is the usual treatment for these infections, there are some traditional approaches that have been successful.
• Stay well hydrated. According to Medical News Today, drinking water can help prevent UTI’s. This helps the urinary tact remove waste from the body while maintaining nutrients and electrolytes. General recommendations for adults include consuming six to eight eight-ounce glasses daily.
• Urinate frequently. Urinating as soon as possible when the urge strikes can help prevent and treat UTI’s. This helps reduce the accumulation of bacteria in the urinary tract and flushes them away.
• Drink cranberry juice. Drinking cranberry juice has long been a mythical prevention strategy for women who tend to develop UTIs. Recently, a global study looking at the benefits of cranberry products published in the Cochrane Reviews determined cranberry juice and its supplements do reduce the risk of repeat symptomatic UTIs in women by more than a quarter. According to a news release from Flinders University in Australia, cranberries further slashed the risk of repeat UTIs in children by half and in people susceptible to UTI following medical interventions by about 53%. However, the benefits vary from person to person.
• Use probiotics. Beneficial bacteria such as probiotics can help keep the urinary tract healthy. The probiotics in the Lactobacillus group may also help reduce antibiotic resistance. Some examples include yogurt, kefir, some types of cheese and sauerkraut. You can also take probiotic supplements.
• Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant boosts the immune system and reacts with nitrates in urine to form nitrogen oxides that kill bacteria. Taking vitamin C along with cranberry supplements has been shown to be a safe, effective way to treat recurrent UTIs according to a 2016 study. The recommended daily dose for adult females is at least 75 milligrams daily, while males require 90 milligrams.
• Practice good bathroom and sexual hygiene. UTIs can develop when bacteria from the rectum access the urethra and travel up the urinary tract into other organs. To prevent contamination, always wipe from front to back after urinating, say experts. Urinating and washing the genitals before and after sexual intercourse can help reduce the risk of UTIs, says Medical News Today.
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