Will beer help a uti?

How Your Diet Can Help You Prevent UTIs

Foods that can put you at risk of a UTI

Repeat UTIs can leave you feeling hopeless. Sometimes it feels like you’re doing everything right, and you still can’t stay out of the doctors.
It might be time to think about your diet as a possible accomplice in the problem. Did you know that the foods you eat can play a big role in staving off UTIs?
According to Uqora scientific advisor Dr. Payal Bhandari, certain foods increase acidity in your urinary tract. When the natural pH of the bladder becomes more acidic, unhealthy bacteria normally in the bladder have the opportunity to overgrow. Sometimes this can lead or contribute to an infection.
Sugar is a huge culprit. If you’re suffering from repeat urinary tract infection, try cutting way back on sugar and artificial sweeteners. We’re considering sugar everything from processed white sugar, to honey and agave, all the way down the line to aspartame. This can be hard because sugar sneaks its way into just about everything. Check the nutrition labels because you can find sugar in everything from crackers to protein bars.
In addition to sugar, put these foods on the do-not-fly list when you’re having a hard time avoiding UTIs:

  • Alcohol
  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Caffeine, which decreases the blood flow to the bladder, making it more difficult for your immune system to shut down infections
  • Corn, and corn-fed animals (including fish)
  • Potatoes, wheat, and rice, which break down to sugar in your body

It might seem like we’ve just ruled out all of the joy in this world, but there are still plenty of meals you can make while staying in the clear. Here are a few of our favorite recipes from around the web that won’t give bacteria the leg up it needs; just be sure to buy meat that has not been corn-fed (this guide might help).

  • Glowing spiced lentil soup
  • Sizzling chicken fajitas
  • Lasagna stuffed peppers

Diet tips for cystitis

Why is diet important?

Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder, and this inflammation is more often than not caused by an infection in the bladder. For many people this infection can be recurring and difficult to shift – and for some, cystitis can occur without any infection at all! Such as in the case of interstitial cystitis.

Many people suffering from recurring cystitis or interstitial cystitis look for natural methods or lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce their chances of developing cystitis and ease symptoms – and diet is one of the most important factors to consider. You are what you eat!

Our diets are too often full of things which can irritate the bladder, cause inflammation or reduce our immune system and allow infection to take hold. Maintaining a generally healthy and balanced diet will help keep your body strong and more efficient at protecting itself from infection.

To help you out, I’ve got some tips of more specific things to focus on:

Eat and drink more…

This is one of the most important tips, so if you can’t do anything else, at least do this! Drinking more water helps dilute urine, meaning it is less concentrated and acidic, and therefore less likely to irritate the bladder. Nasty bacteria love stagnant urine, so drinking more water means that you empty you bladder more frequently, which means that bacteria don’t have time to multiply in the bladder.

Keeping hydrated also keeps the body in generally better condition, by helping the metabolism of energy from food, and the transport of nutrients around the body.

2. Complex carbohydrates

This includes brown bread, brown rice, wholemeal flour, quinoa, beans, and starchy, root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and parsnips.

Getting more fibre will help prevent and relieve constipation. Many complex carbohydrates are rich in fibre, so increasing these will help. In addition, try to add in some seeds and nuts: I recommend picking up a packet of milled flaxseed/linseed from your local health food store, as these can really easily be added to smoothies, cereal, yogurt and (healthy) home baking. Linwoods have a really great, varied range, with added seeds, nuts or fruit for extra nutrients.

3. Cranberry juice

This is a slightly tricky one, as cranberry juice is very slightly acidic in the body, so can sometimes irritate the bladder, and often contains added sugar; but researchers also think that it prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, which makes it difficult for an infection to grow there. If you want to try cranberry juice, make sure to buy fresh, not-from-concentrate juice such as Biotta’s Mountain Cranberry Juice. Why not read our blog for more on what the research says when it comes to Cranberry Juice for cystitis.

Alternatively, try our Cranberry Complex, a daily supplement which contains extracts of fresh cranberries, alongside other bladder-friendly herbs.

4. Fresh, green, leafy vegetables

Spinach, kale and broccoli are particularly good options. These are good for your whole body, are packed with vital nutrients and support the immune system – and obviously the immune system is vital when it comes to dealing with unfriendly bacteria.

5. Fresh fruit

Fruit is packed with vital vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that support your whole body and improve your immune function. Make sure to get in your 5 portions a day – and try to buy fresh fruit, not tinned, and organic if you can!

6. Natural yogurt

Natural yoghurt is packed full of good bacteria to help keep your bad bacteria in check, which should help reduce the chances of an infection starting in your bladder.

Alternatively, why not try some probiotic supplements. I recommend Optibac’s For Women, which contains bacteria that are clinically proven to reach your intimate area alive, which is great for preventing infection caused by bacteria coming up the urethra.

I also often recommend pairing this with For Every Day, a daily probiotic which helps keep your gut bacteria happy, which supports the immune system and helps you to get the maximum nutrients you can from your food. Both For Women and For Every Day are suitable for vegans, making them a great alternative to live yogurt.

7. Plus the prebiotics…

In addition to probiotic supplements, you can also take Molkosan alongside these. Molkosan contains L+ lactic acid which helps to create an environment in which friendly bacteria thrive. Combine this with your fruit and veg intake in a delicious smoothie: try the Molkosan Fruit Smoothie, it’s delicious! Please note that Molkosan is not suitable for vegans.

1. Acidic or inflammatory foods

These include tea, coffee, other caffeinated drinks including fizzy drinks, alcohol, processed meat, and spicy food. These will only risk irritating the bladder further and exacerbating inflammation.

2. Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbs include sources of refined sugar, sugary foods and foods containing white flour, such as white bread or white rice. Nasty bacteria love sugar and simple carbohydrates, so stop feeding them and they will struggle to survive!

What about supplements to help?

You might want to consider taking a vitamin and mineral supplement alongside a healthy diet. This acts as a backup to make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet – in particular, nutrients which are harder to come across in foods, such as zinc and vitamin D. This helps keep your body in tip-top condition and ready to fight off infections before you even notice any symptoms.

You can also try Uva-ursi, a fantastic herb which activates when it reaches the bladder to help cleanse it and prevent bacteria from growing. Our complex also contains Echinacea, which is great for the immune system.

Originally published on: 30/08/2016, updated on: 05/02/2019

Foods You Shouldn’t Eat When Treating a UTI

According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in five women will have at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in her lifetime — 20 percent of them will have more than one. In fact, bladder infections result in nearly 10 million doctor’s visits each year as women seek treatment for the pain, pressure, and constant urge to urinate.

A bladder infection occurs when bacteria enter the urinary tract. The bacteria irritate the urinary tract, which often results in painful urination and even lower abdominal pain or cramping. Though certain antibiotics can treat a bladder infection, it’s important to know the symptoms of a bladder infection to help your body heal — and to prevent further bladder irritation.

Not everyone with a bladder infection has obvious symptoms. But according to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of a bladder infection may include the following:

  • Blood in the urine (urine that looks red, bright pink, or cola-colored)
  • Feeling of pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Kidney or bladder stones
  • Low-grade fever or chills
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Pelvic pain
  • Stinging or burning feeling when urinating
  • Strong persistent need to urinate
  • Urine that is cloudy

A bladder infection can be irritating and painful, but it can become a very serious health problem if the bacterial infection spreads to your kidneys. That’s why understanding your body is important and seeking treatment early on for bladder infections helps you manage the symptoms.

Women are 10 times more likely than men to get bladder infections because they have a shorter urethra. In women, bacteria can reach the bladder faster because of the shorter distance.

While being a woman puts you at greater risk for bladder infections, other risk factors that are common include:

  • Abnormal urinary tract shape or function
  • Certain types of contraception, particularly diaphragms with spermicidal agents
  • Diabetes
  • Genetic predisposition — bladder infections run in some families
  • Postmenopausal. In postmenopausal women altered hormone levels are linked to bladder infections.
  • Pregnancy. Changes in a woman’s hormones during pregnancy increase the risk of a bladder infection.
  • Sexual activity. Bacteria is pushed into the urethra during intercourse. Also, having multiple sex partners increases the risk of bladder infections.

Additionally, a number of common foods and drinks — artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, acidic fruits, citrus, or caffeinated drinks — can irritate your bladder, and may worsen UTI symptoms — so you should steer clear of them if you have signs of a bladder infection.

July 21, 2000 — Do you live for latte? Crave cola? If you’re a woman, take heed: Researchers say drinking too much caffeine may put some women at risk for a difficult and embarrassing bladder control problem as they age.

In a study of more than 250 women who were being evaluated for urinary incontinence, researchers from Rhode Island found that those who downed more than four cups of coffee per day were 2.5 times more likely than those who consumed little or no caffeine to have an unstable bladder condition called detrusor instability. Those who drank two to four cups of coffee per day (or the equivalent in other caffeinated beverages) were about 1.5 times more likely to have the condition.

Up to 40% of women over 65 may have the unstable bladder problem, as may nearly 30% of younger women. So, what is it exactly?

” simply means that the bladder contracts involuntarily,” explains urologist Jerry Blaivas, MD. The bladder is made of smooth muscle fibers, which can stretch as it fills and contract to empty it. Blaivas describes the bladder as being like a balloon with a knot tied at the bottom: The knot, or sphincter, opens and closes as needed to let urine out. “When you urinate, the bladder contracts, and the sphincter opens. In detrusor instability, the bladder contracts without your wanting it to — sporadically during the day.” Stress incontinence, another type of bladder control problem, involves a weakening of the sphincter.

Bladder instability often leads to the need to run for the bathroom, or to embarrassing accidents when urine leaks out without warning.

In an article published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lily A. Arya, MD, and colleagues from Brown University School of Medicine in Providence saydrinking several cups of coffee, tea, or cola a day could increase the risk of bladder instability in women who already have bladder-control problems.

Age also increases the risk of bladder instability. In the study, those who were found to have bladder instability tended to be in their mid-50s, about 10 years older than those without the instability. The researchers also found that the women with bladder instability were more likely to be smokers.

If you’ve ever suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI), you’ve probably been told to drink a glass of cranberry juice, but it turns out diet can go a long way when it comes to finding relief.

“Diet is important in treating urinary tract infection to support the body’s immune system, reduce irritation in the healing process and help the body shed bacteria,” says Desiree Nielsen, a registered dietitian based in Vancouver.

But this doesn’t mean that simply eating and drinking something will quickly fix your UTI, she continues.

READ MORE: Drink lots, pee often to prevent urinary tract infection, cranberry juice may help too

“Sometimes, the infection is too advanced and natural methods aren’t going to work; if you are still feeling crummy in 48 hours, go and get that antibiotic prescription,” she tells Global News. “And be sure to take your probiotics alongside that antibiotic too. Urinary tract infections can progress to kidney infections, which are incredibly serious.”

She adds there is also a lot of conflicting information on UTIs online.

“For example, that high vitamin C intake can both clear UTI and make it worse,” she says, adding similar claims of calcium have also been made.

A UTI, the Mayo Clinic notes, is an infection that can affect any part of the urinary system, while most infections target the bladder and urethra. Women are at a greater risk of getting these infections, but men can also be affected.

Symptoms include a strong and persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when you urinate, cloudy urine, urinating frequently, among others.

Below, Nielsen shares the top things you should eat and drink if you have a UTI, and things you should avoid.

Cranberry juice

It’s an age-old remedy and it can work, Nielsen says. But if you are buying cranberry juice, make sure it is unsweetened and not from concentrate.

“Pure, mouth-puckering cranberry juice is high in phytochemicals, called proanthocyanidins, which help reduce the ability of e.coli bacteria to adhere to the urinary tract walls, making it easier to pee them away,” she said.

You should also know, she adds, cranberry juice won’t kill the bacteria, but it will help flush them out of your system.

READ MORE: Being uncircumcised – not foreskin tightness – key risk for urinary infection

Take 1/4 cup of unsweetened cranberry juice diluted in water two or three times a day.

Water, lots of it

“Water is critical to dilute the contents of the bladder, leading to less irritation and to encourage urination so you can flush more bacteria from your system,” she says.

Dehydration can also trigger a UTI, so drinking a good amount of water every day is a good preventative measure as well.

Good quality probiotics and fermented foods

“What happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut,” Nielsen says. “Taking oral probiotics actually changes the flora of the vagina, and by default, the urinary tract.”

Taking a probiotic during a UTI will help restore microbial balance. “I like Bio-K+ fermented probiotic as a clinical strength option, and recommend also eating good quality fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut and kombucha, daily.”

Plant-based protein

“Protein is critical to support the immune system and regulate blood sugar rise. When planning a meal, always put 15 to 30 grams of plant protein on your plate.”

READ MORE: Foul smelling urine in young kids may be sign of urinary infection, study finds

What to avoid: sugar

“High blood sugars increase your risk of UTI, which is why it is common in poorly controlled diabetes,” she says. “Sugar can also impair immune function.”

If you do have a UTI, stick to a no sugar and refined flour diet to keep blood sugar levels balanced and avoid the growth of bacteria.

Caffeine, spicy food, alcohol

“Caffeine will irritate the urinary tract, making you feel worse … so will spicy foods and alcohol.”

Follow @ArtiPatel

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

What to eat and drink if you have a urinary tract infection — and what to avoid

If you’ve ever suffered from a urinary tract infection (UTI), you’ve probably been told to drink a glass of cranberry juice, but it turns out diet can go a long way when it comes to finding relief.

“Diet is important in treating urinary tract infection to support the body’s immune system, reduce irritation in the healing process and help the body shed bacteria,” says Desiree Nielsen, a registered dietitian based in Vancouver.

But this doesn’t mean that simply eating and drinking something will quickly fix your UTI, she continues.

READ MORE: Drink lots, pee often to prevent urinary tract infection, cranberry juice may help too

“Sometimes, the infection is too advanced and natural methods aren’t going to work; if you are still feeling crummy in 48 hours, go and get that antibiotic prescription,” she tells Global News. “And be sure to take your probiotics alongside that antibiotic too. Urinary tract infections can progress to kidney infections, which are incredibly serious.”

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She adds there is also a lot of conflicting information on UTIs online.

“For example, that high vitamin C intake can both clear UTI and make it worse,” she says, adding similar claims of calcium have also been made.

A UTI, the Mayo Clinic notes, is an infection that can affect any part of the urinary system, while most infections target the bladder and urethra. Women are at a greater risk of getting these infections, but men can also be affected.

Symptoms include a strong and persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation when you urinate, cloudy urine, urinating frequently, among others.

Below, Nielsen shares the top things you should eat and drink if you have a UTI, and things you should avoid.

It’s an age-old remedy and it can work, Nielsen says. But if you are buying cranberry juice, make sure it is unsweetened and not from concentrate.

“Pure, mouth-puckering cranberry juice is high in phytochemicals, called proanthocyanidins, which help reduce the ability of e.coli bacteria to adhere to the urinary tract walls, making it easier to pee them away,” she said.

You should also know, she adds, cranberry juice won’t kill the bacteria, but it will help flush them out of your system.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Being uncircumcised – not foreskin tightness – key risk for urinary infection

Take 1/4 cup of unsweetened cranberry juice diluted in water two or three times a day.

“Water is critical to dilute the contents of the bladder, leading to less irritation and to encourage urination so you can flush more bacteria from your system,” she says.

Dehydration can also trigger a UTI, so drinking a good amount of water every day is a good preventative measure as well.

“What happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut,” Nielsen says. “Taking oral probiotics actually changes the flora of the vagina, and by default, the urinary tract.”

Taking a probiotic during a UTI will help restore microbial balance. “I like Bio-K+ fermented probiotic as a clinical strength option, and recommend also eating good quality fermented foods like homemade sauerkraut and kombucha, daily.”

“Protein is critical to support the immune system and regulate blood sugar rise. When planning a meal, always put 15 to 30 grams of plant protein on your plate.”

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Foul smelling urine in young kids may be sign of urinary infection, study finds

“High blood sugars increase your risk of UTI, which is why it is common in poorly controlled diabetes,” she says. “Sugar can also impair immune function.”

If you do have a UTI, stick to a no sugar and refined flour diet to keep blood sugar levels balanced and avoid the growth of bacteria.

“Caffeine will irritate the urinary tract, making you feel worse … so will spicy foods and alcohol.”

[email protected]
Follow @ArtiPatel © 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

5 power foods for better urinary health

1 – Water. Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things for your child’s urinary and digestive systems. Drinking enough water — about 40 to 60 ounces per day for children ages 4 to 12 — helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract, which prevents infection and helps the digestive tract function regularly.

Sprucing up your child’s water with fruit, cucumber slices or a sprig of fresh mint can help them choose water over other options.

Recipe: Infused Water

2 – Berries. Cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, oh my! Berries promote urinary tract health and provide protection against infection with an important compound that helps fight bacteria and keeps it from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract.

One of the best ways to get a large amount of berries into your child’s diet is through smoothies. Fresh or frozen berries offer a tasty option for your child, no matter what is in season.

Recipe: Berry Smoothie

3 – Yogurt. Eating yogurt and other cultured dairy products (fermented with “good” bacteria) regularly may decrease the risk for urinary tract infections by up to 80 percent. When selecting yogurt for your child, it is important to look for a statement on the packaging that says “contains live and active cultures.” Yogurt contains good bacteria, active cultures that help prevent certain infections and boost the body’s immune system. Yogurt is an effective way to keep your child’s digestive system in good working order.

Yogurt popsicles are an enjoyable and healthy treat. The freezing process does not kill a significant amount of the active cultures in yogurt. In fact, during the freezing process the cultures go into a dormant state but, when eaten and returned to a warm temperature within the body, they again become active and are capable of providing all the benefits of cultures in a refrigerated yogurt product.

Recipe: Frozen Yogurt Pops

4 – Fiber. Lack of regular bowel movements can cause pressure in the urinary tract and block urine flow, allowing bacteria to grow. A diet high in fiber paired with drinking enough water promotes healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. Fiber won’t work without enough water in the diet. Some of the best sources of fiber for children are whole-grain breads, apples, bananas and legumes (dried beans, lentils, etc.).

Recipe: Bran Muffin Bites

5 – Vitamin C. Oranges, lemons, strawberries and green leafy vegetables packed with vitamin C makes urine more acidic, which helps prevent bacteria from growing in the system. In addition, vitamin C helps cuts and wounds heal, boosts the immune system, helps your child’s gums stay healthy, keeps infections at bay and helps the body absorb iron from food sources.

A great rule for picking fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C is to choose ones that are brightly colored. Vitamin C is water soluble, so any excess is flushed from the body in your child’s urine but when consumed in excess can cause an upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea. Children ages 1 to 3 should not get more than 400 mg each day and children ages 4 to 8 should not get more than 650 mg a day.

Recipe: Sunshine Smoothie

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are painful, disruptive and all too common: More than half of adult women have had a UTI, and many have several recurrences every year. It happens when bacteria travel into the urethra, the duct through which urine passes; women are more susceptible because the urethra is shorter than in men, but guys can get them too. Left untreated, UTIs can have serious complications, including recurrent infections, urethral narrowing and kidney damage. While UTIs may not be completely avoidable, dietary choices can reduce your risk. Focus on anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and immune-boosting meals, drink plenty of water and try these six foods to ward off bacteria and protect your insides.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice may help prevent UTIs by keeping bacteria from adhering to the lining of the urinary tract. Though research is mixed, many studies show cranberry juice can decrease the recurrence of UTIs. A recent meta-analysis of seven clinical trials in healthy women found cranberry reduced the risk of developing a UTI by 26%. Because most cranberry juice drinks are loaded with sugar, stick to cranberry concentrates and mix them with water, or use the whole fruit.

Try this: Sweeten cranberry juice concentrate with a little honey or stevia then mix with cherry juice, sparkling water and a squeeze of lime; chop whole cranberries in a food processor then combine with minced red onion, mango cubes, cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a zesty salsa.

See Also Fiery Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Broccoli

Broccoli is high in vitamin C, which helps make the urine more acidic and hampers the growth of bacteria that cause UTIs. In one study of pregnant women, those who took vitamin C had a significantly lower risk of developing a UTI. And vitamin C boosts immune function overall, helping the body’s resistance to infection. Other foods high in vitamin C: bell peppers, leafy greens, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and oranges.

Try this: Grate broccoli stems and combine with shredded carrots and red cabbage, thinly sliced scallions and a dressing of yogurt, honey and apple cider vinegar; toss broccoli florets with olive oil, garlic and Kalamata olives and roast.

See Also Riced Broccoli Buddah Bowl with Herbed Chicken recipe

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has long been used for its antibacterial properties; it’s rich in compounds that reduce inflammation and hamper the growth of bacteria and other pathogens. Some studies show cinnamon compounds prevent the colonization of E. coli, the bacteria that’s responsible for most UTIs, in the bladder and urethra, and because it’s an anti-inflammatory, it may also ease some of the discomfort associated with UTIs.

Try this: Combine cinnamon sticks, sliced ginger, cardamom pods and vanilla bean in a pot of water, simmer for 10 minutes and strain for caffeine-free chai; mix ground cinnamon into raw honey and coconut oil and use instead of butter on pancakes or toast.

See Also Cinnamon Collagen Milk Recipe

Papaya

Papaya, like broccoli, is loaded with vitamin C to support immune function and increase the acidity of urine, hampering bacterial growth. It’s also rich in carotenoids like beta-carotene and lycopene, antioxidants with powerful immune-boosting properties. Some studies show carotenoids from papaya are three times more bioavailable than carotenoids from carrots or tomatoes. Sweet potatoes, mangos and leafy greens are also high in carotenoids.

Try this: Combine chopped papaya with pineapple, coconut and mint for an easy tropical salad; cook papayas in coconut milk with onions, garlic and curry powder, purée into a creamy soup and top with chopped basil.

See Also 7 Nutrients That Improve Your Vision

Kefir

Kefir, a beverage made from fermented milk, is rich in probiotics, beneficial bacteria that may help prevent UTIs by keeping harmful bacteria from growing in the vagina, where they can migrate to the urinary tract and cause infections. Studies suggest probiotics help protect against UTIs and prevent their recurrence; they’ve also been shown to reduce inflammation and support the immune system’s ability to fight infection. Other good sources of probiotics: yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Try this: Purée kefir, papaya, cardamom and honey in a blender for a traditional lassi; combine kefir, quick oats, chia seeds, vanilla and cinnamon and let stand until thick for easy, no-cook oats.

See Also The Best Fermented Foods for Your Gut

Garlic

Garlic is high in allicin and other compounds that have antibacterial and antimicrobial activities and enhance immune function. It has been shown to protect against a variety of bacteria, including E. coli, and studies suggest it can be an effective treatment for recurring UTIs. In one study, garlic extract had more antibacterial activity against UTI pathogens than commonly used drugs. Because allicin is easily damaged by heat, raw garlic is the most effective.

Try this: Press whole garlic cloves in a garlic press, add to olive oil and drizzle over cooked vegetables; finely mince garlic and whisk with minced ginger, miso paste, rice vinegar and sesame oil for an easy Asian dressing.

See Also Gung-Ho For Garlic

Try our Orange Sesame Chicken Bowl with broccoli and garlic

Photo by Ronald Tsang

SUPPLEMENTS TO BEAT UTIs

D-MANNOSE, a sugar that occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables, may help prevent UTIs. A number of studies have shown that D-mannose can inhibit the adhesion of bacteria to cells in the urinary tract, binding to them and then allowing them to be eliminated via urination. A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial has shown that 2 grams per day of D-mannose was superior to a placebo and as effective as the antibiotic nitrofurantoin in preventing UTIs. In another study, D-mannose reduced UTI symptoms in women with an active infection and was more effective than antibiotics for preventing infections.

CRANBERRY SUPPLEMENTS, made from powdered cranberry juice, contain proanthocyanidins (PACs), antioxidants that have been shown to inhibit adherence of E. coli, the bacteria most commonly linked to UTIs, to cells lining the urinary tract. Several reviews have found cranberry products significantly reduced the incidence of UTIs after 12 months compared with a placebo in women with recurrent infections, and some studies show cranberry can decrease recurrences by 30 to 40% in premenopausal women with recurrent UTIs. And while some studies show prophylactic antibiotics are slightly more effective than cranberry capsules, they also found antibiotics had more adverse effects, including the risk of antimicrobial resistance and infection from C. difficile or fungi. While dosages varied, most studies used 500 milligrams cranberry fruit powder per day.

PROBIOTICS, beneficial bacteria that prevent the overgrowth of pathogens, may protect against UTIs. Studies suggest certain Lactobacilli strains interfere with the adherence, growth and colonization of pathogenic bacteria and restore healthy bacteria in the urogenital tract. In one study, women who used a vaginal suppository containing Lactobacillus strains had significantly fewer UTIs. Researchers believe oral probiotics also hold promise, since they don’t lead to antibiotic resistance or overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria.

Can you Drink Alcohol While on Macrobid?

People frequently wonder whether or not they can drink alcohol and beer on Macrobid and antibiotics in general. There is a myth that drinking alcohol and taking antibiotics will make the medicine ineffective, and while this isn’t necessarily true, it’s important that you do know the possible risks and use caution.

Most doctors and medical professionals do agree that drinking alcohol and beer while on Macrobid won’t necessarily render the medication ineffective, however since the liver metabolizes both alcohol and Macrobid, it can create negative side effects. Your liver can struggle to keep up if you’re taking both at the same time.A lot of times people think combining alcohol and Macrobid is making their medicine ineffective, but what’s really happening is that drinking alcohol while having a bacterial infection is diminishing their body’s ability to fight the infection.

When you have an infection, your body needs proper nutrition and rest in order to fight it, and if you’re drinking this can be interrupted. For example, excessive drinking can interfere with sleep patterns, and if you don’t get quality rest, you may be fighting the infection for longer.

Another reason to consider avoiding alcohol and beer while on Macrobid is because drinking can dehydrate you. This can be a problem when your body is struggling to combat a urinary tract or bladder infection.

There is also the possibility that if you drink alcohol and beer while on Macrobid, it can make the symptoms of the medicine worse, such as nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and headache that are commonly reported when people use this medicine.

When it comes to the question of “can you drink alcohol and beer while on Macrobid,” the best thing you can do is speak with your doctor. Your doctor may advise you based on your individual medical history and other medicines you’re taking. For example, if you have a history of liver problems your doctor may say absolutely no alcohol while on Macrobid, but for someone who is otherwise healthy, your physician may say a small amount of alcohol is okay.

There’s no definitive answer to “can you drink alcohol and beer while on Macrobid,” and it’s really a question your doctor will have to answer.

Dear Winnie,
Every woman has a natural vaginal odour. However, the scent may change throughout a woman’s menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, many women will want to do away with the normal odour using several things such as scented products which will in the end worsen the odour and cause allergic reactions, among other problems. That said, a strong odour can sometimes be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection such as trichomoniasis, particularly if a woman is sexually active.
A woman’s vagina naturally has some small organisms known as normal flora that make protective acid (Dordelins lactobacilli) balancing out the bad ones such as Gardnerella vaginalis. If the balance is upset, a condition known as bacterial vaginosis will occur leading to a foul fishy odour. Using saliva in the vagina can upset the natural bacteria leading to a bad odour.
Not all vaginal odours are caused by an infection. Some of the other causes include cancer of the cervix, poor hygiene or wearing tight fitting non-cotton knickers that trap sweat and bacteria.
Also, eating certain foods including spices, onions, red meat, and dairy can alter the normal acidity of the vagina, producing a vaginal odour just as garlic can cause all body fluids to smell. Garlic contains Allicin, a compound that can stop the growth of bacteria and fungus in the vagina but may add its own smell. Eating fruits such as pineapple may however reduce this smell.
The smell may also be caused by a man’s semen especially if the man has taken long without having intercourse, or has eaten eggs, meat, garlic, or has a prostate infection all which require addressing just like any other found cause of vaginal smells.

Health Aspects of Non-Alcoholic Beer

Non-alcoholic beer and anxiety and sleep

Hops are used for their flavour and preservative capacities in making both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer. In the human body, the constituents of hops appear to have some sedative effect and thereby may even positively influence sleep and anxiety. The bitter acids and the compounds xanthohumol and myrcenol in hops are probably responsible for this effect, and research suggests that the main mechanism of action of hops is to increase the activity of the neurotransmitter -aminobutyric acid (GABA). When the level of GABA increases in the brain, its neural activity decreases. However, as there are few studies examining the effect of 0.0% beer on sleep and anxiety, more research is needed.

Sleep
Two experimental studies examined the effect of non-alcoholic beer on sleep95,96 with some groups drinking 330 ml of 0.0% beer during evening meals for two weeks. In a study with work-stressed nurses, sleep quality improved with reduced sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep) and decreased restlessness during the night. Results were compared to one week when the nurses did not consume non-alcoholic beer during evening meals.95 Sleep latency also decreased visibly in university students during a stressful exam period, but students rated their overall sleep quality higher than a week before the experiment when they did not consume non-alcoholic beer.96 These two studies only examined the effects of non-alcoholic beer on sleep, and more in depth research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.

Anxiety
Besides improving the quality of sleep, non-alcoholic beer may also reduce feelings of anxiety. Some experimental studies have examined the effect of 0.0% beer on anxiety levels in a stressed population. Subjects rated their stress levels lower after drinking non-alcoholic beer for two weeks compared to a control period when they did not drink non-alcoholic beer. A decrease in urinary levels of 5-HIAA (high levels of this compound have been found in people having anxiety disorders) was also seen after drinking 0.0% beer for two weeks. All these studies came to the same conclusion: that drinking 330 ml of non-alcoholic beer during evening meals on 14 consecutive days may decrease feelings of anxiety and stress.95-97 These results are promising, but it must be stressed related research is still at an early stage.

10 Foods Your Bladder Will Fall in Love With

If you have a sensitive bladder, you will not have to miss out on tasty foods this fall. The key is to know which foods are more likely to irritate your bladder and which ones are more likely to soothe. In general, you will want to avoid coffee, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomato-based products, artificial sweeteners and spicy foods. Read on to learn about 10 bladder-friendly foods.

  1. Pears. They are good fall fruits that generally begin to ripen in September and sometimes October depending on the region. Pears are a good source of fiber and about 100 calories per serving.
  2. Bananas. Typically available in grocery stores year-round, bananas are great as snacks, toppings for cereals or in smoothies.
  3. Green beans. At about 31 calories per 1-cup serving, green beans will add some color to your plate. You can eat them raw, add them to salads or roast them with a little olive oil.
  4. Winter squash. Do not let the name fool you. Winter squash are available in both fall and winter. Squash varieties include acorn, butternut and spaghetti.
  5. Potatoes. Need a bladder-friendly comfort food when the weather cools down? Try white potatoes or sweet potatoes (yams).
  6. Lean proteins. Examples include low-fat beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish. Especially when baked, steamed or broiled, they are unlikely to bother your bladder.
  7. Whole grains. Quinoa, rice and oats are just a few examples of whole grains. They come in many varieties and are generally not expensive.
  8. Breads. Overall, breads are bladder-friendly and a nice addition to meals. Bread is also great for delicious turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving.
  9. Nuts. Almonds, cashews and peanuts are healthy snacks and rich in protein.
  10. Eggs. Also rich in protein, eggs are on several lists as one of the “least bothersome” foods for bladder conditions.

13 Tips to Keep Your Bladder Healthy

People rarely talk about bladder health, but everyone is affected by it. Each day, adults pass about a quart and a half of urine through the bladder and out of the body.

As people get older, the bladder changes. Visit Bladder Health for Older Adults for more information on how the bladder changes and common medical problems, including bladder infections, urinary incontinence, and urinary tract infections.

While you can’t control everything that affects bladder health, there are some steps you can take to improve bladder health. Follow these 13 tips to keep your bladder healthy.

  1. Drink enough fluids, especially water. Most healthy people should try to drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid each day. Water is the best fluid for bladder health. At least half of fluid intake should be water. Some people need to drink less water because of certain conditions, such as kidney failure or heart disease. Ask your healthcare provider how much fluid is healthy for you.
  2. Limit alcohol and caffeine. Cutting down on alcohol and caffeinated foods and drinks—such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and most sodas—may help.
  3. Quit smoking. If you smoke, take steps to quit . If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
  4. Avoid constipation. Eating plenty of high-fiber foods (like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits), drinking enough water, and being physically active can help prevent constipation.
  5. Keep a healthy weight. Making healthy food choices and being physically active can help you keep a healthy weight.
  6. Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help prevent bladder problems, as well as constipation. It can also help you keep a healthy weight.
  7. Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, help hold urine in the bladder. Daily exercises can strengthen these muscles, which can help keep urine from leaking when you sneeze, cough, lift, laugh, or have a sudden urge to urinate.
  8. Use the bathroom often and when needed. Try to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. Holding urine in your bladder for too long can weaken your bladder muscles and make a bladder infection more likely.
  9. Take enough time to fully empty the bladder when urinating. Rushing when you urinate may not allow you to fully empty the bladder. If urine stays in the bladder too long, it can make a bladder infection more likely.
  10. Be in a relaxed position while urinating. Relaxing the muscles around the bladder will make it easier to empty the bladder. For women, hovering over the toilet seat may make it hard to relax, so it is best to sit on the toilet seat.
  11. Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. Women should wipe from front to back to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. This step is most important after a bowel movement.
  12. Urinate after sex. Both women and men should urinate shortly after sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during sex.
  13. Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothes. Wearing loose, cotton clothing will allow air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear can trap moisture and help bacteria grow.

For More Information on Bladder Health

National Association for Continence
1-800-252-3337 (toll-free)

This content is provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure that it is accurate, authoritative, and up to date.

Content reviewed: May 01, 2017

7 Foods That Help Relieve UTI Pain, Aside From Your Trusted Cranberry Juice

I’m just going to lay it out for you guys: I had the worst UTI last fall and would never, ever wish that pain on my worst enemies. If you’ve gone through life thus far entirely unscathed by urinary infections, consider yourself lucky to have been blessed with that level of superhuman immunity. Believe me when I say, it is awful. Plus, I don’t know what’s worse, the pain itself, or the fact that you just have to ride it out until your body flushes out the bacteria. Luckily, there are foods that help relieve UTI pain, and antibiotics to speed up the process and hopefully not have to endure a series of them weeks in a row like I did. Can you tell I’m bitter?

Basically, UTIs happen when bacteria gets into your urethra and festers all up in there, infecting the bladder, urethra (where you pee), or, worst case scenario (if left untreated), the kidneys. Unfortunately, ladies, these bad boys are most common in women because, unlike men, you have a shorter urethra than your male counterpart, meaning there’s a shorter distance for bacteria to travel to arrive in the bladder and do its thing. Bummer, right?

Symptoms like back pain, fever, chills, pelvic pressure, and the like are red flags signaling you to call your doctor ASAP. From there, you’ll most likely be prescribed some kind of medication to fight off the bacteria, and it’s highly suggested that you drink lots of fluids, specifically water and unsweetened cranberry juice, because it contains an active ingredient that fights bacteria.

However, according to the Cleveland Clinic, there isn’t actually enough of this miracle ingredient for the bitter beverage to cure your UTI. So, now what? It turns out, there are a ton of healthy foods that provide the essential nutrients your body needs to fight off the infection. Here are a few to to get you through the pain.

1. Cups Of Garlic Tea

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Garlic has the same affect on UTIs as it does blood-thirsty night-walkers in old school horror films. Instead of wearing an immunity necklace decorated with the chunky cloves, however, adding pieces of the herb in it’s rawest form to a warm mug of tea should do the trick.

It sounds intense, I know, but according to Spoon University, peeling, mashing, and steeping cloves in hot water is effective because garlic “contains compounds that can kill bacteria.” In that case, suck it up, and sip it down.

2. Blueberries Are Best

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Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, specifically polyphenols. According to Prevention, these types of antioxidants are the best kind for treating UTIs because rather than absorbing into the digestive tract, they are actually converted into dietary compounds that bind iron in your urine, and keep bacteria from causing a problem.

Plus, berries are great to begin with because you can literally add them to every meal. Drop them into smoothies, salads, eat them by the handful, or pour yourself a tall glass of unsweetened blueberry juice with breakfast.

3. Fermented Dairy Products

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Products like kefir and Greek yogurt are swarming with probiotics, aka “good” bacteria that improve your urinary tract in this desperate time of need. When immunity is high in those areas, your body is better equipped to take on “bad” bacteria, and protect your vaginal and bladder areas from getting infected.

Give Lifeway’s Organic Skyr whole milk yogurt a try (personally, I love it for breakfast or a snack) that contains an impressive 14 probiotic cultures, as well as vitamin D3.

4. Cups On Cups Of Water

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I’m convinced that no matter what kind of physical ailment you’re suffering from, the doctor is going to suggest you drink a ton of water — and with good reason.

The only way your body is going to rid itself of a UTI is by making you pee every 10 seconds (and if you’ve had one, you know damn well I’m not exaggerating). Gulping down glass full after glass full of H2O will help flush out any stingy bacteria wreaking havoc on your uterus, getting you closer and closer to recovery.

5. Generous Sprinkles of Cinnamon

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Adding cinnamon to your peanut butter toast, oatmeal, or even taking it via oral supplement can be super helpful when you’re fighting off a hideous UTI. Which, for me, is great news, considering I sprinkle that sh*t on everything.

Live Strong reports that, according to a 2010 study, cinnamon was found to successfully prevent e. coli from infecting the bladder. Granted, once you have a UTI your body’s already battling it out with bacteria, cinnamon can ease the pain faster so you don’t have to rely on a heavy dose of antibiotics.

6. Servings Of Sweet Potato

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Clearly sweet potatoes are heaven sent because not only do they satisfy your sweet tooth healthily, they’re loaded with beta-carotene which, according to Health With Food, is great for protecting against UTIs. They also contain root proteins which, rumor has it, have a ton of antioxidant properties.

Sweet potatoes are another great example of a food that makes any meal that much better. Experiment with sweet potato toasts (top a slice with Crazy Richard’s crunchy PB – you won’t be disappointed), spiralize them as a pasta-alternative, or bake them in fry-form.

7. Handfuls Of Kale

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I can feel the eye rolls through the computer but, trust me, leafy greens work wonders for UTIs. Kale, specifically, is high in vitamin C which, according to Johns Hopkins, reduces bacteria build up and (bonus!) further strengthens your immune system so your body can fight off these problematic chemicals before they even have a chance to misbehave.

Now, how about that salad?

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