Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?:
- pain when urinating; strong need to urinate frequently even right after you just emptied your bladder
- cramps in the lower abdomen or at the back
- cloudy urine with a strong odor
These are clear signs of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), an infection that occurs in the urinary tract and affects both men and woman of all ages. It is caused by bacteria that enter the urethra and the bladder and can lead to the infection of the kidneys if not treated properly. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, you may experience chills, fever, severe abdominal pain, back or groin pain, and nausea.
You do not need to suffer all these pain. If you have a bladder infection, the remedy is to drink plenty of fluids. Among the highly recommended fluids that you should take, aside from water, is cranberry juice. Research shows that within eight hours of drinking this juice, you can prevent the development of bacteria in the urinary tract.
What's in a Cranberry?
Cranberry juice comes from cranberries, often found throughout the colder parts of the northern hemisphere and the United States. Most cranberries are processed into products such as sweetened dried cranberries, sauce, and juice drinks. The juice is sold as a pure juice or in blends with other fruit juices to reduce the fruit's natural tartness. It contains phytochemicals, which may help prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases. More importantly, it is found to prevent urinary tract infections at the molecular level.
Cranberry Juice and UTI
Cranberry juice contains active compounds, which are not destroyed during digestion but instead fight against bacteria. This is the result revealed by the researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, who used a mixture of cranberry juice, water, and sweeteners for their research. They grew E. coli strains, which were collected from the urine of healthy people before and after drinking cranberry juice cocktail.
How does the juice prevent an infection? The study showed that the juice changes the thermodynamic characteristics of bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby creating a certain barrier to prevent these microorganisms from attaching onto the cells to start an infection.
Most infections of the urinary tract come from E. coli bacteria in the intestinal tract. Women and elders are vulnerable to the infection. By drinking cranberry juice, the E. coli bacteria are prevented from adhering to the bladder by causing their hook-like structures called fimbria to detach from the bladder cells. Thus, during urine flow, these infection-causing germs are easily eliminated from the bladder. Without the cranberry juice, these bacteria can attach strongly to the cells and cause an infection.
If you have an infection, aside from taking medications, it is important to drink cranberry juice and water during and after treatment, for each time you urinate you allow your bladder to clean itself. Make sure that you take 100% cranberry juice so that you get the most benefits.
In addition, take some preventive measures to avoid UTI once you are treated. Go to the bathroom when you feel like urinating and for females, do not forget to wipe from front to back with toilet paper. Keep your genital area clean and dry to prevent bacteria from spreading. If you experience any of the symptoms of UTI, drink cranberry juice right away. The quicker you remedy your situation, the less uncomfortable you will be.