At least a third of British women will have a urinary tract infection (UTI) at some point in their lives. Most are caused by a bacterium called E Coli, which clings onto cells in the bladder wall, causing inflammation and the classic symptoms of cystitis
It is often treated with antibiotics, but in recent years we have seen increasing strains of E. Coli becoming resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics.
So, what else can you do to relieve symptoms?
First, check if it is a UTI.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) may include:
- Pain or a burning sensation when peeing (dysuria)
- Needing to pee more often than usual during the night (nocturia)
- Pee that looks cloudy, dark or has a strong smell
- Needing to pee suddenly or more urgently than usual
- Needing to pee more often than usual
- Blood in your pee
- Lower tummy pain or pain in your back, just under the ribs
- A high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- A very low temperature below 36C
How to get rid of a UTI
There are several ways you can ease symptoms of a UTI. Some of the most common include:
- Drinking lots of water
Water dilutes urine and helps flush away the bad bacteria.
- Taking paracetamol.
This can help reduce pain and a high temperature
- Taking D-Mannose
Studies have shown that taking D-Mannose as capsules or a powder can help treat a UTI or prevent a recurrence, and Platinum’s health expert Dr Dawn Harper has recommended D-Mannose to lots of her patients, with, she says, some great results. The theory is that D-Mannose is eventually eliminated from the body in the urine, where it attaches itself to the E. Coli, preventing it from hooking on to the bladder wall and causing infection. One recommended supplement that contains D-Mannose is Uralix which is formulated for the symptoms of, and prevention of, urinary tract infections. Crucially, it doesn’t cause yeast infections or antibiotic resistance.
- Taking cranberry capsules
In a small US study, taking a supplement of cranberry capsules lowered the risk of UTIs by 50%. In the cranberry treatment group, 19% of patients developed a UTI, compared with 38% of the placebo group. Will cranberry juice do the trick? Apparently not. Researchers pointed out that since a cranberry capsule provides the equivalent of eight ounces of cranberry juice, a patient would need to drink a lot of pure cranberry to prevent an infection.