Can you treat a UTI without antibiotics?

Can you treat a UTI without antibiotics?

Caity Reverand
5 minute read

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you know how uncomfortable and inconvenient they can be. The good news is, there are plenty of natural remedies, along with antibiotics, that heal UTIs and relieve the pain.  

Can a UTI go away on its own? 

A UTI left untreated can occasionally go away on its own, but often it will only continue to get worse. Without antibiotics or treatment, it can take weeks for a UTI to fully heal. With antibiotics, UTI symptoms should start going away after 24-48 hours. When a UTI is left completely untreated, it can spread and cause infections in other parts of the body, which can become dangerous. A lot of the time, an untreated UTI can lead to a kidney infection, which is much more invasive and painful than a UTI.

There are also home remedies, without antibiotics, that will help your UTI heal. Cranberry juice provides many general health benefits improving heart health, digestive health, post-menopausal health, and, of course, urinary tract health. Studies on the effect of cranberry juice on UTIs show that metabolites in cranberry juice prevent E. coli (the primary bacterial cause of UTIs) from sticking to other bacteria. This limits the ability of the bacteria in the urinary tract to grow and spread. Additionally, there is a special ingredient in cranberries called A-type proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.

Both cranberry juice and cranberry supplements can be used to treat UTIs as well as prevent them. Research has shown that 240-300 ml of cranberry juice daily can prevent 50% of UTI recurrences and reduce the number of bacteria in your urinary tract. Additionally, taking cranberry supplements with 36 mg of proanthocyanidins every day for two months significantly reduces the frequency of UTIs. 

Best antibiotic for UTI

There are several different antibiotics that your doctor might prescribe to treat your UTI.  The most common are Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), and Trimethoprim (Bactrim). These are antibiotics that need to be prescribed by your primary care physician and can not be bought without a prescription. 

Amoxicillin works by stopping bacteria from multiplying and spreading further. This antibiotic can be prescribed to treat many infections in the throat, ear, urinary tract, and more. The length of this course of antibiotics depends on the severity of the infection and how your body responds.

Bactrim is a three-day treatment supplement that heals bacterial infections. It is 90-100% effective in curing UTIs, but resistance to this drug is increasing. This means that the medicine is becoming slightly less effective because the bacteria in your body develops the ability to defeat the drugs made to eliminate it.

Cipro works to treat bacterial infections, like a UTI and is usually taken for 7 days. Some prefer other options over Cipro because of some of the side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. 

There are also supplement options that help treat UTIs that can be bought over the counter without a doctor’s prescription. Cranberry pills are capsules made of dried cranberries and aim to provide the same health benefits as drinking cranberry juice. While this varies from brand to brand, one serving of cranberry supplements is typically equal to about 8 oz of pure cranberry juice. Cranberry pills can be bought over the counter or online and also prevent bacteria from sticking to the urinary walls.

Plenty of companies sell UTI relief supplements online and deliver them straight to your door, no prescription needed bot online and in-store.

Natural remedies for UTI

There are plenty of things you can do to help heal your UTI if you can’t get access to or are looking to avoid antibiotics. Probiotics are a natural remedy that helps with urinary tract health. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods and dairy products like yogurt, sauerkraut, and some cheeses. Probiotics work by producing hydrogen peroxide, a strong antibacterial, in the urine. You can also take probiotics as a supplement every day for the many health benefits such as better digestive health, a stronger immune system, and more friendly bacteria in your urinary tract.

The most important thing when you feel a UTI coming on is to stay hydrated. Water and liquids dilute the urine moving through your urinary tract and make it harder for unwanted bacteria to reach the cells that line urinary organs. Another way to prevent UTIs from developing is peeing when you have to. Holding in urine often causes bacteria to build up and increases the risk of infection. It’s best to listen to your body when it tells you your bladder is full to help avoid and treat UTIs.

As annoying as UTIs are, there’s comfort in knowing your options for treating them. For more resources like this, head to the Stix Library or send us your questions at hello@getstix.co

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