Urinary tract infections (UTIs) present one of the most common types of infection in the United States, with about 10 million reported each year. Taking measures to make sure a UTI never happens to you is a much better idea than addressing the problem once it’s there.
Preventing UTIs is essential, as repeatedly treating them can lead to drug resistance and more serious long-term complications. Nutrition, diet, and lifestyle all play a major role in UTI prevention. For example, drinking plenty of water keeps the bladder flushed out and helps stave off bacterial growth. Some people find that drinking cranberry juice or taking cranberry supplements is a key part of their UTI prevention plan, as cranberries contain compounds which may help block bacteria from attaching to cells in the bladder wall.
Eating foods high in vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons, and bell peppers, also helps strengthen the immune system, allowing it to better ward off any potential infection. It’s also important to avoid too much caffeine, alcohol or drinks containing sugar, as these can contribute to bacterial overgrowth in the bladder.
There are other steps you can take to help prevent urinary tract infections and keep your body healthy. Urinating regularly helps to prevent any bacteria from settling in the bladder or urethra and causing an infection. Also, it’s important to wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement, as this will help stop any fecal bacteria from entering the urethra, where it may cause an infection.
In addition to these self-care practices, there are other approaches which can help reduce your risk of getting a UTI, such as seeing a doctor regularly for screenings and treatment of minor symptoms before any major symptoms crop up or become too severe. If you develop frequent UTIs, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. These should always be taken under medical supervision, as overuse of antibiotics could lead to drug resistance being developed in some bacteria strains, making the medication you take for a UTI less effective.
Weather and seasonal changes can also affect your UTI risk. Cold winter temperatures make you more likely to develop an infection, as they decrease overall blood flow, which can leave you vulnerable to infections. What’s more, some people may be genetically predisposed to developing UTIs because of personal factors such as a weakened immune system or lower overall resistance levels. If this is the case, you should take extra care when looking after your personal hygiene.
When it comes to clothing, wearing breathable underwear made from natural fibers like cotton or bamboo is best for keeping moisture away from that area. Women especially should try to avoid tight-fitting clothing, such as skinny jeans, which can trap bacteria against the skin. Keeping a good hygiene schedule and taking regular showers can wash away any bacteria that may have accumulated on your body during the course of the day.
The good news is that managing stress levels through activities like yoga, meditation or exercise can also help strengthen your immune system and lower your risk of developing infections such as UTIs. On the plus side, boosting mental wellbeing is just as important for maintaining your overall health.
Prevention truly is key to avoiding a painful, uncomfortable and potentially serious health issue such as a UTI. Knowing what you can change now can save you from suffering later.
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