Men and women dealing with a urinary tract infection (UTI) often look to home remedies for relief. Unfortunately some of these homemade treatments are more fiction than fact. There is debate on whether cranberry juice has a deterring effect on UTIs, and if it is a viable remedy for this inconvenient infection. To understand the dynamics of the debate you must start with the underlying health issue.
According to INTEGRIS, a UTI is “a serious, but common, health problem that occurs when microorganism, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra”. More commonly the infection involves the lower urinary tract, which includes the bladder and urethra. The Mayo Clinic explains that women are more prone to the infection than men. The infection itself can be painful and uncomfortable, but if it spreads to your kidneys it can become a serious health problem.
What the Research Shows
Research suggests cranberry juice may have some impact on fighting UTIs. However the evidence is far from conclusive. Supportive evidence is greatest in women with recurring UTIs, and is inconclusive in the cases of kids or older adults. For women there’s indication drinking cranberry juice daily may have preventative benefits. The only drawback of drinking cranberry juice daily is the calories. Individuals taking blood thinning medication should avoid drinking cranberry juice.
Studies cited on WebMD proclaim cranberry juice has a quick and effective impact on UTIs. These studies suggest ingesting cranberry juice can produce results within eight hours, and is effective at combatting bacterial development. The studies also state active compounds found in cranberry juice naturally combat bacteria. It is unclear whether these claims are realistic or not. When researching the subject of UTIs you must be careful to consult expert sources.
Additional Home Remedies
The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding coffee, alcohol and soft drinks containing citrus juice while experiencing a UTI. These liquids have a tendency to irate bladders and cause excessive urination. However, it is suggested to use a heating pad to alleviate discomfort. It is also recommended to drink lots of water to help remove bacteria from the urinary tract. The myths and home treatments involving UTIs are a poor substitute for professional help.
Seeking professional medical assistance for UTIs is your optimal solution. Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed treatment option. Though there is some debate as to the effectiveness of cranberry juice, research suggests there are preventative benefits.