Do you struggle with urinary tract infections (UTI)? If so, you’ve probably been curious about drinking cranberry juice to ease your pain. And you are on the right track!
For those who are unfamiliar with UTIs, they are infections that can significantly impact the urinary system, namely the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. If left untreated, urinary tract-related infections can quickly spread to the liver and create even more health problems.
According to an article published by the National Kidney Foundation, if a urinary tract infection makes its way to the kidneys, it can lead to pyelonephritis. Those who develop pyelonephritis may experience swelling of the kidneys. Further, the condition can lead to permanent kidney damage and may even be life-threatening. It is also worth pointing out that UTIs can affect both men and women. Though, the condition is far more common among women.
HOW COMMON ARE URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS IN AMERICA?
Sadly, urinary tract-related infections are more common in America than most people might think. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, nearly half of all women in America will develop at least one UTI by the time they reach the age of 35. Also, approximately 20 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 24 will develop one or more UTIs every year. As far as UTIs among American men are concerned, one source indicates that 12 percent of American men over the age of 50 will develop the health condition each year. That said, urinary tract-related infections account for a significant number of healthcare visits among men and women in America.
CAUSES OF UTI
When it comes to urinary tract-related infections, particularly among women, some individuals are at a higher risk of developing them than others. Some of the factors that can contribute to these infections in women include
Anatomy – Because the urethra in women is much shorter compared to that of men, UTI-causing bacteria have a shorter path to the bladder.
Sexual activity – Studies show that women who engage in sexual activity frequently, especially with new partners, are at a higher risk of developing urinary tract-based infections compared to those who are not as sexually active.
Birth control – Most women who are sexually active but want to avoid becoming pregnant, will utilize birth control. However, some of them, especially diaphragms and products that contain spermicide agents, can contribute to a urinary tract-related infection.
Menopause – Unfortunately, another one of the many side effects of menopause is urinary tract-related infections. According to an article published by the Mayo Clinic, many menopausal women develop these infections due to a decline in estrogen.
HOW DO MEN DEVELOP UTIS?
Having detailed some of the factors that can contribute to UTIs in women, let’s turn our attention to what triggers this condition in men. First and foremost, urinary tract-related infections are not quite as common in young men as the condition typically occurs when they reach the age of 50.
Furthermore, UTIs among older men 0ften result from a sexually transmitted disease, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. It can also stem from problems with their prostate.
SYMPTOMS OF URINARY TRACT INFECTION
The symptoms associated with urinary tract-related infections are generally the same for both men and women, insomuch that both genders often experience the following:
- A frequent need to urinate
- A burning sensation during urination
- Discolored urine
- Unusually strong-smelling urine
While we are on the topic, it is worth noting that women who develop UTI-related infections may also experience pelvic pain. And in most cases, this pain is typically felt around the center of the pelvis. However, it may also be experienced around the pubic bone as well. It is worth noting, however, that some men and women may not experience any UTI-related symptoms at all. For this reason, it is important to schedule routine physical exams to catch this kind of health problem early.
Treatment for urinary tract-related infections generally involves a course of antibiotics. That said, the antibiotic medication that a physician will prescribe to their patients can vary. After all, there are many different kinds of urinary tract-related infections, some of which include
- Acute pyelonephritis
- Depending on the individual’s diagnosis, a physician will prescribe one of the following antibiotic medications:
In most cases, these antibiotics can resolve UTI-related symptoms in a matter of days. However, most doctors suggest that patients continue taking their medication until they have exhausted the entire supply of medicine.
RELIEVING UTI-RELATED SYMPTOMS AT HOME WITH CRANBERRY JUICE
Along with being deliciously refreshing, cranberry juice can better your health. According to Health Magazine, the dark-colored, ruby-red berries used to make cranberry juice can help prevent antibiotic resistance, combat inflammation, and even alleviate many of the symptoms typical of urinary tract-related infections. In addition to antioxidants, which can help fight off free radicals, one cup of cranberry juice contains the following:
- 26 percent of the RDI (recommended daily intake) of vitamin C
- 8 percent of the RDI of vitamin B6
- 11 percent of the RDI of vitamin K1
- 20 percent of the RDI of vitamin E
- 15 percent of the RDI of copper
Studies show that collectively these vitamins and minerals can help prevent harmful bacteria from attaching to the walls of an individual’s urinary tract if consumed regularly. To further put this into context, cranberry juice provides the same level of defense that prevents ulcers from forming in the stomach. In short, cranberry juice can help resolve urinary tract-related infections while helping to contribute to better overall health.
While it is possible to buy juice made from cranberries at your local supermarket, most don’t contain nearly as much of the health-boosting vitamins and nutrients as their homemade counterparts. Typically, the juice being sold in most supermarkets contain a lot of water. And while they can still keep you hydrated, they fall short when it comes to providing your body with vitamins and nutrients needed for good health. If you’re struggling with a urinary tract-related infection, you will benefit more by making your juice at home. Although doing so might seem daunting, it is not as hard as many people think. That said, let’s take a look at how you can make this delicious and health-boosting drink at home:
To get things started, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound of frozen of fresh cranberries
- 32 fluid ounces of water
- One tablespoon of sugar (optional)
Once you have assembled your ingredients, the fun part can finally get underway. To make a batch of delicious-tasting juice from cranberries, you will want to follow these easy directions:
- Thoroughly wash and drain your fresh or frozen cranberries.
- Pour the water along with the cranberries into a large pan.
- Over medium heat, bring the water and cranberries to a boil.
- Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat and keep on cooking until the cranberries start to burst.
- Pour the cranberry-filled water into a colander to catch the broken pieces of cranberries and then reheat the juice for a few minutes.
- Pour the juice and a dash of sugar into glass jars.
- After they have cooled, place the jars in the refrigerator so that the juice can get ice cold.
SO YOU DON’T LIKE THE TASTE OF CRANBERRY JUICE? TRY THIS SMOOTHIE!
Although drinking juice made from cranberries can resolve many of the symptoms brought on by a urinary tract-related infection, it may not appeal to everybody. If this is something that resonates with you, an equally delicious-tasting cranberry smoothie might be in order. After all, when combined with the other ingredients that make a smoothie a smoothie, you hardly notice the taste of cranberries at all. That said, here is a quick and easy recipe that you can try today to help ease UTI-related symptoms:
- One large peeled orange
- ½ cup of frozen or fresh strawberries or raspberries
- 1/3 of frozen or fresh cranberries
- 1 peeled frozen banana
Once you have assembled your ingredients, you can then let your blender do the rest of the work. So sit back now and await your delicious smoothie.
To make the best tasting and health-boosting cranberry smoothie imaginable, you want to place all of your ingredients into a blender. From there, blend them until you have reached a smooth consistency. Of course, for the best taste, you should drink your delicious smoothie right away.
BOTTOM LINE ON UTILIZING CRANBERRY JUICE TO TREAT UTI
In summation, countless women and men in America know all too well how difficult it is to live with a urinary tract-related infection. Fortunately, there are many prescription and at-home remedies that can provide relief.