Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a bacterial infection affecting the urinary system, common in both men and women. However, UTIs are 10 times more common among women occurring at any age. Usually, UTI treatment requires antibiotics, even though there are certainly at home remedies that can help ease the signs and symptoms of this infection. Baking soda for UTI is one of the home remedies that might help minimize the intensity of this bacterial infection.
How Can Baking Soda Help with UTI?
It is believed that baking soda works by neutralizing the acid in the urine, allowing your body to fight and eliminate bacteria on its own. Baking soda is also believed to help detoxify the kidneys which can stop the infection from spreading to other parts of the urinary system. Baking soda is recommended on an empty stomach. For this purpose, you need to dissolve about ½ or 1 teaspoon of baking soda in water and drink it regularly until the infection resolves.
Home remedies, such as baking soda combined with water are not a substitute for UTI treatment. Before considering baking soda for UTI, consult with your healthcare provider. Usually, antibiotics are necessary for the treatment of UTIs and using just baking soda as a treatment is not enough. If left untreated, UTIs can spread to other parts of the urinary system, affecting the kidneys as well and even entering the bloodstream. These are serious bacterial infections which can lead to kidney failure and spread of the bacterial infection throughout the body. Hospitalization and intravenous antibiotic administrations are necessary in such cases. Even permanent kidney damage is possible.
How to Use Baking Soda for UTI
Baking soda is a natural remedy, but it can be dangerous too, especially when consumed in larger amounts. It can be harmful especially when eaten. The recommended daily dosage of baking soda for adults is about ½ teaspoon dissolved into 4 and up to 8 ounces of water, every 2 hours. Consuming more baking soda than that can lead to serious complications.
Possible mild complications from a baking soda overdose include:
- Abdominal pain
Serious complications from baking soda overdose include:
Luckily, these complications are very rare. Also, worth noticing is the fact that baking soda is not recommended during pregnancy as it can harm both the mother and the unborn baby.
More Treatments for UTI
Besides baking soda for UTI, here are more home remedies that you can try.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is packed with potassium, certain enzymes and other useful minerals which prevent bacteria from growing and multiplying in the urinary system. For this purpose, apple cider vinegar is considered as a natural antibiotic for the treatment of UTI. Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water. For flavor, you can add honey or lemon juice if you prefer. Drink this mixture two times a day for a couple of days.
2. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry is rich in vitamin C which is known to inhibit bacterial growth. In one cup of water add one teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder and one teaspoon of turmeric powder. Boil this mixture until half of the water evaporated and drink the rest three times a day for at least 3 to 5 days.
3. Cranberry Juice
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins which prevent the bacteria from getting attached to the walls of the urethra, eventually leading to a urinary infection. If you want to prevent UTIs in the future, it is recommended to drink a half glass of cranberry juice daily. If you already developed a UTI, drink at least three glasses of cranberry juice a day to speed up the recovery and prevent the infection from spreading to the upper parts of the urinary system. A good thing to know is that cranberry juice is not recommended in cases of the presence of kidney stones.
Blueberries are a natural remedy for the treatment of UTI as they have bacterial-inhibiting properties. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants which boost up the immune system, preventing this way bacterial growth and multiplying. You can eat blueberries fresh or you can drink a blueberry juice, whichever you prefer.
As pineapples contain Bromelain, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, they are a natural remedy for UTIs. Eating pineapples regularly can help prevent UTIs in the future as well. Fresh pineapples are more recommended than canned pineapples.
6. Hot Water Compresses
As UTIs are often associated with pain and discomfort, hot water compresses can provide relief. Hot water compresses also prevent bacterial growth and decrease the inflammation, speeding up the recovery time. Hot water compresses should be applied for a couple of minutes on the lower part of the abdomen a couple of times during the day.
Drinking plenty of water a day is a must, not only when trying to treat a bacterial urinary infection. However, drinking at least 10 glasses of water a day is necessary while treating a UTI. The more you drink, the more you urinate, meaning that the more bacteria you will eliminate.
8. Vitamin C
Large amounts of vitamin C will make the urine more acid, which inhibits the growth of bacteria in the urinary system. In cases of a UTI, taking vitamin C supplements will help ease the signs and symptoms as well as speed up the recovery.
9. Avoid Bladder Irritants from the Diet
When dealing with a UTI, certain foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder should be avoided. Carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, spicy foods, and artificial sweeteners should be avoided as they will just make the infection get worse or prolong the healing period. High fiber carbohydrate foods are recommended instead.
10. Empty Your Bladder Frequently
Every time you need to urinate, just go for it. Even emptying the bladder only in small amounts will help eliminate some bacteria and speed up the recovery. The more you need to go to the bathroom, the faster you will recover.
Change to Healthier Habits
Certain lifestyle changes will help recover faster from UTI and even prevent UTIs in the future as these bacterial infections affecting the urinary system tend to reoccur.
- Wear loose and cotton underwear.
- Wipe from front to back.
- Avoid personal hygiene products with fragrance.
- Quit smoking.