One of the most common questions I get asked in my practice is what not to eat with a urinary tract infection. Most people are under the impression that they can’t eat anything at all, but this isn’t true!
In this blog post, we will go over what you should and shouldn’t be eating when dealing with a UTI.
What is Urinary Tract Infection
A UTI is an infection that affects the urinary tract and it can also be a sign of other illnesses, such as diabetes.
UTI’s are most common in women who experience frequent urination or pain when they pee. Other symptoms include fever, cloudy urine, blood in the urine, or bad-smelling urine. There may also be back pain and pressure on your lower abdomen if you have severe cases.
A UTI is caused by bacteria that enter the urethra, which can happen after sex or using a public toilet.
The symptoms may not be noticeable throughout your whole body and some people don’t even know they have a UTI until it’s too late to prevent damage to their kidneys as there are no early signs of infection.
Foods to Avoid When You Have a UTI
The most important things to avoid if you are suffering from a urinary tract infection (UTI) are:
Excessive amounts of caffeine can irritate your bladder lining which can lead to an infection.
Caffeine also dehydrates you, leaving urine more concentrated which can make bacteria grow faster in the urinary tract.
Caffeine can also act as a diuretic, which means you have to pee more often and this can make an infection worse.
Alcohol can irritate the bladder and make it difficult for your body to heal itself
If you drink too much, you might have a harder time urinating or urinate more often than usual
Drinking alcohol will also increase the likelihood of dehydration because it takes up space in your stomach that should be reserved for fluids.
Eating spicy foods can stimulate the digestive system. This could lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, or even vomiting.
Spicy foods may also irritate a sensitive bladder and cause pain while urinating.
If you have UTI, it is always best to avoid anything that might make your discomfort worse or aggravate any other existing health conditions.
All of these can irritate an already sensitive bladder or urethra. For people who have trouble with dehydration due to the constant urination needed when dealing with UTIs, it’s also advisable for them to eliminate any drinks that contain diuretics as well.
Citrus fruits and juices are acidic. The pH levels in citrus have an acidity level of about two, which is much lower than what your urinary tract needs to be at for proper healing
Acidic foods or beverages can cause irritation that may worsen the symptoms of a UTI
When you experience UTIs it’s important to maintain overall hydration with fluids like water and cranberry juice while avoiding any other food substances that could irritate your bladder further
Power foods for better urinary health
There are a few foods that can keep the urinary tract healthy:
Use unsweetened cranberry juice or eat whole cranberries throughout the day as they’re not always available at restaurants. Cranberry juice is an excellent source of Vitamin C which helps prevent bacteria from sticking to cells in the bladder wall.
This cruciferous vegetable has sulforaphane (a potent antioxidant) that kills cancer cells by cutting off their blood supply
Beans contain a soluble fiber called “resistant starch” which blocks E Coli and other harmful bacteria from entering into your bloodstream through your digestive system
This fruit is a great, natural source of water and can help flush out your system
Add green tea on top of what you’re already drinking. Green tea has many powerful antioxidants that protect the urinary tract from bacteria entry
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day as this will help keep all parts lubricated; sipping more than two liters (eight cups) per day greatly lowers UTI risk
The worst possible thing you can do when trying to recuperate from a UTI is eat anything that will make symptoms worse. A general rule of thumb for anyone with any kind of infection, not just UTIs, is to avoid salty foods and acidic fruits like oranges or grapefruit since these types of food only aggravate the condition. Drink plenty of fluids such as water and herbal tea to flush out your system.