An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of urinary tract infections.
Although there is no evidence that good hygiene makes a real difference in preventing UTIs, it is always a wise practice. The following are some hygiene tips:
The following recommendations may reduce the risks from sexual activity:
Cranberries, blueberries, and lignonberry, a European relative of the cranberry, are three fruits that may have protective properties against urinary tract infections. These fruits contain compounds called tannins (or proanthocyanadins). Tannins may prevent E. coli bacteria from adhering to cells in the urinary tract, thereby inhibiting infection. Cranberry juice is the best-studied home remedy for UTIs. Some studies have indicated that cranberry juice may help decrease the number of symptomatic UTIs, especially for women with recurrent urinary tract infections.
It is not clear what the optimum dosage is for cranberries, or whether it is best to use juice or tablet form. Some research recommends drinking at least 1- 2 cups of cranberry juice daily, or taking at least 300 - 400 mg in tablet form twice daily.
Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that may protect against infections in the genital and urinary tracts. The best-known probiotics are the lactobacilli strains, such as acidophilus, which is found in yogurt and other fermented milk products (kefir), as well as in dietary supplement capsules. The probiotics bifidobacteria and GG lactobacilli may also be helpful. Other probiotics include the lactobacilli rhamnosus, casel, plantarium, bulgaricus, and salivarius, and also Enterococcus faecium and Streptococcus thermophilus. Not all studies show a benefit for probiotics in preventing urinary tract infections. More research is needed.
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