UTI stands for urinary tract infections that are the most common infections that a person can contract as per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A UTI affects any part of the urinary tract including the kidneys, urethra, bladder, and ureter. The straightforward way for treating and getting rid of UTIs is by taking antibiotics.
However, bacteria that cause such infections are increasingly becoming resistant to antibiotics that are used to treat them. This is why several people are resorting to using other ways to treat the infection. These remedial measures include using essential oils, dietary supplement and even baking soda for uti.
Let’s dig into the role that baking soda plays, what science has to say, and whether it is safe to use or not:
Why is baking soda used for UTIs?
Baking soda plays a helpful role in neutralizing the acid present in urine. This turns on the body’s natural mechanism to fight the bacteria-causing infection, helping reduce the symptoms of a UTI.
At the same time, people also take baking soda to prevent the infection from spreading. It helps to detoxify the kidneys, which stops the UTI from spreading. While these are the two main reasons for taking baking social for uti, there is no strong evidence backing it.
However, some people reporting that the home remedy helped them lessen their urgency and discomfort are common. Consequently, it is commonly taken on an empty stomach. The recommended intake stands at ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda with water which is to be taken on an empty stomach.
What does the scientific evidence say?
As mentioned, there is no solid research that backs the claim that baking soda can help treat urinary tract infections. There is, however, research that suggests that baking soda can be harmful to the body.
A review by the California Poison Control System concluded that out of the 192 cases of baking soda poisoning, 4-7% of the case were caused due to folks taking baking soda as a treatment for UTIs.
In several cases, the complications were serious enough to take a person to the hospital. Also, trying to treat a UTI at home with baking soda put themselves in greater risks by not consulting a doctor first. In such a case, you may miss a complication that may be causing the infection.
Complications related to the intake of baking soda for UTIs
The suggested dose of baking soda that is termed as safe for an adult is ½ teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 4-8 ounces of water for every two hours. According to one case, a man faces severe bleeding by swallowing baking soda.
Some of the mild complications include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Other complications include diarrhea, coma, seizures, brain bleeding or damage, coma, and stomach pain. It can also lead to death in certain circumstances.
Some important factors to keep in mind
It is important to keep in mind that if you are pregnant, then you should not take baking soda as it can prove to be harmful to you and your baby. A good tip is to drink lots of water, which dilutes the urine, making it less acidic. This helps to flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract.
Besides, avoid certain foods that can irritate a sensitive bladder. These include spices, sodas, citrus, alcohol, and caffeine.
Other ways to treat urinary tract infections
Besides taking plenty of water and avoiding food that can irritate your bladder, there are other natural ways to get rid of a UTI too. These include:
Use a heating pad to soothe the pain
Irritation and inflammation in the event of a urinary treat infection can cause pressure, pain, and burning around the public area. Apply a heating pad to soothe the area. Be careful to keep the heat setting low and don’t use it directly to the skin. Limit your use to 15 minutes too.
Consume lots of vitamin C
Taking foods that boast a rich content of vitamin C is a significant move. A significant amount of this vitamin makes it more acidic, which prevents the bacteria from inhabiting the urinary tract. Taking vitamin C supplements can also help with treating an active UTI
Have cranberry juice
For several years, unsweetened cranberry juice has been credited for flushing out bacteria and preventing them from sticking to the wall of the bladder. This can help in preventing UTIs as well as lessening recurrent UTIs. Hence, cranberry juice can also help. Findings are, however, inconclusive.
Use essential oils
Essential oils can also be used to treat UTI. For instance, one study indicated that lemongrass oil can help to fight several common pathogens such as E.coli that is the bacteria which is chiefly responsible for UTIs.
Moving forward- How to prevent UTIs?
If you have a tendency of contracting a UTI, then you can follow these preventative measures:
- Urinate when you feel the need to without holding it
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Urinate before as well as after having sexual intercourse
- Consider taking showers instead of baths to prevent the bacteria from entering your body
- Avoid bubble baths
- Wipe from front to back so that you don’t bring the stool toward the urethra and vagina
- Use water and nothing else in the genital areas. Soap, powder, and sprays can irritate the genital tract and upset the pH balance which can provide a ground for growth