Everyone has something they’re susceptible to. For me, it seems to be water infections or UTI’s if you will. As a woman we’re physically more likely to get UTI’s but some of us can be even more susceptible than others.
If you’ve ever had one you’ll understand, if you haven’t, well you’re very VERY lucky! Chatting with friends who have suffered in the past, the contentious is that we would rather have a stomach bug than a UTI because they’re just that bad.
But having been a long term sufferer of these horrid little infections I’ve built up quite a few tips and tricks to help survive them. I’m sharing them with you today in the hope that they may help along the way if you find yourself in UTI land without a clue.
What Is A UTI
From the NHS website:
Infections of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) are known as lower UTIs. These can cause:
- a need to pee more often than usual
- pain or discomfort when peeing
- sudden urges to pee
- feeling as though you’re unable to empty your bladder fully
- pain low down in your tummy
- urine that’s cloudy, foul-smelling or contains blood
- feeling generally unwell, achy and tired
How To Cope
Water. The last thing you’re going to want to do is go for a wee when a UTI strikes because, well, it’s agony. But you MUST keep drinking in order to flush the infection out. By upping your water intake (by quite a lot) it makes life easier when you do need to go, and you might just manage to save it from getting worse or spreading if you do this early.
Antibiotics. When I feel a UTI coming on I can now tell how severe it is. If it’s unbearable I make an appointment with my GP ASAP and get some antibiotics – once you have these you’ll be feeling better within 24 hours so stay strong! It’s not great to rely on antibiotics too much so if you can treat your infection at home with some of the other things mentioned then do so, but if it’s your first infection always better to be safe than sorry and your GP will be able to help you assess what’s needed.
Heat. A hot water bottle between your legs is a godsend when you have a UTI. Get one as soon as you can and wrap up warm. Comfy pjs, loose clothing and cotton underwear will help you feel as comfortable as possible while you’re suffering from your UTI.
Shallow Warm Baths. Another thing I find comforting is a shallow warm bath (without bubbles) to help ease the discomfort of a UTI. One of the symptoms of a UTI is needed to wee constantly even though not a lot comes out, so if you’re sat in the bath (sorry not sorry) you can do this and relax a little without being up and down for disappointing loo trips constantly. Not the most pleasant of tips but trust me it helps and you’ll try anything at this point!
Cut Back on Sugar and Acidic Foods. These will make it hurt more when you wee, you want to make your urine as alkali as possible. If you want to drink cranberry juice (there isn’t any scientific evidence this helps) then make sure it’s sugar-free plus avoid caffeine and alcohol too.
Cystopurin. You can pick up these hideous tasting sachets from the chemist or your local supermarket, they help to neutralise your urine. They’re not a cure-all for me but they do help so neck them back ASAP.
Paracetamol. Good old pain killers also help manage to pain until your antibiotics kick in. Take these according to pack instructions and it will help a lot.
D-Mannose. I was recently sent a supply of these tablets after so many of you recommended them on my weekly vlogs. They help prevent the E.Coli bacteria and they have been a godsend. I take two before bed and if I feel an infection coming on I take three to tr and catch it early and since having them things have been a LOT better. Highly recommended, worth having in your arsenal especially if like me you want to try and avoid antibiotics.
Stay Hydrated. Dehydration can be a cause of UTI’s so make sure you stay hydrated at all times. Drink lots of water every day and keep those water levels topped up.
Stay Stress-Free. Easier said than done but I find that stress can trigger UTI’s for me so it’s very important to stay calm and try to relax. Give this blog post a read to help with some tips.
Eat well. This goes without saying but extra vitamins and minerals in your diet is a great way to stay healthy and prevent infections. I wrote a blog post on just this after getting numerous infections in a row, so it’s well worth a read: How I Ate Myself Healthy.
Cotton Knickers. I know those super cheap pants from Primark look attractive on the old wallet but buying good quality breathable cotton knickers is a great way to stay UTI free. M&S are my go-to and I always use sensitive washing powders and softeners too to prevent irritation.
Get Enough Sleep. Always important for everything but lack of sleep is a sure fire way to get run down. Make time for Zzzz’s to help your immune system stay strong.
Boost Your Immune System. Again this one is a given for everything but I find that keeping my immune system high with daily vitamins and Eccanachia tablets helps a lot and I tend to feel so much better in every way.
Wee After Sex. This is a no-break rule for me. Always, ALWAYS wee after sexy time. Even though you may just want to cuddle up and fall asleep this one is so important and will be a huge help in keeping UTI’s at bay.
Probiotics. After an infection or taking antibiotics, your body is going to be low. Antibiotics will kill the bad bacteria but they’ll also kill the good so make sure you’re taking some supplements (I get mine from Holland & Barrat for about £15) to help this. Yoghurt and yoghurt drinks can help too but do some research to see what works for you.
I hope these tips are helpful if you find yourself suffering – if you have any tips please do leave them down below.