As per recent research, 1 out of 5 women will have at least one urinary tract infection (UTI) in her life, and 20 percent of them will experience it more than once. The statistics show that bladder infections result in almost 10 million doctor’s visits every year as women seek treatment for their pain, pressure, and continuous need to urinate.
Symptoms of UTI
UTI is a bladder infection that occurs when foreign bacteria enter the urinary tract. It can irritate the urethra, resulting in painful urination, lower abdominal pain, or even cramping. You should know the symptoms of contracting this bacteria to treat it better.
Not everyone exhibits the same symptoms. But according to the Mayo Clinic, common signs of a urinary tract infection include the following:
- Blood in the urine
- Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen
- Foul-smell in the urine
- Kidney or bladder stones
- Low fever or chills
- Pain during intercourse
- Passing frequent but small quantity of urine
- Pelvic pain
- Burning feeling when urinating
- Strong and persistent need to urinate
- Cloudy urine
A bladder infection can be disturbing and painful, but it can become a severe health problem if the bacterial infection spreads to your bloodstream. Therefore, understanding your body is essential, and seeking treatment early on for bladder infections benefits you to manage the symptoms. Specific diets will also improve your overall health and boost the immune system. It brings us to the most important factor of UTI: foods to avoid.
Foods to Avoid for UTI
Several common foods and drinks, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods, acidic fruits, citrus, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and coffee can irritate your bladder. They may worsen UTI symptoms, so you should avoid taking them if you have signs of a bladder infection.
Following foods are a big no when suffering from a UTI:
1- Skip Coffee to Ease Bladder Infection
Indeed, your morning cup of coffee livens you up, but it may also make your UTI symptoms get triggered again. Caffeine is widely known to disturb your bladder and worsen bladder infection symptoms. A study of interstitial cystitis and chronic bladder inflammation found that people who drank coffee regularly and excessively experienced worsened symptoms of UTI. To avoid such problems, you should try a mug of noncaffeinated herbal tea instead of your morning coffee routine until you are free of UTI.
2- Say No to Alcohol
Though you should take plenty of fluids when you have a UTI, it is important to avoid alcohol in all circumstances. It is a fact that beer, wine, liquor, and any other type of alcohol can irritate your stomach. If you have reflux or an ulcer, alcohol can also irritate the bladder, particularly if you are already suffering from a bladder infection. Thus, take a break from cocktails, particularly when you are trying to flush out the bacteria from your system and recover from a urinary tract infection.
3- Skip Citric and Caffeinated Sodas
Citrus-flavored and caffeinated sodas are the culprits that worsen urinary tract infection symptoms, specifically your favorite lemon-lime concoction. Sodas, in general, have been found to disturb the bladder in people with a chronic bladder infection, and they could intensify the symptoms in someone who has a UTI. So, when you are struggling to defeat a bladder infection, you should stick to water or cranberry juice as your only drinking option.
4- Always Avoid Acidic Fruits when Treating a UTI
In the dietary list of UTI: foods to avoid, citrus fruits come at the top. Although fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet, fruits that contain many acids tend to irritate the bladder and worsen your UTI condition. Therefore, you should avoid taking oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and tomatoes when treating your bladder infection. Moreover, other fruits that can cause bladder irritation and worsen a UTI include grapes, plums, strawberries, apples, peaches, and pineapple. It would help if you also steered clear of juices made from the fruits mentioned above.
5- Any Spicy Food is a Big No
Topping your nachos with jalapeños, sprinkling your pizza with red pepper flakes, or taking your curry chicken extra hot, all of this is a big no when you have a UTI. Spicy foods are commonly known to irritate the bladder and worsen UTI symptoms. Thus, you need to cool down your meals and choose blander foods when treating a urinary tract infection, whether recurring in nature or the first time.
6- Artificial Sweeteners are not your Friends
When you are trying to cut down daily caloric count at every corner, artificial sweeteners may seem like a healthy alternative for sugar. However, if you have contracted a urinary tract infection, your bladder infection symptoms can worsen if you keep using artificial sweeteners. Recently, it was found that artificial sweeteners have adverse effects on bladder symptoms in people with chronic interstitial cystitis. However, there is no actual proof they irritate the bladder when you have an uncomplicated UTI. But if these fake sweeteners trouble you, stop their usage at once. If you want to know more information about urinary tract infections, then visit a doctor and book your appointment with the best urologists in Karachi today.