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home remedies for urinary tract infection

Get Your Fill of Water

One of the first things to do when you have a urinary tract infection is drink plenty of water. That’s because drinking water can help flush away the bacteria that’s causing your infection, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), which puts you on the right track for recovery.

How much should you drink depends on your size. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces of water, up to 80 ounces (oz) a day, says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a naturopathic doctor in private practice in West Hollywood, California, and author of Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health. If you weigh 140 pounds, that means you should try to get 70 oz of water a day. And if you have kidney disease, the NIDDK stresses caution: Check with your physician about how much fluid is safe for you to drink.

Load Up on Vitamin C for a Healthy Urinary Tract

Getting plenty of foods high in vitamin C is important, because large amounts of vitamin C make urine more acidic. This inhibits the growth of bacteria in your urinary tract, according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine health library. If you have an active UTI, taking vitamin C supplements may help, too, advises Kandis Rivers, MD, a urologist at Henry Ford Health System in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Soothe UTI Pain With Heat

Inflammation and irritation from UTIs cause burning, pressure, and pain around your pubic area, Dr. Rivers says. Applying a heating pad can help soothe the area. Keep the heat setting low, don’t apply it directly to the skin, and limit your use to 15 minutes at a time to avoid burns.

Cut Bladder Irritants From Your Diet

When you have a UTI, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners can irritate your bladder further, making it harder for your body to heal. Focus on healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates, which are good for your digestive health, says Dr. Lucille.