A little about those UTIs…
Urinary Tract Infections are a relatively common problem among women. Our anatomy is not fighting in our favor! Our urethra is very short, about 4 cm! Bad bacteria can climb that ladder very quickly. Males, on the other hand, have a roughly 20 cm urethra! Usually the urge to urinate happens long before the bacteria has a chance to make it far enough up the urethra.
Letting a urinary tract infection get out of hand can lead to an infection in the kidneys, known as pyelonephritis. This is incredibly painful and dangerous too! A key symptom to look out for is flank pain. This is pain on either side of the back, around where the kidneys are located. It’s also common to have a fever at this point in the infection. You may also have a change in your urine appearance, such as being cloudy or bloody. Do not wait for this point! This requires antibiotics to treat, and can be life threatening if ignored.
During the early stages of a UTI, common symptoms usually present themselves with increased urination and burning with urination. You should visit your doctor as soon as possible once these symptoms show. While you wait, drink a lot of fluids!
About that Cranberry Juice…
Cranberry juice is great for helping to prevent urinary tract infections. Can you treat a minor infection with cranberry juice alone? Well, maybe if you drink it early enough! Once you are symptomatic, it is a safe idea to check with your doctor for some antibiotics. Cranberry juice consumed early enough can prevent any further infection. For this reason it is best to drink it often if you are concerned about developing an infection.
If you go to the juice aisle at the store, you will see a few cranberry juices to choose from. I try to find a juice that is actually made from cranberries (preferably as the first ingredient on the label). Some juices will have natural cranberry flavor (learn more about natural flavor here), but no cranberries!
If you can handle drinking pure cranberry juice, made from cranberries and water, that is the best! You can water it down more, or mix it with orange juice.