Talk about the pits! Yes, a bladder infection is the pits! But have you ever wondered how to get rid of bladder infections naturally? Well, I’m here to tell you there is an easy and effective natural alternative.
If you have ever had one, you know exactly what I mean – burning, pain and the feeling that your insides are gonna fall out when you “go”, “potty”, “tinkle” or whatever term you use!
I haven’t had too many bladder infections but I did have one recently and my stand-by remedy, drinking cranberry juice, did not work!
Of course, it happened on a weekend which turned out to be a blessing because had I been able, I would have gone to the doctor!
Instead, I found out how to get rid of bladder infections naturally, a natural solution for bladder infections that worked like a charm!
Just to cover myself, I am sharing what has worked for me and am not giving medical advice. I am not a doctor but I do prefer to treat with natural remedies if possible and I love sharing what has worked for me.
Here is some trivia for you:
Did you know that bladder infections are more common in women than men?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates 40 to 60 percent of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetime.
This maybe due to the short urethra in women. The urethra is the tube that is about 1 1/2 inches long and carries the urine out of the body.
The urethra’s short length makes it easy for bacteria to travel from outside the body to the bladder.
What is a Bladder Infection?
Before I tell you how to get rid of bladder infections naturally, let’s look at what a bladder infection is.
Urinary Tract Infection or UTI is an infection affecting the urinary tract. (NIH)
If the infection occurs in the lower part of the urinary tract it is called cystitis or a bladder infection.
Occurring in the upper part of the urinary tract, it is called pyelonephritis or a kidney infection.
If a bladder infection is left untreated, it can travel up the ureters and into the kidneys. This is a serious condition and medical help should be sought at once.
So, early detection is key to getting rid of a bladder infection naturally.
It is important to treat early and distinguish between an upper and lower urinary tract infection.
So, what is the difference?
Signs and Symptoms of a Bladder Infection
- Painful urination
- Burning upon urination
- Frequent urination
- The feeling of urgency and need to urinate but unable to
- Cloudy or bloody urine
- Low grade fever
- Sources include Healthline, MayoClinic, WebMD
Signs and Symptoms of a Kidney Infection
- All of the above
- Fever above 101F
- Pain in the side, back or groin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion or mental changes (especially in the elderly)
- Sources include NIH, WebMD, Health24
Causes of Bladder Infections
- Most bladder infections are caused by bacteria entering the urethra and travelling into the bladder.
- The bacteria Escherichia coli (E. Coli) is responsible for most bladder infections. Although harmless where it normally resides in the small intestine, E. Coli becomes a problem when it spreads to the urinary tract.
- After menopause, women have an increased risk of bladder infections. This may be due to a decrease in estrogen, which may result in a reduction of the number of beneficial bacteria in the vagina that help keep harmful bacteria in check.
- The bladder also becomes less elastic with age and may not completely empty – this allows for bacterial growth.
- Antibiotics eliminate the beneficial bacteria and allow an overgrowth of E. Coli in the vagina increasing the risk of bladder infections.
- Coffee and other caffeinated beverages in large quantities irritate the urinary tract and promote bladder infections.
- Pregnancy – up to 10% of pregnant women have bacteria in their urine which increases the chance of a bladder infection.
- Sources: Healthline, MayoClinic, Medical News Today
How to Get Rid of Bladder Infections Naturally
My go-to natural cure for bladder infections has always been to drink a bottle of cranberry juice throughout the day – at least one glass every hour and more if I could.
Until my last bladder infection, this had always worked.
Cranberry juice contains compounds that may prevent E. coli cells from attaching to cells in the urinary tract. (NCBI)
Cranberry juice also contains antioxidants, including polyphenols, which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. (MedicalNewsToday)
Conclusions Our findings indicate that cranberry-containing products are associated with protective effect against UTIs.
I tried the cranberry capsules but they did not work as well as just drinking the cranberry juice.
But, then I tried raw apple cider vinegar.
With my last bladder infection, however, cranberry juice did not work so, I tried apple cider vinegar.
I drank 2 Tbsp (more if I felt that I could stomach it) of raw apple cider vinegar in an 8 oz. glass of water every hour.
The results were amazing! After the first hour, I had no more pain when I urinated (pottyed, peed…) but I continued drinking throughout the afternoon.
The next day, I drank the same mixture (2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar in water) three times – morning, noon, night.
The third day, I drank the mixture in the morning and at night. And that was it! How easy can it get?
It is important to use raw apple cider vinegar (affiliate link).
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI):
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans
What is apple cider vinegar?
It’s basically fermented apple juice, but not the sugary kind you see in cardboard boxes. This is the real stuff, fermented with all kind of healthy bacteria.
The raw apple cider vinegar has the “mother” in it and you will see the sediment in the bottom of the jar. This is the healthy bacteria that can help your body, which is responsible for its health benefits. Don’t get any apple cider vinegar that doesn’t contain it!
Again, it is important to catch a bladder infection early.
According to Medical News Today,
By some estimates, 25–42 percent of uncomplicated UTI infections clear on their own. In these cases, people can try a range of home remedies to speed up recovery.
Although the incidence is low, if left untreated a bladder infection can travel up into the kidneys.
So, if I were still having symptoms after a couple of days of treatment with raw apple cider vinegar, I would go to the doctor for medical help.
Up this point, the apple cider vinegar treatment has worked and I have not needed to visit the doctor! I’m so glad to have found a natural solution to a natural problem!
What about re-curring bladder infections?
This is a question I asked my urologist because while the apple cider vinegar works like a charm, I would rather not go through the pain of having an infection at all!
My urologist told me that to help keep UTI’s away (especially in people that have them frequently) is to have a glass of lemonade made with fresh lemon juice – twice a week each week at the same time. They should be space out as evenly during the week as possible.
The juice for the lemonade can be from a fresh lemon or even the green bottle of real lemon juice. He said that many of his patients just go to Chick-fil-A twice a week and get their lemonade since it is made with real lemon juice.
And, it should be completely consumed within an hour.
It is important to get rid of the infection which is what the apple cider vinegar can do and the lemonade changes the pH of the bladder enough so the bacteria is unable to live.
What’s your favorite natural solution? Did this one work for you? Tell me all about it in the comments!
This is a wonderful remedy to put together as soon as you need it.
- 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 8 oz water
- Mix the apple cider vinegar with water and drink - See notes for more details.
- Day 1: Mix 2 Tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar in 8oz of water and drink - each hour, repeat with another 2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar and water.
- Day 2: If symptoms have subsided - drink the above mixture three times during the day. If symptoms have not subsided - drink the above mixture each hour.
- Day 3: If no symptoms - drink the apple cider vinegar and water in the morning and again in the evening.
- If symptoms continue - seek medical attention.
- **Raw apple cider vinegar has many health benefits so if you can stomach swallowing more than 2 Tbsp the first day, by all means increase the dose but, 2 Tbsp worked for me.