Urinary Tract Infections

What are Urinary Tract Infections?

Although urinary tract infections occur in both sexes, women suffer far more of them, primarily because of simple anatomical differences. The urethra (the tube leading from the bladder to the outside) in men is usually four or five inches in length and opens freely to the outside. In women, however, the tube is only about an inch or so in length, and the opening to the outside lies within the skin folds of the external genitalia, a short hop from the vaginal tract opening and only a few inches from the rectal opening. Although the urine usually remains sterile (totally free of bacteria), the same cannot be said for the vaginal or rectal tracts, both of which teem with bacteria. Women, then, are designed in a way that makes it easier for bacteria from these two adjacent areas to scuttle up that tube and into the bladder. To prevent that, nature has endowed women with a good immune defense system that constantly patrols the urethral tube on the lookout for bacteria trying to make their way in. As long as that system works well, a woman can fend off bladder and kidney infections.

Urinary Tract Infections But let stress, illness, physical injury, or nutritional deficiency enter the picture, and the slight dip that may occur in immune defenses can leave the door open to the bacteria that are always trying to gain entry. In addition to the general nutritional recommendations you will find under Immune System Health, let us offer a few other specifics.

What helps Urinary Tract Infections?

•  Water can be your best ally. Recommendation: Drink a minimum of 64 ounces of fluid a day. A solid fluid intake will keep your bladder filling and that will encourage you to empty it often.

•  Research shows that cranberry juice acidifies the urine, destroys bacteria buildup, and promotes healing. Recommendation: Drink at least 8 ounces of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice daily. If you cannot find pure cranberry juice, cranberry capsules can be substituted.

•  Vitamin C helps to provide an acid environment in your urine hostile to most bacteria. Recommendation: Take a minimum of 1000 mg of vitamin C 3 to 4 times daily.

How to prevent urinary tract infections

To prevent urinary-tract infections, always wipe from front to back after bowel movements to avoid fecal contamination of the urethra. Girls should use white, unscented toilet paper and mild soaps when bathing.


If painful urination is accompanied by fever, chills, bloody urine, vomiting, back or abdominal pain, get medical help immediately, as these are symptoms of kidney disease.

What makes Urinary Tract Infections worse?

• A diet high in sugar increases your risk for urinary tract infections. Recommendation: If you suffer frequent bladder or kidney infections, eliminate or drastically curtail your intake of sugars, including table sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, and all products made with these substances.

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