Cranberry Juice & Urinary Tract Infections

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Cranberry juice is often used as a remedy to prevent and heal urinary tract infections, though most people may not know exactly how it works. There is a scientific reason as to how it helps and surprisingly it is not the only juice that will do the trick.

Home Treatments

Visit your doctor if you suspect you have a urinary tract infection. There are times when an infection will require antibiotics and some more serious infections may require a short stay in the hospital. You should drink 10 glasses of water or more per day, in addition to three to four glasses of cranberry juice, recommends Carol J. Mulvihill, director of health services at the University of Pittsburgh.

Not the Only Juice

While cranberry juice is the often touted method for ridding you of a urinary tract infection, blueberry juice is just as effective. Both juices act as an antibiotic in your immune system that help absorb the bacteria in your bladder to put you on the road to recovery.

Why it Works

It was once thought that these juices helped maintain your body's pH balance, however an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in October 1998 revealed that this is not the case. Cranberries and blueberries contain condensed tannins that keep E. Coli–the main cause of infection–from attaching to your urinary tract.

General Prevention

Women can prevent infection by keeping genital areas clean and dry, urinating after sexual intercourse and avoiding too many bubble baths and holding urine for long periods. After urination, women should wipe from front to back. They should wipe from back to front after a bowel movement to prevent spreading germs from the rectal area.

Though less common in men, they can prevent infection by keeping the foreskin of the penis clean and using latex or polyurethane condoms during sex.

Drink Regularly

Drink cranberry or blueberry juice regularly if you suffer from frequent infections. One to two glasses daily can help prevent an infection. Drink a glass at lunch or breakfast to keep your system clean and in tip-top shape.

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