If you frequently get urinary tract infections, then you probably need a course of antibiotics at the onset to treat each bout of the disease. In an attempt to reduce your infections, you may have taken to drinking a great deal of cranberry juice. Many people believe that cranberry juice can assist in the capacity. However, you may want to know if this is really true.
Can Cranberry Juice Prevent UTIs?
In theory, cranberries and cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections. Specific compounds in the cranberries, called A-type proanthocyanidins do stop bacteria from clinging to the urinary tract. The ingredient helps to keep some of the more harmful bacteria, like E. coli from adhering and causing an infection. Since bacteria cause UTI infections and need to stick to the tract to multiply and infect the area, this is a good thing.
Unfortunately, cranberries and cranberry juice do not have nearly enough of the compound to make a lot of difference. However, supplements and juice products will not hurt you and they may help, even a small amount in reducing UTIs and their symptoms. You should not expect the juice to make the infections go away completely though.
You should also choose to drink a sugar-free or reduced sugar juice product. If you increase the amount of sugar that you consume, then some of the excess will be released through the urine. The sugar encourages bacteria growth and can lead to an increase in bacterial activity in the urinary tract. This may lead to even more infections.
What Should You Do?
There are many things that you can do to prevent UTIs. One of the best solutions is to make sure that you drink plenty of water. Water will flush out the bladder and the urinary tract and it make it harder for bacteria to thrive.
If you do start drinking a lot of water, just make sure not to hold it in between bathroom breaks. This counteracts the idea of flushing out the bladder and the urethra throughout the day. Overgrowth of bacteria is likely, so make sure to void your bladder at least every few hours.
When you go to the bathroom, also make sure to wipe front to back to keep bacteria away from the urethra.
If you are concerned about UTIs and their frequency, then make sure to speak with your physician about the problem. Treatments may be available to help reduce the infections significantly.