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A urinary tract infection (UTI) isn’t usually serious if you catch it in time, but it can still cause mild to severe pain until you treat it. Common types of urinary tract infection pain, such as burning while urinating and flank, side, and bladder pain, are typically easily treatable. Antibiotics are the most common kinds of treatments and generally help relieve pain within a day or two of taking them. Some people prefer more natural treatments such as herbal combinations prescribed by naturopathic doctors. Although at-home pain remedies don’t usually cure the infections, many people find relief from urinary tract infection pain with cranberry products, heat, and over-the-counter pain medication.
Generally, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to cure your UTI. Although antibiotics aren’t a type of pain medication, they do treat the infection causing the pain. This means your urinary tract infection pain will begin to lessen and eventually disappear after you begin taking antibiotics. Keep in mind that the absence of pain doesn’t mean the infection is cured. It’s important to continue taking the antibiotics until they’re gone or as long as prescribed.
There are other ways you can treat urinary tract infection pain while you wait for your doctor’s appointment or for the antibiotics to start working. Many doctors recommend drinking plenty of water to help flush out the bacteria causing the UTI, and mixing at least a teaspoon of baking soda with each glass of water can help speed up the pain relief. Cranberry products, such as pure cranberry juice and not cranberry cocktails with sugar, have been shown to provide relief. Note that some companies manufacture over-the-counter pills, many of which are cranberry-based, designed to provide relief from urinary tract infection pain. Some studies have shown that other fruits, such as blueberries and pineapple, can also help fight a UTI as well as decrease the pain.
Of course, you can consider other traditional forms of pain relief. Urinary tract infection pain is rarely severe enough for prescription pain medication, and most sufferers experience relief with over-the-counter pain medicine. A properly placed heating pad or hot water bottle can help with flank pain and side pain, and a hot bath can cover even more painful areas.
If you want to avoid antibiotics, consider alternative urinary tract infection treatments. Some people experience pain relief and even cures when they undergo treatments involving certain herbs, such as goldenseal root, uva ursi, and bychu. It’s best to consult a licensed naturopathic physician for these treatments rather than begin them on your own.
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