Urinary tract infections are painful, bacterial infections that disrupt life. Many women who suffer from UTIs end up visiting doctors and taking medications. Now, new research is finding that antibiotics, the most common treatment, may not be enough. 
UTI Symptoms in Women
Common UTI symptoms include...
- A burning sensation during urination
- An intense urge to go, even when nothing comes out
- Back pain or pressure in the lower abdomen
- Cloudy, off-smelling urine
- Feeling sick with no other symptoms
- Fever and chills (usually an indication the infection has spread)
What is a Recurrent UTI?
It's important to remember that not all bacteria are bad. In fact, the human body (especially the digestive tract) relies on bacteria to perform many critical functions. The concern is when bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria. UTIs can occur as a result of an imbalance between good and bad bacteria.  UTIs cause discomfort and irritation and, if unaddressed, can spread to the kidneys. A UTI is recurrent when there are at least two infections in a six-month period or three in a year.
Home Remedies for UTIs
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for UTIs but aren't the miracle cure they're made out to be. One of the concerns with antibiotics is that they kill both good and bad bacteria. For people who would prefer to avoid those issues, there are a number of natural remedies that can help support a healthy urinary tract. 
Juniper Berry Oil
Juniper berry oil promotes probiotic balance in the digestive tract.  It also encourages a normal urine flow to help flush the kidneys.
Before antibiotics, uva ursi was a favorite natural remedy for UTIs. It's best taken at the first sign of a UTI – 2 to 4 grams per day for no more than five days. 
Diet, Diet, Diet
Processed food and refined sugar encourage the growth of bad bacteria. Natural, organic food is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support the good bacteria that keep troublemakers in check. 
Although hormonal imbalances are not usually identified as a prime factor for concerns with bladder health, there is some evidence to suggest that when a woman's hormones are balanced, it can help support urinary tract health.  It's not definitely the answer but it's interesting information to consider, especially if it seems nothing else has helped.
Probiotics: A New Paradigm in UTI Health?
Probiotic balance is essential for good health. Supporting the healthy bacteria in your gut creates a strong defense that can help keep the bad guys from causing concerns.  Studies have found that Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei (two strains of good bacteria) are helpful for supporting urinary tract health (just one of the many health benefits of probiotics).  
What's your strategy for promoting the health of your urinary tract? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.
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†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.