The best natural remedies for a bladder infection include drinking plenty of water and cranberry juice. Water flushes out bacteria and other toxins that contribute to the bladder infection, and cranberry juice has anti-infective properties. Over-the-counter cranberry tablets can be taken for those who cannot tolerate drinking large amounts of juice. These supplements can cause the urine to turn pink, and should not be mistaken for bleeding of the urinary tract.
Other natural remedies include taking warm baths and applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen. Although these treatments will not eradicate the infection, they might help relieve symptoms. Typical symptoms of a bladder infection include burning and pain upon urination, bladder pressure, and frequently urinating small amounts of urine. In addition, blood in the urine, as well as cloudy urine, might also occur.
Drinking lemon juice that has been diluted in warm water is also one of the more popular natural remedies for a bladder infection. Although lemon juice can slightly irritate the urinary tract, it acts as a natural diuretic that promotes urination and can help flush out bacteria. Frequently, natural remedies are very effective in relieving symptoms, but antibiotics may be needed to eradicate the infection and prevent complications.
Typically, a urinary tract infection will respond well to sulfa-based antibiotics. These antibiotics can be hard on the stomach and cause significant symptoms such as a gnawing pain in the stomach, nausea, and diarrhea. A patient can increase his or her fluid intake to lessen the side effects of the antibiotics while helping clear the infection. If the antibiotics are not finished, the bladder infection can progress to a kidney infection. If not treated, this could result in permanent kidney damage or even kidney failure.
When fever, chills, and bloody urine are present, natural remedies for a bladder infection might not be the preferred method of treatment. In these cases, a health care provider needs to be notified so he or she can implement an effective plan to eliminate the infection before it gets worse. In certain resistant infections, hospitalization might be recommended and treatment may include intravenous fluid replacement and intravenous antibiotics.
Herbal preparations are sometimes used to treat a bladder infection, but patients should be cautious when using them. Some herbal supplements and teas can interact with prescription medications, causing them to become more or less potent. In addition, some anticoagulant medications can interact with herbal remedies, causing the blood to further thin. Unless recommended by a medical professional, herbal remedies should be used with extreme caution or avoided altogether.