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The Low Down on Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infections
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The Low Down on Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infections

A bacterial infection, generally caused by Escherichia coli, in the urinary tract is called a UTI (urinary tract infection). Cystitis or a bladder infection is located in the lower urinary tract. The symptoms of a bladder infection include painful urination, lower back pain and urgency with urination. A kidney infection.or pyelonephritis is located in the upper urinary tract. Symptoms of a kidney infection include fever, flank pain, vomiting, painful urination and urgency with urination.

While oral antibiotics are prescribed by most physicians to treat a UTI, cranberry juice is useful for battling urinary tract infections. Proanthocyanidins found in cranberries prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls of the uterus and bladder. Cranberry juice also stops the E coli from multiplying. Research shows that cranberry juice can start working within eight hours of drinking. People that prepare juice from fresh cranberries at home receive the most health benefits. 100% pure unsweetened cranberry juice is second to fresh juice; however, benefit may be realized from juice drink mixes from concentrate.

A person should see a physician if a urinary tract infection is suspected. Antibiotics are often necessary. However, cranberry juice can reduce the occurrence of UTI's, prevent some UTI's and speed the healing process. Cranberries do not build-up in the system resulting in antibiotic resistance as with prolonged use of antibiotics. A glass of cranberry juice a day may keep the doctor away! In addition, the citric acid and other nutrients in cranberry juice may prevent kidney stones.

Additional Benefits:

  • Clear skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis
  • Contains antioxidants to slow the aging processFlushes out harmful toxins
  • Increases the metabolismInhibits the development of cancerous cells in breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer
  • Lowers bad cholesterol levels
  • Prevents periodontal (gum) disease
  • 

Royalty-free photo courtesy of 123rf.com.

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  1. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Great info Carolyn :-)
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Akanksha! I appreciate the vote!
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  2. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted. Great blog, I had heard about using cranberries before to treat UTIs, and I knew they had a lot of health benefits. Cranberry juice tastes superb as well, very tangy!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks for the vote Veganara! I like cranberry juice, but most people here prefer the cranapple or crangrape, where the juice is mixed with another jucie.
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      1. SnakeWitch
        I think cranberry juice is an acquired taste, like fine wine. ;)
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  3. dianabart
    dianabart
    Thanks Carolyn, I suffer from these often. Not as much anymore, but mainly when I don't drink enough water. SO i will add cranberries to my water. :-) Voted
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      thanks Diana! Do you have a juicer?
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  4. Shabs Online
    Shabs Online
    Voted! very informative post about UTI which has become a common prob today!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Shabs Online! So glad to have you in the Flaming Vegan Community!
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  5. Sheila Ray
    Voted. It works for me!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks for the vote and comment Sheila!
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  6. kristo
    kristo
    voted! this is great info, carolyn! I will drink more cranberry juice from now on :)
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Kristo! I appreciate the comment and vote!
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      1. dianabart
        dianabart
        I have a excellent blender but not a juicer.. I do juice a lot, and two daily smoothies of all kinds of fruits and veggies.. but my daily favorite is adding fruits to my water. If I do not drink 8-10 glasses a day I have Urinary issues. So I simply must stay hydrated.
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        1. Veganara
          Veganara
          I was going to comment Diana, that I never have any health issues of the kind discussed here, and I drink a lot of fluids, as you have just pointed out! So not just cranberry juice, but fluids generally, help to keep the urinary tract healthy.
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          1. Carolyn
            Carolyn
            Veganara, sodas or cokes as people in the south call all carbonated drinks, are bad for the urinary system.
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            1. Veganara
              Veganara
              I don't drink many of them Carolyn! I don't think they are very good for you generally, full of sugar for one thing. I drink tea, water, and fruit juice (and the odd glass of wine!) I have started drinking more herbal tea as well, as I know that is better for you than the regular kind. And, as I say, I have never had any UTis.
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        2. Carolyn
          Carolyn
          Diana, I wish you would share some of your smoothie recipes utilizing a blender.
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  7. Teresa
    Teresa
    Thanks for the tip there Carolyn. Vote #15. I'm dealing with this battle as I write this. I've already been to my primary care doctor and in turn, he sent me to a urological doctor who has prescribed me Oxybutynin at 5 mg. I'm to take it three times a day to relax the muscles down there. I was also told, that by taking a cranberry pill every day stays in the system longer than the juice does. However, I do drink the juice as well. I might find myself wanting to go back down to the urological doctor to see, if he can up the dose of the medication to maybe, a 10 mg. That way, it's a bit stronger than what it is right now, and maybe, it will help me out more. In the mean time, I will continue to drink the juice and do some exercises to strengthen the muscles down there as well. Again, good post there.
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    1. dianabart
      dianabart
      after reading your coment Terse.. it has enlightened to the fact that my UTI's came back soon after I started doing Pilates faithfully. I think maybe I am over working the muscle.. and need to relax it. I only go the holistic route for any treatment.. and I think I need to discover a way to keep Pilates fit, but also how to RELAX the muscles.. My Chiropractor says my muscles are always tight and contracted and I need to release them.. I usually meditate and take hot baths for this.. still seeking a complete cure. Jesus will reveal my healing soon; and yours too! :-)
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      1. Teresa
        Teresa
        Thank you dianabart. I know, that he will heal it. I take medication to relax the muscles for mine. It's called Oxybutynin. I take 5 mg. I'm going to see, if the doctor can up the dosage for me on this. That way, it's a bit stronger for me and I can hold it in longer. I would like to do other exercises, but with this problem I can't do them. I'm sure, that with some exercises, that I can try to do on my own, that I will be able to strengthen the muscles up and then, I'll be able to do more exercises. Again, thanks for the in put.
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    2. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Oh Teresa so sorry! UTI's can be painful! I hope the cranberries, exercise and antibiotics help!
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      1. Teresa
        Teresa
        It goes up and down with the thought though. That's why, back in May of this year, I had to have that biopsy too see, if there was anything wrong with me down there. Thankfully, at the moment, there wasn't anything. I'm to be going back to the Obgyn in about another month or so. I'm thinking of going back down to the urological doctor and see whether or not, there's been any changes. I can only pray,, ,that there hasn't been. But, then again, I'd like to get rid of this odor. Have you've found any information with the back up of your post that might indicate anything for me? If so, please, do pass along the info. Like I mentioned earlier, that's why, I'm on the medication for it. I've also, gotten some cranberry juice in the refrigerator. I'm going to see if I can get some more this week. I do believe, that at times, the exercises are helping out a bit. I need to do more of them though. Well, again, great post. Take care.
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  8. Roopam
    Yes I have heard that too...good to see you share such useful information...voted!
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    1. Carolyn
      Carolyn
      Thanks Roopam! I find cranberry juice to be very tasty.
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      1. Teresa
        Teresa
        I will agree, that cranberry juice is very tasty. I drink it all the time for the infection that I find myself, constantly getting. It helps out a lot.
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  9. SnakeWitch
    I just finally had the time to read this post. It made it to Top before I could see it, and figured I should share my votes with the new articles that were out! Great post. I've heard about the infection healing, and to tell you the truth, I've never had to visit a doctor for a urinary infection. I'm not saying everyone should do the same, but mine have always been easily healed with cranberry juice and lots of water, so nothing serious. And I noticed an approximate time lapse of 8 hours as well. Great article! You're doing quite a lot of research, too!
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  10. Eve Sherrill York
    Eve Sherrill York
    I know this to be true. I started feeling an infection coming on one day while at work. I drank about 16 ounces of cranberry juice and within just a couple of hours the pain was gone. Works great!
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