Are there alternative treatments for a urinary tract infection?

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Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine

Cranberry is used to prevent urinary tract infections because it prevents bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder. When hibiscus is added to the cranberry there is a suggestion that it may be able to cure a bladder infection. There are preparations available that contain both the cranberry and hibiscus in one capsule.

There is not enough evidence to support this treatment for urinary tract infection. More studies need to be done, but this may prove to be a useful treatment in the future.

The primary treatment of urinary tract infections typically involves prescription oral antibiotic drugs; however, there are several lifestyle modifications that can be of use in the management of symptoms related to urinary tract infections. Among these are avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and beverages containing citrus fruits, increasing one's intake of water, and use of a heating pad on the lower abdomen to alleviate pain and cramping.