Before You Buy Cranberry Juice, Consider These UTI Myths

Before You Buy Cranberry Juice, Consider These UTI Myths

( – A UTI or urinary tract infection can be a very irritating and bothersome condition. Some people know the signs right away. Symptoms may be burning during urination, a frequent urge to urinate, foul-odored urine and/or dull pain and discomfort in the pelvic area. Often, one of the first recommendations from others is to buy and drink cranberry juice. But does it really cure a UTI? Here are some UTI myths to keep in mind before deciding on treatment options.

Myth 1: Cranberry Juice Cures a UTI

Cranberry juice is closely associated with urinary tract infections. For some people with recurrent infections, cranberry juice is their preferred treatment. Cranberries contain a flavonoid called A-type proanthocyanidins or PACs. The PACs prevent E. coli bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall in some cases, but there may not be enough in cranberry juice to cure an active infection.

The PACs effect may seem like it cures the problem because it relieves many symptoms, such as pain, irritation and urgency to urinate. This relief is generally temporary, and a doctor’s visit is warranted to rule out anything serious.

Myth 2: Wet Bathing Suits Contribute to a UTI

Some women get UTIs when they lounge around in their wet bathing suits after swimming. Damp material can be a breeding ground for bacteria to form and quickly lead to bacteria reaching the urinary tract, causing a severe infection. But UTIs are not directly caused by wearing wet swimsuits. Bacteria is often already present; warm, moist conditions just make it easier for bacteria to grow.

Myth 3: Discomfort and Urination Urgency Always Stem From a UTI

Someone may associate symptoms like burning, itching or pain during urination as a sign of a UTI. But several other medical conditions mimic those symptoms, including sexually transmitted diseases, yeast infection or even certain forms of cancer.

Because UTIs and other conditions have some common symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for a complete examination and accurate diagnosis.

Myth 4: Cranberry Pills are More Effective Than Antibiotics

For people who don’t like cranberry juice or want to avoid the sugar in juices, cranberry pill supplements are another choice. Some people feel the pills are a cure-all for a UTI. In fact, the opposite may be true.

They contain dried cranberries but are high in things like salicylic acid. If someone is allergic to salicylates, they could have an adverse reaction. Nothing can replace antibiotics to fight off infection-causing bacteria.

There are many myths about UTIs, cranberry juice, and related urinary tract symptoms. When considering treatment options, keep in mind the sugar content associated with cranberry cocktails and possible recurring symptoms that may occur. Cranberries are a fruit with many health benefits, packed with vitamins, folate, calcium, potassium and magnesium. While cranberry juice tastes great, especially on the rocks, it’s not a cure-all.

~Here’s to a Healthier Life!

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