(Last Updated on September 14, 2022)
UTI is an infection in the urinary system which includes the urethra, kidneys, ureters, and bladder.
It is caused by bacteria that enters the urinary tract resulting in inflammation and infection.
People with UTIs report burning sensations while peeing with more associated pain in their urinary tract.
In most cases, antibiotics are used as a remedy to help ease and treat a UTI and its symptoms.
However, studies have shown that prolonged use of antibiotics is harmful and can damage the healthy bacteria in the urinary tract.
In addition, it could lead to antibiotic resistance where the harmful bacteria cause more infections and pain.
Other ways have been proven to treat UTIs in the elderly and avoid the side effects of prolonged antibiotic use.
Supplements offer a great option that helps ease the symptoms and treat the infection.
Some of the Best Supplements for UTIs in the Elderly
A review article on cranberry and UTI infections supports its use to help avoid the prolonged use of antibiotics.
Studies have shown that cranberry can be great prophylaxis for UTI (treatment given to prevent a disease)
When people take antibiotics to treat their UTIs, they can also add cranberry to help prevent a repeat of the same infection.
Cranberries have proanthocyanidin (PAC) that helps keep bacteria from infecting the bladder resulting in UTIs.
Cranberry juice is an option that most people gravitate towards but it is not the safest, especially for elderlies.
The juice features a lot of sugar that can negatively affect their health and result in more damage.
Cranberry extract capsules are a great substitute for the juice to remove the effects of sugar.
However, for elderlies suffering from kidney stones, cranberry is not an option since it contains oxalates that may worsen the condition.
D-Mannose is a common supplement that is used in the treatment of UTIs.
It is made of simple sugars and can be found in fruits like cranberries and apples.
However, for effective treatment of UTIs, doctors will use D-Mannose in powder or tablet form.
Research has shown that this supplement prevents bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract.
More studies on the effectiveness of D-Mannose in treating UTIs are needed to establish its use as a substitute for antibiotics.
However, a 2020 study has shown that the D-Mannose supplement can be used as a preventative measure to combat recurring infections.
Experts note that since D-Mannose is a type of sugar, some people should stay clear or take it in acceptable doses.
Elderlies with blood sugar issues and diabetes should consult their doctors for guidance on dosage and the best supplements for them.
UTIs in the elderly has been shown to occur due to different reasons with some that are highly preventable.
Experts encourage the use of elderly women’s underwear for incontinence with constant changing periods to avoid infections.
Research has also shown that probiotics help to prevent UTIs and their recurring nature when left unattended.
Experts also note that more research is needed to fully back the use of probiotics as a solution for people suffering from UTIs.
However, they have shown that most patients are comfortable using probiotics since they tend to have fewer side effects than antibiotics.
Generally, probiotics are good bacteria that help keep the body healthy and fight off harmful bacteria that cause diseases in the body.
Therefore, probiotics will play a part in fighting off bacteria in the urinary tract to avoid UTIs and related infections.
Garlic has been used in traditional medicine to treat fungal, viral, and bacterial infections that cause different diseases.
It features a highly potent compound called allicin that contains sulfur and has been shown to fight bacteria like E-coli.
Different studies have shown that garlic can be an excellent alternative treatment option for UTIs but further studies are needed to support that.
Pharmaceutical companies have developed garlic capsules from garlic extract to provide an easier alternative to eating raw garlic.
Experts however warn against taking this supplement especially if you have an allergic reaction to garlic or onions.
In addition, garlic may interfere with some medications like blood thinners, reducing their effectiveness.
Consulting with a primary physician is advised for elderlies before they decide to start using garlic as a supplement.
Green Tea Supplements
Green tea has been known and used by many to increase fat burning and improve brain function among others.
The benefits of taking green tea are numerous, improving people’s health significantly.
Green tea contains Polyphenols and Epigallocatechin (EGC) compounds that feature antimicrobial and antibacterial effects.
The antibacterial effects of EGC have been shown to have an impact on bacteria like E.coli that contribute to UTIs.
Regular intake of green tea has been linked to improvements in the treatment of UTIs.
However, experts note that green tea features caffeine that can affect the body in other ways and may also worsen UTI symptoms.
Therefore, people are advised to choose decaffeinated green teas to avoid side effects.
In addition, green tea extract supplements are also an option that people should consider but with the guidance of their doctors.