Home remedies can often be a great way to relieve symptoms without the need for a doctor’s assistance or prescription medication. Epsom salt is one home remedy that has a plethora of uses, but can it be a good way to relieve pain when facing a UTI? Here’s what you need to know.
What Are UTIs?
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system. This can include your kidneys, bladder, or urethra. Common symptoms include a burning or painful sensation whenever you urinate, and it could cause your urine to have a strong smell. You might also experience pain in your stomach or lower back, and it can even cause a high or low temperature depending on what part of the urinary tract is infected. A UTI can affect adults, older people, and also children.
A UTI is often caused by bacteria that enter the urinary tract. People are at a greater risk of developing a UTI when having sex, if they are pregnant, if they have a condition that blocks the urinary tract (such as kidney stones) or if they have a weakened immune system. It’s also possible to develop a UTI if you aren’t drinking enough fluids or due to hygiene reasons.
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral salt that is a compound of magnesium and sulfate. The name is a reference to the town of Epsom in England where the salt was first discovered several centuries ago. While it is categorized as a salt, it’s not meant for consumption and is often used as a scrub or dissolved in water for its benefits. Epsom salt can be purchased in bulk quantities or small packets from most health stores.
Is Taking a Bath Good When You Have a UTI?
One common home remedy for a UTI is to take a hot bath to relieve the pain. Alternatively, a heating pad can be used to gently apply heat to the lower belly or genital area. The reason this works is that heat opens the blood vessels in our body, thus assisting the healing processes and relieving some of the pain that we experience. This improved circulation only requires heat to trigger, which is why a hot bath or a heating pad can both do the job.
However, while a bath can relieve the pain you experience from a UTI, it’s important that you don’t exacerbate the infection by introducing more bacteria into your body from the bathwater. So while a bath can relieve some of the pain, it’s important not to sit in the water for too long and to keep the water clean so it doesn’t develop more bacteria.
Can an Epsom Salt Bath Help With a UTI?
There are many benefits of Epsom salt and it can be used in many different applications, but one of the most common uses is bathing. Although there is no scientific proof that shows Epsom salt’s benefits when combating a UTI, it has shown good results and is believed to be an effective home remedy to help relieve pain.
It is believed that the magnesium and sulfate content of a baking soda bath helps with pain relief during a bath. Magnesium is essential for bodily functions and helps remove toxins, while sulfate can strengthen the digestive tract and also assist in flushing out toxins.
Other Natural Remedies for a UTI
There are a number of natural home remedies that could be used to relieve pain from a UTI.
- Cranberry juice has been shown to help prevent bacteria from staying around in the urinary tract. Studies have shown that increasing cranberry consumption can lower the chances of someone developing a UTI.
- Increasing vitamin C intake could help protect your body against a UTI. Studies found that vitamin C increases the acidity of urine, thus killing bacteria that could cause a UTI. It has also been used together with other natural UTI remedies like cranberries to form a more effective remedy.
- Taking probiotics can also help maintain a healthy balance in your gut. These can be taken by consuming fermented foods such as kimchi and probiotic yogurt.
- Lastly, consuming plenty of fluids can help flush bacteria from your urinary tract which can prevent infections.
How to Get Relief for a UTI?
A UTI can cause a lot of discomfort at home. Sleeping with UTI discomfort or trying to work with the pain can be stressful, so it’s recommended to seek relief as soon as you notice the symptoms. To relieve a UTI at home, we suggest using the natural remedies listed above and applying heat to the affected area in order to improve circulation and assist in healing. It’s also possible to take pain relievers while you wait for antibiotics to start working.
How to Treat a UTI?
The most common treatment for a urinary tract infection is the use of antibiotics. A vaginal cream can also be used, and your doctor may refer you to a specialist if the infection isn’t picked up from a urine test. Long-term UTI cases may require further testing and treatment, especially in those who are aged 60 and over.
When to See a Doctor?
A urinary tract infection can become a much more serious condition if you also have a high temperature, a very low temperature, or if you feel drowsy. Being unable to urinate is also a sign that your UTI could be developing into a kidney infection which is a much more serious condition. Pain is also a good reason to see a doctor.
Get Help From an Online Doctor!
An online doctor can offer assistance when it comes to diagnosing a UTI. It’s also possible to get antibiotics for a UTI without seeing a doctor by using online services such as DrHouse. With on-demand virtual visits, 24/7 support, and prescriptions as you need them, we can help you treat and relieve pain from a UTI without the need to see a doctor in person.
- A UTI is an infection of any part of the urinary tract.
- Epsom salt is a naturally-occurring mineral salt that has many health benefits.
- Taking a bath can help relieve pain from a UTI, but it’s important not to introduce more bacteria by maintaining your hygiene.
- Epsom salt baths have been used to relieve pain and treat a UTI, but there is no scientific evidence that it is guaranteed to work.
- There are a number of other natural remedies for a UTI that have promising results but are again not backed up by scientific evidence.
- The most effective form of treatment is to speak with a doctor and use antibiotics.
- Jasmine B.L. Lee, Guy H. Neild, Urinary tract infection, Medicine, Volume 35, Issue 8, 2007, Pages 423-428, ISSN 1357-3039, Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2007.05.009
- Dr. Edward Group, Epsom Salt: 10 Benefits for the Bath and Other Uses, Global Healing. Available from: https://explore.globalhealing.com/epsom-salt/
- Hickling DR, Nitti VW. Management of recurrent urinary tract infections in healthy adult women. Rev Urol. 2013;15(2):41-8. PMID: 24082842; PMCID: PMC3784967.