Monday, July 29, 2013
Alka Seltzer to Cure Urinary Tract Infections
This is one of those ideas that I'm sure we've all seen on pinterest, it's combined with a lot of other pretty bad ideas so I figured I would focus on them one at a time and explain why this is a really bad idea. I can not stress enough that this is a bad and potentially dangerous idea. I hate dragging myself into the doctor's office and paying co-pays and prescription fees and the whole 9-yards over something like an UTI, and I'm all for home remedies for things like your basic cold or flu or second degree burns (my oven is out to get me I swear). But certain conditions are nothing to play around with, and UTIs are one of them.
The idea behind this is that Alka Seltzer is alkaline in nature, so it will help balance out the pH of your urine, eliminating the infection. But it also contains aspirin or other pain relievers, so whether it actually helps with the infection or not, what it definitely does is help with the symptoms. So in a day or 2 of taking it you may feel better, but the infection may persist. This can be extremely dangerous because UTIs that are left untreated can move into your kidneys, causing kidney infections which are far more painful and difficult to treat and can lead to kidney failure.
Some doctors say alkaline can help with UTIs, whereas others say more acidic things (such as cranberry juice) can help. But the truth is that the pain relieving properties of Alka-Seltzer is going to mask any pain or discomfort that the UTI is causing, so it's going to be a lot harder to gauge if you're cured, or just no longer in pain. If you really want to give it a try before you can get into your doctor's, dissolving some baking soda in water would give you the same pH level changes as Alka-Seltzer would. The thing to remember is that it isn't just one strain of bacteria that causes UTIs, it's a dozen different kinds. One strain my respond better to acid, another to base. On top of that, your own personal pH level may even affect what works and doesn't, if it's going to work at all.
If you're looking for a home remedy, You can always try unsweetened pure cranberry juice, and up your water intake. There have been studies done on cranberry juice and though the studies are mixed, it does hold some weight to actually working, unlike Alka-Seltzer. Though if it lasts more than a few days, I can't stress enough the importance of seeing a doctor for UTIs. The longer you let it go the more likely it is going to move into your kidneys, and that is something no one wants to mess with.