5 Natural Ways to Prevent UTIs in Seniors

Seniors have a higher risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) than younger people. Age-related conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease can cause urinary retention, which increases the risk of UTIs. Low estrogen levels after menopause also increase the risk of UTIs, since estrogen helps protect the urethra and vagina from the overgrowth of bacteria, according to research.

Surprisingly, seniors with UTIs may not show common symptoms, such as a burning sensation during urination. Instead, most seniors experience behavioral symptoms, such as confusion and agitation. You should also look out for other senior UTI symptoms, such as inconsistency, urine retention, decreased mobility and lack of appetite.

The good news is, seniors can prevent UTIs. These strategies below will help reduce the risk of UTIs in seniors.

1. Avoid Bladder Irritants

Some foods and drinks can irritate your bladder, increasing your risk of UTIs. Some of these foods and drinks include caffeinated drinks, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, citrus and acidic fruits.

Some drugs can also trigger UTIs by worsening inconsistency. If you suspect a drug is causing problems, talk to your doctor about it.

2. Drink More Water Daily

Drinking more water every day can prevent UTIs and reduce your need for antibiotics, according to a recent study.

In the study, one group of women drank their usual amount of fluids (1.1 liters a day) plus an additional 1.5 liters of water. The control group stuck to their usual amount of fluids. The results showed that women who drank an additional 1.5 liters of water a day had 50 percent lower occurrence of UTIs and needed fewer antibiotics compared to women who didn’t drink additional water.

You don’t have drink 2.5 liters of water every day. Drink 1.5 to 2 liters every day, and then get more fluids from fruits and veggies with high water content such as watermelons and cucumbers.

3. Drink Unsweetened Cranberry Juice

Research shows that cranberry juice contains compounds that fight against bacteria, such as E. coli, which causes UTIs. Cranberry juice can prevent bacteria from developing into a UTI within eight hours of drinking it.

It’s worth noting that some studies have concluded that cranberry juice and supplements don’t have enough active ingredients to treat UTIs. Others say it’s ideal for preventing UTIs in some populations but they don’t recommend it for treating UTIs.

While the studies are conflicting, there’s no reason not to drink cranberry juice. If nothing else, it’ll increase your fluid intake. Add one to two ounces to you water to give it a pleasantly tart flavor.

4. Urinate as Soon as You Feel the Urge

The adult bladder can hold up to two cups of urine before you feel the urge to pee. When you hold your urine for a long duration, it exposes you to harmful bacteria, which increases your risk of developing a UTI.

Additionally, holding pee weakens your bladder muscles, which can lead to fluid retention. Therefore, go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge.

5. Take Probiotics

Probiotics don’t just keep your gut healthy, they can also prevent UTIs. According to research, probiotics, especially lactobacilli, can prevent UTIs in women. Take probiotics supplements or eat these probiotic-rich foods.

Image via Getty

37 comments

Ingrid A
Ingrid A6 days ago

Thank you for this

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Olivia M
Past Member 7 days ago

Thank you

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Edgar Z
Edgar Zuim7 days ago

Thanks for posting. Interesting article.

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Edith B
Edith B7 days ago

Good information, thanks.

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heather g
heather g8 days ago

Thanks

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Danuta W
Danuta W8 days ago

thank you for posting

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Anne M
Anne M8 days ago

Forget number 5 ,, it can make you sick to your stomach, as it did to me... - Probiotics are bogus,, and can be dangerous to your health...

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Debbi W
Debbi W8 days ago

Cranberry capsules work very well to keep from getting UTIs.

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BumbleBrie B
BumbleBrie B8 days ago

Thanks for this

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Janis K
Janis K8 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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