Increased fluid intake can help prevent and alleviate pyelonephritis or kidney infection. Kidney infection is caused primarily by bacteria that enter the lower urinary tract and spread into the upper urinary tract where the kidneys are located. The most common culprit behind kidney infection is the Escherichia coli (E. coli), which accounts for more almost 90% of kidney infection cases. Other bacteria that can infect the kidneys include Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Enterococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus, and Pseudomonas.
Infection-causing bacteria can also build up in the kidney of the persons with preexisting illnesses like enlarged prostate (in men) and kidney stones, which prevent urine to normally flow out of the kidneys. Trapped urine can cause bacteria buildup, which when left untreated, can result in an infection. Drinking extra fluids can help eradicate bacteria and toxins in the kidney.
Drinks for kidney infection
Drinking extra fluids like water, juices, teas, and wine is one helpful remedy to treat kidney infection.
Water remains the universal solvent and the most basic, simplest, and cheapest known home remedy for diseases like a kidney infection. Water helps flush out toxins and bacteria in the kidney, preventing the occurrence of infection.
Our body is made up of 50% to 75% water. The amount of water in infants (75-78%) is normally much higher than that of adults. A decrease in the amount of water in the body can result in dehydration which can further lead to serious illnesses. Patients with kidney infection should avoid getting dehydrated because it can worsen their medical condition.
Keeping the body hydrated with water during kidney infection treatment can facilitate improved urine and other toxins eradication. But how much water should be taken?
Generally, people with kidney infection increased their water intake from eight to ten glasses a day. But according to the National Kidney Foundation, men and women may have different fluid intake requirements. For men, it is recommended to take about 3 liters of water daily, while in women, 2.2 liters is sufficient.
Unlike other fluids, water does not contain sugar and other components that may be harmful to kidneys. This makes water the best option. However, patients who are suffering from kidney infection can take other fluids like juices, herbal teas, and wine, which contain helpful nutrients absent in water.
Drinking juices do not only prevent infection-causing bacteria from clustering in the kidneys but also provide macro and micronutrients helpful in alleviating kidney problems. Fruit juices can be a good source of fibers and Vitamin C. Other juices have diuretic effects, helping the kidneys excrete more urine and remove toxins.
Cranberry juice and parsley juice are two of the most common of juices that help prevent and fight kidney infection. For years, cranberry juice has been considered as an effective UTI remedy. But recent studies say that it is just a myth. Nevertheless, cranberry can minimize calcium oxalate in the body, which causes kidney stones. Patients with kidney stones are more likely to get kidney infection because it obstructs the normal urine flow. Trapped urine can result in bacteria clustering in the kidney, which can eventually lead to infection.
Parsley juice, on the other hand, holds an array of nutrients helpful in fighting kidney diseases like kidney stones and kidney infections. Parsley juice also has a diuretic effect, facilitating improved urine flow.
Aside from cranberry juice and parsley juice, pineapple, kale, and beet juices are also known to alleviate kidney infection.
Taken in moderation, herbal teas can minimize pains and discomforts due to kidney infection such as frequent but scanty urination. Most herbal teas have diuretic effects, allowing proper emptying of the kidneys, thereby eradicating the infection-causing microorganisms and preventing further bacteria buildup.
Herbal teas like green and black tea, celery seed tea, and dandelion tea are relatively easy to prepare. Some just require brewing or dissolution. But taking herbal tea as a natural remedy should be done with caution because –– if taken excessively –– it can have adverse effects particularly on those with existing medical condition. For one, it can lead to dehydration that can worsen the infection.
Alcohol, in general, can be harmful to kidneys, but wine can be an exception. Wine may not be the first option for kidney infection treatment, but studies say it can help prevent it. Drinking wine daily can reduce the risks for developing kidney diseases by about 37%.
But wine should be taken in moderation. Excessive wine intake (i.e., more than 15 ounces or 3 glasses of wine) may force the infected kidney to work harder, thereby worsening its condition.
Precautions and other considerations
Taking extra fluids alone to treat kidney infection may not totally cure the infection.
Kidney infection is usually cured using oral or injectable antibiotics. Further, some fluids can be harmful to pregnant and lactating women and may poorly interact with other medications. It is therefore wise to consult with a doctor first before commencing a fluid therapy