Is Milk Bad for UTI?

Reviewed on 5/6/2021
urinary tract infection (UTI)
Milk is safe to drink if you have a UTI

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an inflammation caused by the invasion of bacteria into the urinary tract. While there is limited research on how diet affects UTIs, there are some foods that can be good for urinary health

Milk is safe to drink if you have a UTI. However, yogurt and other fermented dairy products that contain “good” bacteria are better, because they can boost your immune system and prevent infections, decreasing the risk for UTIs. 

Drinking plenty of water and eating fruits with high water content can help you stay hydrated and assist in flushing bacteria from the urinary tract. Bananas and other high-fiber foods are also good for urinary tract health.

Avoid excessive intake of caffeinated, alcohol or fizzy drinks. These can dehydrate the body and increase the risk of UTIs, as well as delay recovery from a UTI.

What causes UTI?

UTI is a common condition that can occur in any part of the urinary system, which is responsible for filtering waste and water from the blood and excreting them as urine. When bacteria from the skin or rectum invades the urinary tract, it can cause an infection that leads to inflammation of the kidneys, bladder or urethra

Most urinary tract infections are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a type of bacteria usually found in the digestive tract. Chlamydia and mycoplasma are bacteria that can infect the urethra but not the bladder. 

While people of any age and sex can develop a UTI, women have a lifetime risk (over 50%) of developing a UTI compared to men. 

Factors that may increase the likelihood of developing a UTI include:

What are symptoms of UTI?

While UTI symptoms depend on age, gender and other factors, common signs include:

  • A strong, persistent urge to urinate
  • Frequent, small amounts of urine
  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Urine that appears red, bright pink or dark brown, which is a sign of blood in the urine
  • Strong-smelling urine
  • A burning sensation when urinating
  • Pelvic pain in women, especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone

How is UTI diagnosed?

Your doctor will make a diagnosis after verifying your symptoms and testing a urine sample to assess the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells and bacteria. 

If you have recurring UTIs, your doctor may request further diagnostic testing to determine the cause through:

How is UTI treated?

Antibiotics are usually the first line of treatment for urinary tract infections. Your doctor may also advise you to drink plenty of fluids and maintain a healthy diet.

Which drugs are prescribed by your doctor depends on your health condition and the type of bacteria found in your urine. For a mild UTI, your doctor may recommend:

For a severe UTI, you may need to go to a hospital to get treatment with intravenous antibiotics.

SLIDESHOW

Urinary Incontinence in Women: Types, Causes, and Treatments for Bladder Control See Slideshow

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References
Brusch JL. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Cystitis (Bladder Infection) in Females. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/233101-overview

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