Cranberry juice won’t help your cystitis, sorry
- December 09, 2019
- Hamza Sheraz
New health guidelines claim there is not enough evidence to support the use of cranberry juice to fight infections.
If you’re prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs), you probably have a stockpile of cranberry juice ready and waiting to be chugged when the dreaded sting returns. For years, we’ve believed that the magical drink will solve all our cystitis woes, curing the burn and soothing the ache, but today health watchdog NICE have released new guidelines claiming the juice will do nothing of the sort. Yes, that’s right – your loving relationship with cranberries has been based on a lie.
According to NICE, there isn’t enough empirical evidence to support the theory that cranberry juice will help clear cystitis, and instead recommend sufferers drink plenty of fluids and take painkillers.
For severe cases, doctors can also prescribe antibiotics to fight infection – but we all know how hard it is for women’s pain to be taken seriously. And NICE are reluctant to over-prescribe antibiotics for UTIs in case patients build up a resistance to them. “Our new guidance will help healthcare professionals to optimise their use of antibiotics,” said the director for the centre of guidelines, Mark Baker.
People with female anatomy are much more likely to suffer from cystitis, because they have much shorter urethras, and those who swear by the method won’t be thrilled by the news. For many, cranberry juice can be a glimmer of hope, the elixir of life throughout days of agonising pain and cloudy wee. NICE haven’t offered any alternative remedies or, at least, none that you can pop down to Tesco Express at 10pm on a Sunday for. Without our trusty red friend, what will we turn to?
Well, really, there isn’t any evidence to suggest that you shouldn’t drink cranberry juice during a bout of cystitis, just that it won’t make any difference to your suffering. So, despite the change in guidelines, there’s no need to purge all the cranberry juice you have hidden in the kitchen cupboard. As long as you know it won’t cure your UTI, what’s the harm?