Urinary Tract Infection.

Urinary Tract Infection.

Written by Dr Geoff Hackett, consultant in sexual dysfunction, Sutton Coldfield Hospital

What is urinary tract infection?

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is defined as the presence of multiplying micro-organisms (bugs) in the tract through which urine flows from the kidneys via the bladder to the outside world.

For More Information:

Step 1: Collect Information

Bladder infections are also known as cystitis, urethritis, and UTIs (urinary tract infections). When bacteria grow in the bladder, the resulting infection usually causes symptoms such as: a burning sensation during voiding, overwhelming urgency, frequent but minuscule urinations, incontinence, bloody urine, and pelvic pain. Up to 25 percent of bladder infections in post- menopausal women are silent or symptom less.

Bacteria enter the bladder in three primary ways: when feces are spread to the bladder opening (such as wiping from back to front after toileting), when the tube leading to the bladder is irritated or bruised (as from use of a diaphragm, pelvic surgery, or prolonged/vigorous vaginal penetration), or when there is an in-dwelling catheter.

The thinning and shrinking of reproductive and bladder tissues that may occur in the post- menopausal years contributes to bladder infections in older women, as does lessening of vaginal acidity.

Sometimes tiny ulcerations appear in the wall of the bladder; this is called interstitial cystitis (IC). Some of the remedies in this section are contraindicated for women with interstitial cystitis.

These remedies are substantially the same ones that delighted and aided the readers of my first book: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.

Step 2: Engage the Energy

* Flow, flow, flow. Head off that bladder infection by drinking a glass of water hourly as soon as you feel the first urgency or burning. It is tempting to stint on drinking if you find yourself unexpectedly incontinent, but don’t. Bladder infections only make incontinence worse.

* Urine is ideally neutral to slightly acidic (pH 5.8-pH 7). Very acidic urine (below pH 5.5) encourages infections. An established infection gives rise to alkaline urine (pH 7.5 or higher), which causes stinging and burning. Test your urine with pH paper at any time except first thing in the morning. Cranberry juice lowers pH; vitamin C raises it.

* Cantharis is a homeopathic remedy for scalding urine.

Step 3: Nourish and Tonify

* Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) contain substances that kill bacteria and make your bladder wall so slippery that any escaping bacteria can’t latch on and thrive there. Unsweetened cranberry juice (or concentrate) is the most effective form. (The sugar or corn syrup in cranberry cocktail-type juices and cran-apple juices can feed the infection.)

For More Information:

Drink freely, at least 8 glasses of alkaline water a day, up to a quart/liter a day for acute infections unless your urine’s pH is already low.

* Pelvic floor exercises help prevent and relieve bladder infections too! Try this one: After urinating, close your eyes, relax, breathe out, and see if you can squeeze out an extra dribble.

* An overgrowth of vaginal yeast may be irritating your bladder or urethra. Eat one cup of plain yogurt 4-5 times a week.

An Acid pH Is The Seed-Bed Of Degenerative Diseases

* Cardiovascular Disease: Arteriosclerosis, Heart Attacks, Stroke, High Cholesterol, and High Blood Pressure

* All Forms of Cancer

* Diabetes, Insulin Sensitivity, Obesity

* Neurological Diseases, MS, MD, ALS and Parkinson’s disease

* Liver & Kidney Disease

* Senility, Dementia, Alzheimer’s

* Immune Deficiencies

* Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis & Tooth Loss

* Hormonal Imbalances

* Premature Aging, Male Prostate Problems

UTI is 50 times more common in women, with about 5 per cent per year developing symptoms.

UTI is uncommon in men below 60 years of age, but the frequency is similar in men and women in older age groups.

The condition ranges from cystitis (a mild but distressing inflammation that is limited to the bladder) to severe infections of the kidney such as pyelonephritis (when the infection has reached the kidney tissue itself).

Treatment depends on how and why the infection shows itself. Most patients respond rapidly to antibiotic therapy and are unlikely to have any other urinary tract abnormality.

Good advice

For More Information:

UTIs are rare in men, so all cases require investigation. Prostatitis, the infection or inflammation of the prostate (a gland beneath the bladder that produces some components of semen), causes symptoms that can be mistaken for UTI in men.

What causes UTI?

In healthy men, urine is sterile (contains no micro-organisms). The most important factor in maintaining the sterility of the urinary tract is emptying the bladder completely and frequently. The cause of most UTI’s is bacteria that initially settle (colonise) around the urethra (urine tube), and then ascend into the rest of the urinary tract. Several factors can make this process more likely to occur.

Obstruction:

Drink freely, at least 8 glasses of alkaline water a day, up to a quart/liter a day for acute infections unless your urine’s pH is already low.

* enlarged prostate

* gland urethral stricture (narrowing).

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