Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections, otherwise known as bladder infections, UTI's, or dysuria, are irritating, painful and unfortunately, common. Women are more likely than men to get them: with their short urethral structure, pathogenic bacteria can easily climb from the outside environment into the bladder. And unfortunately, the bladder can be a favorable breeding ground for the incubation and growth of bad bugs.
Normally, our healthy bladders are sterile: that is, there are no bugs at all. Normal flushing of urine down the urethra and excellent body defense mechanisms do an excellent job of protecting the bladder from bugs. But if the bladder or urethra is irritated, such as during intercourse, or if your immune system is compromised, bugs can appear in the bladder. Women can have chronic or recurring bladder infections secondary to hormonal imbalances.
Bladder infections can be silent, that is, have no symptoms, or be very irritating and painful. Symptoms include burning or stinging pain during urination, increased urge and frequency to urinate, and/or bloody urine. If the infection is allowed to progress, the symptoms can get worse (constant urge to urinate, or hot, burning urine) and even lead to a more serious infection of the kidney, which can cause fever and nausea or organ damage.
Holistic Approach To Dealing With Urinary Tract Infection
If you are suffering from recurring or chronic urinary tract infections and wish treat it with a holistic approach, you can work with an integrative practitioner who combines both traditional and alternative techniques. It is important to make sure you are treating the infection with an appropriate antibiotic. Your doctor could order a urinalysis and urine culture, to determine what kind of infection you have and treat it appropriately. After taking the antibiotic, it is important to replace the normal flora which may have been wiped out by the antibiotic, so taking a good potent probiotic or acidophilus, or lactobacillus product is important.
There are natural herbs and remedies which can ease the symptoms of urinary tract infections, but if you have an active infection, your doctor will most likely combine these techniques with an appropriate antibiotic.
Natural Remedies For Urinary Tract Infection
  • Marshmallow root - a demulcent herb which has an affinity for the bladder. It soothes and protects an irritable bladder.
  • Urtica urens - a diuretic herb which helps to flush out the bacteria.
  • Cantharis - a homeopathic remedy which can ease some of the sharp, stinging pains of a bladder infection.
  • Goldenseal - an herb which is a powerful disinfectant and antibacterial. Be careful not to take too large a dosage as it can cause irritation and also lower the blood sugar in some people with hypoglycemia.
  • Echinacea - an herb which can help to disinfect and fight the infection.
  • Apis - a homeopathic remedy which helps to soothe the hot, stinging pain and irritation of the bladder infection.
  • D-mannose - a concentrate of the active ingredient of cranberries which is useful for preventing recurrent urinary infection.
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