Cystitis is an infection of the bladder, urethritis is an infection of the urethra, and pyelonephritis is a kidney infection.
Escherichia Coli causes the majority of urinary tract infections, bacteria found in the intestines. Because of the close proximity of the anus to the vagina, women seem to be more susceptible to the spread of this bacterium. Bladder infections are relatively common in women, and for men may be a sign of a more serious condition. Symptoms of cystitis include frequency, dysuria, cloudy or bloody urine, with pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen. Many plants have a local reputation as being effective in the treatment of cystitis. Often their efficacy will vary from fresh to dried samples, time of year they were picked, etc.etc.. In Wales, freshly picked Yarrow, preferable from sea cliffs, had a dramatic effect.
It should be noted that this is NOT the same E. coli associated with killer outbreaks in unsanitary food processing plants—that is a mutant variety, probably created by antibiotic overuse in our country. This E. coli is typically a normal part of your gut flora and typically is accidentally transferred to the bladder through lapses in optimal hygiene.
When normal E. coli gets into your urinary tract and multiplies, you experience the usual signs and symptoms of a UTI:
- Burning with urination
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Lower abdominal pain or aching
- Blood in your urine (sometimes, but not always)
- Cloudy urine
You might be wondering, if the bacteria are in my urine, why doesn’t my body simply flush them out when I urinate?
As it turns out, the cell walls of each E. coli are covered with tiny fingerlike projections called fimbria3 allowing them to “stick” to the inner walls of your bladder and even work their way upward to your ureter and kidneys. Because they cling to your urinary organs, they can’t simply be washed out. These little fingerlike projections are made of an amino acid-sugar complex, a glycoprotein called lectin, which makes them sticky.
Lectin on the bacteria’s fimbria binds to mannose, which is produced by your cells and covers the internal lining of your urinary organs. This mannose allows the bacteria to adhere to you—like Velcro.
Why avoid the use of antibiotics for a UTI whenever possible?
There are a number of very good reasons:
Antibiotics are highly overused in humans and pets, as well as in livestock, and this careless overuse has created antibiotic-resistant superbugs like MRSA and antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis.
Antibiotics kill the good bacteria, along with the bad, as described earlier, setting you up for fungal infections, diarrhea, and other digestive trouble.
Many antibiotics have terrible side effects and can cause dangerous allergic reactions.
Antibiotic treatment does not successfully kill all the bacteria participating in the infection and may, in fact, encourage many of the bacteria to persist in a resting state.
Using unnecessary antibiotics with children prevents them from developing their own natural defences as their immune systems mature.
Physicians often prescribe newer, very expensive antibiotics for UTIs instead of “old gold standards,” which is a strain on your pocketbook.
The majority of urinary tract infections can be cured when symptoms first arise, or prevented altogether by following these home remedies for kidney infection outlined in this article.
Occasionally, despite preventative measures, a kidney infection can develop. If you suspect you have a kidney infection—especially if you have a fever—it might be necessary to see a physician and employ an antibiotic so the infection does not spread to your kidney and cause some very serious problems.
As a woman, there are some specific hygiene steps you can take to maintain a healthy urinary tract:
- Drink plenty of pure, filtered water every day
- Urinate when you feel the need; don’t resist the urge to go
- Wipe from front to back to prevent bacteria from entering your urethra
- Take showers instead of tub baths; avoid hot tubs/Jacuzzis
- Cleanse your genital area prior to sexual intercourse
- Avoid using feminine hygiene sprays, which may irritate your urethra
- Use only white unscented toilet paper to avoid potential dye reactions, or better yet—a bidet
- In addition, a healthy diet is key in supporting your urinary tract.
Research shows that frequent consumption of products containing probiotic bacteria can promote good urinary tract health—fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables are great for your overall health—including your urinary system.
Image Source: Mulher