Anatomy of the Urinary Tract
Upper Urinary Tract
Starting from the inside the kidneys are the site of urine production. The kidneys filter blood and maintain balance in many systems in the body such as electrolyte balance, blood pressure control, elimination of toxic wastes and other essential functions. Infection of the kidney is called pyelonephritis.
The ureters are the tubes that drain the urine from the kidneys to the bladder.
Lower Urinary Tract
The bladder accumulates urine until enough is collected to stimulate pressure changes that alert the need to urinate. Infection of the bladder is called cystitis.
The urethra is the tube that allows urine out of the bladder and outside of the body into the environment. Infection of the urethra is called urethritis.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
When the urinary tract becomes infected symptoms include dysuria (pain on urination), hematuria (blood in the urine), frequency of urination, pressure and feeling the need to void frequently, foul smelling urine, nocturia (having to urinate at night), back pain, pelvic pain, fever and chills.
Some people experience few symptoms or very mild symptoms while others become very uncomfortable very quickly. If untreated lower urinary tract infections can become much more serious upper urinary tract infections.
Who Gets UTI’s?
While men can develop a UTI they are much more common in women. Half of all women will seek treatment for a UTI by mid adulthood.
Anything open to the environment is open to potential contamination from the outside. Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are more common in woman simply because they are more exposed to the infection from outside. The opening to the urethra is located at the top of the vaginal opening and the urethra itself is much shorter and direct to the bladder. A bacterium called E. coli is the most common cause of UTI’s and is part of the normal flora of the bowel. The location of the urethral opening is positioned very close to the rectum in woman allowing for easy infection.
Accepted medical therapy involves antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria and often a drug to help relieve the discomfort. All medications have significant potential side effects including life threatening allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, bowel change, and others. They are often expensive and time consuming to obtain.
Here are five natural remedies for UTI’s. It is important to seek medical advice if symptoms persist or worsen. Upper urinary tract infections can be much more serious and will require medical intervention.
Water and fluid intake
It is important to stay hydrated as much as possible. This is a handy remedy that has no side effects at all. Staying hydrated helps you urinate more often and thus it helps bacteria flush from the urinary tract.
Water is the most important fluid intake and the one that gets you hydrated the most. Whenever you feel like you are thirsty drink water and do not let yourself, be thirsty for longer period. Make sure you drink just the right amount of water you need, around eight glasses per day, as too much can also do damage to pre-existing kidney diseases.
If you know you have the risk of having this disease, make sure you do not exaggerate with too tight clothing, as they can make moisture develop.
Loose clothing will keep the area dry for a longer period and prevent infection.
Cotton crotch underwear will also do good and prevent bacteria from developing.
Vitamin C can be found in many foods as well as in supplements intake. What it does is that it increases the acidity in the urine and thus inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
Fruits and vegetables are important sources of vitamin C. In case you have a low dose in your body, you can take some supplements as well.
Cranberries are thought to be a real miracle for the UTI. They come in different types, juices, teas, extracts etc. Taken on a longer period of time they prevent the bacteria from installing to the urinary tract.
Both cranberry juice as well as fresh cranberries used regularly can help prevent UTI in a person that is prone to this.
Maintain a healthy diet
Make sure your diet does not contain too many foods that put your body at hard work and take a lot of time to digest. Reduce the quantity of caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, carbonated drinks and artificial sweeteners. These are prone to irritate your bladder. Add to your diet high-fiber carbohydrates and essential nutrients.
Let’s stay healthy and well.