Urinary Tract Infection Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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Among the most common infections are urinary tract infections. Particularly in the summer, there is an increase in the incidence of urinary tract infections and the reason is that there is bigger exposure to microbes.

 

What Is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

It is an infection of the urinary tract system due to pathogenic microorganisms, that is manifested by a series of clinical symptoms. Depending on the localization and colonization of pathogenic microorganisms, there is a different type of infection. If urinary tract infection is found in the kidneys (kidney parenchyma), bladder, prostate or urethra, it manifests itself with different symptoms and is referred to as pyelonephritis, cystitis, prostatitis and urethritis, respectively.

 

What Causes Urinary Infection?

Normally human body has several defense mechanisms against pathogenic microbes. However, in cases of weak immune system, body’s defense system may not be sufficient and thus there is an infection.

Urine tract infection (UTI) is caused by pathogenic bacterias, viruses and fungi. However, 9 in 10 times are due to coliforms that normally colonize the intestinal tract, such as Escherichia coli (E. Coli), and which easily enter the urogenital system.

Who is at higher risk?

Studies suggest that urinary tract infection is common among adults and especially women. Women appear to have up to twice the risk of developing urinary tract infections due to the anatomy of their urogenital region, such as shorter urethral length etc. The result is to facilitate the entry of microbes into the urinary tract.

Also, pregnancy is considered as an additional risk factor for the occurrence of urinary tract infection in women. The reason is that the fetus leads to increased intra-abdominal pressure, which may lead to obstruction of the ureter and urinary tract.

 

Risk factors for UTIs

Factors that may increase the likelihood of urinary tract infections are:

  • Reduced water intake
  • Postponing urination
  • Poor hygiene of the rectum
  • Sexual habits (not using a condom etc.)
  • Methods of contraception
  • Diseases (diabetes mellitus, etc.)

 

Urinary Tract Infection – Symptoms: What are the most common?

Symptoms may vary depending on the type of urinary tract infection, gender and age. The most common symptoms are frequent urination and increased pain or burning sensation during urination. In addition, urine may be blurred or smelly, while hematuria can also be observed. In cases of pyelonephritis, an infection of the upper urinary tract, fever, nausea, shivering and pain may also occur. Many times UTI coexists with vaginitis.

Urinary tract infection – natural treatment

Treatment of urinary tract infection can be done both by physical means and by taking antibiotics. Antibiotic is considered as an easy solution, however, it makes the bacterias resistant, does not “clean” the bladder effectively and so there are increased chances for relapse.

Cranberry and urinary tract infection

Taking cranberries can contribute to both treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections, up to 35%. Cranberries are a category of berries, often referred to as the red treasure. They are rich in flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder epithelium. They help to prevent the occurrence of urinary tract infections, while in case of infection, they help to restore or even prevent further kidney infection. For better action and effectiveness, cranberry extract can be combined with mannose and NAC.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC)

It is a mucolytic agent that helps to remove pathogenic microorganisms from the bladder wall. It helps to effectively “clean” the bladder, minimizing the likelihood of recurrence or re-infection. It is used in conjunction with antibiotics for better action or in cases where there are frequent urinary tract infections.

D – Mannose

D – mannose is a type of sugar of plant origin that is not metabolized in the intestine. It is used to prevent attachment of pathogenic microorganisms to the bladder wall as they adhere to mannose. The result is the prevention of microbial proliferation and elimination through urination by the body.

Probiotics

Bacteria (Lactobacilus acidophilus, plantarum, rhamnosus and casei) which maintain and restore body’s microflora and lead to faster recovery of the bladder mucosa. They contribute to the most effective treatment for urinary tract infection.

 

Urinary tract infection and herbal therapy

Diuretic herbs (Uva ursi, Solidago, Birch, Maidan, Giava, Nettle, etc.) which contribute to the removal of microbes from the urinary system due to increased urination. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, thus reducing the likelihood of recurrence or infection, at the first level. For immediate relief from the symptoms of urinary tract infections, do chamomile washes, as chamomile has soothing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

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