Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infection, also known as cystitis or bladder infection, is a condition in which irritation occurs anywhere within the urinary tract, from the urethra all the way to the end of the bladder lining. This condition affects over two million people in the United States each year, most of whom are women. It is most common in women who are sexually active and women who have entered menopause. It’s estimated that half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life and one out of every 2,000 healthy men will develop one each year.
Urinary tract infection can be recurring, chronic, or relegated to a single episode which, when properly treated, does not return. UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but they usually pass within a few days. Children also get UTIs, although this is less common.
You may find that your UTI symptoms are mild and pass within a few days. However, if you are finding your symptoms very uncomfortable or if they last for more than five days, we recommend you visit a licensed practitioner, especially if you develop a high temperature, if your symptoms suddenly get worse, if you are pregnant or if you have diabetes.
Complications of a UTI aren’t common but can be serious and lead to kidney failure or blood poisoning. These complications usually only affect people with a pre-existing health problem, such as diabetes or a weakened immune system (the body’s natural defence against infection).
The urinary tract is where our bodies make, and get rid of, urine. It’s made up of:
- the kidneys: these are two bean-shaped organs that make urine out of waste materials from the blood
- the ureters: tubes that run from the kidney to the bladder
- the bladder: where urine is stored until we go to the toilet
- the urethra: the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the hole where it leaves the body (in men this is at the tip of the penis, in women it’s between the vagina and the clitoris)
Different types of UTI
You can get an infection in the lower (bladder and urethra) or upper (kidney and ureters) part of the urinary tract and health practitioners will often describe them as lower or upper UTIs.
Upper UTIs are potentially more serious than lower UTIs because there is a risk of kidney damage.
An infection of the bladder is called cystitis, and an infection of the urethra is known as urethritis.
The symptoms of an infection in your upper urinary tract (kidney and ureters) are different from symptoms of infection in your lower urinary tract (bladder and urethra).
However, in some cases you may notice the symptons of both, as one can spread to the other.
Symptoms of a lower UTI include:
- cloudy urine
- needing to urinate more often during the day or night, or both
- pain or discomfort when urinating
- an urgent need to go to the toilet (holding in your urine becomes more difficult)
- urine that smells unusually unpleasant
- blood in your urine (haematuria)
- pain in your abdomen (tummy)
- a feeling of tenderness around your pelvis
- back pain
- a general sense of feeling unwell
Symptoms of an upper UTI include:
- a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
- uncontrollable shivering
- nausea (feeling sick)
With an upper UTI you may also notice pain in your side, back or groin. The pain can range from moderate to severe, and it is often worse when you’re urinating.
There is a higher risk of complications with an upper UTI, so see your licensed health practitioner if you notice any of the symptoms.
Although many lower UTIs are mild and get better within a few days, speak to your GP if your symptoms are causing you a lot of pain and discomfort or if they last more than five days.
Increased risk of complications
There are some risk factors that increase your risk of more serious complications from a UTI. These include:
- kidney disease
- type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes
- a weakened immune system caused by treatment such as chemotherapy or a health condition such as HIV
- a foreign body in your urinary tract, such as a kidney stone or catheter (a thin tube inserted by a health professional into the urethra to drain the bladder)
- being pregnant
- being over 65 years old
Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that live in the digestive system.
If these bacteria get into the urethra (the tube where urine comes out) they can cause infection.
It’s thought that the bacteria can spread to the urethra via the anus. If toilet paper touches your anus and then your genitals when you go to the toilet, the bacteria can then multiply and move through your urinary tract, causing infection of your:
- urethra (urethritis): the urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the hole where it leaves the body (in men this is at the tip of the penis, in women it’s between the vagina and the clitoris)
- bladder (cystitis): the bladder is where urine is stored until we urinate
- ureters (ureteritis): the ureters are tubes that run from the bladder to the kidneys
- kidneys (pyelonephritis): the kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that remove waste materials from your blood and convert it to urine
Women are more likely than men to have a UTI. This is because in women the urethra is closer to the anus than it is in men, which makes it easier for bacteria to get from the anus to the urethra. In women the urethra is also much shorter than it is in men, making it easier for bacteria to reach the bladder.
You are also more likely to develop a UTI if:
- You have a condition that obstructs or blocks your urinary tract, such as kidney stones.
- You have a condition that prevents you from fully emptying your bladder; if urine stays in the bladder for too long it’s easier for bacteria to multiply.
- You have a weakened immune system – due to, for example, chemotherapy or HIV.
- You have a urinary catheter, which is a tube that a doctor or nurse inserts into your bladder to drain away the urine.
If you’re a woman, you are also more likely to get a UTI if:
- You’re sexually active – having sex can irritate the urethra, allowing bacteria to travel through it more easily and into your bladder.
- You use a diaphragm for contraception, as a diaphragm can put pressure on the bladder and prevent it from emptying properly.
- You use condoms that are coated in spermicide, as spermicide can irritate the vagina making it more vulnerable to infection.
- If you are going through the menopause. This can increase the risk of urinary tract infection developing because, during menopause, levels of the hormone oestrogen decline in the body, making it easier for bacteria to stick to the lining of the urinary tract.
If you’re a man, you are also more likely to get a UTI if:
- you have an enlarged prostate gland, as this can put pressure on the bladder and urethra, preventing the bladder from emptying properly
Healthy eating is of primary importance. Increase your intake of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and complex whole grains, as well as organic, free-range meats, poultry, and wild-caught fish.
Avoid all commercial, processed, and nonorganic food, as well as alcohol, coffee, sugars, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food dyes, milk and dairy products, wheat and wheat products, and refined carbohydrates. Do not eat saturated, trans-, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated fats and oils. Instead choose from virgin coconut butter/oil, extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flax seed oil, and unrefined hemp seed, walnut, and sunflower oils.
Foods that are rich in the amino acids phenylalanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and tyramine should also be avoided, as these amino acids can cause irritation in the urinary tract. Such foods include avocados, bananas, chocolate, citrus fruits, figs, and yogurt. Dried fruits, mushrooms, commercial fruit and vegetable juices, leavened bread, pizza, and pasta should only be eaten sparingly, if at all, since they can aggravate symptoms.
Drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day, as well as 16 ounces of either organic, unsweetened blueberry or cranberry juice, both of which are high in a natural sugar known as mannose, which helps to prevent bacteria from sticking to the cells of the urinary tract.
In addition, have yourself screened for potential food allergies and sensitivities and avoid those foods for which you test positive.
For the complete whole foods eating plan we recommend to heal and eliminate all imbalances and disease, Whole Foods Diet. In many cases, a raw food eating plan can be extremely beneficial. To learn more, read Raw Food Diet.
If you do the Jeff McCombs Candida Protocol you will already be avoiding all of the foods that impact on your health. However here are the foods to avoid at all costs.
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food or chain restaurants and all processed food.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eat mostly fresh, organic vegetables and fruits.
Useful nutrients include vitamin A, beta carotene, zinc, and acidophilus.
Add half a teaspoon of mannose powder to pure filtered water and drink it every one to two hours to speed recovery.
Other beneficial supplements include:
- Vitamin D (classed as a hormone.) Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for a period of up to 4 weeks.
- Coral Calcium – Coral calcium website
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Omega 3s:
Hemp Seed Oil
- Morter Supplements Trace Minerals
- Selenium – an essential trace vitamin
- Zinc – essential for healthy immune function.
- Iodine – good for energy metabolism and repair of tissues.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
Urinary Tract Infections and TCM: www.tcmpage.com/hpurinary_infect.html
Urinary Tract Infections and Ayurveda: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2964762/
Herbs that heal urinary tract infection: www.naturalnews.com/035742_herbal_remedies_urinary_tract_infections_bacteria.html
Natural ayurvedic home remedies for urinary tract: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SXzFrZ1w70
Urinary tract infection and natural cures: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4cMOWM5sZQ
Home remedies for urinary tract infection: www.dailymotion.com/video/xag6rg_natural-home-remedies-for-urinary-t_tech
Vitamin D fights urinary tract infections: www.naturalnews.com/031194_vitamin_D_urinary_tract_infections.html
Cranberries stop urinary tract infections: www.naturalnews.com/036490_cranberries_urinary_tract_infections.html
Uva Ursi herb reverses urinary tract infection: www.naturalnews.com/027540_uva_ursi_urinary_tract_infections.html
How a simple sugar can stop UTI dead in its tracks: www.naturalnews.com/026759_infection_urinary_tract_sugar.html
The body has its own anti-biotic to fight UTI: www.naturalnews.com/019639_infection_urinary_tract_antibiotic.html
Further Information (links and books)
Permanently Beat Urinary Tract Infections: Proven Step-by-Step Cure for Urinary Tract Infection and Cystitis. All Natural, Lasting UTI Remedies That Will Prevent Recurring Infections, Caroline D. Greene; Saw Palmetto for Men & Women: Herbal Healing for the Prostate, Urinary Tract, Immune System and More, David Winston.
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.