URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

Urinary tract infections can occur in the urethra, bladder, ureters [the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder] and the kidneys.  Confined to the bladder or urethra, the infection is usually easily treated, however, infection of the ureter or kidney requires careful attention, because of the possible obstruction by kidney stone or a developmental abnormality.

In most cases the infections are caused by harmful organisms entering the urinary tract via the urethra ie urinary outlet.  Women and girls are particularly susceptible due to the shorter length of the urethra.   To avoid infection, wipe with sanitary paper from the front to the back, shower in preference to bathing, don’t use soap with chemical ingredients around the pubic region, avoid using bubble bath and urinate shortly after intercourse.

Other physiological reasons why an infection can develop are:-   stones in the bladder, diverticuli of the bowel altering the shape of the bladder and interfering with thorough drainage, pregnancy, prolapsed uterus, abnormal growth and enlarged prostate.

Symptoms include pain on urination, frequency, tenderness in the region of the pubis and in the urethra and intense desire to urinate even when the bladder is empty.

At menopause there occurs a thinning of urethral tissues, making them more liable to trauma and infection – herbs containing estrogen can help ease the discomfort.  Sometimes this condition is mistaken for urinary tract infection, until urine testing reveals there is no infection.

Repeated infections in childhood can lead to kidney scarring, hypertension, and/or kidney failure or septicemia.

There are available an abundance of herbs and vitamins and minerals that can be prescribed to combat urinary tract infections and prevent the formation of kidney stones.  As always, dietary considerations play a major part in good health and any healing process, as does drinking lots of fresh water.

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