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Recurring UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)

Bhagwati Ayurveda & Panchkarma / Recurring UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections)

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract — the bladder and the urethra.

Women are at greater risk of developing a UTI than are men. Infection limited to your bladder can be painful and annoying. However, serious consequences can occur if a UTI spreads to your kidneys.

Doctors typically treat urinary tract infections with antibiotics. But you can take steps to reduce your chances of getting a UTI in the first place.

What are Urinary Tract Infections?

If you’re a woman, your chance of getting a urinary tract infection, or UTI, is high; some experts rank your lifetime risk of getting one as high as 1 in 2 — with many women having repeat infections, sometimes for years on end. Here’s how to handle UTIs, whether you’re experiencing your first or fifth infection, and how to make it less likely you’ll get one in the first place.

Symptoms of UTIs

Urinary-system-infection, symptoms, cause
Infections of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) are known as lower UTIs. These can cause:

  1. a need to pee more often than usual
  2. pain or discomfort when peeing
  3. sudden urges to pee
  4. feeling as though you’re unable to empty your bladder fully
  5. pain low down in your tummy
  6. urine that’s cloudy, foul-smelling or contains blood
  7. feeling generally unwell, achy and tired

Infections of the kidneys or ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder) are known as upper UTIs.

Causes:

The urinary tract is comprised of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra.

The vast majority of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), usually found in the digestive system. Chlamydia and mycoplasma bacteria can infect the urethra but not the bladder.

UTIs are given different names depending on where they occur. For example:

  • A bladder infection is called cystitis.
  • A urethra infection is called urethritis.
  • A kidney infection is called pyelonephritis.

The ureters are very rarely the site of infection.

Risk factors

Over 50 percent of all women will experience at least one UTI during their lifetime, with 20 to 30 percent experiencing recurrent UTIs.

Pregnant women are not more likely to develop a UTI than other women, but if one does occur, it is more likely to travel up to the kidneys. This is because changes in the body during pregnancy that affect the urinary tract.

As a UTI in pregnancy can prove dangerous for both maternal and infant health, most pregnant women are tested for the presence of bacteria in their urine, even if there are no symptoms, and treated with antibiotics to prevent spread.

People of any age and sex can develop a UTI. However, some people are more at risk than others. The following factors can increase the likelihood of developing a UTI:

  • Age: The rate of UTIs in women gradually increases with age.
  • Incomplete bladder emptying, which allows the residual urine to be rapidly infected by bacteria present.
    Causes include:
  • Pregnancy – about 15 percent of pregnant women will experience a UTI
  • Bladder, uterine or any other pelvic organ prolapse
  • Sexual intercourse, which seems to trigger a UTI infection in many women, although the reason for this is unclear.
  • Immunosuppression with certain medications or drugs
  • Use of diaphragm and condoms with spermicidal foam as contraceptives.

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ayurvedic management for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI):

Ayurveda for Urinary Tract Infection

Anatomical structures involved in the formation, storage and excretion of urine constitute urinary tract. This includes kidney, ureters, urinary bladder and urethra. Urine contains metabolic wastes, water, salts and toxins such as urea. Presence of RBC, WBC, sugar, protiens, puss cell etc indicates pathology in the different parts of urinary tract. Intake of some medicines can also influence appearance of urine. Urinary tract infections can be caused by forceful inhibition of natural urge of urination, habit of low intake of water, ageing, illness, unhealthy sexual practices and injury. Age effect on the kidneys’ structure affects its ability to filter and remove wastes from the blood. Loss of muscle tone and strength can also be the result of ageing leading to incomplete evacuation. Women are more vulnerable to this infection and acquire chronic nature more often than men. An infection in the bladder will be usually chronic in nature. To make things worse many organisms causing UTI are becoming resistant to available drugs. This is the area where Ayurveda the holistic medical system offer a lot. It teaches how to cure UTI and modify life style to prevent any recurrence. Complex but natural and therapeutically effective phyto constituents of simple herbs as well as polyherbal formulations act on micro organisms such as E.coli, S.saprophyticus and Klebsiella. E.coli constitutes 80-85% infections.

Treatment

Ayurvedic therapies to get rid of urinary-tract-infections

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

  • Avoid intake of hot, oily, spicy, sour, salty, and bitter foods.
  • Increase intake of liquids in the form of water, juices, coconut water, and other cooling drinks.
  • Increase intake of pitta-pacifying herbs like green cardamom, coriander, red sandalwood, licorice root, etc.
  • Avoid working in the sun or in a hot atmosphere such as near furnaces and boilers.
  • Take a cold-water bath 2-3 times a day with ½ teaspoon of powdered red sandalwood added to the water.

According to Ayurveda, Urinary Tract Infection or Pittaj Mutrakrichhra, is caused by the aggravation of Pitta Dosha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor that symbolizes heat or fire. So, a diet and lifestyle that increases Pitta causes UTI. Aggravated Pitta produces heating toxins in the body. These heating toxins accumulate in the mutravahi strotas (urinary channels) and create an imbalance in the infection-fighting properties of the urinary system. It might lead to bacterial growth in the system, amounting to UTI. Many chemical drugs work on bacteria, but these do not work for infection-fighting properties and heating toxins. Thus, such infection can often recur. Ayurvedic medicine, on the other hand, balances the infection-fighting properties of the urinary system and pacifies heating toxins, thereby giving long-term relief to the patient.

Urinary Tract Infections Ayurvedic Treatment includes:

Snehapana:

Oral administration of medicated ghee. It has the ability to transport therapeutically effective components to different tissues of urinary tract.

Swedana:

Medicated steam bath. It restores back our cell metabolism as well as to flush out our accumulated body toxins.

Abhyanga:

This healing whole body massages solely aims to refresh both physical and mental health.

Kashaya Seka:

Stream of warm medicated herbal water is allowed to stay on the individual’s body for approximately 30 minutes.

Uttaravasti:

In this treatment ayurvedic enemas are administrated to the patient through the urethral or vaginal route.

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