Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

What is a UTI?

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection from microbes. These are organisms that are too small to be seen without a microscope. Most UTIs are caused by bacteria, but some are caused by fungi and in rare cases by viruses. They can affect the kidneys, bladder, and the tubes that run between them. UTIs are among the most common infections in humans.

UTI symptoms in men

Symptoms of an upper tract urinary infection in men are similar to those in women. Symptoms of a lower tract urinary infection in men sometimes include rectal pain in addition to the common symptoms shared by both men and women.

UTI symptoms in women

Women with a lower tract urinary infection may experience pelvic pain. This is in addition to the other common symptoms. Symptoms of upper tract infections among both men and women are similar.

Women are particularly at risk because bacteria can more easily move into their urinary tracts.  Other factors that can increase the risk of UTIs include:

  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract.
  • Any factor that obstructs urine flow eg: kidney stones, an enlarged prostate.
  • Having a catheter inserted into the bladder.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Being post-menopausal.
  • Using a diaphragm for contraception.

Here are some key points about urinary tract infection.

  • A burning sensation when urinating.
  • Passing frequent, small amounts of urine.
  • Common symptoms include a strong, frequent urge to urinate and a painful and burning sensation when urinating.
  • Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
  • Urine that looks like cola or tea.
  • Cloudy, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine.

Causes

Urinary tract infections typically occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. Although the urinary system is designed to keep out such microscopic invaders, these defenses sometimes fail. When that happens, bacteria may take hold and grow into a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.

Diagnosis and treatment

If a UTI is suspected it is important to consult a doctor as soon as practicable so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment given. Prompt treatment is important to prevent infection of the kidneys from developing.

Here Some Ayurvedic Tips Helpful For Urinary Disorder:

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.

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.
  • Drink lots of water – Water dilutes urine and flushes bacteria more frequently.
  • Avoid irritating drinks: Things like coffee, alcohol, sodas and citrus juices can irritate the bladder, causing infection.

Home Remedies

  • Put 3 tablespoons of powdered coriander seeds and 1 tablespoon of powdered rock candy (or unrefined sugar) in a vessel (preferably an earthen pot) containing 3 cups of water. Keep it overnight. Mix well and drink 1 cup of the liquid 3 times a day. This is a very good remedy for pacifying pitta in the urinary tract.

Spinach leaves and carrots

  • Chop a handful of spinach leaves
  • Take 1 bowl of sliced carrots
  • Add both to about ½ L water
  • Boil for 15-20 min
  • Strain the water and crush the vegetables
  • Extract juice of vegetables to make soup
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Drink the soup 2 times a day

Yoga

Include yoga poses that target the kidney and abdominal area such as;

  • Cobra (Bhjangasana),
  • Bridge (Setu Bhanda Sarvagasana) and
  • Bow (Dhanurasana) pose.

These help to massage and tone the kidneys and improve the function of genito-urinary organs.