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Urinary Tract Infection - Did You Know You Can Treat It Naturally?

Aug 23, 2008
Urinary tract infections (UTI's) occur when bacteria get into the urethra, bladder, ureters, kidneys, or any combination of the major components of the urinary system. Women are more likely go get them than men, but both sexes may experience similar symptoms.

For women, urinary tract infections are usually caused by E. coli bacteria from the bowels entering the urethra during sexual intercourse or improper wiping after using the restroom. Infrequent voiding can also cause bacteria to multiply in the bladder and cause an infection.

An obstruction like an enlarged prostate is the usual cause for UTI's in men. The increased size of the prostate presses on the urethra, making it harder to empty all of the urine from the bladder. This stagnant urine is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Both sexes can get bladder infections from catheters used in medical procedures, especially if they are used for a long time.

People with low immunity, recent physical trauma, or some diseases that tax one's entire system, like diabetes, for example, are prone to urinary tract infections due to their weakened defenses against bacteria.

There are sometimes no signs of UTI, but usually there are at least mild symptoms that alert one that there is something wrong. Painful, burning urination and a feeling of fullness of the bladder (and/or rectum, for men) are common, as well as fevers, fatigue, and the urge to urinate frequently (often producing less urine than usual). The urine may be off-color, having a dark, cloudy appearance, with or without blood and albumin visible. Albumin is a protein that sometimes shows up as small white particles in infected urine.

The severity of a UTI depends on how far the infection has spread into the urinary tract. Once an infection has reached the kidneys, the symptoms usually include a fever. Anyone who thinks she has a UTI should see a health-care provider to be sure, and follow up to see if the infection is gone after treatment. Sometimes bacteria can remain, causing reinfection.

Antibiotics are the standard medical treatment for UTI's. But herbal remedies have a long reputation in helping cure and ease the symptoms of urinary tract infections as well.

Cranberry has been used for urinary and kidney ailments for centuries. The medical community is starting to recognize what many have known all along - it is very effective at preventing and possibly treating UTI's. Science has proven that a substance in cranberries prevents bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder, so they are flushed out with urination.

Eating cranberries can be a bitter proposition, and cranberry juice cocktails are laden with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Cranberry supplements can be a good way to bypass those problems and still get the benefits of this powerful fruit.

Herbs with astringent or antibiotic properties that can help with UTI's are horsetail, marshmallow, nasturtium, and horseradish root. Ready-made supplements that contain a variety of urinary tract - supporting herbs are available that many have found useful.

Urinary tract infections are painful and debilitating, especially when they tend to recur frequently. But they do not have to be a normal part of your life. See your health practitioner, and consider trying some natural remedies to make them one less problem to worry about.
About the Author
Shannon Pollock has been teaching people about natural health remedies for many years. She is a specialist with experience in natural remedies for both people and animals.

For more information on treating a urinary tract infection, as well as other natural health related topics, visit Shannon's website called Natural Health Remedies and More
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