Urinary tract infections
What is Urinary Tract Infections?
Urinary tract infection or UTI is the most prevalent infection in the urinary system. Given the life we are heading to, the prevalence of UTI is a common thing to talk about.
UTI may develop in any part of the urinary system, including your urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys. But most often, the signs usually involve the urethra and bladder, or in the lower or upper tract. Less likely, UTI begins in the upper tract, but if they do, they tend to be more problematic or severe.
Women happen to have more instances of urinary tract infections than men do. Infection, as triggered by microbes, can be painful and annoying. UTIs that are triggered by microbes are too small to be diagnosed even through a microscope. Other triggers may include bacteria, fungi, and in rare cases, it can be viruses as well.
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.
The symptoms usually include needing to urinate often, having pain while urinating, and pain in the lower or side most times.
The infections that spread to the kidneys (called pyelonephritis) are often hard to reverse, and they tend to affect how kidneys work.
Types of UTIs
UTI may begin in any part of the urinary tract. So different types of UTIs based on the part where it begins include:
- Cystitis(bladder): Lower belly pain and pain while passing urine can be the signs of bladder or cystitis infection. You may feel like you want to urinate but may end up passing only a little.
- Pyelonephritis: UTI that spreads to the kidneys may result in nausea and vomiting and pain in the upper side or back or leads to fever and chills.
- Urethritis(urethra): The infection in the urethra causes a discharge and burning sensation when you urinate.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of a urinary tract infection reflect on the upper or lower tract infection.
The generalized symptoms of a lower tract UTI include:
- burning sensation with urination
- increased frequency of urination without passing much urine
- urgency in urination
- blood in the urine
- cloudy urine
- urine that looks like cola or tea or dark-colored
- urine that has a strong smell
- In women, pelvic pain is common
- rectal pain in men
Upper tract UTIs include the kidneys. If the bacteria travel from the infected kidney to the blood, it can cause severe complications, including urosepsis, which leads to low blood pressure, shock, and death in some cases.
Other symptoms of an upper tract UTI include:
- pain and tenderness in the upper back and sides
The main cause of urinary tract infections is the bacteria that may invade the tract through the urethra and begin to grow in the bladder. Although the urinary system is highly sufficient in keeping such bacteria or invaders from infecting the body, these defence mechanisms may fail sometimes. In response to this, bacterial growth may result in a full-blown infection in the urinary tract.
The most common UTIs occur mainly in women and affect the bladder and urethra.
Cystitis is mainly triggered by a bacterium called Escherichia coli or E.coli, which is mainly found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, other bacteria are also responsible. The other causes may include sexual activity, which may lead to cystitis.
Urethritis, or the infection of the urethra, occur when GI bacteria enter from the anus to the urethra. The female urethra is close to the vagina, which increases the risk of bacterial transmission, while other causes include sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea, mycoplasma, etc.
Ayurvedic treatment for urinary tract infections
As per Ayurvedic texts, UTIs are an outcome of imbalanced Pitta in the body. The main cause of vitiated Pitta is the eating habits such as eating too sour, spicy, and hot food. Drinking alcoholic beverages, suppressing urinating, exposure to heat, not drinking enough water, environmental factors like chemical contact from the perfumes may also irritate genitals.
Ayurveda has natural ways and techniques to restore the body’s bacterial balance. Herbal concoctions are known to have shown promising results in the treatment of urinary disorders, and in fact, they are considered better than antibiotics in allopathy for UTI.
Treatment and procedures in Ayurveda for UTI for the removal of toxins or Ama from the body and pacification of vitiated doshas are as follow:
- Oral administration of herbal oils and ghee
- Steaming and other heating procedures
- Vamana or therapeutic vomiting
- Virechana or induced purgation
Panchakarma is also popular in the administration of UTI if it is chronic in nature.
At AyuKarma, we make efforts to help you get rid of health issues, including UTI. If left untreated, UTI may become a cause of your distress as it leads to chronic kidney disease. So, we recommend treatment to get it treated in the first place.
For more information on the treatment, you can reach our ayurvedic physicians at AyuKarma.