Urinary Tract Infections – UTI

Causes – Symptoms – Treatments

From , former About.com Guide

Updated July 11, 2011

About.com Health’s Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

A urinary tract infection or UTI is a bacterial infection that occurs when bacteria invade the urinary tract system; the bacteria multiply throughout the urinary track system. While the majority of urinary tract infections or UTIs are not serious, they often cause severe symptoms such as pain and/or burning upon urination.

The urinary tract system is the body’s filtering system for removal of liquid waste. The urinary tract consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.


About half of all women will have at least one UTI in her lifetime, while many women suffer through several infections throughout their lifetime. Women are particularly susceptible to urinary tract infections or UTI. This is because women have a shorter urinary tract than men. The good news: Infections are easily treated with antibiotics. However, some women seem prone to recurrent UTIs than others and for them it can be a frustrating battle.



  1. What Causes Urinary Tract Infections?

    The most common cause of UTIs are bacteria from the bowel that live on the skin near the rectum or in the vagina, which can spread and enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Once these bacteria enter the urethra, they travel upward, causing infection in the bladder and sometimes other parts of the urinary tract.

    Sexual intercourse is a common cause of urinary tract infections because the female anatomy can make women more prone to urinary tract infections. During sexual activity, bacteria in the vaginal area are sometimes massaged into the urethra.

    Women who change sexual partners or begin having sexual intercourse more frequently may experience bladder or urinary tract infections more often than women who are celibate or in monogamous relationships. Although it is rare, some women get a urinary tract infection every time they have sex.

    Another cause of bladder infections or UTI is waiting too long to urinate. The bladder is a muscle that stretches to hold urine and contracts when the urine is released. Waiting too long past the time you first feel the need to urinate can cause the bladder to stretch beyond its capacity. Over time, this can weaken the bladder muscle. When the bladder is weakened, it may not empty completely and some urine is left in the bladder. This may increase the risk of urinary tract infections or bladder infections.

    Other factors that also may increase a woman’s risk of developing UTI include pregnancy, having urinary tract infections as a child, menopause, or diabetes.

    See: 10 Ways To Prevent UTI

  2. What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections?
    Symptoms of UTI or bladder infection are not easy to miss and include a strong urge to urinate that cannot be delayed, which is followed by a sharp pain or burning sensation in the urethra when the urine is released. Most often very little urine is released and the urine that is released may be tinged with blood. The urge to urinate recurs quickly and soreness may occur in the lower abdomen, back, or sides.

    This cycle may repeat itself frequently during the day or night–most people urinate about six times a day, when the need to urinate occurs more often a bladder infection should be suspected.

    When bacteria enter the ureters and spread to the kidneys, symptoms such as back pain, chills, fever, nausea, and vomiting may occur, as well as the previous symptoms of lower urinary tract infection.

    Proper diagnosis is vital since these symptoms also can be caused by other problems such as vaginal infections or vulva
    . Only your physician can make the distinction and make a correct diagnosis.

  3. How Is a Diagnosis of UTI Made?

    The number of bacteria and white blood cells in a urine sample is the basis for diagnosing urinary tract infections. Urine is examined under a microscope and cultured in a substance that promotes the growth of bacteria. A pelvic exam also may be necessary.

    Note: If you have recurrent UTIs and bladder infections, you may be interested in purchasing an at-home test for UTI, which is available over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription. The test consists of a dipstick that changes color when you have a urinary tract infection. The test detects the presence of nitrite. Bacteria changes normal nitrates in the urine to nitrite. The test, which works best on first morning urine, is about 90% reliable.

  4. Pingback: URINARY TRACT INFECTION!!! « mshuggers

  5. Things You’ll Need

    Herb guide listing proper dosages and side effects
    Book of food counts
    Food items (see steps)

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    Diet and Supplements

    Remove acidic foods from your diet if you have a urinary tract infection. Foods such as chicken, peanuts, fish, organ meats and bread will cause an excessive amount of uric acid to form in the blood, making your infection difficult to treat. Replace these foods with non-acidic items like almonds, carrots, celery, apples, peaches, lettuce, oatmeal and grapes.

    Drink a 12-oz. glass of pure cranberry juice 1 hour before breakfast. To properly treat your urinary tract infection, it is important that you cleanse your bladder and kidneys. Cranberry juice is helpful in ridding the bladder and kidneys of harmful bacteria that cause urinary tract infections. See our article “How to Cleanse Your Bladder and Kidneys” (follow the link in Resources).

    Drink a 10-oz. glass of tomato juice between breakfast and lunch. Tomato juice is a powerful alkalizing supplement that will help balance your pH level. Tomatoes are often thought of as highly acidic; however, they begin to neutralize your pH level soon after they are digested.

    Drink 1 cup of watermelon-seed tea with lunch and dinner. Watermelon-seed tea is a mild but effective diuretic that promotes normal and active bladder and kidney function. This is will help you digest your food and flush your system of toxins.

    Drink 1 cup of bladder/kidney cleansing tea 1 hour before bedtime. There are many brands of cleansing teas on the market. Renal Cleansing Tea is a powerful tea that is sold in most health-food stores. Cleansing tea is rich in Juniper berries, corn silk, peppermint leaves and dandelion leaves, which will help you flush your system and digest your food as you sleep.
    Exercise and Body Care

    Take a brisk walk each day. Walking will help get your kidneys working. While you walk, keep yourself hydrated with spring water. Let yourself sweat, but don’t deprive yourself of fluid.

    Sit in a sauna for 30 minutes at least once during your cleanse. Saunas are wonderful ways to release toxins and unwanted fluids through perspiration. If you don’t have access to a sauna, a hot sitz bath followed by a cold shower will help you. Avoid over-the-counter soaps with large amounts of oil. Clean your pores thoroughly.

    Stretch before you start your day and before going to bed each night. Proper stretching will help you get moving in the morning and relax you before you go to bed.

    Tips & Warnings

    Take three grapefruit-extract capsules daily, one with each meal. Grapefruit extract will help control the infection.

    Take at least five Cantharsis 30c pellets each day. Cantharsis is a powerful homeopathic remedy that attacks tissues damaged by infection. It is said to alleviate pain and infection almost instantly in some cases.

    Take at least 3,000mg to 5,000mg of vitamin C each day.

    Drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water each day.

    Avoid smoking. Smoking robs the body of oxygen.

    Do not take herbal supplements in conjunction with antibiotics without proper guidance. Refer to your herb guide or contact a herbalist.

    This article is in no way to be considered medical advice. If you have questions about specific dietary or lifestyle changes, consult your doctor or other other health-care professional.

    If you feel extremely ill, contact your doctor or dial 911.

    Read more: How to Treat Urinary Tract Infections With Natural Remedies | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4488293_treat-urinary-tract-infections-natural.html#ixzz28ZfaFbSi

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