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HOMOEOPATHY in URINARY TRACT INFECTION

Frequent episodes of urinary tract infections are common conditions, especially among females. Conventionally, courses of antibiotics are administered. Though antibiotics take care of the acute infection, antibiotics never prevent the recurrence. Homeopathic comes to rescue which helps control and prevent recurrences of urinary tract infections.

Definition:

Infection of any of the organs of the urinary tracts such as those of kidneys, Ureters (tube between kidney to bladder), urinary bladder, and urethra, may broadly be called as UTI.

    Specifically following terms are used:
  • pyelonephritis or nephritis (infection - inflammation) of kidney
  • ureteritis (for ureters)
  • cystitis (urinary bladder)
  • urethritis (urethra)
  • Pyelonephritis is generally the serious condition.

Causes of UTI:

  • Urinary tract infection is most common in women affecting bladder and urethra.
  • Infection in bladder: It also known as cystitis mainly caused due to E-coli bacteria it mainly decent from the gastrointestinal tract as the urethra opening is close to the anal opening in female, bacteria travels and causes infection, commonly seen in the young sexually active women.
  • Infection in the urethra: It is also known as urethritis it is caused mainly due to sexual intercourse, as urethral proximity to the vagina sexually transmitted diseases like STDs, Gonorrhea, and Herpes simplex can also cause urethritis.
    The following people are at increased risk of urinary tract infection:
  • People with conditions that block (obstruct) the urinary tract, such as kidney stones
  • People with medical conditions that cause incomplete bladder emptying (for example, spinal cord injury or bladder decompensation after menopause)
  • People with suppressed immune systems: Examples of situations in which the immune system is suppressed are HIV/AIDS and diabetes. People who take immunosuppressant medications such as chemotherapy for cancer also are at increased risk.
  • Women who are sexually active: Sexual intercourse can introduce larger numbers of bacteria into the bladder. Urinating after intercourse seems to decrease the likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection.
  • Women who use a diaphragm for birth control
  • Men with an enlarged prostate:Prostatitis or obstruction of the urethra by an enlarged prostate can lead to incomplete bladder emptying, thus increasing the risk of infection. This is most common in older men.
  • Males are also less likely to develop UTIs because their urethra (tube from the bladder) is longer. There is a drier environment where a man's urethra meets the outside world, and fluid produced in the prostate can fight bacteria.
  • Breastfeeding has been found to decrease the risk for urinary tract infections.

Symptoms and signs:

  • Frequent urination: Increased, constant urge to urinate is one of the early signs of UTI. The urge persists even when the bladder has just been emptied.
  • Dysuria: It means painful discharge of urine or a feeling of discomfort while urinating. The pain is usually felt as a burning sensation. It is often caused in case of lower urinary tract infections.
  • Hematuria or blood in the urine: Bacteria thriving in the urinary tract can invade the urethral lining causing damage. This leads to a loss of blood through urine. The urine may turn cloudy due to a presence of bacteria.
  • Back pain: An upper urinary tract infection may also cause lower back pain and pain in the groin area. Some people complain about severe stomach pain and cramps as well.
  • High fever: In case bacteria travel up to the kidneys to spread the infection, you may suffer from a high fever. The temperature can go as high as 101 degrees Fahrenheit or even above that. Fever may be coupled with chills and night sweats.
  • Nausea: General weakness, fatigue or nausea is common with infection and fever. Sometimes, vomiting can also occur.

Diagnosis & Tests:

  • A urine sample is usually collected to perform the following tests:
  • Urinalysis : urine is examined to look for white blood cells, red blood cells, bacteria, and to test for certain chemicals, such as nitrites in the urine. Most of the time, your doctor or nurse can diagnose an infection using a urinalysis.
  • Urine culture may be done to identify the bacteria in the urine.
  • CBC (Complete blood count)
  • Blood culture

Complications:

  • Sepsis (Blood infection) - risk is greater among the young, very old adults, and those with low immunity(for example, due to HIV or cancer chemotherapy)
  • Kidney damage or scarring
  • Kidney infection

HOME REMEDIES:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Cranberry juice also helps to flush away bacteria and keeps them from sticking to the bladder wall, so it can be effective for UTI prevention.
  • Vitamin C makes your urine more acidic, which fights bacteria in your urinary tract. If you have an active UTI, taking vitamin C supplements in little quantity may help.
  • Blast bad bacteria with good bacteria. Yogurt contains probiotics, which is the good bacteria that helps to keep away bad bacteria that can cause UTIs. It’s always a good idea to eat yogurt regularly.
  • Ban the burn with baking soda. If painful, burning urination is a problem for you during a UTI, it may help to drink half of a teaspoon baking soda mixed with a glass of water.
  • Cut out irritants. Avoid things like caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, nicotine, carbonated drinks, and artificial sweeteners which irritate your bladder.
  • Eat healthy foods, such as high-fiber carbohydrates and healthy fats like olive oil, which are good for your digestive health.

HOMOEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT OF UTI

Homeopathic treatment:

For acute UTI: Homeopathy is effective for acute UTI in most cases. If there is no adequate response in symptoms and bacterial count in urine after 5 days of homeopathic treatment, and if the infection is very severer, it may be advised to opt for the conventional medicine.

For recurrent UTI:

Homeopathy has significant role to place especially in the cases of recurring UTI. As said earlier, recurrence of UTI is a common challenge and the conventional antibiotics have little role to prevent the recurrence. Homeopathy proves very effective in controlling, reducing the frequent attacks of UTI.

Apis mellifica:

  • This remedy is indicated when the person frequently needs to urinate, but only small quantities are passed.
  • Stinging and burning sensations are felt (especially with the last few drops) and the person may also experience soreness in the abdomen.
  • Heat and touch make the symptoms worse, and cold applications, cool bathing, and open air bring relief.
  • A lack of thirst is another indication that Apis may be needed.

Belladonna:

  • This remedy may be beneficial if urging to urinate is frequent and intense, and the bladder feels very sensitive.
  • A cramping or writhing sensation may be felt in the bladder area. Small amounts of highly-colored urine pass. (This remedy is sometimes helpful if a person passes small amounts of blood and no serious cause can be found on medical examination.)

Berberis vulgaris:

  • Cystitis with twinges of cutting pain, or a burning feeling that extends to the urethra and its opening, may indicate a need for this remedy.
  • The passage may also burn at times when no attempt at urination is being made.
  • After emptying the bladder, the person feels as if some urine still remains inside.
  • Urging and discomfort are often worse from walking.

Cantharis:

  • Strong urging to urinate with cutting pains that are felt before the urine passes, as well as during and after—may indicate a need for this remedy.
  • Only several drops pass at a time, with a scalding sensation.
  • The person may feel as if the bladder has not been emptied, still feeling a constant urge to urinate.

Borax:

  • This remedy can be helpful for cystitis with smarting pain in the urinary opening and aching in the bladder, with a feeling that the urine is retained.
  • Children may cry or shriek, afraid to urinate because they know the pain is coming.
  • Borax is often indicated for people who are sensitive to noise and inclined toward motion sickness.

Chimaphila umbellata:

  • If a person has a troublesome urge to urinate but has to strain (or even stand up and lean forward) to make it pass, this remedy may be useful.
  • A scalding sensation may be felt while the urine flows, with a feeling of straining afterward.

Clematis:

  • This remedy may be indicated if a person has to urinate frequently with only a small amount being passed.
  • A feeling of constriction is felt in the urinary passage, and the flow may be interrupted, or there may be dribbling afterward.
  • A tingling sensation may occur, lasting long after urination is finished.

Equisetum:

  • If cystitis is accompanied by dull but distressing pain and a feeling of fullness in the bladder, even after urinating, this remedy may be helpful.
  • Urging and discomfort are more intense when the bladder has recently been emptied, improving over time as the bladder become more full.

Lycopodium:

  • This remedy may be helpful if a person has to urinate frequently during the night and passes large amounts of urine. Or the person may feel a painful urge, but has to strain to make the urine flow.
  • Pain may be felt in the back before the urine passes. (If fever is present, the urine has a reddish color, or discomfort is felt in the kidney region, the person should see a doctor.)

Nux vomica:

  • Irritable bladder with a constant need to urinate, passing only small amounts, suggests a need for this remedy.
  • Burning or cramping pain may be felt in the bladder area, with an itching sensation in the urethra while the urine passes.
  • The person may feel very irritable, impatient, and chilly. Symptoms may be relieved by hot baths or other forms of warmth.

Sarsaparilla:

  • This remedy is often useful in cystitis and often helps when symptoms are unclear, or if other remedies have not been effective.
  • Frequent urging is felt, with burning pain at the end of urination.
  • Urine passes when the person is standing up, but only dribbling occurs while sitting. Flakes or sediment are sometimes seen in the urine. (Sarsaparilla is sometimes helpful when stones are forming or the kidneys are involved; however, these conditions need a doctor’s care.)

Sepia:

  • This remedy may be helpful if a person has to urinate frequently, with sudden urging, a sense that urine will leak if urination is delayed, and small amounts of involuntary urine loss.
  • The person may experience a bearing-down feeling in the bladder region, or pressure above the pubic bone.
  • A person who needs this remedy often feels worn-out and irritable, with cold extremities, and a lax or sagging feeling in the pelvic area.

Staphysagria:

  • This remedy is often indicated for cystitis that develops in a woman after sexual intercourse, especially if sexual activity is new to her, or if cystitis occurs after every occasion of having sex.
  • Pressure may be felt in the bladder after urinating, as if it is still not empty. A sensation that a drop of urine is rolling through the urethra, or a constant burning feeling, are other indications.
  • Staphysagria is also useful for cystitis that develops after illnesses with extended bed rest, or after the use of catheters.


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