What is a UTI?
It is an infection that can occur anywhere in the urinary tract, this includes:
• the urethra which is the tube where the urine comes out,
• the bladder which collects and stores the urine
• the ureters which are the tubes that connect the bladder to the kidneys
• right up to the kidneys which are the two bean shaped organs that filter the blood to produce the urine. This is an elimination pathway of waste products from your body.
Generally speaking UTI’s are more common in the lower urinary tract involving the urethra and the bladder.
A UTI is caused by a bacterial infection usually by these guys Staphylococcus and E. coli and this infection can occur anywhere in the urinary tract. The bacteria usually originate from the gut and is transported via a stool particles which make their way to the parts of the urinary tract.
There are different categories of UTI’s:
• Urethritis – an infection in the urethra
• Cystitis – the most common which affects the bladder
• Pyelonephritis – an upper urinary tract infection which
may affect the kidneys and become very serious
Signs and symptoms can vary depending on age:
Babies may have a fever, vomit, or be fussy with feeds.
Older children may experience pain in the lower abdomen, have pain when urinating, have frequent urination, wake up a lot at night to go to the bathroom, a smell to the urine, or urine that is cloudy or contain blood.
For adults, it is the same as older children with women noticing the pain in the pelvis.
These symptoms can become progressively worse as the infection moves up to the kidneys, they will include:
• Upper back and side pain on the flanks
• High fever
• Shaking and chills
To keep your kidneys healthy, it is important to:
• drink lots of water
• eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals
• avoiding things that make the kidneys work harder such as alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods
There are certainly times when antibiotics may be necessary with a urinary tract infection, especially when the kidneys are involved. You don’t muck around when the kidneys are involved.
However, they aren’t always necessary. Herbal and nutritional medicine is also available. Some of the herbs that I use for cystitis are very powerful in preventing the bacteria from sticking to the wall. Some of the herbs have an antibiotic like effect on the bacteria causing the infection such as Staphylococcus and E. coli. Some of the herbs act as a urinary antiseptic. They can even have an impact on the development of stones. The herbs all work well in combination to address infections and act as a tonic for the urinary system by improving tone and function. I often see patients when they have recurrent UTI’s and we work on a treatment plan that prevents future outbreaks.
Who am I?
I am a Bachelor qualified Naturopath who specialises in improving metabolic processes in the body. Major areas for improvement include gut, thyroid, kidney, skin and liver health. Conditions such as hypothyroidism, fatty liver, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, & irritable bowel conditions. I help my patients by giving them symptomatic relief while working on repairing the underlying causes of metabolic stress and waste accumulation. Patients experience amazing results which are seen in their blood tests with improved thyroid markers, cholesterol, and liver markers. As well as lower blood pressure and see relief from improved gastrointestinal symptoms like the ones that mean you need to know where every single toilet is before you leave the house.
Melissa Callaghan BHSc, BTeach
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