of the bladder usually occurring secondary to ascending urinary tract
infections. Associated organs (kidney, prostate, urethra) may be
involved. May be acute or chronic.
infections are usually caused by some type of bacteria. Kidney
infections are more serious and often result in cystitis. More
frequent in women than in men due to the closeness of the bladder
and urethra to the vagina. About 85% of urinary tract infections
are caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium found in the
intestines. Chlamydia may also cause bladder problems in sexually
frequent and painful urination. Chronic: Secondary to some other
lesion with possibly pyuria (pus in the urine) as the only
Cystitis is characterized by an urgent desire to empty the
bladder. Even after the bladder has been emptied, there may be a
desire to urinate again. The urine often has a strong, unpleasant
odor and may appear cloudy. Children suffering from bladder
infections may have lower abdominal pain and experience a painful
burning sensation while urinating. Blood in the urine could
indicate a more serious problem and warrants medical attention.
are useful in treating the infection but more definitive therapy
will be required if the basic cause is a renal calculus (kidney
stone) or a structural defect in the urinary tract such as
obstruction. If your physician prescribes antibiotics and
analgesics, make sure to take some form of acidophilus to replace
the friendly bacteria. Antibiotics kill all bacteria,
not just the disease causing, but the friendly as
URINARY TRACT INFECTION
SELF-TEST: Purchase the product called Dipstick
at the local drugstore. It contains a thin strip of plastic that
has been chemically treated. If the tip of the strip changes
color when dipped in urine, it indicates the presence of
bacterial infection. Make sure the urine sample is collected
cleanly (collected mid-stream).
- Acidophilus, 2 capsules 3 times per day,
(also use 1 tbsp. in 1 quart warm water as a douche, if
associated with vaginitis, alternate with apple cider
vinegar). Acidophilus supplies the necessary
- Vitamin C, 4,000-5,000 mg. daily in
divided doses, produces antibacterial effect through acidification
of urine and also is important in immune function.
- Garlic capsules, 2 capsules 3 times per
day, is a natural antibiotic.
- L-Cysteine, 500 mg. twice a day on an
empty stomach, is a potent detoxifier.
- Vitamin B complex, 50-100 mg. twice a
day with meals (high doses are necessary when antibiotics
- Calcium, 1,500 mg. per day, reduces
- Magnesium, 750-1,000 mg. per day, aids
in stress response and works best when balanced with
calcium. (Chelate formula is the most effective)
- Vitamin and mineral complex (high potency),
taken as directed on the label, is needed for essential
balanced vitamins and minerals.
- Vitamin A, 10,000 IU daily, promotes the
healing process and immune function.
- Beta-carotene, 15,000 IU daily, promotes
the healing process and immune function.
- Vitamin E, 600 IU daily, combats
- Zinc, 50 mg. daily, is important in
tissue repair and immunity.
- Marshmallow root increases the acid content in the urine,
inhibiting bacterial growth. Juniper berries will help to
restore kidney function. Goldenseal is good for bladder
infections when there is bleeding (pregnant women should
not use large amounts of goldenseal).
- Diuretics help cleanse the system. Dandelion tea or
dandelion extract acts as a diuretic and liver cleanser;
it aids in relieving bladder discomfort. Uva-ursi (Bear Berry) should
be used only in small amounts and diluted with other
herbs. Bearberry acts as a mild diuretic and antiseptic.
Birch leaves are a natural diuretic and reduce some of
the pain associated with bladder infections.
- Do not delay emptying the bladder! Retaining urine in the
bladder increases the risk of urinary tract infection.
Empty the bladder before and after exercising.
- Keep genital area clean and dry. Wipe from front to back
only. Women should empty the bladder before and after
intercourse. Avoid hygiene sprays, douches, and bubble
baths; these may cause further irritation. Women should
wear white cotton underwear; nylon underwear holds
moisture. They should not use tampons if they frequently
have urinary tract infections.
- Hot Sitz baths will help relieve pain of cystitis.
- Drink plenty of liquids. Avoid citrus fruits; these
produce alkaline urine that encourages bacterial growth.
Avoid caffeine, carbonated beverages, coffee, chocolate,
- Include celery, parsley and watermelon in the diet.
your doctor before using diuretics.
Look for allergies; they often mimic the symptoms of bladder
Bladder infections in men may signal a more serious problem,
such as prostatitis.
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