Urinary tract infection, UTI, is the infection of the urinary system which includes kidneys, bladder, ureter and urethra. Urinary tract is used to remove liquid waste from the body. In this filter system, bacteria enter and multiply causing infection. Compared to men, women are more prone to get urinary tract infection due to their shorter urinary tract. According to estimation, in most of the 8 to 10 million people in the United States who get a urinary tract infection, the majority is of the women.
Urinary tract infection is not a serious disease but if not addressed in time, can lead to serious health complications. If the infection is in the bladder, it can spread fast to kidneys and may cause Pyelonephritis, which triggers other serious consequences.
For the sake of awareness, we list here the common symptoms of urinary tract infection. If you happen to have all or some of them, do not neglect and contact a doctor.
People suffering from the urinary tract infection experience burning or pain while passing urine, frequent urge to urinate, passing urine in small or unsatisfactory quantity, color of urine may look reddish, milky, or cloudy. These are the initial symptoms which mean that you have got some kind of infection in the tract, and that it hasn't reached to the kidneys yet.
When the infection spreads farther to the kidneys, you will experience some other symptoms too, such as nausea, vomiting, chills, fever, and you will feel constant pain or a kind of pressure in one or both sides (around the kidneys), in abdomen or low back. At this stage, you have to get the complaint treated immediately with antibiotics to prevent any damage to the kidneys and avoid other complications.
There are many herbal or natural remedies which people have been trying and getting good results since the ancient time. However, until the modern research further endorses their effectiveness, we should try them cautiously.
For centuries, cranberry has been in use as home remedy to treat urinary tract infection. It contains proanthocyanins which works against bacteria and prevents them to adhere to the wall of the urinary tract. As a result, the loose bacteria can easily be washed away by the urine flow. Intake of more fluids in urinary tract infection flushes away not only bacteria but also any unwanted deposits. Cranberry's juice and tablets have been tried and found working well to reduce urinary tract infection. Further studies are underway by reputed bodies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Health. You can try unsweetened cranberry juice available in health food stores.
Another herbal remedy is proving to be effective in treating certain types of urinary tract infections. Known as Uva ursi, it contains significant amounts of tannins which may cause unhealthy results if taken in larger dosage. People suffering from liver or kidney diseases, as well as nursing or pregnant women, are advised not to use this herb. Moreover, unlike cranberry, there are many side effects reported after using this herb in higher dosages, and for longer periods.
Other natural remedies which are found working well in UTI are herbs such as buchu, corn silk, horsetail, golden seal, etc. You can try any of them once you are sure of their effectiveness and safe approach to treat UTI.