Natural Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections

If you are experiencing excruciating pain while urinating, have constant lower back pain, or your urine is emitting a foul smell, you might be suffering from a urinary tract infection, or UTI. If left untreated, these annoying symptoms can lead to more serious complications.

When any of the organs that comprise the urinary tract becomes infected with bacteria, fungi or a parasite, it results in a urinary tract infection. The urinary tract includes organs like the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The more specific and localized classifications include urethritis (urethral infection), cystitis (bladder infection) and pyelonephritis (kidney infection).

Urinary tract infection can be caused by bacterial strains originating in the colon, like E-coli, and can be extremely painful and irritating. Most urinary infections are limited to the bladder. However, if the infection spreads to the kidneys, it can be life-threatening.

Bacteria travel from the urethra to the bladder and then the kidneys. Women are more susceptible to this type of infection than men because women have a shorter urethra and it is easier for microbes to travel up to the bladder or kidneys. Also, if you have an enlarged prostate or kidney stones which restrict or interrupt the urinary flow, you could be more susceptible to a UTI. In addition, if you don’t drink a lot of water, you increase your risk of suffering from a urinary infection. Urination flushes the urinary tract, but this is only possible when you drink sufficient amounts of fluid.

If you notice symptoms of a bladder infection, it is important to have it treated quickly and properly. Otherwise, it could lead to a kidney infection, which is far more serious. Symptoms typically include a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy urine, a foul smell, occasional traces of blood in the urine, and feeling you need to urinate urgently and often. It may be very difficult to urinate, or to void completely. If you are experiencing unbearable pain, or lower back pain, act quickly to avoid potentially serious complications.

The standard conventional treatment for a urinary tract infection includes a normal course of antibiotics. However, if you are looking to do things a bit more naturally, Naturopathy offers a number of options that can help. Herbs with an affinity to the urinary tract, such as Uva Ursi, Golden Rod, Berberis and Corn Silk in proper combination can be very effective. Homeopathic remedies can also provide fast relief, with Cantharis, Berberis and many other single and combination homeopathics. Probiotics are important to control the types of bacteria present in the colon, and proper wiping (from front to back) will reduce bacterial contamination.

Cranberry has long been thought of as a cure for bladder infections, but only the pure, unsweetened juice should be used. If you start filling up on the delicious cranberry juice from your local grocery store, it will only add sugar to your system, which will lower your immune function and feed the bacteria.

Dr. Linda L Brown, BA, ND CBP, R.BIE is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, Educator, Speaker and Writer. She has a private practice in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, where she empowers her patients to take the reigns of self-healing, through an eclectic mix of alternative healing therapies, dietary counselling, and herbal and nutritional supplementation. Dr. Brown, ND is a BodyTalk Practitioner, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner, Registered BioEnergetics Practitioner. She treats a variety of conditions, including allergies, fatigue, chronic inflammation, headaches, urinary and digestive problems.

Dr. Brown, ND graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2001, and has lectured extensively in public and corporate settings, and appeared on television, in print and on radio.