What is a Bladder Infection or Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
A bladder infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), or cystitis means bladder inflammation. A one-off infection is certainly nothing to worry about. But, if you have one or more bladder infections yearly, you want to be more proactive about preventing them. Also, you want to treat the root cause as to why you are susceptible to them. Antibiotic use sets you up for more significant problems like antibiotic-resistant bacteria and gut and immune system problems. Bladder infections are common in pregnant and elderly women. They also happen after a period of frequent intercourse, also called Honeymoon Cystitis. Emptying the bladder immediately after intercourse will sometimes help prevent this type of urinary tract infection.
What are the Symptoms of a Bladder Infection or Urinary Tract Infection?
The symptoms of a bladder infection include:
- Burning when you pee
- Frequent peeing
- Painful peeing
- Blood in the urine (may not be visible to your naked eye)
- Bladder leaking
- Fever (sometimes)
- Back pain (sometimes)
- Abdominal pain (sometimes)
How Do You Test for a Urinary Tract Infection?
The tests for a UTI include:
- Urinalysis – this is a quick test that can be done in my office to screen for red blood cells, white blood cells and the presence of certain types of bacteria in the urine via nitrites
- Urine Culture & Sensitivity – this test is used to grow the offending bacteria and test to see which antibiotics will work to defeat it. The test results take about 48 hours.
What are Natural Remedies for a UTI?
- Initial treatment for a bladder infection may include anti-microbial herbs like Barosma, Uva-ursi, Goldenseal and Cranberry
- Treating the underlying susceptibility to UTIs may involve treatment with NAG, corn silk, and cranberry, removal of food sensitivities and restoration of probiotic bacteria
- Balance hormones. Your hormones play a critical role in how well your immune system works. They also help keep hormone-responsive tissues like the urethra healthy.
What if a Bladder or Urinary Tract Infection is Left Untreated?
If it’s a low-grade infection, possibly nothing. However, untreated bladder infections can progress upward into the kidneys, causing a kidney infection. This can be pretty serious and can even permanently damage your kidneys. If you suspect that you may have a bladder infection, you should always see your medical doctor or your naturopathic doctor.
Book an appointment here or call the office for more information at 416-481-0222.
Authored by Dr. Pamela Frank, BSc, ND
Dr. Pamela has practiced as a naturopathic doctor in Toronto since 1999. She has received numerous “Best Naturopath in Toronto” awards. She is registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
Dr. Pamela Frank uses a natural treatment approach that may include acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, diet, vitamins, supplements, and other natural remedies to restore balance and provide long-term resolution to almost any health problem.
Probiotics and UTI’s
Increasing the amount of ‘good’ bacteria through probiotic administration may help prevent urinary tract infections. Lactobacilli may be especially helpful in women with recurrent UTIs and in those with prolonged antibiotic use.
Source: Recurrent urinary tract infections in women: How promising is the use of probiotics? Indian J Med Microbiol. 2017 Jul-Sep;35(3):347-354