Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
What and Why?
Your bladder’s chief role in life is very simple — to turn a steady trickle of urine from your kidneys into an occasional and manageable torrent. But to succeed, its lining must be capable of enormous stretching several times daily without tearing or discomfort, despite its sour and irritant contents. Its muscles must relax absolutely while your bladder fills passively with urine, yet generate and hold a steady voiding pressure until completely empty. Its outlet valve must give way widely to this flow, then remain tight but at ease until the next time you release it. The whole organ must combine the suppleness of your heart or gall bladder with better corrosion resistance than your stomach and colon. That’s asking a lot, and it sometimes breaks down.
This is seldom because of infection, although a few doses of antibiotic treatment are often dramatically effective in dealing with it. Even when infection is a problem, the repeated courses of treatment you may have to endure are highly undesirable and invite thrush to take over.
Most bladder symptoms arise instead from inflammation against the irritant waste acids which are concentrated in your urine and may crystallize into kidney or bladder stones. The more flesh food you consume the more probable this is, whereas vegetables fruit and cereals create a more comfortable reaction with plenty of capacity to keep minerals dissolved, greatly reducing your risk of forming stones.
These waste acids can also support bacteria from your colon that make a living by splitting them like firewood to release the energy they contain. This yields ammonia, which smells like rotten fish and means you have a genuine infection. In babies this can take place externally as nappy rash, but in adults it more commonly tracks back up your urinary outlet to reach your bladder and lodge there. If the infection is eradicated with a single antibiotic course the outcome may well be straightforwardly successful. But if you are prone to infection, repeated treatment again leaves you prone to thrush development.
Women have additional problems. Your bladder outlet valve may have been strained and weakened during successive pregnancies. Your exit pipe is short and opens right by your vagina, where it is eternally damp with secretions, vulnerable to chafing and difficult to ventilate. Two layers of underwear inside tightly fitting jeans make all this worse and leave you much more prone to cystitis and thrush than seems fair. Sometimes structural anomalies in your kidneys or bladder make it possible for bacteria to migrate through the system and cause repeated infection. Otherwise cystitis in males must arise from inside them, in accordance with Béchamp’s theory of infection.
What can I do?
Advice to maintain and maximise health
1. The diet for health reduces waste acid formation, allowing your urine to remain only slightly sour and far less irritant. Avoid sugar, meat, and alcohol in particular. Home-made lemon barley water recipe is very alkaline and quickly neutralizes cystitis discomfort.
2. Wear cotton underclothing, and avoid nylon tights especially inside jeans. Internal sanitary tampons are usually preferable to external towels, so long as they are introduced and removed carefully.
3. Firm massage to your lower spine for ten minutes and a brief Sitz bath can be repeated daily, or up to four times each day if need be. The aim of these measures is to tone up the nerves supplying your bladder, making it sufficiently energetic and controlled to overcome irritability.
The Sitz bath should be cold, and deep enough to immerse your bottom completely and wash over the crease of your groin. Drop yourself in it for 30-60 seconds after urinating or during your morning wash. The initial shock gives way quickly to numbness, then to a creeping tingly glow. The bath is then over, but its effects will stay with you for one or two hours. The benefit is not immediate but accumulates over several weeks. If the effect of the bath is disappointing, complete Sitz’s original recommendations by bathing your feet in hot water at the same time.
4. If none of these simple measures improves your condition, or you bleed painlessly from your bladder, seek further medical examination and tests. If your doctor finds recurrent infection he will look for structural reasons why you cannot prevent this happening. This may involve ultrasound examination of your kidneys, or perhaps some detailed X-ray procedures to reveal stones or ineffective valves in your urinary passages. If something is discovered that surgery cannot help, continuous antibiotic treatment may after all be necessary to prevent chronic kidney infection.
5. More likely no cause will be found, and you can confidently build up measures of your own. A supplement of food-state Vitamin E for several months (300mg daily) will strengthen your bladder skin if your usual supplies are scanty; extra wheatgerm should maintain it adequately afterwards. Food-state Vitamin C (250mg daily) is a useful urinary antiseptic, and food-state Magnesium (2 of 30mg daily) helps to prevent stone formation. All this plus food-state Vitamin B6 (25mg three times daily) can sometimes dissolve stones away.
6. Make sure thrush is not at the heart of your problem, and deal with it even if your suspicions cannot be fully substantiated.
7. Homoeopathic Apis mel 3x or Cantharis 3c are most commonly helpful; consult a homoeopathic practitioner before giving up. A medical herbalist has many remedies for bladder symptoms, including some reputed to dissolve urinary stones gently over several months. Contact a qualified practitioner near you.