If you’ve had a bladder infection, you know that pain can be all-consuming during the acute stage. Bladder infections are very common in women.
One in five American women will have at least one urinary tract infection in her life. Of those, 20% will have another; 30% of those will have a third. An astounding 80% women who have had 3 bladder infections will have a 4th.
Some of these women go onto to develop a condition called “chronic UTI” where they relapse into a full blown bladder infection every few weeks. Urinary problems in men are less common, but when they occur, they are usually tied to prostate problems.
Urinary symptoms to watch for:
* urgent, burning, painful, frequent urination, especially at night
* foul-smelling, cloudy or bloody urine
* urination pain accompanied with lower back and abdomen pain and pressure
* nausea, chills and fever
* urethral discharge
A urine test, available at drug stores or through your doctor, can confirm whether or not you truly have a bladder infection. It’s important to see a physician if you have symptoms. Some STDs can mimic UTI symptoms. Further, if you have pain above the waist, you may have a kidney infection or kidney stones instead of a bladder infection, which requires immediate attention.
What causes UTIs?
90% of bladder infections are caused by overgrowth of E.coli bacteria. Sexual intercourse is a common culprit, and is the main trigger for women ages 20 to 40. Women who are pregnant or who are in menopause are also at a higher risk for developing urinary infections. Water is a key to bladder/kidney health.
Dehydration allows bacteria to concentrate and severely stresses the kidneys. Including 8-10 glasses of pure, bottled water every day (can include herbal teas) helps move bacterial wastes out of the body. Avoiding sugary foods that feed bacteria is another good idea.
About the author
Linda Page, Ph. D., Traditional Naturopath. Author of Healthy Healing & Founder of Crystal Star Herbal Nutrition (Since 1978).
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