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Bladder Infection


What is a Bladder Infection?

A bladder infection is also called a urinary tract infection (UTI) by many doctors. Both names can be used but it is the same thing. It's a bacterial infection that affects any part of the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections are a serious health condition affecting millions of people each year. Infections of the urinary tract are the second most common type of infection in the body. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about 8.3 million doctor visits each year.1 UTIs are more common in women than in men, 1 out of 5 woman develop a UTI during her lifetime. Burning urine and the constant need to urinate is a good indication that you either have a urinary tract or bladder infection, and many people suffer from chronically recurrent infections and inflammations.

What Causes a Bladder Infection / Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?

Normally, urine is sterile. It is usually free of viruses, bacteria, and fungi and contains healthy amounts of fluids, salts, and waste products. An infection occurs when tiny organisms, usually bacteria from the digestive tract, cling to the opening of the urethra and begin to multiply. Most infections arise from one type of bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli), which normally lives in the colon.

What are the Symptoms of a Bladder Infection?

The most common symptoms associated with an acute urinary tract infection (UTI) are fever, possibly chills, burning urine, pain in the back or lower abdomen, an urgent need to urinate frequently, and in some cases, irritability and night sweats. Western medicine treatments for UTIs usually include antibiotics, but in some cases, as soon as a person gets rid of one infection with antibiotics, another one sets in. This cycle can be repeated over and over, causing other problems from the side effects of the drugs.

What is the Urinary System?

The human urinary system consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The key parts of the urinary system are the kidneys, located below the ribs and toward the middle of the back. The kidneys remove excess liquid and wastes from the blood in the form of urine. They also work to keep a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood, and produce a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells. The Ureters (narrow tubes) carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, a sack-like organ in the lower abdomen. Urine is stored in the bladder and emptied through the urethra. The average adult passes about a quart and a half of urine each day. The amount of urine varies, depending on the fluids and foods a person consumes and the volume formed at night is about half that formed in the daytime.

What is the TCM approach to a Urinary Tract Infection?*

According to practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the underlying pattern associated with chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) is usually kidney yin deficiency. A urinary bladder imbalance can be associated with disharmony in the kidneys because a deficiency in the urinary bladder is typically related to a deficiency in the kidneys. TCM practitioners work to restore balance and harmony by supporting a persons body and organs with diet, stress reduction, and herbal supplementation rather than focusing on treating symptoms of a UTI. When balance and harmony are restored, TCM practitioners believe the immune and urinary system has a greater chance of naturally healing itself.*

How does one support Urinary Tract Health?*

One way to promote urinary, bladder and kidney health is to remove substances that irritate the bladder and urinary system. Some commonly known bladder irritants that people consume include coffee, tea, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, and acidic foods like oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mango, pineapple, tomatoes, spicy foods, sugar, honey, milk. Stress reduction is always an important step for anyone with a health challenge. The next step in promoting urinary health is to incorporate natural dietary supplements designed to restore balance and harmony.*

Since our bladders are susceptible to a variety of ailments, ranging from infections to over-activity to cancer, experts agree that undertaking a proactive, not reactive, approach to health leads to fewer difficulties down the road.

 

Read More About Bladder Health Support...*

 

 

1. Ambulatory Care Visits to Physician Offices, Hospital Outpatient Departments, and Emergency Departments: United States, 9900. Vital and Health Statistics. Series 13, No. 157. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services; September 04.

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