Urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that affects the urinary system which includes kidneys, ureters, the bladder, urethra, sphincter muscles and prostate gland. The infection is generally caused by bacteria E. coli.
Urinary infection mainly characterized by painful micturation, frequent desire for urination, cloudy urine, haematuria (blood in urine), back and abdominal pain etc.
Population like older adults and people with a history kidney disease, kidney stones or illness like diabetes, AIDS are more prone to infection.
Urine is normally sterile, but it becomes infected when bacterial growth occurs. UTI implies multiplication of organisms in the urinary tract and is defined by the presence of more than hundred thousand organisms per ml in a freshly void midstream sample of urine. Most of urinary tract infections are not serious, but are painful. It involves kidney, ureters, bladder or urethra. UTI is common infection affects women more then men.
There is an increased in the rate of UTI during puberty, related in part to the onset of sexual activity and pregnancy. This problem affects primarily adolescent females; adolescent males have very low rates of infection. The diagnosis in women is further complicated because the symptoms of Urinary tract infection can be similar to those of vaginitis or a sexually transmitted infection.
Urinary tract infection refers to presence of microorganism in the urinary tract, causing a host response. It should be differentiated from colonization though colonization precedes infection. Transient introduction of bacteria in to the urinary tract probably occurs in the healthy, especially sexually active women.
Urinary tract infection may present as asymptomatic bacteriuria, urethritis, cystitis or acute pyelonephritis in women. In men, they often present as acute prostatitis, chronic prostatitis and pyelonephritis.
Urinary tract infection may be classified as complicated or uncomplicated. A UTI is described as uncomplicated when it occurs without presence of physiologic or anatomical abnormalities, not due to instrumentation and is community acquired. An infections is labeled complicated when there are structural or functional abnormalities present in the urogenital tract.
Risk Factors associated with urinary infection
Uncomplicated urinary infection
- Bacterial virulence
- Sexual intercourse
Complicated urinary infection
- Urethral stricture
- Pelviuretric junction
- Prostate hypertrophy
- Uretric stricture
- Bladder neck obstruction
- Renal cysts
- Neuropathic bladder
- Renal scarring
- Uretric stent
- Diabetes mellitus
- Iron overload
Cause of Urinary Tract Infection
Bacteria most commonly enter urethra (ascending infection) but can enter via blood stream. Ascending infections account for most cases of uncomplicated cystitis and pyelonephritis, and usually involve organisms of normal bowel flora – E. coli. Staphylococcus Saprophyticus is sometimes found in young women, and proteus mirabilis and Klebsiella pneumoniae are rare causes.
Sign and Symptoms of Urinary Infection
- Haematuria or bloody urine
- Pain in abdomen
- Pain in back
- Frequent desire for urination
- Pain and burning during urination
- Cloudy urine
- Foul smelling urine
- General malaise and prostration
Painful urination is usually caused by a urinary tract infection, associated symptoms mainly include frequent or urgent urination, an inability to release more that a small amount of urine followed by an urgent need to urinate again, and a burning sensation while urinating.
If kidney also is infected, you may experience pain in your abdomen or back, a fever or vomiting. A kidney infection is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Dysuria is defined as “painful urination. Causes of dysuria mainly include
Causes in females
- Cystitis lower UTI, with or without pyelonephritis.
- Urethritis caused by a sexually transmitted disease, Chlamydia, neiseria gonorrhoeae, herpes simplex virus.
- Vulvovaginitis-bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, yeast, genital HSV.
Causes of dysuria in males
- Urethritis caused by Chlamydia, N gonorrhoeae, yeast (uncircumcribed – balanitis), HSV.
- Cystitis (if culture positive, possible anatomic abnormality, further workup indicated).
- Prostatitis, acute more common than chronic.
- Penile lesions, trauma, sexual abuse.
- Benign prostatic hypertrophy particularly in older men. Infection can be evident but is primarily an obstructive process.
Urine cloudiness – cloudy, murky, or turbid urine reflects the presence of bacteria, mucus, leucocytes or erythrocytes, epithelial cells, fat, or phosphates (in alkaline urine). It’s characteristic of urinary tract infection.
Diagnosis of urinary tract infection
History and physical examination should be considered in order to diagnose urinary tract infection. Urine sample especially midstream urine should be obtained for urinalysis. Urine culture is also done in case of suspected urinary tract infection.
- Urine routine examination and culture from a mid-stream sample
- Ultrasonography of kidney and bladder and plain abdominal radiography to exclude stones and lubosacral defects
- Urine flow rate and post-void ultrasonography of bladder (to measure residual volume) in any patient with evidence of bladder outflow obstruction
- CT with contrast to exclude abscess if renal symptoms persist.
- IV pyelography gives important anatomical about the urinary tract
- MSU in patient with complicated urinary infection
Treatment of urinary tract infection
Treatment of urinary infection mainly depends upon the cause and the medical condition.
Homeopathic treatment of urinary infection
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach.
This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat urinary tract infection but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved medicines are available for urinary infection treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensation and modalities of the complaints.
For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important homeopathic remedies are given below for urinary tract infection treatment:
Aconite, Apis mel, Cantharis, Dulcamara, Terebinth, Equisetum, Staphysagria, Merc sol, Belladonna, Sulphur, Pulsatilla, Clematis, Sarsaparilla, Thuja, Medorrhinum, Cannabis sativa, Natrum mur, Pulsatilla, Arsenic alb, Lachesis and many other remedies.
Burning and soreness while urinating. Last drops scald. The urine is loaded with casts and is albuminous; Stinging pain is well marked in this medicine.
Urinary tract infection with constant desire to urinate, intolerable tenesmus, cutting before, during and after urination, Urine is burning, scalding with cutting pains, and intolerable urging.
Characteristic symptoms in UTI are sensation as if ball is rolling in the bladder on turning over. The urine is almost black, frequent, foaming and dark; has to urinate on lying down, day or night; floating of black soot-like particles in the urine floating
The urging of urine is sudden and severe. Passage of urine with intense burning; there is sensation as if molten led is passing through the urethra. Urine discharge is very scanty, turbid, dirty brownish red color, and a peculiar smell of malt.
Spasmodic pains in the bladder after urinating. Haematuria after urination; Urine dribbles when emotionally upset. Heavy pressure and cramp in the bladder after urination; Urging to urinate on lying on back; Interrupted flow.
Tingling in urethra lasting for sometime after urinating; UTI with burning frequent urination; last drops causes violent burning; Urine starts and stops; or dribble after urination. Difficult to evacuate the urine in spell; There is mucus in the urine and not pus.
Slight pain in the right kidney, then in the left; Urinary infection with Urgent desire to urinate sharp pains at the root of the penis; at the close of urination; Retention and dysuria during pregnancy; Urine is cloudy, albuminuria, Has to get up many times at night to urinate.