The Urinary Tract Infection is one of the very common with unhealthy diet routine these days.The renal or urinary system is one of the 10 body systems that we have. The urinary system is composed of Kidneys (Vrikka), Ureters (Mutravaha Nadis), Bladder (Mutrashaya), and Urethra (Mutramarga).
The Kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped, fist-size organs that lie in the middle of the back, just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. Ureters are tubes that carry the wastes or urine from the kidneys to the bladder. The urine finally exits the body from the Urethra when the bladder is full.
Fun Fact that you might not know: Urethras length is shorter in women than men due to anatomical differences.
The major function of the urinary system is to remove wastes and water from our body through urination. Other important functions of the urinary system are as follows:
- Prevent dehydration and at the same time prevent the buildup of extra fluid in the body
- Clean the blood of metabolic wastes
- Remove toxins from the body
- Maintain the homeostasis of many factors, including blood pH and blood pressure
- Produce erythrocytes and keep levels of potassium and phosphate stable
- Make hormones that help regulate blood pressure
- Keep bones strong
What is Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)?
Many of you must have at some point in your life felt the need to urinate urgently, unable to hold it any further. However, if this urgency is very frequent (more than ten times a day), making your bladder incapable of holding the urine for long is a condition called UTI. In the urinary system the infection is located, that may result in minor or major illness. UTI is generally characterized by Dysuria, frequent and painful urination which brings discomfort as well as decreases the quality of life.
Definition of UTI through the urine examination
Urinary tract infection may be defined as the presence of pathogens (microorganisms) in any part of the urinary system, which leads to infection. Apart from that, the UTI can be defined in separate ways based on the urine examination that are mentioned below:
Bacteriuria – Presence of Bacteria in urine, as demonstrated by microscopy or quantitative culture
Pyuria – Presence of white blood cells or pus in the urine (≥104 white blood cells per milliliter of urine)
Hematuria – Presence of blood in the urine, either visible to the naked eye (macroscopic) or invisible to the naked eye (microscopic)
Significant bacteriuria – Presence of colony-forming units/ml of bacteria ≥104 (usually of a single species) in a fresh urine specimen
Symptomatic bacteriuria – Also, presence of bacteria in urine in the context of typical symptoms of UTI
Asymptomatic bacteriuria – Presence of bacteria in urine in the absence of symptoms of UTI on at least two consecutive occasions
Urosepsis – UTI with accompanying sepsis syndrome
UTI and Ayurveda
Mutrakrcchram and Mutraghata are broad headings defining urinary tract diseases in Ayurveda classical textbooks. Although Mutrakrcchram and Mutraghata seem to be overlapping, some Acharyas have differentiated them based on the intensity of obstruction. “The earlier suggest that the disease is characterized with painful micturition whereas the latter with more obstruction.”
Urinary tract infection is described under the broad term of Mutrakrcchra. The term consists of two words, ‘ Mutra’ and ‘Krichra,’ where Mutra means ooze, krichra means painful. Thus, Dysuria or painful urination is called Mutrakrcchra. As per Ayurvedic classical texts, any discomfort during urination and especially lower tract infection problems are included under Mutrakrcchra. Mutrakrcchra can occur as an independent disease as well as Purvarupa and rupa.
Urinary Tract Infection Symptoms
The symptoms of a UTI can depend on age, gender, the presence of a catheter, and also what part of the urinary tract has been infected. This is why it varies from one person to another. Here are some common symptoms of lower urinary tract infection:
- The inflamed and irritated lining of the urethra
- Lower abdominal pain or pelvic pressure
- Pain or burning during urination
- More frequent urination; often with only a small amount of urine
- Cloudy, bad-smelling, and bloody urine also
- Renal angle tenderness
- Fairly high fever (higher than 101° F), shivering, nausea, and vomiting
- Pain in the back or side, usually on only one side at about waist level
All the lower UTI symptoms may or may not be present in newborns, infants, children, and also older adults. Other symptoms which are listed may indicate a urinary tract infection among these groups:
- Newborns: Fever or hypothermia (low temperature), poor feeding, and jaundice also
- Infants: Vomiting, diarrhea, fever, poor feeding, and also not thriving
- Children: Irritability, eating poorly, unexplained fever that doesn’t go away, loss of bowel control, loose bowels, and also change in urination pattern
- Older adults: Fever or hypothermia, poor appetite, lethargy, change in mental status.
Causes of UTI
Samanya causes of Mutrakrcchra (UTI) can be ones that generally vitiate Mutra Vaha Srota (urinary tract channels). UTI can occur due to foods, drinks, sexual activities, and also urinary urge suppression. In Charaka Samhita Vishishta, Nidanas of Mutrakrcchra are described as follows:
- Taking food, medicament, and other substances with sharp or dry quality
- Habitual intake of alcohol
- Riding over the back of the fast-moving animals regularly
- Intake of the meat of animals inhabiting marshy lands
- Consimption of fish in excess
- Intake of food before the previous meal is digested
- Chronic indigestion
Ayurvedic concept of pathogenesis lies in understanding the doshas and sub-doshas also in the manifestation of diseases.
The vitiated Tridoshas, along with the state of Agnimandhya (Manda Agni), invariably produce Ama. Ama mixes with the doshas forming Samadoshas that produce symptoms, for instance Peetamutrata (yellowish urine), Sadahamutra Pravrutti (burning micturition), Mutrendriya Gurutwa (inflammation of the bladder), Shweta (White slimy urine), Snigdha (condensed water), and Picchila Mutra (turbid urine with the presence of leukocytes).
Causative factors like excessive intake of cold food or drinks, dry substances, food that lacks oil, not enough nutrients, fear-based emotions, and grief lead to vitiating Vata dosha, especially Apana Vayu.
Excessive alcoholic drinks, fish, spicy, sour, salty tastes, and expectations cause aggravation of pitta dosha, especially Pachaka Pitta.
Intake of cold and heavy foods, mucus-forming foods, marshy places animal meat, sedentary lifestyle, food indigestion aggravates Kapha dosha, which also leads to a reduced state of Agni. Hence, all the Tridoshas get vitiated.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Urinary Tract Infection
Ayurvedic Treatments of the Mutrakrcchram (lower UTIs) act through different aspects. Using herbs, body therapies, sensory therapies, changing diet, changing lifestyle, applying yoga, and meditation also are the tools that Ayurveda suggests to naturally cure this condition.
Diet and Nutrition
By switching to a healthy diet or changing your diet slightly, you can treat UTI in the long run. Ayurveda suggests following diet changes for the same:
- Drink plenty of fluids (2 to 4 quarts each day). Patients with kidney failure should consult with a physician to learn how much fluid is healthy for them.
- Drink cranberry juice or use cranberry tablets, but consider if you have a personal or family history of kidney stones.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine drinks.
- Keep the blood sugar under control if you are diabetic.
Are bananas good for urinary tract infection ?
Yes, you can eat bananas for urinary infection. By too much of anything is bad, so make sure you take it in a controlled way.
To manage UTI, it is also very important to focus on personal hygiene. The primary aim is to avoid introducing harmful bacteria into the urinary tract, either as a result of bathroom habits or sexual activity. Here are some things you need to consider:
- Use sanitary pads instead of tampons and change the pad each time you use the bathroom
- Do not use feminine hygiene sprays or powders
- Do not use any product containing perfumes in the genital area
- Use estrogen cream in the vagina area after menopause
- Keep your genital area clean
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom
- Avoid anal sex
Choice of clothes
Along with diet and personal hygiene, the choice of clothes also helps to manage UTI. You need to consider the following clothing options to prevent frequent urination:
- Avoid tight-fitting underwear and pants
- Use cotton-cloth underwear or pantyhose, and also change both at least once a day.
Due to inappropriate urination habits, people face issues like frequent urination. You also need to adopt the correct urination habits mentioned below to avoid this situation:
- Urine when the urge arises
- Empty your bladder completely
- Urinate before and after sexual activity to clean your genital and anal areas
Changing some habits to use birth control methods or changing the birth control methods also help manage UTI. The following are the habits or tips you can consider for the same:
- Avoid Spermicidal contraception
- Don’t use diaphragm
- Avoid spermicidal condoms
- Avoid unlubricated condoms
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga as a therapy for treating diseases, whether physical or mental, is part of Ayurveda. Urinary tract infection occurs due to problems of Swadhisthana Chakra, and it is related to the low immune system, Manipura and Anahata Chakra as well. Thus, Asanas that involve the pelvis, abdomen, and chest region can be beneficial for the condition. Padangusthasana, lotus poses, Bharadvaja’s twist, Bhujangasana, Setu Bandha, Sarvangasanathe, Dhanurasana, Dandasana , and also Marjariasana are beneficial yoga poses for Mutrakrcchra.
Ayurvedic Medicines For Urinary Tract Infection
Along with all the personal level changes in diet and lifestyle, you also need Ayurvedic medications to treat UTI. All these methods of urinary tract infection treatment work together and ensure faster as well as stable results. The following are the Ayurvedic medicines that you can consider to treat UTI:
- Chandraprabha Vati – 2 tablets twice a day with plain water
- Uricare – 1 tablet at night with plain water
- Renalka – 2 tsp twice a day
Also Read: How to save your heart from heart Diseases?
Please find below the infographic on “Overcome the challenges of Urinary Tract Infection with Herbal Remedies”. Feel free to use this infographic but make sure to cite us at www.healthybazar.com.
In the present time, a global issue of concern due to associated long-term compromise in the quality of life is the “increasing prevalence of UTI.” Mutrakrichchhra has similarities with Urinary Tract Infections, which is mentioned in Modern Medicine. In the first 3 months of life, an uncircumcised male infant is also seen to be at increased risk of UTI.
A girl with voiding dysfunction due to the reflux of urine, which is laden with bacteria from the distal urethra into the bladder, is at higher risk for recurrent UTI. A microorganism causes Urinary Tract Infections, so the patients should maintain their proper hygiene to decrease UTI risk. Also, physicians can help patients prevent UTI by advising them about good hygiene, maintaining healthy hydration, and being aware of the right bathroom habits.