Urinary infections are one of the most common health conditions among men and women, also affecting children when they are not properly hydrated and do not have good hygiene in their genitals.
However, it is more frequent in women mainly due to the length of the urethra, compared to men, in addition, the female reproductive system lends itself to harboring a greater amount of bacteria than the male one.
In this sense, faced with the discomfort that urinary infection presents due to constant pain in the pelvic area and frequent urination, below you will learn about the causes, symptoms and the most effective home remedies to combat urinary infection.
What is a urinary infection?
It is the type of infection that occurs in the urinary tract , including the kidneys, bladder and urethra , the latter two being the most affected by this health condition. The factors that stimulate urinary infections range from poor hygiene in the genital area, bacteria or as a symptom of other diseases.
In this sense, women are the most likely to suffer from urinary tract infections, according to the Medical Bulletin of the Children’s Hospital of Mexico (1) , this disease is common during pregnancy , classified as one of the main complications that occurs during the period of gestation.
Note: The diagnosis of urine infection is made through a laboratory analysis of the urine sample, where the presence of white or red blood cells, bacteria and any other abnormality is corroborated.
Causes of a urinary infection
Infrequent urination is one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections, however, you should also take into account the following factors that are also involved in this disease:
A study carried out by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of the Nueva Granada Military University , Colombia (2) , showed that of 271 urinary infections, 79.9% were caused by the Escherichia coli bacterium, thus considering this bacterium as the main cause of conditions in the urinary tract.
Normally, E. coli is present in the digestive system , however, when it migrates to the urethra, it causes severe infections. This bacterium is contracted orally when it is present in the water or food consumed by humans, in addition, there are cases, although unusual, of contagion through touch.
When there is an overproduction of kidney stones , they become so solid that the body is unable to dissolve it on its own, therefore the stone begins to obstruct the urinary tract, thus stagnating the bacteria present in the waste in the form of urine. .
Important: By prolonging the stay of urine in the bladder, bacteria begin to proliferate, thus causing urinary infections. In this sense, people who suffer from kidney stones should undergo antispasmodic treatments to facilitate the transit and expulsion of the stones.
Sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and urinary infections are closely linked by the constant passage of bacteria and fungi related to STDs and lodge in the urethra or bladder.
Certainly, women due to the anatomy of the vagina are more prone to suffer from urinary infections caused by STDs, however, men are also affected because they share the same duct through which ejaculation and urination occur.
weak immune system
When the immune system is not capable of defending the body against multiple viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms, the person tends to get sick regularly, especially urinary tract infections that are caused by resistance and low mucosal immunity . that surrounds the bladder.
Deformation in urinary tract
Malformations and deformations in the urinary tract are usually evident from childhood, being one of the main causes of urinary tract infections in children.
Note: The infection originates from the incorrect transit of urine due to the deformity presented in the urethral ducts, causing the liquid waste to not take the correct course in many cases, stagnate in certain areas or not allow the urine stored to be completely emptied. in the bladder.
All of this results in bacteria resting throughout the urinary tract, thus causing infections and discomfort at the time of urination.
The bladder probe or catheter , is a device similar to a thin tube that is inserted through the urethra to the bladder to facilitate the expulsion of urine, this is usually used in patients who find it difficult to urinate or who are not able to carry out said action. for external reasons.
Therefore, the permanence of the catheter in the urethra becomes the ideal environment for the proliferation of bacteria if the necessary sanitary measures are not taken, even more so when the probe remains for a long time, thus generating cystitis or urinary infection.
Symptoms of a urinary infection
Urinary tract infections, being frequent conditions in all humans, present various symptoms that are usually uncomfortable , annoying and painful for those who present them.
burning and pain
The infection begins with a small burning sensation when urinating , which then expands to become intense pain in the area of the abdomen where the bladder is located and which intensifies more and more if the infection is not treated in time.
You should know: This usually happens to people who tend to urinate little or wait a long time to do so, thus retaining liquid waste and disease-causing bacteria longer than they should in the bladder.
Strong odor and cloudy appearance
One of the main symptoms that kidney health is being affected is the drastic change in urine odor and color . Infections caused by bacteria tend to dull the appearance of said fluid, appearing dark yellow, orange, red (when blood is present) or brown, in addition to generating a strong odor.
Note: Also, this occurs due to dehydration , so it is always recommended to observe the color of the urine when urinating, in normal conditions it should not have any color and little to no odor.
The presence of blood in the urine is known as hematuria , this can be a consequence of the intake of some medication , kidney stones, kidney diseases and urinary infections, therefore, medical assistance is important once diagnosed.
Important: The blood present in the urine can be seen with the naked eye when it is in large proportions , this usually happens due to the rupture caused by kidney stones to the internal layer that lines the urethral ducts or due to infections, but it can also be determined by means of a microscope when it is in smaller quantity.
constant urge to urinate
Frequent urination or the feeling of wanting to urinate without retaining fluid, sometimes accompanied by pain or burning, is a common symptom of urinary tract infections. This is due to the fact that the muscles and nerves of the urethral area are affected by the infection , thus generating a lack of control in the function of the bladder.
Home remedies to eliminate a urinary infection
Since generations past, home remedies have been used to treat this common condition today, therefore, below you will discover the 12 most effective home remedies used to combat urinary tract infection:
Drinking plenty of water will help you expel the lithiasis more easily and will alleviate cystitis by increasing urine production and expel bacteria lodged in the bladder and urinary tract through it.
Tip: You should drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day, this will make your visits to the bathroom more frequent but it will help your kidneys to clean themselves of the bacteria that are causing the infection.
Lemon is one of the main foods recommended as a home remedy against urine infection due to its high content of vitamin C, which in turn benefits the pH of the urine, making it even more acidic, thus reducing the presence of bacteria in the urinary tract. .
Note: The Spanish Food Book (3) details that lemon has 50 mg of vitamin C for every 100 grams of this fruit, thus making it an excellent source of antioxidants.
The cranberry is a wild fruit that has multiple properties, among which stand out: its contribution of vitamin C, antioxidants, tannins and a series of inhibitors that protect and cure urinary tract infections.
Note: Thanks to the different benefits of blueberries , pills, concentrates, juices and supplements made from this wild fruit are currently on the market, so we recommend taking it in any of its presentations.
They are considered red fruits , rich in fiber, vitamins C and E, as well as folates, zinc and manganese. The large amount of antioxidants that these small fruits have improve urinary infections with properties similar to those of cranberries, both considered an excellent option against cystitis due to their bactericidal action.
Pineapple, in addition to containing 20 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and diuretic, which makes it one of the main foods you should consume if you suffer from urinary tract infection caused by E coli.
Tip: Due to the multiple benefits of pineapple , we recommend that you not only consume the pulp of the fruit but also make infusions or tea with the peel. Once the pineapple is peeled, wash the peel very well, add it to a pot with water, boil it for a few minutes, let it rest, strain and eat 4 to 5 times a day hot or cold.
Among the benefits of spinach , its anti- inflammatory action stands out along with its antioxidant properties that result in an effective food against urinary infections, in addition to containing folates, omega 3, omega 6 and being considered one of the vegetables with the highest amount of iron.
This seasoning has multiple benefits and properties, among which stand out: the value it provides by strengthening the immune system , strengthening it against viruses and bacteria, it is diuretic, it also contains vitamins A, C and K, calcium and iron.
Tip: For consumption you can make a parsley tea , letting it boil for a few minutes so that the water soaks up its excellent properties. You can drink the tea on an empty stomach and before bed.
Birch is a tree that contains a large number of properties , considered an effective home remedy against urinary tract infections due to its diuretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, astringent, vitamin, detoxifying and antiseptic qualities.
Tip: In order for you to obtain all the wonderful benefits that birch offers, we recommend ingesting it in infusions, boiling 30 grams of fresh birch leaves in 1 liter of water or in its different pharmacological presentations.
9. Uva ursi
This small bush fruit attacks diseases at the urinary level , due to the tannins that reduce inflammation present in the urethra when suffering from urinary infection, in addition, it acts as an antibacterial, thus fighting the different microorganisms that cause the infection.
Radish is a vegetable with a large amount of water within its benefits and a potent amount of vitamin C , which contributes to the elimination of urinary infections by reversing oxidative damage to cells and increasing urination, thus causing a prompt Elimination of bacteria lodged in the bladder and urethra.
This medicinal plant, also known as Solidago canadensis , is of Canadian origin and is used as a home remedy for urinary tract infections due to its diuretic, anti-inflammatory and astringent action, that is, the three fundamental elements to alleviate said condition naturally.
Barley is a cereal that has diuretic properties that benefit the expulsion of fluids in the body, including urine, thus being a great ally in the treatment of urinary tract infections. In addition, it is an excellent source of potassium, phosphorus and fatty acids. unsaturated.
- Urinary infection is the health condition that directly attacks the bladder and urethral ducts.
- Women are more prone to urinary tract infections, however, men are not exempt from this disease.
- The E. coli bacterium is the main responsible for urinary tract infections.
- Burning and pain when urinating, along with changes in the appearance of the urine, are the main symptoms of an infection.
- The most popular home remedies are: drink plenty of water and eat cranberries, pineapple and parsley.
- It is important that you avoid self-medication, especially the intake of antibiotics without the supervision of a specialist.