What Is A Urinary Tract Infection?
An infection of the urinary tract that carries the urine from the kidneys to the external orifice is called as a urinary tract infection.
It is mostly accompanied by a few characteristic symptoms with which it can be diagnosed clinically.
Women are more prone than men to urine infections, as their urethra is shorter and opens nearer the anus.
Pregnant women are also more prone than non-pregnant women to urine infections. This is partly due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy which affect the urinary tract and
tend to slow down the flow of urine. It also may be that the enlarged womb (uterus) presses on the bladder and prevents it draining as well. If urine does not drain quickly
from the bladder, germs are more able to multiply and cause an infection.
Various microorganisms are able to invade the urinary tract and can be involved in the pathogenesis of urinary tract infection (UTI).
As one of the most common recurrent acquired infections, UTI has a conspicuous role in increasing the number of stillbirth deliveries. After anemia, UTIs are the
second common complications in pregnant women, which if not controlled well, can adversely affect the health of infant or the pregnant mother.
What Are Causes Of Urinary Tract Infection During Pregnancy?
While you are pregnant, you are at a higher risk of contracting urinary tract infection especially during the 6th and 24th week of pregnancy.
During your pregnancy, your urinary tract goes through a lot of changes due to the many changes that your body goes through overall.
Your uterus is located right on top of your bladder. As your pregnancy progresses, your uterus keeps growing, and it grows heavy.
When you are pregnant, your body releases a higher amount of the hormone progesterone. It reduces the muscle tone of your ureters and dilates them. As a result,
it becomes more difficult for your urine to flow through. The growing weight of your uterus can stop the urine from passing through the bladder,
which can lead to UTI infection during pregnancy.
Also, while you are pregnant, there is a loss of muscle tone in your bladder, because of which your bladder is not able to empty itself.
It means that almost, every time you want to pass urine, there is some amount of urine that is still left behind in the bladder. Also, while you are pregnant,
you are at a higher risk of suffering from a condition known as reflux. The condition leads to some amount of urine flowing back upwards through the urethra and
to your kidneys, instead of flowing out and exiting your body.
As a result of all of the above, it is difficult for your body to flush the urine out of the system. The situation is ideal for bacteria,
which get more time to thrive and infect these parts. If you suffer from reflux, it makes it easier for the bacteria to move up towards your kidney.
Also, while you are pregnant, your urine turns less acidic than it otherwise is, as it contains more glucose, which also helps bacteria thrive.
According To Ayurveda What Can Be The Cause Of Urinary Tract Infection?
In Ayurveda it is believed that there are three energies vata, pitta and kapha in the body which are responsible for the good health.
Urinary tract infections are due to the imbalance of pitta dosha. These infections result in various complications like inflammation of urethra, infection in bladder and kidneys.
There are various herbs present in Ayurveda which help in healing of these urinary tract infections.
What Are the Symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of a UTI include:
- burning or painful urination
- cloudy and/or blood-tinged urine
- pelvic or lower back pain
- frequent urination
- feeling that you have to urinate frequently
- nausea and/or vomiting
Not all urine infections cause symptoms. Sometimes you may have bacteria in your urine but not have any symptoms.
This is called asymptomatic bacteriuria and in pregnancy, this still needs treating.
- Asymptomatic bacteriuria occurs in 2% to 10% of all pregnancies.
- If untreated, up to 30% of mothers may develop acute cystitis and up to 50% acute pyelonephritis
You should have a urine test early in pregnancy (when first seen), even if you have no symptoms, to look for asymptomatic bacteriuria.
How do I know if I have a UTI?
A urinalysis and a urine culture can detect a UTI throughout pregnancy.
What should I do?
Some changes are also required in our daily life to get rid from these infections like maintain proper hygiene, wear cotton garments and use the
good quality personal hygiene products.
- One should drink plenty of water because water helps in flushing out the bacteria which are responsible for urinary tract infections.
- Consume the foods which are rich in vitamin c like oranges, tomato and grapes. These fruits help to make urine acidic. It helps to inhibit the growth of
bacteria which are associated with urinary tract infections.
- It has been observed that cranberry juice also helps to reduce the urinary tract infections.
- Include high fiber food in your diet.
- Include probiotics in your diet like yogurt because they contain the Bifido bacteria and lactobacilli. These are the beneficial microorganisms which help to
strength the urinary tract.
- Sonth, also known as dry ginger, is a herb used in Ayurveda to improve the working of the urinary organs that help in alleviating UTI. This herb prevents itching
and an uncomfortable feeling while urinating and helps in curbing the repeated infections. Consume sonth with milk and sugar to get relief from the UTI pain.
- Badi Elaichi is commonly used in the Indian cuisine to give a nice flavour and taste to it. But, it is also known to provide relief against a burning sensation if
you are suffering from UTI. It also helps in preventing repetitive UTI occurrences.
- Coriander is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for curing UTI. According to Ayurveda, an increase in the Pitta dosha in the body is responsible for causing the burning
and itching sensation while urinating. Coriander, with its coolant properties, provides you relief from this uncomfortable feeling. Drinking coriander tea regularly
will curb the burning sensation and its anti-inflammatory properties will provide a good relief from the UTI pain and inflammation.
- Amla is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for those suffering from UTI. Amla which is a rich source of vitamin C creates an acidic environment in the urinary tract,
which hinders the growth of harmful bacteria that cause UTI.
- Blueberries have bacteria-inhibiting properties that can help in the treatment of UTI. The antioxidants present in blueberries are good for the immune system,
and they prevent growth of bacteria that causes UTI.
Foods To Be Avoided
- Avoid carbonated drinks and caffeine.
- Avoid smoking.
- Stop alcohol consumption.
- Stop eating spicy foods.
- Stay away from artificial sweeteners.
- Don't consume cookies, cakes, shops and starchy products.