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Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial fungal or viral infection affecting any of the organs of the urinary system.

The urinary system comprises two kidneys, two ureters, a bladder and a urethra. It is responsible for flushing out waste and extra water from the body.

The primary causes of UTI include bacteria, which enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder. There are two major kinds of UTIs:

  • Cystitis: Cystitis is an infection of the bladder, which is usually caused by the bacteria E. coli. This type of UTI may be caused by sexual intercourse or any other factor that introduces bacteria into the bladder.
  • Urethritis: Urethritis or the infection of the urethra commonly occurs when bacteria spread from the anus to the urethra. Urethritis also occurs from sexually transmitted infections

UTIs are one of the most commonly reported infections, especially in women, and can lead to complications if left unattended. Women are more prone to developing the infection since their urethra is shorter, making it easy for the pathogens to reach the bladder. In individuals with diabetes or other diseases that alter the immune system, UTIs could occur more easily. Enlarged prostate gland and the use of urinary catheters are also risk factors for UTIs.

The most common symptoms of a UTI include a burning sensation while passing urine, discomfort in the lower abdomen, passing urine more frequently than usual, inability to pass urine satisfactorily, foul-smelling urine, blood in urine and pain in the abdomen while urinating. In case the infection has spread to the kidneys, the individual may experience additional symptoms such as chills, fever and back pain. The diagnosis of a UTI can be done clinically with the help of a urine test.

(Read more: Urine culture test)

Conventionally, UTIs are treated with antibiotics, which reduce bacteria growth; however, homeopathic treatment of UTIs aims at improving a person's immune system so it can clear the infection on its own. Homeopathic remedies provide effective treatment for UTIs and have been proven to show results in clinical settings. These remedies are made from highly diluted natural substances and are chosen on the basis of the law of similars. A remedy that creates a particular symptom in a person would heal the same symptoms when it appears in a sick person. Also, homeopathic doctors consider the miasms or the tendency of a person to suffer from a specific disease to pick a unique remedy for them.

Some homeopathic remedies that are used for the treatment of UTIs include aconite, apis mellifica, belladonna, berberis vulgaris, borax veneta, clematis erecta, cantharis vesicatoria, pulsatilla pratensis, and sarsaparilla officinalis.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for UTI
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a UTI patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for UTI
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for UTI
  5. Takeaway

Homeopathy offers a range of medications, which can be used for getting rid of UTI. These are:

  • Aconite
    Common Name:
    Monkshood
    Symptoms: The following symptoms may be noted in an individual requiring monkshood:
    • Scanty urination that is painful to pass (Read more: Painful urination causes)
    • Red urine 
    • Burning sensation at the neck of the bladder (the muscles that help hold urine in the bladder)
    • Anxiety before urinating
    • A tendency to retain urine accompanied by restlessness; the person tends to hold their genitals when they feel the urge to urinate
    • Sensitivity in the renal (kidney) region
    • Profuse urination accompanied by diarrhoea and excessive sweating 
    • A burning sensation in the belly button region
    • Dryness and sensitivity in the vagina
    • Pain and congestion in ovaries
    • Bruising pain in the testicles
    • Intense thirst
    • Sensitivity in the abdominal area
    • Pain and itching in the rectal area, especially at night

Symptoms worsen in the evenings and nights and on applying warmth to the affected area; they get better in open air. 

  • Apis Mellifica
    Common Name:
    The honey bee
    Symptoms: This remedy suits individuals with the following symptoms:
    • Burning urination
    • Suppressed urination
    • Frequent urge to urinate
    • Scanty, dark urine
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Burning sensation with last few drops of urine
    • Pain in the anal region
    • Inability to urinate without passing stool
    • Tenderness and soreness in the abdominal region
    • Tenderness over the uterine region (pelvic area)

Symptoms get worse on exposure to heat, on touching or putting pressure of the affected area. Symptoms get better by being in open air and on bathing with cold water.

  • Belladonna
    Common Name:
    Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: This remedy is suitable for addressing the following symptoms:
    • A tendency for urinary retention
    • Acute UTIs
    • A feeling as if worms are moving inside the bladder
    • Decreased urine output
    • Dark and turbid urine
    • Urinary incontinence
    • Persistent dribbling of urine
    • Frequent and profuse urination
    • Enlarged prostate
    • Inflammation of testicles
    • Abnormal flow of prostatic fluid
    • Dryness in the vaginal area

Symptoms get worse after the noon or on lying down but may get better by sitting in a semi-erect position.

  • Berberis Vulgaris
    Common Name:
    Barberry
    Symptoms: This remedy tends to be helpful for treating the following symptoms:
    • Burning sensation in the urinary bladder
    • A feeling as if the urine has not completely passed after urinating
    • Thick, bright red urine
    • Presence of mucus in the urine
    • Soreness in kidney area (below the ribcage, on the sides), especially while stooping
    • Pain in the bladder
    • Pain in thighs and loins on urinating
    • Frequent urge to urinate
    • Stitching pain in testicles
    • Shooting pain in the urethra, which extends upwards
    • A feeling of pressure on the bladder on urinating
    • Presence of slimy sediment in the urine
  • Borax Veneta
    Common Name: Borate of sodium
    Symptoms: This remedy is helpful for treating the following symptoms:
    • Passing very hot urine
    • Pungent smell in urine
    • Children may be afraid to urinate and may scream before urinating
    • A feeling of soreness in the urethra after urinating
    • Frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
    • Inability to control the urge to urinate
    • Itching and contractions in the anal region
    • Slimy diarrhoea

Symptoms get worse in warm weather or on moving downwards. Symptoms may improve by the evening, especially in cold weather.

  • Clematis Erecta
    Common Name: Virgin’s bower
    Symptoms: This remedy tends to be suitable for the following symptoms:
    • Frequent urination with low urine output and interrupted flow of urine so the urine falls in drops
    • Inability to pass all the urine
    • A tingling sensation in the urethra after urinating
    • Constriction in the urethra
    • Post void dribbling (Dribbling of urine after urinating)
    • Pain in the urethra, which gets worse at night
    • Milky or frothy urine
    • Stitching pain in the urethra and abdomen
    • Itching in the genitals

Symptoms get worse with warmth and at night but improve on going out in open air.

  • Cantharis Vesicatoria
    Common Name:
    Spanish fly
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited to individuals presenting the following symptoms:
    • An intolerable urge to urinate
    • Presence of blood in the urine
    • Cutting and burning pain in the renal region
    • Emission of urine in drops
    • Cutting pain after passing urine
    • Persistent desire to urinate
    • Presence of membranous scales in the urine
    • Urinary retention with pain in the bladder
    • Burning and stinging pain in the kidney region
    • Pressing pain in the kidneys, which is relieved by pressing on the head of the penis
    • Inflammation of the kidneys and urethra
    • Inflammation of the genitals

Symptoms get worse on touching the affected area and on urinating.

  • Pulsatilla Pratensis
    Common Name:
    Wind flower
    Symptoms: The following symptoms may be treated with the help of pulsatilla:
    • Increased desire to urinate, which gets worse at night and while lying down
    • Burning pain in the urethra during and after urination
    • Involuntary emission of urine at night 
    • Involuntary discharge of urine while coughing or passing wind
    • Pain in the bladder after urinating
    • Presence of blood and mucus in the urine
    • Weakness in the loins while urinating
    • Feeling pressure in the urethra and bladder
    • Constrictive pain in the navel region

Symptoms get worse from warmth or after eating anything. Symptoms may get better with the use of cold applications.

  • Sarsaparilla Officinalis
    Common Name: Smilax
    Symptoms: This remedy is effective for the treatment of the following symptoms:
    • Scanty and sandy urine
    • Severe pain in the urethra at the end of urination
    • Dribbling of urine while sitting
    • Tenderness in the bladder 
    • Pain in the right kidney
    • Passing urine in a thin and feeble stream
    • Low urine output
    • Frequent urination along with passing hard stools
    • Presence of thread-like flakes in the urine
    • Burning sensation in the urethra after urination
    • Presence of stones in the bladder
    • Discharge of pus from the urethra

Symptoms get worse after urinating or in damp weather.

Homeopathic drugs are easy to use and can be easily integrated into the daily routine of an individual. However, there are certain measures which one can take to make sure that external factors do not interfere with the action of these medications. Following is a short list of the things one should and should not do while on a homeopathic regimen:

Do’s:

  • It is absolutely important to maintain personal hygiene.
  • Make sure that your surroundings are clean and sanitised. 
  • It is recommended to engage in a brisk form of exercise on a daily basis in order to maintain an active lifestyle.
  • Wear airy and comfortable which allow easy ventilation and do not stick to the skin.
  • Take a healthy diet and try to consume nutritious and fibre rich food items.

Don’ts: 

  • The intake of alcohol or any other such stimulants is strictly prohibited while using homeopathic medications. 
  • Do not consume coffee and tea.
  • Avoid food items which are too salty, spicy or sugary.
  • Avoid the use of artificial and strong fragrances such as perfumes or air fresheners.
  • Avoid the use of artificial temperature control devices such as air conditioning or room heaters.

Homeopathic remedies can be effectively used in combination with conventional treatment of UTIs, even for cases where no actual infection is found. When taken under the guidance of a qualified doctor, homeopathic remedies not only help control acute UTIs but also they are effective in preventing the recurrence of symptoms and reducing the chances of re-infection. There have been a few studies that indicate the efficiency of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of UTIs. For example, in a pilot study, it was found that the use of remedies such as Staphysagria is very effective in preventing recurrent UTIs in patients with spinal cord injury

In another study, 8 patients suffering from recurrent UTI were provided classical homeopathic treatment and were followed up over a period of 15 months. 5 patients remained free of UTI during the follow-up period while the frequency of UTI was reduced significantly in the other 3 patients.

Homeopathy, as a science, follows the individualization approach to treatment, in which, each individual’s complete health history is taken into account before prescribing a remedy. This includes their physical as well as the mental health and their tendency to suffer from a particular condition, also called miasms in homeopathy. Moreover, the drugs are derived from natural substances, which are diluted further to safe amounts before administration. Hence, homeopathic remedies rarely cause any allergies or side effects, provided they are taken under the supervision of a certified medical practitioner.

UTIs are microbial infections of the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder and urethra), which can cause complications when left untreated. Homeopathy can be used effectively for the treatment of UTIs. Homeopathic medicines are made from natural substances, which are diluted before administrating it to a patient so they don't have a side effect. These medicines have proven to be effective in some clinical studies. Do not take any homeopathic medicine without consulting a doctor first.

References

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [Internet] US National Library of Medicine; https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003103.htm
  2. Pannek J. In Vitro Effects of Homeopathic Drugs on Cultured Escherichia coli. Homeopathy. 2018 May;107(2):150-154 PMID: 29566404
  3. Samuel Hahnemann.Organon of Medicine Organon of Medicine, 6th edition, Noida: B Jain Publishers, aphorisms 261-263, 1842, Pg 282
  4. National Center for Homeopathy [Internet] Mount Laurel, New Jersey, U.S Berberis vulgaris
  5. William Boericke. Homeopathic Materia Medica. Kessinger Publishing: Médi-T 1999, Volume 1 Homoeopathic Materia Medica
  6. Jürgen Pannek. Pilot study demonstrates effectiveness of homeopathy in treating symptomatic urinary tract infections in patients with spinal cord injury Homeopathy Research Institute, Autumn 2014, Issue 25
  7. British Homeopathic Association. Urinary Tract Infections. London; [Internet]
  8. Jürgen Pannek, Susanne Pannek-Rademacher, Martine Cachin Jus, Mohinder Singh Jus. Usefulness of classical homoeopathy for the prevention of urinary tract infections in patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction: A case series Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy, 2014, Volume 8, Issue 1, Page 31-36
  9. Planned Parent American Association [Internet]: New York State, U.S Urinary Tract Infections (UTI's)
  10. South Africa Health [Internet]. Government of South Africa Urinary tract infection (UTI) - including symptoms, treatment and prevention
  11. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. [Internet] US National Library of Medicine; Urinary Tract Infections

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