Monday, December 27, 2010

Bladder Health and Prevention of Bladder Infections in Women

Prevention of Bladder Infections -  This material is for educational use only.
 
Urinary Tract Health Urinary tract health is closely related to Reproductive Tract Health. The bladder and urethra are both related energetically to the 2nd chakra. (for explanation of 2nd chakra relationship, see below*) Many woman experience bladder/urethral infections at some time in their life.

Predisposing Factors to Urinary Tract Infections:
•   
Obstructions - stones, tumors, strictures
•   
New or multiple sexual partners    
•    Stress
•   
Diabetes mellitus    
•    Food allergies
•   
Chemical sensitivities    
•    Candida overgrowth
•   
Bowel toxemia    
•    High sugar intake
•   
Rep. vigorous sexual intercourse    
•    Decreased immunity
•   
Diaphragm use or misuse    
•    Vesicovaginal fistula
•   
Lack of local defense system - this is considered the cause of recurrent UTIs in many women.  A lack of local defense may allow colonization of bacteria on the vaginal vestibule. These women usually have decreased cervicovaginal antibodies to enterobacteria. These factors lead to an increased number of abnormal organisms in the vagina that are capable of ascending the urinary tract through the urethra.
 

Avoid the following to help prevent bladder infections.
Nylon underwear
Sitting on cold floors & hot radiators
Baths, use showers l  
• Pantyhose    
Tight pants
Swimming in chlorinated pools 
Fried Foods
Sexual partner with dirty fingers 
Sugar and processed sugary foods
Sitting around in wet bathing suits 
Caffeine and dairy can be a problem for some as well as food sensitivities in general
Soaps that contain perfumes, colorations 
Vaginal intercourse after anal intercourse      
Refined Foods
Vaginal douches and sprays are generally unnescessary and many can be harmful especially those with    l    alcohol, perfumes, colorations or other chemicals
Clothing that increases heat and perspiration in the perineal area

Reduce Risk Factors:
Wipe from front to back when voiding.
Drink plenty of water.
Drink nettle tea.
Urinate after sexual intercourse.
Keep the genital area clean.
Urinate whenever you feel the urge.
Wash clothing with non-scented detergents.
•  Drink unsweetened cranberry juice. Combine a cup of water and a handful of berries in the blender.

If a bladder infection is Suspected:
Drink plenty of water to flush out the bacteria and prevent spread of the infection to the kidneys.
Drink unsweetened cranberry juice.
Studies have shown that it's the mannose in cranberry juice that does the job. If the UTI is caused by E. coli  (Bladder infections are often due to coliform bacteria and mostly E coli) the E. coli germs take in the mannose and discover that they can no longer adhere to the walls of the urinary tract. If your UTI is caused by another organism then cranberry juice, mannose may not help at all.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, sugar and alcohol.
Use hot and cold alternating sitz baths: 3 minutes warm and 1 minute cold to improve pelvic circulation.
Drink rose hip tea for vitamin C content or take Vitamin C to bowel tolerance.
Drink carrot juice for carotenoids including betacarotene.
Eat berries or flowers high in flavonoids.
Eat pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and other foods high in zinc or take zinc 30 mg/day.
            Vitamin A 25,000 IU/day.
Use flax oil or seeds if there is chronic inflammation and especially if allergies are suspected.


Herbal Formulas Used for Simple Bladder Infections
Urinary Tract Infection Formula (Liquid extract)
Echinacea spp. (Echinacea)    20-35%
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Uva-ursi)     20-35%
Barosma betulina (Buchu)     20-35%
Usnea spp. (Old man’s beard)     10-20%
Zea mays (Cornsilk)     10-20%

Actions
: This formula is antimicrobial and disinfects the entire urinary tract. It also soothes the urinary tract's mucus membranes, decreases irritation and helps to maintain tissue integrity. It has diuretic qualities and enhances the immune system’s natural resistance to bacterial and fungal organisms.
Indications: A diuretic and antiseptic used for the inflamed and infected bladder and kidneys.

Herb Profiles:
Echinacea spp. (Echinacea) is immunomodulating, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
Arctostaphylos uva ursi (uva ursi) is a urinary tract antiseptic and diuretic that is specific for urinary tract infections. Research claims it works best in an alkaline pH. The leaves contain arbutin, an antiseptic constituent, which is metabolized into an even more antiseptic constituent called hydroquinone. In alkaline urine, hydroquinone is an effective antimicrobial agent. Uva ursi itself tends to alkalinize the urine and may give it a green tinge.
Barosma betulina (Buchu) is also antimicrobial and astringent.
Usnea spp. (Old man’s beard) is thought of as nature’s "herbal antibiotic" by some herbalists. It does kill many bacterial organisms.
Zea mays (Cornsilk) is a soothing diuretic, mild antimicrobial, vulnerary and demulcent. Glycoproteins in cornsilk increase production of interferon, inhibit IgE formation and enhance IgG and IgM formation. Corn silk has antiviral and antitumor activities.
Liquid extract dosage: 40-60 drops (up to one teaspoon in hard to treat cases), 3-4 times per day. Can be taken every 2 hours if necessary. Do not use at this dosage for more than  72 hours. Reduce dosage to 4 times per day, and finally 3 times per day over a 10 day period.
Adjunct: Mucilaginous teas
Contraindications, Cautions and Words of Wisdom: Urinary tract infections, especially kidney infections, can have serious consequences. If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, and if there is a fever or pain indicating a kidney infection more aggressive treatment may be necessary. A health care practitioner should always be consulted.

Urinary Tract Infection Formula (Tea)
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Uva-ursi)    10-20%
Althea officinalis (Marshmallow)    10-30%    
   Elytrigia repens (Couch grass)     10-20%
Urtica dioica (Nettles)     10-20%    
   Plantago spp. (Plantain)     10-20%    
   Taraxacum officinalis leaf (Dandelion)    10-20%

Actions: This formula is antimicrobial and disinfects the entire urinary tract. It also soothes the urinary tract's mucus membranes, decreases irritation and helps to maintain tissue integrity. It has diuretic qualities and enhances the immune system’s natural resistance to bacterial and fungal organisms.
Indications: A diuretic and antiseptic used for the inflamed and infected bladder and kidneys.
Herb Profiles:
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Uva-ursi) (See Arctostaphylos uva-ursi profile above).
Althea officinalis (Marshmallow) is anti-inflammatory, mucilaginous and soothing.
Agropyren repens (Couch grass) is antimicrobial and a diuretic.
Urtica dioica (Nettles) is a nutritious herb with a beneficial effect on the whole urinary tract as well as the nervous system.
Plantago spp.  (Plantain) is soothing and healing to the urinary tract. It assists in restoration and maintenance of normal epithelial tissue lining of the bladder.
Taraxacum officinalis leaf (Dandelion) is used for its diuretic qualities, although its liver support and general stimulation of digestion is useful to almost everyone.
Tea dosage:
Dosage - acute: 2 heaping teaspoons per cup water, 3-4 times per day. Can be taken every 2 hours if necessary, up to a 72 hour period. Reduce dosage to 4 times per day, and finally 3 times per day over a 10 day period.
Adjunct: Mucilaginous teas: Drink as much as possible.
Contraindications, Cautions and Words of Wisdom:
     Urinary tract infections, especially kidney infections, can have serious consequences. If symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, and if there is a fever or pain indicating a kidney infection more aggressive treatment may be necessary.
A health care practitioner should always be consulted.

 Additional Informational Links Freely Offered by this Author:

For more information on urinary tract health and the use of herbs and nutrients for the urinary tract go to this link for a pdf on this and other subjects: http://www.herbaltransitions.com/herbalresources.html


You can get detailed information on the above herbs from the book Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth. The materia medica from the first edition of this book is available for free here:  http://www.herbaltransitions.com/BotanCom.html

The Second Chakra Energy & The Reproductive Tract Explained
This energy center is in the area around your pelvic region. It is  physically related to the lower abdominal organs such as your sexual organs, bladder, large intestine, pelvis, hips, and lower back. This second energy center is your energetic connection with physical survival and where you relate one on one with other individuals in your life. It is were you are confronted with feeling the need to control your environment. All methods we use to control our environment such as with money, authority, sex, etc are all related through their attachment of this energy center to the body. This center is also related to the creative birth of ideas or projects as well as birth of human beings. This center is about dualism and relationships. (female/male, white/black, yin/yang)
This center gives us  the stamina to take care of ourselves in the world. It supports our ability to physically and financially be able to take care of ourselves, and to grow as an individual interacting with others and learning from our relationships.
This center can become negatively effected when one is afraid of putting their creative ideas into physical form.
It is also negatively affected when you try to control others or allow yourself to be controlled by others, feeling like your hands are tied or being between a rock and a hard place. Feelings of betrayal, or being taken advantage of can cause dis-ease  relating to this energy center. All of these actions in the 2nd chakra can affect the physical organs related to it including the bladder. Learning to dance with this energy in a healthy way will support the physical health of the bladder and other 2nd energy center organs. Learning to be honorable  about our interactions with others, keeping our word and having a honorable moral code will lay the ground-work for personal health in our pelvic region.
In relation to the bladder, be aware when you are feeling "pissed off" with others in your life or you are feeling controlled by others or feeling a need to control others.  These kind of emotions when ignored can lead to poor bladder health including infections. Notice when you fold your hands over the area above your bladder during conversation with others. Notice your feelings. You may be feeling a need to protect this area of your body. Pay attention to your bodies messages.

5 comments:

  1. Wonderful and informative. Thank you!
    Dr. J. Catherine Halford

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