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Urinary Tract/Bladder Infections

This website and its pages were designed for people who are looking for solutions to the many problems/side effects that may appear as a result of treatment.  As the reader, you should print out this page and bring it to your doctor for consultation. This is one of the many means of stacking the cards in your favor and this exact formula of stacking the cards is the main vehicle that helped me through two-and-a half years of leukemia treatment for my daughter.  On the other hand, if you are one of those people who tends to place blame on others, then this site is not for you.   Going through a serious medical condition requires; fortitude, responsibility for every aspect of care, using every avenue possible to improve quality of life, health and disposition of the patient, while coordinating all of this with your healthcare team.  I have tried to put together workable tools for a person to use with judgement and responsibility.

Urinary Tract Infections/Bladder Infections

Urinary tract infections, also known as UTI’s and bladder infections, are one of the most uncomfortable infections a person can have.  Symptoms include burning pain, minimal urine output, increased need to urinate. In extreme cases the patient could have blood in the urine, accompanied with back pain, fever and chills.

When a person is getting chemo, UTI’s can become a consequence of treatment.

UTI’s are the second most common reason people visit their doctors each year.  Men can get UTI’s but they are much more common in women.  The length of the urine tube is much longer in men thereby providing more protection from UTI’s.  More than 8 million women a year go to their doctor for a urinary tract infection. Chances are that 20% will go to see their doctor again.

UTI’s are caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria.  The other reason why women get more of these infections than men is because the urethra is located very close to the bacteria – loving anus, where E. coli and other bacteria are generated.  Because of this close proximity everyday bodily functions and sex are more likely to push bacteria into your urethra.

Preventing Bladder Infections Caused By Sexual Intercourse

1. Shower before sex or minimally wash your hands and genitallia.

2. Urinating after sex will help flush these bacteria out and away.

3. Women should always wipe from front to back as this helps to push E. coli away from the urethra.

UTI Facts

Men can get UTI’s but not for the same reasons.  UTI’s in men could be due to a bladder stone, an enlarged prostate or sexually transmitted disease.

UTI’s that persist longer than two days require medical attention.  Untreated UTI’s can lead to kidney infections, which are far more serious.

Chemo is very acidic and its use can cause bladder irritation.  I wanted to put together a page of remedies for cancer patients, in the hope that the information contained here could possibly help to avoid this particular type of infection.  Many of these remedies (the ones that are food based) have been used with Kayla while on treatment.

Many of these lessons I was forced to learn while having recurrent UTI’s that would go away with treatment only to return a few weeks later.  After years of this recurrent situation I resorted to natural remedies that eventually gave me lasting relief.

Urinary tract infection Remedies:

Make sure that women wipe from front to back after urination.  This stops the spread of bacteria from the anus.

Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to a tall glass of water.  The baking soda could neutralize the acidity in your urine.

For itching and burning our oncologist recommended two tablespoons of baking soda in a warm bath.

Many alternative remedies say to use cranberry juice but in my opinion cranberry juice contains too much added sugar, which is an irritant for a bladder infection. D-Mannos powder, available at your local health food store, is the ingredient in cranberries that helps to get rid of bladder infections.  It makes the sides of the bladder more slippery so that the bacteria cannot cling.  For Kayla, this has worked almost instantly.

A person recommended cans of asparagus. Eat one can of asparagus and drink the liquid each day for three days.  Asparagus helps to flush sediment from the bladder.

My friend’s elderly mother had constant bladder infections.  She had her mother start taking one cranberry pill a day. Even after many years she has never had another urinary infection.

Peach tree leaves or peach tea is a remedy that has proven effective in our household.

Pineapples have an enzyme known as bromelain.  One person told me that they purchased unsweetened pineapple juice and drank the whole bottle in a 24-hour period.  This got rid of the burning pain.

Another patient stated that raw potatoes with some salt helped her mother who was being treated for bladder cancer.  Kayla likes these and the instant she has any sensations with her urethra I also have her eat raw potatoes.

Cotton underwear is important as it allows airflow.  One doctor told me that tight jeans plus synthetic panties are an infection waiting to happen, especially in warmer climates.

Avoid alcohol.  It is a diuretic and an irritant.

Avoid feminine hygiene sprays and scented douches, these are chemical irritants.

Avoid caffeine, if your bladder is acting up, caffeine is an irritant.  This includes coffee, soda, and teas that contain caffeine.  If you do drink coffee and soda you would have to double your water intake to compensate for these acidic drinks.

Avoid sweets as in cake and candies as these are all acidic and will cause more irritation to the bladder.

Drink lots of water to help flush the kidneys and bladder.

Urvi-Ursi The leaves and berries were used by numerous indigenous people from northern latitudes. Combined with tobacco, Native Americans sometimes smoked uva ursi. It was also used as a beverage tea in some places in Russia. The berries were considered beneficial as a weight-loss aid. It was found in wide use for infections of all parts of the body because of its astringent, or “drying,” action.

The German Commission E monograph suggests 1/2–3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) of uva ursi steeped in about 5 ounces (150 ml) of boiling water and drunk as an infusion three to four times daily.2 For alcohol-based tinctures, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) three times per day can be used. Standardized extracts in capsules or tablets (containing 20% arbutin), 700–1,000 mg three times per day, can also be taken. Use of uva ursi should be limited to no more than 14 days. To ensure alkaline urine, about 1 1/2 teaspoons (6–8 grams) of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) mixed in a glass of water can be taken. Baking soda should also not be taken for more than 14 days. People with high blood pressure should not take baking soda. Uva ursi should not be used to treat an infection without first consulting a physician. [1.]

Warning: If you are on any medications do not take any herbs or medications without consulting with your doctor first.  Herbs and other medications can counteract with medications that you are taking and/or create an adverse drug reaction.

Uva Ursi is not recommended for children.

Never use this herb for more than 5 days.

Reported side effects are generally mild and include nausea and vomiting, irritability, and insomnia.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or people with high blood pressure, should not take uva ursi.

Drugs and supplements that make urine more acidic – These include vitamin C, cranberry juice, orange juice, and other citrus fruits and juices. [2]

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids — Animal studies conducted in Japan suggest uva ursi may increase the anti-inflammatory effects of these drugs, although it isn’t known whether the herb would have that effect in people. [2]

Birth Control Methods and Bladder Infections

Women who use certain birth control methods, such as spermicides containing nonoxynol-9, are also at higher risk for UTIs. “This ingredient alters the bacterial balance in the vagina, allowing growth of E. coli, the bacteria that causes most UTIs,” says Dr. Brubaker. Nonoxynol-9 is found in spermicidal jellies, spermicidal foams or inserts and condoms with spermicidal lubricant.  [1]

Once a patient gets a urinary tract infection they are now far more susceptible to subsequent urinary infections.  Therefore the suggestion regarding spermicidal jellies, foams, inserts, and so forth may be worth changing or stopping their use all together.

Candida

Candida is a fungal infestation in your digestion.  This may be the root cause of urinary tract infections.  There are many books regarding this subject.  On this website is a fungus page for more information.

Here is a link for frequently asked questions regarding candida.

http://web.archive.org/web/20020802012431/http://www.infosky.net/~alexmi/candida.htm#9.1

Probiotics can be very beneficial to replace intestinal flora.  These are beneficial bacteria that actually kill candida fungus.  If a person lacks intestinal flora this could be an underlying cause in bladder infections.  Implementing beneficial bacteria to the intestines on a regular basis is a health measure that benefits many functions of the body.  Especially if one is a patient undergoing long term treatments.

Notes

I have tried to make this page as short and comprehensive as possible.  I am not a medical doctor nor trained in any way.  These are not to be considered medical advice.  If you are being treated for any illness and taking medications check with your doctor before using any supplement other than food.  Even herbal tea should be checked with a medical professional.

Print out this page for consultation with your doctor.  If your UTI/Bladder infections does not go away within 48 hours see your medical professional right away.

Most of the information contain herein was compiled from personal experience or tips from other people who suggested things that were successful for them.

~

References

1. Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

2. University of Maryland Medical Center Complimentary Medicine Uva-Ursi

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/uva-ursi-000278.htm