Urinary tract health
Urinary tract infections (diarrhoea) are caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses and are associated with inflammation. Symptoms include frequent urination, a stinging and painful sensation when urinating, and a cloudy colour and foul smell of urine. In many cases it may be accompanied by fever.
Urinary tract infections include:
- Bladder inflammation (cystitis)
- Ureter inflammation
- Renal pelvic inflammatory disease
- Kidney inflammation (pyelonephritis)
Women are the most affected by urinary tract infections. Women experience an urinary tract infection at least once in their lives.
The frequency of these infections means that they become habituated to antibiotic treatment and become resistant (antibiotic resistant). This is why alternative therapy is important.
The most studied plant against UTIs is cranberry. Its extract contains proanthocyanin, an active substance that prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract.
Probiotics can provide strong protection against urinary tract infections and can also help in the healing process. The 'good' bacteria in probiotics (such as lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) help to maintain the right pH in the vagina, urinary tract and bladder, making infections less 'homey' and reducing the chance of infection. In addition, in a similar way to cranberries, these good bacteria stick to the bladder wall and take up space from infections.
Vitamin intake is also important. Vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E are all powerful antioxidants to help maintain the immune system and fight infection.