A urinary tract infection (UTI) (also known as acute cystitis or bladder infection) is an infection that affects part of the urinary tract. When it affects the lower urinary tract it is known as a simple cystitis (a bladder infection) and when it affects the upper urinary tract it is known as pyelonephritis (a kidney infection).
Urinary tract infections occur more commonly in women than men, with half of women having at least one infection at some point in their lives. Recurrences are common. Risk factors include female anatomy, long periods of immobility (for example during flights), sexual intercourse and family history.
Cystitis is one of the most common acute complaints to develop in our patients and is usually readily managed with homeopathy. Symptoms include painful urination and either frequent urination or urge to urinate (or both).
Pyelonephritis, on the other hand, is a much more significant illness associated with fever, more back pain and general malaise or systemic symptoms. This condition should be approached with much more caution.
Besides of homeopathic treatment, many cases of cystitis can be managed by increasing fluid intake, vitamin C, cranberry juice, etc. A number of patients present with sterile urine but classic symptoms of cystitis. This syndrome can be caused by urethral spasms or genital herpes but the remedies indicated remain the same as for cystitis.
Recurring bladder infections can be a sign of structural anomalies in the urinary tract, malignancies or chronic stones. Any patient who has had three or more such infections within a year or two should be investigated by an urologist.
Recurring cystitis in girls (or boys) is often due to bubble baths.
Also important is to have the mother instruct the child carefully about wiping after stool. Make sure the child knows to wipe backwards, not forwards toward the urethra. Recurring cystitis in women is often preventable by two simple instructions: First, empty the bladder whenever the urge is felt, do not “hold it.” Second, empty the bladder before and after any activity which applies urethral pressure, such as physical exercise or sex.
Golden seal tea is also effective but should not be used in pregnant women or in those allergic to ragweed.
As in any acute condition, the patient should be cautioned not to over-stress the ailing part too quickly. It is easy to forget that a cystitis patient should refrain from sex, baths and hot-tubs for several days after the cystitis resolves.
It is advisable to seek consultation with an urologist after two or three episodes of cystitis. These recurrences can be a sign of structural anomalies in the bladder or ureters.
In patients with recurring cystitis, allopathic treatment often includes the ongoing use of antibiotics.
In simple cystitis it is better to wait until the picture is developed than to choose a remedy on only one or two symptoms. A convenient dosing method is to give the remedy as a 30c potency every two hours until symptoms subside. If the picture is very clear and the symptoms are strong, it may be better to use a higher potency as a single dose, repeated if the condition relapses.
Recurrent episodes or urinary tract infections often require constitutional treatment where all symptoms are considered, especially reasons for patient’s susceptibility and circumstances leading to recurrence of this problem.
Most common homeopathic remedies prescribed for cystitis include:
Please note that homeopathic prescriptions based on totality of symptoms and prescriptions that do not consider all circumstances are often not so effective. It is therefore highly advisable to contact a trained homeopath if you seek assistance with this complaint.
Also, this article is for your information only and is not supposed to replace a qualified medical advice. If you symptoms persist, do not hesitate to contact either registered homeopath or your local medical practitioner.
Roger Morrison, Desktop Companion to Physical Pathology