The Urinary TractThe kidneys, uterus, urinary bladder and the urethra constitute this tract. Each of the two kidneys in the body possesses over 20 million functional units called nephrons which filter the blood removing from it about 22 liters of fluid urine for final excretion. The urethra connect the kidneys to the bladder, which stores urine until excretion takes place through the urethra.
Urinary SymptomsInfection, inflammation and obstruction produce symptoms associated with urination.
- Frequency, urgency and urination at night are common symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
- Dysuria – painful urination and burning pain in the urethra on urination are associated with bladder and prostate gland problems.
- Enuresis (bed wetting) may be due to urinary tract infection or psychological reasons.
- Urinary incontinence – It may be due to structural defects in the kidneys, urinary tract or physical stress, the urgency associated with infection or dribbling of urine associated with over distended bladder.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)UTI may be classified as upper (when the kidneys are involved) or lower (when the bladder or urethra are involved). They require immediate medical intervention.
Urinary tract infections tend to recur frequently due to several factors such as poor hygiene of the genital tract, pregnancy, stone formation in the tract, diabetes and obstruction in the tract, controlling the urge for urination leading to stagnation of urine etc.
Infections where kidneys are involved, such as pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis lead to serious consequences like acute or chronic kidney failure where medical intervention becomes essential.
All other infections of the uterus, urethra and bladder could be treated, rather prevented by adopting certain measures which are mentioned below:
- Adequate intake of water i.e. roughly 8–10 glasses a day.
- A well–balanced diet comprising fruits and vegetable salads.
- Constipation should be treated promptly, otherwise the load in the rectum aggravates the problem.
- Hot epsom salt baths are beneficial.
- Hot and cold hip baths of 15 to 20 minutes duration are also beneficial.
- Hot fomentation to bladder area often helps free flow of urine.
- Kidney pack to increase fluid output should be employed 2–3 times a week.
- Wet girdle pack application 2–3 times a day helps reduce swelling of the prostate gland.
- Prostate massage also helps reduce swelling.
- Drinking barley water, dhania water, tender coconut water or butter milk helps in the free flow of urine.
- One should not drink fluids after 8 p.m.