What are the Causes of Chronic UTI’s
Factors that can lead to recurrent bladder infections, a type of UTI, include:
· Kidney or bladder stones
· An imbalance in healthy flora
· Food sensitivities
· Sensitivity to caffeine
· Bacteria entering the urethra during sexual intercourse
· Changes in estrogen levels during menopause
o Thinning of the urethral tissue
· Abnormal urinary tract shape or function
· Genetic predisposition
· Chronic dehydration
Our naturopathic doctors can prescribe antibiotics for acute cases of a bladder infection, however, for chronic infections they may chose to use natural medicine initially or in conjunction with the drugs.
“For acute cases I will write a prescription for an antibiotic and antispasmodic, but I will also prescribe a 72-hour natural course of treatment,” said Dr. Carmen Luterbach. “I encourage natural medicine first, but if symptoms worsen or become unbearable for the patient, then they have the chemical drugs available.”
Dr. Luterbach treats various ages of patients suffering from bladder infections, from children to seniors.
“With children I usually look at food allergies or sensitivities as a potential underlying cause as a sensitivity or allergy can cause irritation and inflammation of the urinary tract lining. For my menopausal patients I will look at estrogen levels as well as food as a contributing factor.”
She added that low levels of estrogen can cause dryness and a thinning of the bladder tissue, leading to an environment where bacteria can grow and thrive.
“Testing for hormone levels can determine if a low dose of bio identical hormone is required,” she said.
Chronic dehydration can also be an issue. She explained that normal daily water intake should always be considered.
“Lack of water can create a stagnant environment,” she noted, adding that the concern is for the infection to travel to the kidneys. “Sometimes patients who suffer from chronic bladder infections don’t’ recognize the symptoms anymore. Their response is dampened and they either ignore the symptoms or don’t take them seriously.”
One of her suggestions for helping ease the pain of a bladder infection is corn silk.
“Steep the corn silk in boiling water for five to ten minutes and drink throughout the day,” she suggested.
Most importantly, Dr. Luterbach said that finding the root cause of acute and chronic bladder infections is a priority, not only to ensure there are no future bouts, but also to guard against weakened immunity and the development of more serious conditions.