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A urinary tract infection (UTI) is when bacteria gets into your urine and travels up to your bladder. E. coli bacteria, which live in the bowel, cause most UTIs.

A UTI is an infection in any part of your urinary system – your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. Most infections involve the lower urinary tract – the bladder and the urethra.

UTIs cause more than 8.1 million visits to health care providers each year. About 60% of women and 12% of men will have at least one UTI during their lifetime.

When you have a UTI, the lining of the bladder and urethra become red and irritated just as your throat does when you have a cold. The irritation can cause pain in your lower abdomen pelvic area and even lower back, and will usually make you feel like urinating more often. Burning or pain when urinating is the most common symptom.

Part of urinary tract affectedSigns and symptoms
Kidneys (acute pyelonephritis)Upper back and side (flank) pain High fever Shaking and chills Nausea Vomiting
Bladder (cystitis)Pelvic pressure Lower abdomen discomfort Frequent, painful urination Blood in urine
Urethra (urethritis)Burning with urination Discharge

As stated above, E.coli is the number one cause of a UTI. The number one habit is to ensure you wipe from front to back, from around the back. Young children and older women are more at risk. Teach your little girls the importance of reaching behind and wiping front to back. As women age, they tend to find it uncomfortable to reach behind. The problem here is they stop reaching behind, which leads to not being physically able to reach behind. Thus at higher risk for getting a UTI.

Sex can also cause a UTI. They use to call UTI’s the honeymoon cystitis. You can prevent, or minimize the chances of getting a UTI by urinating after sex.

Lemongrass essential oil works as an antibacterial. Lemongrass essential oil is one of my favorites to add to our drinking water. It is very important, when ingesting an essential oil, to only use a seed to seal company. Add 2-3 drops in your water daily if you are prone to UTI’s.

My daughter has been prone to UTIs. Several years ago, our ND (naturopathic doctor) recommend Cystistatin . Cystistatin combines a botanical blend to help maintain a healthy urinary tract. I give it to her at the first signs of abdominal or bladder discomfort. This generally only works if you catch it in it’s early stages, otherwise your doctor will most likely put you on an antibiotic. And we all know how bad antibiotics are for us: They kill not only the bad bacteria, but the good, as well as they can cause bacteria to become increasingly resistant to treatment.