Treating chronic, recurring bladder infections naturally
Many women suffer from chronic, low grade or frequently recurring bladder infections, sometimes diagnosed as interstitial cystitis. This is a very distressing condition which can seriously interfere with a woman's quality of life and can put quite a strain on intimate relationships as intercourse often aggravates the condition.
Symptoms of chronic bladder infections
There may be all the usual symptoms of cystitis, including urgency, frequent urination, pain and burning during or after urination. Sometimes the first or only symptom is an unusual odour to the urine. The condition may flare up with intercourse, getting chilled, loss of sleep or stress. Urine tests and bacterial cultures may or may not come back positive for infections. The usual conventional treatment is low-dose, long-term atibiotic therapy.
What causes recurring bladder infections?
If a woman has two or more culture documented bladder infections in a six-month period she should be evaluated by a urologist to rule out some potentially serious health conditions. These may include:
Kidney or bladder stones
Abnormal urinary tract shape or function - this may also be a cause for chronic bladder and kidney infections in children
Altered estrogen levels during menopause which can cause the lining of the urethra to become thinner and more vulnerable to infections
The urologist may order repeated urine cultures, perform a cystoscopy during which the bladder can be examined with a lighted scope and/or order ultrasound and CT scans.
If no major abnormality is found and the infections persist in spiite of making lifestyle changes such as increasing fluid intake, good hygiene, urinating and washing before and after intercourse please see a qualified naturopath or homeopath.
Increased susceptibility as a result of sexually transmitted diseases
You mau be dealing with an increased susceptibility to this kind of infection as a result of either having had chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, of having been exposed to someone who once had it or of having had parents or grandparents who once had it.
Even though you may not test positive for these sexually transmitted diseases yourself it appears as if some property of the immune system or the genetic code can change as a result of having been directly or indirectly exposed to these kinds of infections.
Samuel Hahnemann and miasms
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the founder of homeopathy, was one of the first to notice that certain kinds of illnesses seemed to create a change in the affected person even after treatment appeared to clear the illness, which could subsequently be passed on and affect the health of children or grandchildren. He referred to this phenomenon as 'miasms'.
Epigenetics and homeopathy
Modern genetics, especially the exciting new field of epigenetics, seems to finally suppport this long-contested and controversial idea. Scientists used to to believe that genes were stable and not affected by environmental factors, but new research is showing that there exist heritable changes in gene expression which are caused by little methyl group tags which have been placed on the DNA as a result of enviromental factors.
In other words, it may very well be possible that an infection in your grandparents may have altered the way in which your immune system works.
Homeopathic remedies made from disease conditions
The proof of the pudding is in the eating of course. If a woman has developed recurring bladder infections ever since she had a case of chlamydia or gonorrhear, or if she has had this problem ever since being with a new partner, she may benefit from a homeopathic remedy made from one of those disease conditions.
Again, the same is true if her ancestors had those infections, however, it may be difficult to obtain this information of course. If a woman has been exposed to one of these infections she may have other health problems as well which at first sight may not seem related, such as various menstrual problems, sever PMS symptoms, joint problems, bone pains at night, problems with memory and concentration, chronic fatigue and others. It really does take a professional to sort this out.
Medorrhinum, tuberculinum, syphilinum
I know this may not sound palatable, but there are homeopathic remedies made from gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis and other diseases, not unlike vaccines. Unlike vaccines though, homeopathic preparations of diseases do not contain any of the original micro-oraganisms and no chemicals like formaldehyde or aluminum.
Although this may sounds strange at first, these homeopathic remedies, especially medorrhimun which is made from gonorrhea, could bring relief to thousands of women suffering with chronic cystitis.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND