A bladder infection is a bacterial infection within the bladder.
Some individuals call a bladder infection a urinary tract infection (UTI), and it refers to a bacterial infection anywhere in the urinary tract, such as the kidneys, bladder, ureters, or the urethra.
When the infection is just in the urethra and the bladder, this is called a lower urinary tract infection. If it travels up to affect one or both kidneys as well, then it is called an upper urinary tract infection.
Around 40 to 50 percent of women have at least one urinary tract infection during their lifetime. 20-30 percent have a recurrent UTI (more than 3 infections a year).
Important note – UTIs in men are not as frequent as in women but can be serious when they occur.
UTI Symptoms and Causes
Infection in the bladder (also known as cystitis) usually include:
- feeling generally unwell, tired, and achy;
- a strong, frequent urge to urinate and a burning and painful sensation when urinating;
- feeling as though you’re unable to empty your bladder fully;
- bloody, cloudy, or strong-smelling urine.
According to NIDDK (the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), most bladder infections are caused by Escherichia coli (a Gram-negative, anaerobic, rod-shaped, coliform bacterium that typically lives in the intestines of humans and animals).
In addition, Mycoplasma and Chlamydia are other bacteria that can cause infections, which are usually transmitted only through sexual intercourse.
Factors That Can Increase The Risk Of Bladder Infections:
- eating meat, eggs, or dairy products. An extremely high percentage of all the flesh from the turkeys, chickens, cows, fish, and pigs butchered every year in the United States is contaminated with Escherichia coli, listeria, campylobacter, or other dangerous bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts and feces of animals;
- insufficient fluid intake;
- enlarged prostate;
- smoking tobacco;
- poor personal hygiene;
- a poor immune system which increases the risk of having any type of infection, including UTI;
- heavy use of antibiotics (which can damage the natural flora of the bowel and urinary tract);
- sexual intercourse can introduce larger numbers of bacteria into the bladder. Urinating after intercourse seems to decrease the likelihood of developing a UTI;
- another frequent source of infection is tubes, or catheters, placed in the bladder and urethra. Catheters interfere with the body’s capacity to clear microbes from the urinary tract.
Pregnant women seem no more prone to urinary tract infection than other women. Also, when one does occur in a pregnant woman, it is more common to travel to the kidneys.
Urinary incontinence occurs when you are not able to keep urine from leaking out of the urethra.
The loss of urine can be as little as a few drops, or in some patients, it can be quite substantial.
The condition often impairs physical, social, and psychological well-being.
Over 32 million adult people in the United States suffer from urinary incontinence.
While it may occur to anyone, the condition is more common in older people, particularly women.
There are several types of incontinence:
- urge incontinence – individuals with urge incontinence cannot hold their urine long enough to get to the toilet in time; symptoms may be made worse by caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, or by the intake of alcoholic beverages;
- stress incontinence – it occurs when an increase in abdominal pressure overcomes the closing pressure of the bladder
- overflow incontinence – it occurs when the muscles of the bladder are not able to squeeze correctly to empty the bladder;
- functional incontinence – it is most prevalent among people with stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Urinary incontinence occurs when the muscles in the bladder which control the flow of urine relax or contract involuntarily.
The most frequent causes of incontinence include:
- spinal cord injuries;
- overactive bladder muscles;
- pelvic prolapse in women;
- some drugs can disrupt the normal process of storing and passing urine, including – sedatives, hormone replacement therapy, some antidepressants, diuretics, or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors;
- muscle or nerve damage after radiation treatment to the pelvis;
- enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (for men);
- nervous system conditions, like – stroke or multiple sclerosis;
- side effects from a prior surgery;
- a limitation which makes it difficult to get to the toilet quickly;
- weakened pelvic floor muscles;
- chronic bladder inflammation.
Note – losing weight can improve bladder function significantly and lessen urinary incontinence symptoms.
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Spiritual Causes of Urinary Tract Infections
Your bladder represents anxiety and nervousness. Problems with bladder control are either the result of or the cause of anxiety.
Metaphysically speaking, bodily fluids such as bile, urine, blood, or tears relate to emotions. Therefore, the fear of expressing strong emotions may inflame the bladder and urinary tract, leading to the inability to control urination or infections to the urinary tract.
Moreover, feeling helpless to change any of it or extreme displeasure with the way things are can lead to UTI.
Spiritual Meaning of Urinary Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is related to control. It is possible that life wants to teach you to be more flexible and let people and situations go.
Loss of control forces you to become aware of these aspects of your life.
You have to let rigid thoughts go as they are just a form of protection against your own sensitivity when you can not control the situation.
Since incontinence is caused by a muscle that cannot work effectively anymore, the sufferer may have a mental lack or weakness. You may experience a huge deception that eventually leads to despair.
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Look for ways to relax and balance your emotional body.
Drinking lots of fluids and frequent urinating are always recommended for individuals who have UTIs as this helps to flush out the bacteria.
Avoid alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks containing caffeine or citrus juices (with artificial sweeteners) until your infection has cleared.
Applying a heating pad over your bladder can bring some serious remedy. The gentle warmth will relax your muscles, melting away the pain caused by inflammation or spasms.
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”I release the pattern in my consciousness that created this condition.”
”I easily and comfortably release the old and welcome the new in my life.”
”I am willing to change.”
”I am dissolving old, painful patterns and letting a new pattern emerge.”
”I see my current circumstances as an opportunity to grow.”
”I am safe.”
”I love and approve of myself.”
”I am perfectly healthy and I love myself.”
Images credit – Shutterstock
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