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Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the urinary tract with micro-organisms. The condition often shows no symptoms. UTI's are often defined as an infection anywhere from the kidneys to the urethra.

In females, the urethra is much shorter and closer to the anus than in males. This is the reason why, in general, women are more prone to urinary tract infections than men.

urinary tract infection symptoms

Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include dysuria (pain on passing urine), frequency (of passing urine) and hematuria (blood in the urine). Other urinary tract infection signs and symptoms include cloudy or smelly urine.

Patients with recurrent UTIs may need further investigation. This may include ultrasound scans of the kidneys and bladder or intravenous urography (X-rays of the urological system following intravenous injection of iodinated contrast material).

urinary tract infection symptoms from an alternative perspective

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, these symptoms are broken down even further. Urinary Tract Infections fall under the category of "Lin" or "Painful Urinary Syndrome." There are over 17 classifications of "Lin" based on the way the symptoms of bladder infection present. Just looking at the above western symptoms we can say that:

  • Painful Urination: Burning pain in the urethra during urination is due to "Heat" or "Damp-Heat." Pain before urination indicates stagnation of Qi, while pain after urination indicates deficiency of Qi.
  • Frequent Urination: If the urine is pail, frequent urination indicates either a deficiency of "Kidney Yang" or a sinking of "Spleen Qi." If the urine is dark and urination painful, then the diagnosis is "Damp Heat." Scanty urination with dark urine indicates a deficiency of "Kidney Yang."
  • Cloudy Urination: While not the only way to identify a bladder infection (above it was stated that many infections are asymptomatic), the color of ones urine does give great insight into the internal condition. Looking closer:
    • Pail Urine: indicates deficiency of "Kidney Yang."
    • Dark Urine: indicates deficiency of "Kidney Yin."
    • Cloudy Urine: indicates "Dampness" which is almost always indicates a bladder infection.
    • Rust Colored and Blood in the Urine: indicates either "Blood Heat" or "Qi Deficiency" while small clots of blood in the urine indicate "Blood Stasis"

Posted by Staff at May 17, 2005 3:52 AM

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