Cystitis is a medical condition that affects the bladder though the term is used to indiscriminately cover a range of irritations and infections that affect lower urinary system. In essence, cystitis is inflammation of the bladder lining and it occurs once the bladder and urethra are bacteria infected this causing inflammation and irritation. The symptoms are the same in all those affected though in children, there is a slight difference. It is a common condition and it affects both women and men regardless of age. While this is the case, it is extremely popular among women.
Causes of Cystitis
Intestinal bacteria infection is the major cause of cystitis. In most cases, it affects women who have short urethra. While this is the case, there are other factors which trigger cystitis and these are as highlighted below.
- Women who use tampon are exposed to the risk of bacteria finding its way through the urethra.
- Whenever urinary catheter gets changes, there is also a higher risk of the area getting damaged.
- Women who use diaphragm are also at a higher risk of contracting cystitis as compared to other women who are sexually active and don’t use the same.
- If a patient does not empty their bladder fully, this also creates an ideal environment for the bacteria to multiply. This especially true among expectant women and men with enlarged prostrates.
- Women who are sexually active are also exposed to higher bacteria risks which enter through the urethra.
- When the urinary system is blocked.
- Kidney or other bladder related problems.
- Vigorous or frequent sex also increases chances of bruising or physical damage and this in turn increases the possibility of cystitis breakout.
- The urethra lining in women who have reached menopause gets thinner as the estrogen levels drop. Because of this thinning, chances of getting an infection are also high.
- The urethra opening in women is closer to the anus compared to that of a man and consequently, this means there is a high chance of bacteria findings its way through the anus.
Symptoms of Cystitis
In order to ensure that cystitis is addressed effectively and in time, it is important to have a clear understanding of the symptoms you need to be on the lookout for. Ideally, some of these are as highlighted below.
- Urine might have blood traces.
- The urine is a cloudy and/or dark color.
- There is a strong smell associated with the urine.
- Just above the pubic bone, you will note some pain.
- There is pain in the lower back.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- While one feels the urge to urinate, only a small percentage is passed out.
- The urge to urinate becomes frequent.
- While urinating, there is a burning sensation.
- Women who are older feel weak, feverish and they might also display other symptoms as stated above.
- Cystitis in children will showcase all the symptoms mentioned above topped by general weakness and vomiting.
Cystitis Home Remedies
In order to get quick relief from cystitis, it is advisable to opt for home remedies. These are affordable and easy to access and when used in an effective and efficient manner, they have the ability of delivering results within the shortest timeline. However, it is also advisable to seek professional help from your doctor and especially when the cystitis cannot be controlled or curbed by home remedies. Some of the options at your disposal in this case include the following. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.
- Drink Lots of Fluids– You should drink loads of fluids in order to flush bacteria out of your system.
- Avoid Alcohol– Stay away from alcohol.
- Potassium Citrate and Sodium Citrate– Potassium citrate and sodium citrate in sachets or solutions are known to come in handy in easing symptoms.
- Cranberry Juice– Cranberry juice is known as one of the best remedies for treating urinary tract complications and you should drink the same to address cystitis. In this case, drinking the juice everyday goes a long way to provide relief. Quality juice triggers production of hippuric acid in urine and this adds the level of acidity in the urine thus creating conditions that are not idea for bacteria to grow. Drinking 1 quart of this juice everyday will address the condition. Make sure that the cranberry juice is unsweetened and bought from a healthy store that has a solid reputation. Alternatively, you can use cranberry capsules with plenty of water.
- Avoid Sex– As long as you are infected, it is advisable to abstain from sex.
- Blueberries– You should also eat blueberries in plenty because they have the same effects as cranberry juice and as such, ease the pain and discomfort that is associated with cystitis.
- Goldenseal Extract– If you have bleeding cystitis, it is advisable to take Goldenseal extract. This should be used for three days and discontinued. It is an ideal choice because it has some antiseptic properties and what is more, it is also an effective antibacterial agent.
- Bearberry– You should take Uva ursi also known as bearberry. This falls in the cranberry family and when used in small amounts and added to herbal tea, serves as diuretic as well as antiseptic making it possible to fight the bacteria that causes cystitis.
- Spinach- Vegetables have always been amazing as herbal remedies and spinach will never disappoint cystitis patients. If you have an infection, take 100 ml of spinach juice mixed with an equal amount of coconut water twice every day. If you do this without fail, it won't even take a week to treat cystitis.
- Radish leaves- In case you can't handle spinach juice, radish leaves will be a worthy substitute. Take a cup of radish leaves' juice every morning for just about 15 days and you will overcome the cystitis. These leaves aren't the easiest to come across unless you visit herbal drug store.
- Lady's finger- Lady's finger has been used for decades as a home treatment for cystitis. To take advantage of its healing properties, prepare a concoction using 100 mg of lady's finger mixed with 200 ml of water. Boil the mixture and take it twice every day as herbal cystitis remedy.
- Cucumber- Cucumber, a regular vegetable in man homes, is one of the best home remedies for cystitis. Take one cup of cucumber juice mixed with a tablespoon of lime juice and a teaspoon of honey thrice every day. After a fortnight, your cystitis infection should have disappeared.
- Lemon- Lemon has also proven to be an effective herbal remedy for cystitis. Mix a teaspoon of lemon juice with about 200 ml of boiling water and drink 50 ml every two hours between morning and noon. In just under a fortnight the symptoms of cystitis will be a thing of the past.
- Cranberry- The other trusted home remedy for cystitis happens to be cranberry. You could choose to take the unsweetened version of cranberry juice or dried cranberries that have been soaked in water. Either way you will only need about 10 days to cure the condition.
If it is the first time to have cystitis, it is advisable to consult with your doctor once the initial symptoms are noted. If you use the remedies stated above and there is no improvement within 24 hours or if the blood in the urine increases and the symptoms are accompanied by lower backache, fever and loin pain, it is advisable to consult with your doctor as well.
Diet for Cystitis
The best natural treatment for cystitis includes juices and foods. By taking a dietary approach, it is possible to address the condition and at the same time, prevent any recurrences. You should eat foods that increase the level of acidity in the urine in order to decrease chances of bacterial growth. You should eat foods that have high anti-oxidants. You should alkalize your blood with lemon juice, Miso soup, barley grass and vegetable juices. This means that 80% of the diet should be alkaline. A large number of vegetables and fruits become alkaline after consumption and as such, you should increase intake of the same by eating nuts and grains.
Acid wash diet that consists of foods rich in proteins such as fish eggs, meats, plums, prunes and cranberries also increase alkaline level and limit the growth of bacteria. The following are some of the foods you need to eat.
- Fresh coconut
- Alfafa sprouts which can be taken in the form of juice, capsule form or in salads
- Unsalted butter
- Goat’s milk.
- Arrowroot flour
- String soy beans
- Vegetables apart from beets and peepers.
- Flaxseed which is an old yet effective natural treatment for cystitis. Steep thirty grams of flaxseed in two cups of boiled water and drink one cup everyday.
- Vegetable juices
- Apple cider vinegar
- Spinach is also a good diet choice for treating cystitis and it should be mixed with coconut water. Drink this through the day and you will get relief from cystitis.
- Drink raw vegetable juice such as carrot, cucumber, spinach and celery. This should be part of your diet on a daily basis in order to get quick relief.
Note that there are some foods that soothe cystitis symptoms and also heal while others aggravate the condition. For this reason, it is important to have a clear understanding of what falls where in order to increase the possibility of recovering from cystitis infection. Some of the foods you need to avoid include rye, sweetened yoghurt, table salt, alcoholic drinks, artificial sweeteners, spicy foods and drinks.
Prevention of Cystitis
Cases of cystitis are preventable if the right measures are put into place in advance. In this case, the following are some of the measures you need to take.
- After sex, it is important to practice hygiene and especially among women. They should use neutral soaps rather than perfumed ones around the genitals.
- When urinating, make sure that the bladder is emptied completely.
- Whenever you feel like urinating, it is advisable to do it immediately rather than postponing it.
- Avoid tight pants/trousers and underwear.
- Cotton underwear is a preferred choice.
- When wiping, starting from the front going backwards in order to avoid bacteria infection.
- During sex, it is important to ensure you are well lubricated and if it does not come naturally use lubricants.
- After having sex, make sure that you empty your bladder.
- Those who wear catheter should ask their doctor to ensure that no damage is done when changing it.
- Make sure that you adhere to a proper diet plan in order to keep the cystitis under control and treat it effectively.
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