When germs invade the urinary bladder, an inflammation develops that creates an assortment of uncomfortable symptoms. A bladder infection causes irritation and pain all across the board, especially when it comes time to relieve yourself. Getting this form of urinary tract infection treated is vital to the healthy balance of your body because once the infection spreads to the kidneys, serious complications may arise. Irreversible damage may occur.
Table of Contents
- What is a Bladder Infection?
- Causes of Bladder Infection
- Risk Factors
- Home Remedies for Bladder Infection
- Bladder Infection Prevention
What is a Bladder Infection?
A bladder infection (often referred to as cystitis) first develops when bacteria enters the urinary tract through the urethra, which is the tube that allows urine to exit the body . The bacteria latch onto the bladder wall and start to increase in numbers. When it comes to cystitis, many types exist. A few include:
a) Bacterial Cystitis:
Serving as the most common form of the infection, bacterial cystitis is often transmitted from the bowel through the urethra leading into the bladder . Coliform bacteria are responsible for this kind of inflammation and infection.
b) Interstitial Cystitis:
This form of infection is quite painful and not that easy to pinpoint. It also does not involve any sort of foreign organisms that cause your discomfort.
c) Hemorrhagic Cystitis:
This bladder inflammation is known to cause hemorrhaging and most often occurs within patients undergoing treatment for cancer.
Bladder infections can affect an individual at any age. For example, if you notice new patterns of bedwetting in your toddler (also called enuresis), you should consult your doctor whether or not this is a result of urinary tract infection. Additional bladder infection signs and symptoms include:
a) Urination Problems:
Bladder infections often bring about the strong urge to frequently urinate, yet only produce a small amount of urine. When urinating, an individual may experience a burning sensation.
b) Blood in Urine:
Sometimes traces of blood appear in the urine. This symptom is referred to as hematuria.
c) Urine Appearance Changes:
Upon examining your urine, it may appear cloudy, as well as give off a strong odor.
d) Stomach Pressure:
In the lower abdomen, you may experience a feeling of pressure.
Some individuals exhibit a low-grade fever when suffering from a bladder infection.
Causes of Bladder Infection
Knowing the causes of bladder infection may help you avoid some of the triggers associated with this condition. While many of the listed causes are unavoidable, a few circumstances are preventable when establishing healthy habits and personal hygiene. Below you will find the main causes of cystitis:
a) Kidney or Urethra Infection:
If you are experiencing an infection in the urethra or kidneys, cystitis may follow. Infections in the vagina or prostate gland have also been known to trigger a bladder infection.
b) Kidney Stones:
Besides infected kidneys, if you suffer from stones in the kidneys, inflammation or irritation may arise in the bladder.
c) Urine Retention:
If you wait too long before relieving your bladder, you could cause irritation or inflammation.
Severe bouts of constipation have been known to result in a bladder infection.
In the case of hemorrhagic cystitis, an inflammation of the bladder develops when one is undergoing cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation.
When visiting the doctor to speak upon possible signs of bladder infection, you will be expected to surrender a urine sample. Your physician will then test the sample to conclude whether or not you show blood, pus, or bacteria within your urine. If bacteria are present, you will most likely be treated for cystitis.
It’s just a plain, simple fact – some people are more susceptible to developing a bladder infection than others. For example, women tend to suffer from this painful condition more than men. One of the main reasons includes the length of their urethra, which is shorter than male urethras. This means bacteria have a shorter distance to travel before reaching the bladder. Below you will find additional cystitis risk factors:
a) Sexual Intercourse:
Women who engage in frequent sex (especially with multiple partners) will also increase their chance of cystitis. This is because the bacteria that causes the infection is constantly being pushed further up the urethra. Diaphragm use also serves as breeding grounds for bladder infection bacteria.
Women undergoing hormonal changes due to pregnancy have an increased chance of developing a bladder infection.
c) Blocked Urine Flow:
If the flow of urine is blocked, a bladder infection may develop. Common causes of these circumstances are often enlarged prostate (leading to male bladder infection) or a stone in the bladder.
d) Immune System Changes:
Increased risk of bladder infection occurs when other conditions are present, such as cancer or diabetes.
e) Bladder Catheters:
The prolonged use of these tubes may lead to cystitis, which is a commonly seen in the elderly, as well as patients suffering from a chronic illness.
Home Remedies for Bladder Infection
When it comes to choosing one of the strongest homeopathic treatments of cystitis, you should know that the diuretic effect cucumber juice possesses is known to work wonders. Three times per day, mix one teaspoon of honey with a tablespoon of fresh lime juice to one cup of cucumber juice . Below you will find additional home remedies to consider for bladder infection:
Cranberry juice, extract or pill supplements are known to flush out the bacteria causing a bladder infection. Did you know that this home remedy might also be used to treat a dog or cat with a bladder infection?
b) Drumstick Flowers:
A great herbal remedy for bladder infection includes a teaspoon of the fresh juice from drumstick flowers coupled with ½ a glass of coconut water. This remedy should be taken twice per day.
c) Radish Leaves:
Consume one cup of radish leaf juice for two weeks to treat a bladder infection.
Mix equal parts of fresh spinach juice with coconut water (about 100 ml each) to treat cystitis. It is the nitrates and potassium within these ingredients that create an effective and safe diuretic.
e) Hot Water:
The pain associated with a bladder infection can be eased when immersing the pelvis in hot water.
f) Cold Compresses:
Applying cold compresses to the stomach are known to relieve the congestion within the pelvic area, as well as increase the healing of the skin. When using this home remedy, make sure you do not overly chill the skin.
Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to 180 ml of boiling water. Allow the mixture to cool and sip 60 ml of this concoction every two hours, starting at 8 am and ending at noon . This home remedy has been known to subside the burning sensation, as well as cease the bleeding associated with cystitis.
h) Sandalwood Oil:
When it comes to bladder infections, sandalwood oil has been known to act as a great home remedy. Take five drops of the oil during the onset of the infection, eventually working your way up to 10-30 drops.
Bladder Infection Prevention
In order to reduce the risk of developing a bladder infection, you might want to adhere to some of the preventive measures associated with this condition, such as:
a) Drink Plenty of Fluids:
Beverages, such as cranberry juice and especially water have been known to thwart the development of cystitis. Patients taking blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin) should refrain from consuming large amounts of cranberry, which could trigger bleeding .
b) Urinate When Needed:
If you need to urinate, don’t hold it in. Whenever you have the urge to relieve yourself, you should listen to your body in order to avoid bacteria from sitting too long in the bladder.
c) Healthy Hygiene Habits:
After a bowel movement, it is important to wipe from the front to the back to avoid spreading the bacteria that causing infections in the vagina and urethra.
d) Take Showers:
If you have a tendency to develop infections, you might want to forego the luxuriating bath and take a shower instead.
e) Gently Wash:
You should also get in the habit of gently washing about the vagina and anus. The use of strong soaps and harsh bathing habits have been known to increase the risk of developing an infection. Delicate skin is a portal for the spread of bacteria. For women, it is also suggested to avoid the use of perfumes or deodorant sprays in the vagina area, which may prove too harsh for the skin.