Cystitis / Bladder Infection

What is Cystitis / Bladder Infection

Cystitis, urethritis (infection of the urethra) and acute pyelonephritis (a kidney infection) are more common in women. All of these conditions can also occur in men and may be a sign serious underlying condition. The diagnosis is usually made according to signs and symptoms and urinary findings. Microscopic examination of the infected urine shows high levels of white blood cells and bacteria. The presence of fever, chills and low back pain can indicate involvement of the kidneys which means that primary care provider (GP) should be contacted.

Between 80-90% of urinary tract infections are caused by Escherichia coli, a bacterium that is normally found in the intestines. In women, bacteria introduced by means of faecal contamination or from vaginal secretions can gain access to the bladder by traveling up through the urethra. Cystitis may occur more frequently in women than in men because of the close proximity of the anus, vagina and urethra and also because of the short length of the female urethra. This allows for relatively easy transmission of bacteria. In males, bacteria can reach the bladder either by ascending through the urethra or by migrating from an infected prostate gland.

Considerations

Although, the occasional acute bladder infection is easily addressed, dealing with chronic cystitis can be a challenge. Long-term success requires determining the underlying cause, such as excessive sugar consumption, nutritional deficiencies or chronic vaginitis or structural abnormalities.

Optimal immune function is important in both fighting a preventing all bacterial disorders. Food allergies often cause symptoms that mimic bladder infection. Food allergy testing can determine which foods are causing the allergic reaction.

Antibiotics disturb the normal internal flora and may actually promote recurrent infections by promoting the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The primary goal in the natural approach to treating infectious cystitis is enhancing normal host protective measures against UTI, this refers to enhancing the flow of urine by achieving and maintaining proper hydration, promoting a pH that inhibits the growth of infectious organism, preventing bacterial adherence to the endothelial cells of the bladder and enhancing the immune system.

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