How To Manage Cystitis At Home
Now you know the difference between cystitis and a UTI, you might be wondering how you can manage it. Cranberries and cranberry juiceare often touted as a natural remedy for UTIs and cystitis in particular, but there is very little research to back this up7. Furthermore, many people recommend cystitis sachets, usually containing sodium citrate, to help relieve symptoms. While they may relieve some discomfort, there is very little evidence of their efficacy. Also, they dont treat the problem itself8, so it might be worth steering clear of them. Instead, to manage cystitis and provide relief from the symptoms, wed recommend:
- natural remedies, such as increasing your Vitamin C intake through eating fruit and vegetables or taking a supplement9
- taking painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to treat any pain
- drinking plenty of fluids
- use a hot water bottle to relieve pain
- wipe from front to back when you go to the loo
- use non-perfumed soap on your genitals11
If youre experiencing leaks due to cystitis or another UTI, give yourself a confidence boost by using our range of comfortable, discreet and dermatologist-approved continence products. For more advice on UTIs, check out our articles on swimming and UTIs and managing recurrent UTIs in children.
How Is Acute Cystitis Treated
Treatment involves a course of antibiotics for three to seven days if the cystitis is caused by a bacterial infection and it isnt a recurrent UTI, which may require a longer course.
Your symptoms will likely start to go away in a day or two, but you should continue taking the antibiotics for however long your doctor prescribed. Its important to make sure the infection is completely gone so that it doesnt come back.
Your doctor may also prescribe a urinary tract pain reliever such as phenazopyridine for the first couple of days to help reduce your discomfort while the antibiotics take effect.
Treatment for noninfectious types of acute cystitis depends on the exact cause. For example, if youre allergic or intolerant to certain chemicals or products, the best treatment is to avoid these products altogether.
Pain medications are available to treat cystitis caused by chemotherapy or radiation.
If youre experiencing the symptoms of acute cystitis, you can help ease your discomfort at home while you wait for antibiotics or other treatments to work. Some tips for coping at home include the following:
- Drink lots of water.
- Apply a heating pad to the lower abdomen.
- Avoid coffee, citrus juices, spicy foods, and alcohol.
One recent study in prostate cancer patients with cystitis caused by radiation treatment found that cranberry supplements significantly reduced urinary pain and burning compared to men who didnt take the supplement.
Treatments For Cystitis From A Gp
If you see a GP and they diagnose you with cystitis, you’ll usually be prescribed a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
These should start to have an effect within a day or 2.
If you keep getting cystitis, a GP may give you an antibiotic prescription to take to a pharmacy whenever you develop symptoms, without needing to see a doctor first.
Your GP can also prescribe a low dose of antibiotics for you to take continuously over several months.
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Introduce A Home Remedy
For the sake of this blog we’re trying to stick to home remedies, so those that you can easily order online or get in health food stores.
So, next up, we have Uva-ursi & Echinacea Complex. As the name suggests, this is a complex combining Uva-ursi and Echinacea two key herbal ingredients that can help to relieve minor urinary complaints associated with cystitis or UTIs.
So, this is definitely one remedy to introduce at the first sign of infection. You would only really take this during an infection, whereas the cranberry, Molkosan and many of the tips, as mentioned above can be more protective long-term.
You can take Uva-ursi & Echinacea up to five times daily. However, if symptoms don’t improve after seven days, you should stop taking it, simply because it may not be working. There may be something else other than a UTI underlying, and this means it would be time to go back to your doctor just to investigate this further.
What Is The Prognosis For A Person With A Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections typically respond very well to treatment. A UTI can be uncomfortable before you start treatment, but once your healthcare provider identifies the type of bacteria and prescribes the right antibiotic medication, your symptoms should improve quickly. Its important to keep taking your medication for the entire amount of time your healthcare provider prescribed. If you have frequent UTIs or if your symptoms arent improving, your provider may test to see if its an antibiotic-resistant infection. These are more complicated infections to treat and may require intravenous antibiotics or alternative treatments.
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Cystitis In Men And Older People
Men tend to get cystitis later in life. Where trouble with urine flow is a symptom, this may indicate that the underlying cause is a problem with their prostate gland.
Cystitis is common in older people, particularly if they are unwell. Bladder catheters and some urinary-tract operations may also increase the risk of cystitis.
When Should I Call My Doctor About A Bladder Infection
If you experience the symptoms of a bladder infection or urinary tract infection, call your healthcare provider to discuss a treatment plan.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Bladder infections are common urinary tract infections. You might feel pain and burning when you pee, as well as the urge to pee more frequently than you normally do. If you have these inflammatory symptoms, call your healthcare provider. You should start to feel better after a few days of antibiotic treatment, but its important to finish the entire prescription so the infection doesnt return.
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Deterrence And Patient Education
Patients with cystitis should be made aware of the importance of adherence to their prescribed antibiotic regimen. Increasing oral fluid intake should also be encouraged. In sexually active patients, post-intercourse voiding may help to reduce recurrent infection. Patients should be advised to follow up if their symptoms worsen or do not improve after treatment with an antibiotic has started.
Treatment Of Acute Cystitis
Antibiotics can quickly relieve the symptoms of acute cystitis and get rid of the infection but they aren’t always needed in milder cases. Household remedies and herbal products are also available. These havent yet been scientifically proven to work, though.
Uncomplicated cystitis is very common. It is caused by a bacterial infection. The main symptom is burning pain when peeing . There is also usually an increased urge to urinate. These symptoms are very unpleasant, but they can be treated effectively. Uncomplicated cystitis normally goes away without any trouble.
Women have different ways of coping with cystitis. Some wait for a couple of days to see if the symptoms go away on their own, or they may follow common advice, such as drinking plenty of fluids. But many others decide to take because of the unpleasant symptoms.
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What Are Potential Complications Of A Bladder Infection
Complications of a bladder infection can occur without appropriate diagnosis or treatment. An untreated or poorly treated bladder infection can ascend the urinary system and lead to kidney infection and enter the bloodstream, leading to , which can be life-threatening. In children, particularly, kidney infections can cause permanent damage to the kidney. In pregnant women, complications of bladder infections include an increased risk of delivering low birth weight or premature infants. Urethral narrowing in men from recurrent urethral infections can occur, more commonly with sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.
Why Antibiotics Sometimes Dont Work
Most UTIs arent serious. But if left untreated, the infection can spread up to the kidneys and bloodstream and become life threatening. Kidney infections can lead to kidney damage and kidney scarring.
Symptoms of a UTI usually improve within 2 to 3 days after starting antibiotic therapy. Many doctors prescribe an antibiotic for at least 3 days.
While this type of medication is the standard treatment, researchers are noticing that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reducing the effectiveness of some antibiotics in treating UTIs.
Some UTIs dont clear up after antibiotic therapy. When an antibiotic medication doesnt stop the bacteria from causing an infection, the bacteria continue to multiply.
The overuse or misuse of antibiotics is often the reason for antibiotic resistance. This can happen when the same antibiotic is prescribed over and over again for recurrent UTIs. Because of this risk, experts have been looking for ways to treat UTIs without antibiotics.
Some research has shown that UTIs can be treated without traditional antibiotics by targeting E. colis surface component for adhesion, FimH.
Typically, the urinary tract flushes away bacteria when you urinate. But according to researchers, FimH can cause E. coli to firmly attach to the cells in the urinary tract. And because of this tight grip, its hard for the body to naturally flush the bacteria from the urinary tract.
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What Can Happen If A Uti Is Not Treated
If treated right away, a UTI is not likely to damage your urinary tract. But if your UTI is not treated, the infection can spread to the kidneys and other parts of your body. The most common symptoms of kidney infection are fever and pain in the back where the kidneys are located. Antibiotics can also treat kidney infections.
Sometimes the infection can get in the bloodstream. This is rare but life-threatening.
Uti Signs And Symptoms In Childrenare Different
UTIs are the second most common type of infection in children, behind ear infections. Unfortunately, early symptoms of UTI in young children are not always apparent. And sometimes there are no UTI symptoms at all, or your child is simply unable to articulate the UTI symptoms he or she is experiencing. When it comes to babies under 2 years old, parents need to tune in to these signs of a urinary tract infection:
- Fever A fever of 104°F or higher may be the sole symptom in babies. Its also the most common symptom of UTI during babys first two years.
- Jaundice Up to 18 percent of babies with prolonged or worsening jaundice also have UTIs. When jaundice occurs one full year after birth, its a strong indicator of UTI.
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Crying while urinating
Meanwhile, older children generally have similar symptoms to adults, including urgency, cloudy urine, and pain during urination. For children whove already been toilet trained, bed-wetting is also a sign of a UTI.
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Theres A Burning Sensation When You Urinate
Burning urination is never OK, advises Dr. Feuerstein. When you have a UTI and acidic urine passes through an inflamed urethra it can cause a burning sensation. However, burning urination doesnt always indicate a UTI. It could also be due to a sexually transmitted infection or another vaginal irritation, so have it checked out to fully determine the cause.
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How Can It Be Prevented
Cystitis is an infectious disease and it is very important a properly clean of the genital area, especially in women. The perineum should be cleaned from front to back following defecation to minimize the risk of bowel organisms colonizing the urethra.
To reduce the frequency of cystitis the following measures may be a help:
- Avoid cold weather or sitting in a cold seat for a long time. With cold and in winter the immune defense lowers the protection against germs that may infect the bladder.
- Do not hold urine retained in the bladder for a long time because it increases the risk of infection.
- Follow a scrupulous personal hygiene.
- Do not use synthetic underwear and avoid tight clothes.
- Increase fluid intake: This ensures frequent voiding of the bladder that reduces the risk of symptomatic infection.
Public toilets are not a risk for the transmission of cystitis, since it is necessary a close contact that is not common in these places.
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 23-02-2022
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Risk Factors For Bladder Infections
There are several factors that can increase your risk of getting a bladder infection.
Cystitis is more common in women than in men. This is because women have a much shorter urethra, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. Also, in women the opening of the urethra is close to the vagina and anus, where bacteria can be found.
For women, being pregnant, using a diaphragm for contraception, having a new sexual partner and wiping from back to front after using the toilet can further increase the risk of developing a bladder infection. Also, women who have been through menopause have an increased risk of getting cystitis.
Having diabetes or a problem with your immune system can also make you more prone to urinary tract infections .
Occasionally, children get cystitis. In some cases this is caused by an anatomical abnormality which forces urine back up the ureters, disrupting the flow of urine through the urinary system. Any child who has symptoms of cystitis should see a doctor.
How Can I Treat A Uti At Home
Home remedies such as drinking enough water, cranberry juice and employing certain hygiene practices can often help to treat UTIs from home and reduce the need for antibiotics. Sufficient nutrients such as vitamin C and introducing friendly bacteria in the form of probiotics can also be important steps for the proper management of this condition.
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How Is Interstitial Cystitis Treated
There is no cure for IC and it can be hard to treat. Treatments are aimed at easing symptoms, and may include:
Bladder enlargement. This method increasing bladder capacity. It also interferes with pain signals being sent by the nerve cells in the bladder.
Bladder wash. The bladder is filled with a solution that is held for varying times, from a few seconds to 15 minutes. Then it is drained out through a catheter.
Medicine. Medicine may be taken by mouth or put right into the bladder. There are many different drugs that may be used.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation . Mild, electric pulses enter the body for minutes to hours, 2 or more times a day. The pulses are sent through wires placed on the lower back, or through special devices put into the vagina in women or into the rectum in men. For some people, TENS eases bladder pain and urinary frequency and urgency.
Bladder training. You urinate at specific times and use relaxation techniques and distractions to help keep to the schedule. Over time, you try to lengthen the time between the scheduled voids.
Surgery. Surgery to remove all or part of the bladder may be done in severe cases, if other treatments do not work.
Management of IC may also include:
Talk with a healthcare provider with any questions of concerns you may have about this health problem.
What Could Be Mistaken For A Uti
There are several conditions whose symptoms mimic UTIs. Sexually transmitted infections cause symptoms also common in UTIs, such as painful urination and discharge.
Vaginitis, caused by bacteria or yeast, can result in a burning sensation when urinating and similar discomfort that may mimic a UTI.
Often mistaken for a UTI, interstitial cystitis , or painful bladder condition, is a chronic condition affecting the bladder that does not improve with antibiotic treatment. Symptoms of IC include increased urgency and more frequent urination as well as pain in the pelvic area.
Other conditions to rule out are overactive bladder, pregnancy, prostatitis, diabetes, cancer, and kidney stones.
What Are The Symptoms Of Acute Cystitis
The symptoms of acute cystitis can come on suddenly and can be very uncomfortable. The most common symptoms include:
- a frequent and strong urge to urinate even after you empty your bladder, which is called frequency and urgency
- a painful or burning sensation when urinating, which is called dysuria
The urinary system consists of the:
- urinary bladder
The kidneys filter waste from your blood and create urine. The urine then travels through tubes called ureters, one on the right and one on the left, to the bladder. The bladder stores the urine until youre ready to urinate. Urine then travels out of the body through a tube called the urethra.
The most frequent cause of acute cystitis is an infection of the bladder caused by the bacterium E. coli.
Bacteria that cause UTIs typically enter the urethra and then travel up to the bladder. Once in the bladder, the bacteria stick to the bladder wall and multiply. This leads to inflammation of the tissue lining the bladder. The infection can also spread to the ureters and kidneys.
Although infections are the most common causes of acute cystitis, several other factors can cause the bladder and lower urinary tract to become inflamed. These include:
- certain medications, particularly the chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide
- radiation treatment of the pelvic area
- the long-term use of a urinary catheter
- sensitivities to certain products, such as feminine hygiene sprays, spermicidal jellies, or lotions
What Is The Treatment For A Bladder Infection During Pregnancy
In pregnant women, bladder infection can be complicated. Sometimes the presence of bacteria without obvious signs of infection in pregnant patients could be harmful and may lead to severe infections that compromise the pregnancy. As previously stated, the presence of asymptomatic bacteria in a pregnant woman warrants treatment. The choice of antibiotics during pregnancy may be different for bladder infection during pregnancy due to potential harm to the fetus and thus, careful evaluation by a physician is very important to start the correct therapy promptly.
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