What Causes Cystitis?
If you have ever experienced a stinging or burning sensation during urination, chances are it was due to cystitis. In the midst of this discomfort you no doubt have asked yourself, ‘What is this and what caused it?’ Cystitis is the medical term for inflammation of the bladder, though it can be associated with inflammation of other urinary tract structures such as the urethra. The typical cystitis symptom is a burning sensation upon urination, however you may also experience frequent or urgent urination, or notice cloudy, smelly urine. Cystitis is normally the result of a urinary tract infection (UTI), with the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) being the most common culprit, though other types of bacteria may be involved.
Cystitis may occur when the bladder is inflamed, there are certain risk factors that may increase the likelihood of a UTI developing, for example: having low immune function, after taking a course of antibiotics and during menopause. Anyone who has a history of UTIs or may identify with one of the risk factors should take steps to reduce the likelihood of developing cystitis and the accompanying uncomfortable symptoms.
Is Cystitis a Concern for Girls Only?
It is correct that women are at increased risk of developing a UTI, most likely because anatomically they have a shorter urinary tract compared to men, which gives bacteria easier access to the bladder. In fact, women between the ages of 20-50 are fifty times more likely than men to develop a UTI.1 However, men can certainly experience a UTI within their lifetime, though it’s more likely during their twilight years. Once men reach fifty, their UTI risk goes up due to an increased prevalence of prostate enlargement and catheterisation; whilst women over fifty may find their UTI incidence increases as a result of the hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Suffice to say, UTIs are a concern for both men and women, and as such, both sexes should seek to identify effective ways to deal with them.
Relieving the Symptoms of Cystitis with Traditional Chinese Herbs
Cystitis and UTIs are common ailments that are painful and frustrating to deal with. Ethical Nutrients Urinary Tract Support contains three traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbs: Cherokee rose, China root and Japanese climbing fern which have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for the painful, frequent and burning sensations associated with cystitis.
With such a positive history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, you can be confident that Urinary Tract Support is a suitable choice if you are experiencing the uncomfortable symptoms associated with cystitis. However, if pain or irritation persists for more than 48 hours, consult your doctor and note that the presence of blood in the urine warrants immediate medical attention.
Lifestyle Tips to Help Reduce the Risk of Cystitis
Ethical Nutrients Urinary Tract Support is a natural option for maintaining urinary tract health and to reduce the risk of UTIs, however a holistic approach should always incorporate dietary and lifestyle strategies, particularly if you are someone all too familiar with the discomfort of cystitis symptoms. Incorporate some of the following strategies as part of your UTI symptom reduction plan:
- Eliminate or reduce your intake of refined processed foods, sweetened fruit juices, and other sweetened drinks as high sugar intake may weaken your immune system function and make the problem worse. Instead, eat a colourful diet filled with lots of vitamin-rich fruit and vegetables to support a healthy immune system.
- Enjoy plenty of fresh blueberries and cranberries and drink diluted unsweetened cranberry juice, as both blueberries and cranberries contain substances called proanthocyanidins that may help to reduce the risk of UTIs, by decreasing the ability ofE.coli bacteria from sticking to the cells lining the urinary tract.
- Avoid drinks that could be dehydrating, such as alcohol or caffeine – these may make your urine more concentrated, making it easier for bacteria to multiply. Instead, drink 2-3 litres of fluids each day, such as water and herbal teas, to flush your urinary system.
- If you have a UTI, abstain from sexual activity until the infection is resolved.
- Learn stress management techniques, as stress can weaken the immune system making you more prone to infections.
A preventative, holistic approach to health is always best, and this is true of cystitis as well. If you suffer from UTIs, make sure you try these lifestyle tips in conjunction with Urinary Tract Support to help get your water works back on track.