How To Get Rid Of Cystitis (Urinary Tract Infections)
Cystitis or the 'Honeymoon disease' as the doctor called it when I came home with cystitis from my honeymoon (many moons ago) just means an inflammation of the bladder. It's quite different from interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) which is not caused by an infection.
The symptoms of communal garden cystitis can leave you feeling so miserable:
That urgent need to urinate all the time
Pain or burning when you do pee
Strong smelling or cloudy urine
Pain in the lower pelvic area
Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, and in women is most commonly caused by a infection of the urinary tract. This is due to a woman's urethra being shorter than a man's and located nearer to the anus and therefore more susceptible to infection.
In men, the cause is often due to a prostate problem.
If the inflammation includes the kidneys it's called an upper UTI (urinary tract infection), if it only involves the bladder it's referred to as a lower UTI.
We tend to succumb to bugs when we're run down, so our best line of defence in preventing recurring bouts of cystitis is always to keep our immune system strong so that it can fight off infections before they get a grip.
But for those times when we do get struck down there is plenty we can do:
(The doses below are recommended by Solgar)
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Research shows that cranberry inhibits the invading bacteria from infecting the urinary tract because compounds in cranberry actually stop the bacteria from hooking onto the lining of the bladder and urethra so invasion thwarted. Sugar will NOT help clear up the infection so only choose unsweetened cranberry juice or cranberry supplements.
Cranberry extract 400-1000mgthree times a day
This is one of the most important nutrients in supporting our immune systems to fight infections. Vitamin C has the ability to increase white blood cell function, interferon production and antibody activity and bioflavonoids are important to protect and enhance the absorption of vitamin C but also have anti-inflammatory abilities of their own.
1000-3000mg Vitamin C with200-1000mg bioflavonoids per day (high intake of ascorbic acid is associated with loose stools. High doses may interfer with warfarin. High doses should be avoided by those with kidney disease, kidney stones or those with sickle cell anaemia).
There is an increasing scientific data that alkaliinising the urine which magnesium citrates can do, could help to reduce and relieve the symptoms of cystitis.
100-600mg magnesium per day (High doses of magnesium may cause loose stools)
Goldenseal is one of the most effective anti-bacterial herbs. The active compound, berberine, has been shown to kill many different types of harmful bacteria. Goldenseal also supports the immune system.
150-600mg Goldenseal per day (do not use during pregnancy or lactation. Use in cardiovascular conditions under medical supervision only. May increase the effect of alcohol. Do not use with certain medications such as anti-arrhythmia, anti-coagulant, beta-blockers and anti-hypertensive, check with GP first. Do not use long-term, only infection is cleared).
There is research that shows that Gotu Kola speeds the repair of the bladder lining and promotes the healing of UTIs. This is thought to be especially helpful in persistent or recurring cystitis.
500-4000mg Gotu Kola per day (Do not use during pregnancy or lactation. Use with cholesterol medications, oral hypoglycaemics or insulin under medical supervision only).
Reduce or avoid
Drink plenty of spring or filtered water - at least 2 litres a day
Onions and garlic
Unsweetened cranberry juice
Fruit especially berries
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