Cystitis & Bladder Infection
Bladder infection and bladder inflammation can have different causes but the symptoms are the same and require immediate intervention. Burning pain with or without blood, intense urgency and frequency of urination are the three most common symptoms. If infection is present then a low grade fever is possible and visible blood is also more likely to be noticed.
Women have a short urethra and because it lies near to the rectum there is the potential for unwelcome bacteria to transfer and flourish. Because of the pain plus the risk that an infection may spread to the kidneys, an acute attack is generally treated with antibiotics. Any subsequent episodes need to be examined because infection is not the likely cause. Inflammatory changes to the bladder are not served with antibiotics and, along with sexual cystitis, require different treatment protocols.
Men are not immune to bladder and urethral infections and they should have a prostate check when this occurs to exclude possible obstructive causes. Both sexes can suffer with debilitating chronic cystitis which can also have other obstructive causes such as kidney stones – this should be investigated.
If you are prone to bladder inflammation you need to pay particular attention to sleep, nutrition and warmth as well as following protocols after sex to stay cool and comfortable.
Foods & herbs for the home
- Changing the acidity levels of the urine will minimise burning pain. Bladder inflammation is aggravated by highly acid-forming food and drinks. Coffee and tea (especially with sugar), alcohol, and soda drinks are all going to stoke the fire of inflammation.
- Instead use alkalising drinks such as fresh lemon juice in spring water.
- Put 3 tsp of apple cider vinegar into unsweetened apple juice and drink four times daily.
- Organic Onion & Horseradish Concentrate is warming and highly alkalising. It can be used as a salad dressing or to make a hot drink.
- Drink as much alkalising fluid as possible. You want to cool things down and flush the system through so any attempt to avoid high fluid intake is counterproductive.
- Cranberries have compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall (where they reproduce) and are excellent fruit and drink choices. It can be best to avoid commercial cranberry drinks, however: the berries are sour so most commercial drinks are high in sugar, which is highly acid-forming. But you can purchase dried cranberry powder to mix with apple juice. Also soak frozen or fresh cranberries in water or apple juice overnight. Learn more about this effective fruit by downloading a free book by Jill Davies who has written extensively about Cranberry.
- Keep your diet alkaline and simple yet supportive with whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Add Organic Lemon & Artichoke Concentrate to salads and vegetables to boost alkalinity.
- Organic Pot Barley and lemon are two superb anti-inflammatory foods. A recipe to make a delicious lemon barley water is provided on the Pot Barley page as above.
- Organic Parsley & Cornsilk Herbal Tea contains herbs that are detoxifying and supportive for the urinary tract.
- Fresh parsley and fresh dandelion leaf can be beneficial and can be added to salads as well as soups and casseroles.
- Raw foods are alkalising. Add a small raw food salad before meals and you will also strengthen your overall immune system and digestion. Too much raw food, however (especially in cold weather) will not suit all constitutions. If you are a 'cold' type of person and underweight then be moderate with your intake of cold foods.
- To help fight a bacterial infection your cooking choices should include garlic, turmeric, and thyme. Learn more about the health-promoting qualities of Garlic by downloading this free book by Jill Davies.
- Always keep the kidneys warm in cold weather. Wear long vests or even a silk ‘cummerbund’ under clothing for extra warmth.
- Personal hygiene is important but it is better to avoid long hot baths that can be debilitating. Instead relax in a comfortably warm bath or use a bidet or shower.
- Add a few drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil to a bath for its overall soothing and antibacterial effect, and for lifting a low mood add some Clary Sage Essential Oil.
- Colon congestion from stagnant bowels and constipation is not conducive to maintaining a clean bladder environment. Learn more about how to treat chronic constipation if this is a problem for you.
- Wear a long skirt or baggy trousers and no underwear if possible. Alternatively wear loose-fitting cotton or silk underwear. Avoid tight constricting clothing made from man-made fibres.
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