Bladder infections are a fairly common ailment that can make going to the bathroom difficult. Here is a look at bladder infections, what causes them, and some remedies that can help you avoid and treat such an affliction.
What is a Bladder Infection?
A bladder infection, a condition medically known as infectious cystitis, is when the bladder becomes inflamed and irritated. It is a type of urinary tract infection, distinct from others such as urethritis or prostatitis.
The most common symptom of a bladder infection is a burning sensation during urination. Other symptoms can include the need to pee more often than is normal, cloudy or bloody urine, smelly urine, and pelvic pain.
Bladder infections can be irritating and painful, but they usually are not serious and tend to go away within a few days. However, a bladder infection has the potential to travel to the kidneys if left untreated. If you suspect a bladder infection, talk to your doctor. Doctors often prescribe antibiotics to treat bladder infections. This type of infection is more common in women than in men.
Causes of Bladder Infections
A bladder infection is the direct result of foreign bacteria that have entered the bladder via the urethra. This infection can happen from contact with stool, sexual intercourse, or from the use of certain types of female products. Age is a factor, as bladder infections are more common in older people.
Pregnancy can increase the chances of bladder infection due to the stress put on the bladder. A reduction in estrogen production due to menopause can also increase the risk of bladder infection in women. In men, prostate infection, and enlarged prostate, and kidney stones can precipitate a bladder infection.
Preventative Remedies for Bladder Infections
Probiotics are the typical medically prescribed treatment for bladder infections. However, some patients might choose not to take antibiotics for certain reasons. Additionally, antibiotic resistance is fairly common. Considering these realities, many people turn to natural remedies to prevent and/or treat bladder infections. Consider the following supplements as you seek to prevent and treat a bladder infection in you or one of your family members.
Probiotics. Probiotic supplements that contain lactobacillus and other positive bacteria can help diminish the growth of foreign bacteria that enter the bladder. This can potentially reduce the bladder infection and prevent it from spreading.
Goldenseal is an herbal remedy that possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Goldenseal can help heal damage that could have occurred to the bladder lining due to infection, and also treat bleeding that might occur.
Garlic is renowned for its potential to help combat infections, including various types of urinary tract infections. Garlic contains a sulfur compound known as allicin, which is touted as the reason for its effectiveness. More research is needed to establish a firm relationship between garlic and reducing bladder infections.
Parsley is an herb that can help combat inflammation that occurs during a bladder infection. An oral supplement containing both parsley and garlic can potentially be of great value in treating a bladder infection.
Cranberry concentrate and other cranberry products are known for their potential to treat bladder infections. Cranberries contain various chemicals such as D-mannose and anthocyanins that combat foreign bacteria in the urinary tract.
Vitamin C can be beneficial for diminishing bladder infections merely due to its vital role in the immune system.
While bladder infections are usually mild and tend to resolve themselves, you might seek means of preventing and treating them. Whether or not you choose antibiotics to actually treat a bladder infection, natural remedies are definitely worth considering. Talk to your doctor before trying a supplement for the first time.