The Quickest Way to Get Rid of Cystitis Symptoms
Cystitis: A painful condition
Cystitis is a very underrated illness. When someone mentions that they suffer with this condition, they never seem to be taken seriously. But believe me, it can be absolutely excruciating. The first sign that something is wrong is a feeling of discomfort when you pass water. It can feel "heavy" and slightly uncomfortable. If you don't take action quickly enough, then the symptoms will suddenly get worse and you will find yourself in agony, sitting on a toilet trying to pee. The feeling that you get is that you want to desperately go to the toilet, but nothing seems to be coming out. And in a lot of cases you will notice that, when you wipe yourself, there will be blood on the tissue. Fever, stomach cramps, and terrific pain down below can quickly follow.
So What Is Cystitis?
Cystitis is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Most of these infections are caused by E.coli, though luckily not the deadly strain that you find in food. In the case of cystitis, bacteria cling to the bladder wall and reproduce. This can happen for a number of reasons, including not cleaning yourself properly when going to the toilet, and wiping yourself the wrong way (from back to front instead of front to back). A lot of women wipe incorrectly without realising that they are in fact taking bacteria from their back passage to the bladder opening. Another common cause is not drinking enough water or liquids. When we drink, it flushes the stale water out, and stops the bacteria from clinging to the bladder wall. But if it has already taken hold, then you will start to notice these symptoms.
The Symptoms of Cystitis:
- A stinging or burning sensation when you pass water
- The need to pass water more often
- Feeling you want to pass water urgently, but find that you only pass little or no water
- Cloudy or dark colored urine
- Blood in the urine
- Pain in your lower back or tummy
- Feeling generally unwell
- Cold shivers when you pass urine
Diagnosing your cystitis
Most cases of cystitis clear up on their own within 24 hours. If you still feel unwell after that then you should see your doctor, especially if any of the following are true:
- Your symptoms haven't improved.
- You have blood in your urine for a prolonged amount of time. A small amount is common, but if it carries on then check it out.
- You are pregnant.
- You are over 65.
- You have a high temperature, or are sick and/or vomiting.
- You have severe pain, especially in your back.
- You have have a history of kidney stones or other kidney problems.
- You have had recurring cystitis.
- You have diabetes.
Cystitis isn't just a woman's problem. If a man gets it, it could be caused by an enlarged prostate gland. And children should always see their doctor. A urine test will be taken to find out exactly what is going on.
A course of antibiotics will be given to clear this up if it doesn't go away on its own.
Taking a painkiller will get rid of the initial discomfort. Paracetamol is probably one of the fastest to work. Another good idea is to try to make your urine less acidic. Bicarbonate of soda dissolved in a glass of water is good, and potassium citrate is another. These can be obtained from your chemist. Make sure you drink a lot of water, but remember not to drink too much. Water can affect the chemical balance in your body, and if taken too much, can be dangerous.
Cranberry juice is thought to be one of the best self help things that you can use to treat cystitis. For a long time, people believed that it would get rid of urinary tract infections. Evidently the reasoning behind this idea was that the cranberry would stop the little 'hooks' bacteria use to attach to your bladder wall. But this is not the case. Cranberry can help stop cystitis, and if taken regularly before the trouble starts, it will prevent the bacteria from staying in your bladder. But if the bacteria is already there, cranberry can only help alleviate the symptoms, not actually remove the bacteria. The door is open on this subject; some doctors believe it can't remove it, and others say it does! At any rate, it seems as though the cranberry can at least remove the terrible waves of pain and discomfort caused by cystitis.
Now, before I discuss blackcurrant juice, I have to tell you a true story that got me writing about this subject. A few months ago, I had a bad case of cystitis. I had no idea what it was that I had, or how to get rid of it. I was in so much pain I didn't know what to do with myself. I did all the wrong things. For example, I didn't drink any water because I presumed the pain was caused by me wanting to pass urine, and couldn't understand why I couldn't go. Eventually I drank a lot of water, and after about five hours, the symptoms started to go away.
The most recent attack was today. I realised straight away what it was, and started to drink lots of water. Even though it helped a bit, I was still in a lot of pain. Then I remembered the cranberry juice. Unfortunately I didn't have any on hand, but did discover some blackcurrant herbal tea. I thought, "What the heck, I will give it a go," and much to my surprise and great delight, after one cup of blackcurrant tea, my bladder started working again properly, and the pain went away! I can't say it has gone completely just yet, but the relief is amazing. So I looked it up on the Internet, and this is what I found:
Blackcurrants are high in health promoting compounds called proanthocyanidins. These successfully interfere with the nasty bacteria that causes cystitis. Blackcurrants have many more of these compounds than cranberries, and even better, they have even more useful chemicals called catechins and anthocyanins, which fight infection; these are also what give them their deep color. Blackcurrants simultaneously clean your bladder and hydrate your whole body. They flush the toxins out much quicker, and this is what makes them so effective.
All I know is that after taking blackcurrant, my bladder started to work again properly, and the pain was a lot less. I won't lie; I was still uncomfortable for a few hours, but that initial crushing pain in my bladder that made me unable to stay still or sit down, was gone. So if you want a very effective, very quick solution to cystitis, then I recommend grabbing a glass of blackcurrant. It certainly helped me.
An added benefit of using blackcurrants is that they are also known to help prevent Alzheimer's disease, and combat heart disease!
There are also many over the counter cystitis satchets or tablets that can help to clear your bladder and bring back the balance. They help stop the acidic burning, and return the water back to normal. Hopefully this will help your bladder to remove the bacteria naturally. These medications especially help if you take them as soon as the symptoms start. It is well worth buying some of these, especially the satchets of powder that you mix with water as they start to work very quickly. You may never need them, but it's a good idea to keep them just in case.
Disclaimer: This article was written based on the personal experiences and research of the author and should not be used as a replacement for professional healthcare advice if you have serious medical concerns.
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© 2011 Nell Rose