As an important part of the urinary tract system, your bladder is responsible for getting rid of liquid waste and toxins from the body. But like most other parts of the body, the bladder is not immune to disease and malfunctioning. It can become infected, develop a disorder of over-activity, and even cancer.
Here we discuss what bladder infections are and how you prevent them and ease their painful symptoms naturally.
Causes of Bladder Infections
A bladder infection forms when bacteria enters into the bladder and begins to multiply. Strains of E. coli bacteria live in the gut but can make their way into the bladder after sexual intercourse.
Some bladder infections are not serious and can be easily remedied. However, others can actually spread to the kidneys and pose serious long-term health complications.
Bladder infections are most common in women, but men can develop them too. Women who are pregnant are more likely to develop them because their hormones are in flux and kidney function increases during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Bladder Infections
Bladder infections can be very painful and marked by symptoms of a burning sensation while urinating, persistent urge to urinate, and cloudy or bloody urine. Serious cases can include symptoms of fever, chills or back pain, for which immediate medical attention should be sought because this is an indication that the infection has spread to the kidneys.
Bladder infections and urinary tract infections are also confused with each other, but a doctor can properly diagnose the condition by performing a urinalysis.
Natural Treatments for Bladder Infections
Many doctors are quick to prescribe oral antibiotics for bladder infections, but there are also natural treatments that you can try at home first to see if the symptoms subside.
First, drink lots of water to help flush the bacteria out of your system. Beverages rich in vitamin C and cranberry juice may help to increase the acidity of your urine and kill the bacteria in your bladder. It’s also a smart idea to eat more vitamin C rich foods like tomatoes and green leafy vegetables. Blueberries, garlic, and yogurt are also great foods to eat at the first signs of a bladder infection symptoms. At this time, you should also avoid soda, caffeine, alcohol, processed sugar, and high-carb grains because all of these things can feed the bacteria and make symptoms worse.
In addition to vitamin C and cranberry, other home remedies for bladder infections include D-mannose to prevent bacteria build-up, oil of oregano for its anti-bacteria and anti-fungal properties, and probiotics to support the good bacteria in the gut.
Bladder Infection Prevention Tips
Simple lifestyle changes can also help prevent bladder infections before they strike. Drink lots of water, not only when you have an infection, but every single day. Always urinate as soon as you feel the urge to go because holding your bladder can lead to infections.
Women should avoid feminine hygiene sprays and douches to reduce their risk of infection and consider wearing sanitary pads instead of tampons if particular prone to infections. Both men and women should change their underwear daily, take showers instead of baths, and urinate before and after sex to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
With proper treatment, the average bladder infection symptoms will go away within two days. But as soon as you begin to feel symptoms that you suspect might be a bladder infection, seek treatment right away so that the it doesn’t worsen and spread.