Urinary Tract Infections

April 1, 2013

By Dr Karen Coates

 

Cystitis or more commonly, bladder infections, can be a recurrent problem for women of all ages. Symptoms can include burning or pelvic pain on urination, bowel irritation and diarrhea in some women.

 

There are a lot of well-researched therapies for both the prevention and treatment of Cystitis. Some preventative lifestyle factors include:

 

  • Avoiding harsh soaps and chemicals in the genital area

  • Buying non perfumed toilet paper with no dyes or coloured prints

  • Urinating before and after sexual activity

  • Wiping front to back after using the toilet

  • Ensuring water intake is adequate (2-3 litres per day)

  • Avoiding tight-fitting pants

  • Minimizing alcohol and caffeine intake

 

Some natural therapies that have been shown to be of benefit include:

 

  • Combinations of Chinese herbs available from our natural therapy practitioners

  • Cranberry juice or concentrated cranberry tablets taken as soon as symptoms occur

  • D-mannose; a naturally derived supplement which prevents bacteria from embedding in the bladder wall

  • Alkalizing agents; Sodium Bicarbonate, found in most kitchen pantries can be used at the first sign of a problem to alkalize the urine and flush any bacteria away. 1/2 a teaspoon in water every 3 to 4 hours. Chemist products such as Ural do the same job.

 

Sexually active women can experience ‘ honeymoon cystitis’ after a period of increased sexual activity. Post-menopausal women can be susceptible because the bladder opening (urethra) loses hormonal support and hydration. The use of coconut oil applied after showering can help or speak to your doctor about safe hormonal creams.

 

Sometimes genital skin inflammation can be mistaken for a bladder infection. Thrush and genital herpes may mimic cystitis. If in doubt, have a check-up by your doctor. It is recommended that you have a formal check-up for any persistent symptoms which don’t settle quickly. Other warning signs may be a fever or loin pain, indicating a more serious kidney infection.

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