Cystitis is an inflammation of the urinary bladder and is usually caused by bacteria. Preventing recurrent urinary cystitis involves careful attention to several medical instructions:
1. Increase fluid intake to approximately 3 liters a day, however avoid coffee, tea, sodas and alcohol.
2. Take showers instead of tub baths.
3. Always wipe the perineum area front to back after any voiding or bowel movement.
4. Avoid any substances that may cause irritation such as bubble bath, vaginal sprays, scented toilet paper, and perineal lotions
5. Avoid wearing nylon underwear and consistently wear cotton underwear to allow for proper air circulation
6. Void approximately every 3 hours when awake
7. Empty bladder as completely as possible with each voiding
8. Void after sexual intercourse and clean the perineum area
9. Notify your doctor at the first sign of any burning urination, difficulty urination, blood in urine or excessive urination
10. Take all cystitis medication exactly as prescribed.
The signs of cystitis include the feeling to void although the bladder is not full, low back pain, blood in urine especially at the termination of the urine stream and excessive urination. There are many treatments that can be used for cystitis, however the most common includes the use of antimicrobial therapy. Medications that are usually prescribed are Septra, Bactrim and Macrodantin. It is also beneficial to drink cranberry juice or take OTC cranberry pills to keep the bacteria from adhering to the wall of the urinary bladder. Drinking cranberry juice also promotes frequent urination and enhances the drug therapy. Chronic interstitial cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder mucosa. IC is more common in women than men. The symptoms of IC can mimic many other disorders such as bladder cancer and many sexually transmitted diseases.
To prevent IC a person should refrain from eating or drinking spicy or acidic foods, because they can contribute to urinary pain and discomfort. Treatments for IC include bladder protectant medications and antidepressant medications to relieve the pain, as well as any depression caused by the disorder.
Surgical laser intervention severs the pain fibers of the bladder, however this procedure is only used for severe cases of IC. A biopsy of the bladder can be used to confirm the diagnosis of IC. A biopsy of the bladder mucosa can reveal an inflammatory process with scarring and hemorrhagic areas consistent with IC.
I have been in nursing for over 28 years and have myself had many cases of urinary tract infections or cystitis. Most patients including myself can easily develop cystitis, UTIs or bladder infections from inadequate fluid intake and not properly emptying their bladder. At the first signs of any bladder or urinary infection, a person should immediately drink more fluids and start drinking cranberry juice instead of sodas in order to properly flush out the kidneys and urinary tract as thoroughly as possible. If you are experiencing any bladder problems you should see your physician immediately, if not treated properly a bladder infection will continue to become severe and possibly result in other serious medical conditions.
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