Cystitis is inflammation or infection of the urinary bladder, and brings with it some very specific symptoms such as an urgent desire to urinate, frequent urination with a burning sensation, a feeling that the bladder is not fully empty after urinating, and very often there will be lower abdominal pain. The urine may be cloudy, and/or have a strong unpleasant odour.
More women suffer from Cystitis than men, but for a man Cystitis can be a symptom of something more serious. My advice for men suffering Cystitis is to speak to your GP about having your Prostate Health checked.
There are a group of women who suffer regular bouts of Cystitis and the condition becomes chronic. In these cases it is vital to identify the cause and eliminate that, rather than the symptoms of Cystitis itself.
The most common cause of Cystitis is the migration of Escherichia Coli, (E. Coli for short), a bacterium that is normally found in the intestines. Other causes can include Chlamydia infection, which is a sexually transmitted disease, poor personal hygiene (in women) where bacteria in faecal matter or vaginal secretions can gain access to the urethra and travel up into the bladder. After using the toilet always wipe from front to back to help prevent the latter.
Other contributing factors are: being pregnant, frequent sexual intercourse, homosexual activity, mechanical injury (usually of a sexual nature) or structural abnormalities. Candida overgrowth is also very often a causative factor in Cystitis.
In some cases, food sensitivities have been identified as producing chronic Cystitis, which should be investigated, if suspected, by Laboratory testing. The usual treatments for Cystitis will be effective if this is the case, and any foods identified need to be excluded 100% for recovery to ensue.
Eat a diet that supplies more alkaline foods than acidic foods, this is especially helpful if E. Coli is involved. When the diet is high in acid forming foods, the secretion of alkalising substances such as bicarbonate and ammonia occurs, that create a more alkaline urine which is the perfect environment for E. Coli to flourish.
Include garlic and onions for their antibiotic properties and as many raw organic vegetables as possible; drink fluids throughout the day to help dilute urine. Unsweetened cranberry products assist in preventing E. Coli from clinging to the wall of the bladder, which results in the bacteria being more easily flushed from the system.
By Lisa Borg, Nutritional Therapist at Pulse Light Clinic, to find out more about Lisa, please click here – Lisa Borg’s Biography