Random Health Fact:

Natural Remedies: Bladder Infections

What is it?

Bladder infections are also known as cystitis, or urinary tract infections, and occurs when bacteria, most commonly caused E. coli from the anal area. The symptoms include the feeling of having to constantly empty their bladder although it never fully empties. Fever and low back pain indicate that the infection is getting worse and if left untreated, it can turn into a kidney infection, and/or cause kidney damage. Your urine may also be cloudy, have a strong pungent smell and have blood in it. If you pass blood or you develop a fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, seek immediate medical attention at an ER or an urgent care facility.

Is There a Cure?

Typically you will need a course of antibiotics to cure a bladder infection, although there are several natural things you can do to help. First, for women, always wipe your genital area after using the bathroom from the front to the back to avoid introducing E. coli into your urethra where it can move into the bladder and cause an infection. Also urinating just before and after having intercourse lowers the chances of any bacteria in the area from settling in your bladder, thereby causing an infection. Typically Ciprofloxacin, or Macrobid are prescribed for 5-10 days. It is important to finish ALL of the medication or else the chances of developing a chronic bladder infection goes up.

Natural Remedies

Garlic (Kyolic) is a natural antibiotic, and along with Acidophilus to help restore friendly bacteria will go a long way to helping you heal. Cranberry is excellent for bladder infections, but it important to take the right kind of cranberry. Most cranberry juices have way too much sugar to be useful, as the bacteria feed off of excess sugar in your urine. Instead, take cranberry capsules which contain more of the active ingredients and no sugar to feed the bacteria. the pure cranberry acidifies the urine, making it tough for the bacteria to survive, line the inside of the bladder and reproduce. Drink plenty of water, as it flushes out the bladder and the bacteria contained in it as well as keep you hydrated. Birch leaves are known to be a natural diuretic, and will help to alleviate some of the pain that is associated with bladder infections. Fresh blueberries are a highly potent antioxidant, their natural blue color contains aspk compound called Anthocyanidins, which is though to be just as good at preventing these infections as cranberries.

Foods to avoid

Avoid dairy and citrus fruits, as dairy contains lactose which is a natural sugar that can feed the bacteria, hence making the bacteria harder to eliminate. Citrus causes your urine to become alkaline (base), which helps to encourage bacterial growth, and last but not least, stay away from alcohol and caffeine which both irritate the bladder and are also both diuretics which can dehydrate you.

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