How To Treat Cystitis

Everyday Illnesses Common Remedies

Treatments For Cystitis

Cystitis is a common type of urinary tract infection which is caused by a bacteria infection of the bladder. Cystitis causes a terrible urge to urinate, but only a little pee comes out at a time. It stings when you urinate and your tummy may be bloated. If you have blood in your urine and a fever it means the infection has spread to your kidneys and you should see a doctor. A urine test can confirm the type of bacteria present and antibiotics are prescribed. Women are more prone to cystitis when they are run down, and when the weather is warm and moist.

10 Ways To Treat Cystitis

1. Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Drink lots of water to decrease the concentration of bacteria in your urine, and to flush it out of the body. Ideally the water should be warm because this soothes your insides. Alternatively drink warm herbal teas. Nettle tea and goldenseal tea are good options. Goldenseal tea contains a substance called berberine that stops bacteria from sticking to the wall of the bladder. If you can't get these, any herbal tea will do. Aim for at least half a pint of fluids every 20 minutes for 3 or 4 hours.

2. Over The Counter Medicine
Take cystopurin, each box contains 6 sachets of powder with natural cranberry extract. You need to add the powder to a glass of water. Cystopurin is more effective at the onset of symptoms. Alternatively drink sugar-free cranberry juice or eat fresh or frozen cranberries. Cranberries are rich in hippuric acid which helps prevent bacteria clinging to the bladder wall.

3. Homemade Sodium Citrate
Most cystitis products sold in pharmacies contain sodium citrate which relieve symptoms by making your urine less acidic. You can make your own version by squeezing half a lemon into a glass, fill it a quarter full with water and add one third of a teaspoon of bi-carbonate of soda. The mixture will fizz up, stir it while it is still fizzing. Take this 3 times a day before each mealtime; it should help prevent a recurrence.

4. Hot Water Bottle
Apply a hot water bottle to your lower tummy or lower back, it will provide quick relief. Take it to the loo with you if you need to sit there for a while.

5. Painkillers
Paracetamol or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation. They may also help if you have a fever. Read more about how to lower body temperature.

6. A Very Strange Instant Remedy

I myself (author of this article) have been plagued by cystitis for years, so I am well aware how distressing it can be - particularly if you have an 'attack' in public or at work and you can't spend a few hours sitting on the loo. I developed this technique which helped stop attacks in their track. I remove a shoe and sit on the ball of my foot, placing pressure on the perineum region. For some strange reason, within a minute or two, the attacks nearly always subside. You may need to rock back and forth slightly to find the release pressure point. As far as I am aware, there is no medical reasoning behind this 'cure', all I know is that it works for me. I hope it does for you.

7. Douche
Douching is a method of washing the vagina with a fluid mixture. It is a popular home remedy used by women with cystitis and thrush. Douche with a few drops of tea tree oil added to in l liter (3/4 pint) of boiled/cooled water and a crushed garlic clove. Alternatively add some tea tree oil to your bath.

8. Avoid Intercourse
Avoid sexual intercourse for at least a week after the onset of symptoms because you can pass the bacteria to your partner. If you are prone to cystitis attacks, always urinate as soon as possible after sexual intercourse in case you picked up bacteria from your partner.

9. Foods To Eat
Cystitis thrives in an acid environment, so you need to eat alkaline foods that will neutralize your urine. These include green vegetables, salads, cabbage, kale and watercress. Also eat plenty of onions and garlic as they are anti-bacterial. Snack on fresh or canned pineapple because it has anti-inflammatory properties.

10. Foods To Avoid
Cut out all sugar drinks and foods for a week, this includes cakes, pastries and biscuits. Avoid cheeses, ketchup, soy sauce, mushrooms, yeasty breads and pickled foods. Avoid orange juice, alcohol and coffee as these can irritate the bladder.

Further Advice

Recurrent urinary tract infections: How to treat recurrent cystitis.
Natural treatments for urinary tract infections: Additional advice and tips.

Interstitial cystitis (IC) also produces inflammation of the bladder and pain on urination, however it is not considered a urinary tract infection.
Urinary system: Diagram of the urinary tract and how it works.

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• Other health issues? See: How to treat common illnesses.

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