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Bladder problem, cystitis – how to deal with persistent symptoms?

In recent years, urinary tract ailments have been one of the most common health problems. They affect a growing number of people, both young and old, negatively affecting their quality of life. Although the subject of bladder problems is often treated as taboo, it cannot be trivialized. The health of the urinary tract is extremely important for the work of the entire body. Untreated urinary tract infections can lead to dangerous complications. Recurrent urinary tract problems also significantly worsen the comfort of life and become increasingly persistent, so it is worth eliminating them as soon as possible. Find out what the most common urinary tract ailments are, how they manifest themselves, why they occur and how to effectively combat them.

Bladder cold, incontinence, urethritis – what are the most common urinary tract ailments?

 The urologist doctor holds a graphic with the urinary bladder

The main function of the urinary tract is the production, storage and excretion of urine, with which unnecessary products of metabolism are removed from the body. Urine is produced in the kidneys, then goes through the ureters to the bladder, where it is stored for some time, after which it is expelled through the urethra during the act of urination.

Under normal conditions, the urinary tract above the bladder sphincter is sterile and free of microorganisms. Sometimes, however, harmful microorganisms penetrate deep into the urinary tract, after which they multiply, resulting in inflammation and a host of annoying symptoms.

The most common urinary tract ailments are:

  • Cystitis – the most common urinary tract-related affliction, usually causedcaused by E. coli bacteria and manifested mainly by constant urge to urinate, burning when urinating and frequent urination.
  • Urethritis – occurs as a result of an infection, and its main symptoms are itching at the urethral outlet, frequent urination and discharge or leakage from the urethra.
  • Kidney stones – mainly manifested by sudden, sharp, severe pain in the back, its causes are mainly drinking too little fluids, too much oxalates and purines in the diet and a high-protein diet.
  • Urinaryincontinence – can be caused by weakened pelvic floor muscles, urinary tract infections, past births, trauma, mental disorders and other factors.
  • Nephritis – a serious health problem, usually caused by infection and manifested by fever, lumbar pain, chills, nausea, vomiting.

By far the most common of the problems mentioned is cystitis. Since urine is stored in the bladder (and sometimes it even lodges in the bladder), this organ is a place where microorganisms easily multiply and infections develop.

Therefore, in order to prevent bladder problems, one of the basic measures is not to allow urine to linger in the bladder for a long time. It is also recommended to consume a lot of fluids here or diuretics in order to systematically flush out pathogens and self-clean the urinary tract.

Causes of cystitis

Urinary tract infections can arise as a result of various factors, but mostly they occur as a result of microbial invasion. The most common is the Escherichia coli bacterium (fecal bacilli). It occurs naturally in the human large intestine. When the bacteria is transferred from the anal area to the urethra, an infection can develop.

As statistics show, inflammation of the urinary tract affects women more often than men. Why does this happen? It has to do with anatomical conditions. The urethra in women is shorter than in men, and the vagina and rectum are in close proximity to the urethral outlet, making it easier for microorganisms to enter the urinary tract.

In men, the risk of cystitis increases after the age of 50-60, which is related to prostate growth. In women, the risk of bladder problems increases after menopause due to a decrease in estrogen levels and an altered composition of the bacterial flora of the vaginal mucosa.

What are the most common causes of bladder problems and the main risk factors:

  • E.coli bacterial infection,
  • infection with bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,
  • infection with some varieties of viruses and fungi,
  • prostate (prostate gland) diseases in men,
  • multiple births,
  • menopause period,
  • abnormalities in the structure of the reproductive organs,
  • presence of a catheter,
  • use of vaginal agents,
  • other diseases (e.g. diabetes, urolithiasis),
  • use of certain drugs (e.g., antibiotics, steroid drugs, immunosuppressants),
  • lack of proper hygiene,
  • frequent constipation,
  • severe cold, frostbite,
  • obesity,
  • weakened immunity,
  • old age.

The most common symptoms of urinary tract infections, diagnosis of cystitis

 man suffering from bladder pain

Annoying urinary tract symptoms are a message to us indicating an existing bladder problem. It signals the need for urgent intervention. Let’s remember that underestimated cystitis can develop into a more serious health problem. Below is a summary of the most common symptoms that may indicate lower urinary tract infections:

  • pain during urination (in the urethral area) – pain, discomfort, itching or burning during urination are the most commonly observed symptoms of ongoing inflammation in the lower urinary tract,
  • frequent pressure on the bladder (known as urinary urgency) – a feeling of constant need to urinate even with a small or moderate amount of fluid intake,
  • frequent urination of small amounts of urine – sudden, strong pressure on the bladder and frequent visits to the toilet resulting in only a small amount of urine each time,
  • hematuria – visible blood in the urine can be a symptom of bladder problems, kidney stones or even more serious conditions such as cancer,
  • urinary incontinence, a problem with controlling the flow of urine out of the urethra, urinary leakage,
  • cloudy urine,
  • pungent urine odor,
  • deterioration of mood,
  • irritability,
  • lumbar pain (pain in the lower back, in the kidney area),
  • pain during sexual intercourse,
  • constant or frequent pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area.

Urinary tract infections – treatment, tests.

Urinary tract infections require prompt diagnosis and effective treatment, otherwise infections can recur and result in complications. The process of diagnosis usually begins with a thorough interview with the patient and analysis of characteristic symptoms, then urine tests are ordered, if necessary.

Diagnosis of cystitis usually proceeds in several steps:

  1. History and physical examination – the doctor interviews the patient about his condition and symptoms, then proceeds to assess the abdomen, palpation and palpation of the abdominal and renal regions, which usually allows a preliminary diagnosis to be made.
  2. Urinalysis (general examination and urine culture) – a urine sample is subjected to laboratory analysis. Information on the presence of bacteria, viruses, proteins, white and red blood cells or inflammatory substances makes it possible to determine the type of infection and its severity, and to select appropriate treatment methods.
  3. Imaging studies – in some cases, especially when infections are recurrent or severe symptoms are present, the doctor may recommend imaging studies, such as computed tomography (CT) scans, cystoscopy, pyelography, urethrography or ultrasound (US) to assess the condition of the urinary organs.

Treatment of cystitis is usually based on antibiotic therapy, as most infections are bacterial.

Medications given for bladder problems:

  1. Antibiotics – in the case of bacterial infections, antibiotics are the primary remedy resulting in the rapid extinction of the infection. The doctor selects specific antibiotics depending on the strain of bacteria present in the urine (based on the results of the urine culture).
  2. Antifungal or antiviral drugs – are used when fungi or viruses are responsible for the infection.
  3. Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic drugs – to relieve the pain and discomfort of cystitis and normalize the body temperature, analgesics such as paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetylsalicylic acid are used.
  4. Diastolic medications – in case of severe bladder spasms and difficulty urinating, antispasmodic medications are recommended to reduce muscle tension in the urinary tract, thus relieving the annoying symptoms.
  5. Diuretics (diuretics) – increase the production of urine and increase the frequency of urination, which promotes a more efficient and faster flushing out of harmful microorganisms responsible for urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections – complications.

In view of the risk of dangerous complications of urinary tract infections, prompt diagnosis and implementation of effective treatment is extremely important. Neglecting these problems can lead to serious and long-term consequences, so it is important to consult a doctor at the first symptoms.

What can be the complications of untreated urinary tract infections?

  • Spread to the kidneys – ignoring the symptoms of bladder infections can lead to their transmission to the kidneys, which in turn can cause dangerous pyelonephritis.
  • Recurrent infections – people suffering from recurrent urinary tract infections may experience chronic discomfort, as well as an increased risk of more serious conditions, such as kidney infections.
  • Kidney stones – a complication of chronic urinary tract infections can be kidney stones. The formation of stones is related to the transformation of mineral salts in the kidney tissues.
  • Spread to the prostate – for men, urinary tract infections can lead to prostatitis, which is a painful and potentially serious health problem.
  • Urinary incontinence – for some people, urinary tract infections can lead to weakened pelvic floor muscles, which in turn can result in urinary incontinence.
  • Risk of urosepsis – in extreme cases, especially when the infection is not properly controlled, there is a risk of developing urosepsis – a life-threatening condition that occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream.
  • Colitis – urinary tract infections can sometimes spread to the colon area, which can lead to colitis and associated conditions such as diarrhea and severe abdominal pain.
  • Increased risk of pyelonephrosis, kidney abscesses, perinephric abscesses and kidney failure.

Prevention of urinary tract inflammation. What to do to avoid bladder problems?

To minimize the likelihood of urinary tract infections, it’s a good idea to put these tips into practice:

  • drink plenty of fluids,
  • when you feel a push on your bladder, use the restroom right away, do not withhold urine,
  • wash your genitals at least once a day, use a special intimate hygiene liquid,
  • empty the bladder after sexual intercourse,
  • change tampons or sanitary pads often enough during menstruation,
  • rub yourself from front to back, not the other way around,
  • do not lead to hypothermia, dress appropriately warm during the winter season.

Home remedies for bladder problems

The most appreciated home remedy for bladder problems is the regular use of herbs with diuretic, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. These include:

  • common nettle,
  • sage,
  • dandelion,
  • goldenrod,
  • birch,
  • field horsetail,
  • lingonberry.

You can make infusions from the listed herbs to drink or use them for therapeutic soaks. It is also worth using ready-made herbal preparations that support urinary tract health (such as Cystenon) and reduce the problem of incontinence (such as UrinoFix).

Another proven home remedy for urinary tract problems is eating cranberries and drinking cranberry juices, and consuming parsley (both parsley root and parsley) and pumpkin seeds.

Cystitis in pregnancy

Cystitis in pregnant women is a phenomenon affecting about 3-4% of all pregnant ladies. It is associated with hormonal and anatomical changes taking place in the pregnant woman’s body. Improper treatment or lack of treatment can lead to dangerous complications, including miscarriage.

Therefore, if you experience symptoms of cystitis in a pregnant woman, you should immediately see your health care provider.



Category: Health

Article by: admin