Cystitis, commonly known as a bladder infection, is a condition where the bladder gets inflamed due to the presence of bacteria. This condition is more common in women than in men and can cause discomfort and pain. It is important to treat cystitis promptly to prevent complications.
Cystitis is one of the group of infections that occur along the urinary tract called urinary tract infections.
Causes of Bladder Infection
The most common cause of cystitis is bacterial infection. The bacteria that cause bladder infections usually come from the colon and can enter the bladder through the urethra (E.Coli is the most common bacteria found in culture results). Sexual activity, certain types of birth control, and menopause can increase the risk of developing a bladder infection. Other risk factors include:
- Using a catheter
- Weak immune system: Cancer, Obesity
- Having a urinary tract structural abnormality
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Poor hygiene
- Being bedridden: for example in Stroke the patient keeps urine in the bladder for extended period of time.
- Prostate disorders in men
Symptoms and Signs of Cystitis
The most common symptoms of cystitis include:
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Frequent and painful urination
- Feeling the need to urinate urgently
- Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
- Blood in the urine
In severe cases, cystitis can lead to fever, chills, and nausea.
How Bladder Infection is Treated
Cystitis can be treated with antibiotics. The type of antibiotic prescribed will depend on the type of bacteria causing the infection. It is important to take the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms improve. Failure to complete the antibiotic course may lead to a recurrence of the infection or the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Pain relievers may also be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort during urination. Drinking plenty of water can help flush bacteria out of the bladder. Avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods may also be helpful.
There are several steps you can take to prevent bladder infections, including:
- Drinking plenty of water to flush bacteria out of the bladder
- Wiping from front to back after using the toilet to prevent the spread of bacteria
- Urinating after sexual activity to help flush bacteria out of the urinary tract
- Avoiding the use of irritating feminine products
- Avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
Treating underlying medical conditions such as diabetes that may reduce the risk of developing a bladder infection.
Cystitis is a common condition that can cause discomfort and pain. It is important to seek prompt treatment to prevent complications. Taking steps to prevent bladder infections can help reduce the risk of developing this condition. If you experience symptoms of cystitis, it is important to see a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
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