Bladder infection or urinary tract infection is invasion of bacteria and fungi in the urinary tract which includes the ureters, kidney, bladder or urethra collectively or individually. It is more common among women, especially between the age of 20 and 50 and toddlers. This is because female urinary system is quite short in length and the bacteria travel faster to the inner organs.
Medically termed as cystitis, it is divided into various types. Some of which are:
Bacterial Cystitis: When bacteria named E.Coli through bowels enters the urinary tract. They result in inflammation and infection. This type is common in infants and toddlers as they often pass stools in their nappies or diapers and the stool may enter into the urinary tract.
- Interstitial Cystitis: This one is difficult to diagnose and can be very painful.
- Hemorrhagic Cystitis: This mainly occurs in patients suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, AIDS and other such illnesses.
- Hormonal Cystitis: It occurs when normal hormonal balance of the body is disturbed like in pregnancy or menopause.
Those females using spermicidal creams or diaphragms may also catch such infections. The infection is easily passed during sexual intercourse and use of unhygienic toilet seats.
Occurrences of kidney stones or constipation are other causes which lead to bladder infections. Preventing the urge to urinate for long periods also lead to urinary tract infection. Catheter may also lead to such infections.
More severe infections may need antibiotics to help get treated. The minor ones can be treated at home following some home remedies and maintaining a hygienic and healthy lifestyle.
It can be genetic also. Some women and children are more prone to it than the others due to genetic factors. Some food allergies may also cause urinary tract infections.
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Pain in lower abdominal region
- Unidentified Fever and/or vomiting
- Blood in urine or unusual urine color
- Pressure in lower abdomen region
When the infection is acute, liquid food diet is followed. If fever is present, the patient has to fast on tender coconut water for 3-4 days. If there is no fever, the patient is given raw vegetable juices like carrot juice mixed with water, cucumber juice mixed with water. The juices should be given every 2 hours. Hot or cold compresses can be given on the abdomen to help relieve pain. Usually hot water fermentation is given on the stomach for initial 3-4 days.
After 3-4 days, ripe fruits can be given like apples, grapes, melon, peaches. No acidic fruits to be given. After another 2-3 days, patient can start taking grains and seeds.
Meat, poultry and milk products must be avoided for 3-4 months along with alcohol and cigarettes. Avoid processed food, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, soft drinks and extra salt for some time to help blood pressure return to normal.
Home remedies for minor bladder infections and precautions:
- Half teaspoon of baking soda taken in a glass of water helps raising the acidic nature of urine and thus bacteria fail to thrive.
- Having cranberry juice or cranberry concentrate tablets every 2-3 hours also helps.
- Drink plenty of water to flush out the bacteria naturally.
- Prepare bath with apple cider vinegar and soak your pelvic region in this water.
- Mix a teaspoon of fresh drumstick flower juice with half cup coconut water and have this concoction twice a day for faster relief.
- Having one cup of radish leaves juice for a month also helps.
- Boil 180 ml of water and add a teaspoon of lemon to it. Cool this mixture and drink it throughout the day. This home remedy helps soothe the burning and inflammation.
- Mix 100 ml of spinach juice with 100 ml of coconut water. It acts as natural diuretic.
- Cucumber juice mixed with two teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of lime taken thrice a day also helps.
- On the onset of the infection, take 5 drops of sandalwood oil and increase it up to 20 drops till infection subsides.
- Mix equal parts of sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, juniper oil and bergamot oil. Massage this mixture over the lower abdomen to relieve pain. Use it till pain subsides.