Cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, generally from detrimental bacteria travelling up the urethra to cause an infection. Burning pain on urination, a frequent need to urinate and pain above the pubic region are symptoms of cystitis. The urine may also be cloudy, bloody or foul-smelling. If left untreated, infection
can spread to the kidneys causing nausea, fever and low back pain.

Natural therapies can support the body’s inherent defence mechanisms. Probiotics, zinc, vitamin A and C boost the immune system. Plus, vitamin C is excreted via the kidneys to provide a localised protective effect within the urinary tract. Choose a probiotic that contains lactobacillus gasseri, it is specific for supporting urinary tract health.

With professional guidance, herbs such as buchu, cornsilk and urva ursi can be taken. These soothe the inflammation and contain anti-microbial properties. Unsweetened cranberry juice can prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder and urethra lining, reducing the risk of infection.

General measures include reducing sugars and processed foods, ensuring adequate water intake,  urination after intercourse and complete emptying of the bladder. If cystitis is suspected, seek advice from your health practitioner.

Written by Natalie Elliott
Published 31/04/2010

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