Bladder infections are a common condition that many people get. The resulting infection can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as the sudden urge to urinate and abdominal cramping. It may also lead to pain while urinating or blood in their urine if it isn't treated with medical care soon enough.
How Bladder Infections Occur
Bladder infections are one of the most common types, and they can develop when bacteria enter your urethra. Once there - in this vulnerable position- these microbes have easy access to move around within our bodies as we use it to void urine through their hole called the "urethral opening."
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) typically arise when bacteria from fecal matter come into contact with the urethral opening, the tube responsible for draining urine from the bladder. Bacteria, e.g., E. coli, can enter the urethra, proliferate, and cause inflammation and swelling of the urethral tissue. As urine passes over the irritated tissue, this produces a painful, burning sensation.
What to Do for a Bladder Infection
Due to the painful and burning sensations associated with urinary tract infections (UTI) - also referred to as bladder infections - relief is often a top priority. Fortunately, most UTIs can be addressed with the appropriate antibiotics, often resulting in symptom relief within a few days. However, while awaiting the prescription medication to take effect, various at-home treatments can be attempted.
Combining treatments from your doctor's office and home remedies will help ease your issues! If left untreated, though, bladder infections could become life-threatening. Because then this spread might affect other parts like kidneys or even heart function.
Bladder Infection Home Treatments
Antibiotics typically take 48 hours to begin, providing symptom relief for bladder infections. In the interim, natural remedies, such as flushing, over-the-counter medications, and comfort measures, can reduce symptoms. These strategies should help alleviate bladder infection symptoms quickly.
Here are some effective bladder infection remedies.
1. Drink more water.
You can avoid painful urination when you drink water. Drinking plenty of it can dilute your urine and flush out the bacteria in your bladder, making for a faster recovery time!
Urine is made of waste products from your body, and an infection in the bladder can be more painful. Also, flushing out bacteria with water helps get rid sooner rather than later; diluting urine makes passing much less irritating!
2. Heating pads
Putting low heat across your abdominal region or back may soothe the dull ache that sometimes occurs during bladder infections. It can be beneficial when used with medications, as it is a great way to ease symptoms without risking medication side effects such as stomach irritation/drowsiness, etc.
A heating pad or hot water bottle on the bladder can reduce discomfort. However, place a protective towel between your skin and the heat source to ensure safety and prevent skin damage. Applying mild heat to the lower abdomen for 20 minutes may be beneficial as an alternative.
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Antibiotics are the standard gold treatment for a bladder infection. In addition, if you have a urologic disease, your doctor may prescribe medication to get rid of any germs causing this illness and allow relief from discomfort in most cases!
If you have symptoms of a UTI, see your doctor. Vaginal infections and certain conditions can mimic them, so getting the proper treatment for your condition with STIs is essential as well!
4. Pain relievers
It's always a good idea to get tested for bladder infections. Severe cases can cause pain in the pelvic region, even when you're not urinating!
Antibiotics will treat it and make things better again quickly - take one pill each day until your doctor says they are gone or get a response positively if taken over long periods (close monitoring).
Do not hesitate to take pain medication if you are in discomfort. You may be feeling relief as soon as tomorrow!
Taking pain medications may relieve abdominal cramps, back pain, and any discomfort you may feel.
5. Appropriate dress
Jeans and other tight clothes can cause discomfort for women because they trap moisture in delicate areas, like the vaginal canal. As a result, it creates a breeding ground where bacteria thrive - especially if you wear them every day!
6. Cranberry juice
Cranberry has been used for generations as a natural treatment against bladder infections. A 2012 review found that certain women who got these frequent cranberries showed promise in preventing them with tablets or juice from the fruit itself!
But it's not clear whether cranberry juice works for preventing bladder infections in the larger population.
Preventing future bladder infections
Your doctor may recommend preventive treatment if you've been experiencing recurrent bladder infections. It consists of taking small doses of antibiotics to prevent or control future infections. Diet and acidity impact the body's immune system response, promoting the development of these pesky bugs!
Here are some things you can do to prevent bladder infections:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. This helps to flush bacteria out of your urinary tract.
- Urinate when you feel the urge. Don't hold your urine for long periods of time.
- Empty your bladder when you urinate.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet. This helps to prevent bacteria from spreading from the anus to the urethra.
- Wear loose-fitting cotton underwear. Avoid tight-fitting underwear and synthetic fabrics, which can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Shower instead of bathing. Bubble baths can introduce bacteria into the urethra.
- Avoid using deodorant sprays, douches, and powders in the genital area. These products can irritate the urethra and make it more susceptible to infection.
- Drink cranberry juice or take cranberry supplements. Cranberry juice contains compounds that may help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.
- Take probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that can help to keep the urinary tract healthy.
If you have a history of Bladder Infections, your doctor may prescribe a low-dose antibiotic to take daily to prevent them from recurring.
When to See a Doctor
If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort when urinating or other signs of a bladder infection, and the symptoms have been present for more than two days, it is advised that you contact your doctor for treatment. If left untreated, the bacterial infection can spread to other body parts, such as your kidneys. Therefore, prompt medical attention is recommended.
Your physician will conduct a physical exam and take a urine sample for laboratory testing to check for the presence of an infection. Complications from a straightforward bladder infection are typically rare with antibiotic treatment.
If, however, you experience fever, chills, nausea, or confusion, you ought to contact your doctor without delay. These signs may indicate a more severe infection that has spread to your kidneys. In the case of a kidney infection, you may require a high-dose intravenous antibiotic treatment, which may necessitate hospitalization.
"This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your physician to determine a treatment plan for you."