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Bladder Infections

 Bladder infections, also known as cystitis, are the most common type of urinary tract infection. A bladder infection occurs when bacteria from the large intestine or vagina move up into your urethra and infect your bladder. Most women are affected by at least one bladder infection in their lifetime, but it's estimated that as many as 70% of men get them too. The good news is that most cases go away on their own without any treatment after a week or so... but here are a few things you can do to help prevent a recurrence.

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 A bladder infection is a bacterial infection of the bladder (cystitis). It is very common in both women and men, but more commonly in women than men. The male equivalent of the female bladder infection is known as cystitis and usually occurs more frequently in older men. In general, however, there are no gender specific symptoms that distinguish the two conditions. When you have a bladder infection, the symptoms may be trivial or life-threatening depending on its severity at different times in your life. If you experience any pain during urination, you may have an immediate problem with your urinary tract. It could be infection or cancer. If you also have fever, chills, vomiting, blood in your urine, or abdominal pain then you should probably see a doctor immediately.

The typical symptoms of a bladder infection are:

frequency of urination (less than 5-8 times per day), pain that increases as the bladder fills, burning at the end of urination when you go to empty it, small amounts of blood in the urine after urination and pain on pushing.

Cystitis is caused by bacteria from your small intestine or vagina that have traveled up into the urethra -the tube through which urine exits your body- and cause an infection there. Bacteria that live in the bowel are normally harmless to your urinary tract, but if you have an active bladder infection, these bacteria can cause inflammation and irritation of the bladder.

Frequent Urination

Bladder infections are characterized by a sudden and urgent need to urinate. Increased frequency of urination is one of the most common symptoms associated with bladder infections. This increase in urine frequency can be anywhere from two to ten times a day on average. Due to this difference in frequency, it is common for women to experience bladder pain immediately after urinating and during early stages of infection. After the initial stages, however, it typically takes somewhere between one and three hours until another bout of urinary urgency occurs.

Painful Urination

The sensation of urination upon full bladder is one of the classic symptoms associated with a bladder infection. Depending on the severity of the infection, the pain can range from mild to severe and can occur in or out of the flow of urine. In some cases, just holding back on urinating for too long can trigger an intense need to urinate that almost feels like an empty sensation. In order to understand the pain caused by bladder infections, it is important to distinguish two different types of pain that are experienced during urination.

Urinary Pain:

The pain associated with urinary tract infection usually occurs in your lower belly, just above the pubic bone. This area is known as the pelvic floor and it is designed for bearing weight on your abdomen. If you ever feel that there is too much pressure in your belly, then this might be a sign of urinary tract infection as well. In general, however, that sensation is common in healthy people and can occur after having a bowel movement or when using certain types of restroom products.

Bladder Pain:

Bladder pain is also a common symptom associated with bladder infections. It occurs more often during the initial stages of infection and can be quite uncomfortable even after urinating. In most cases, this sensation becomes less severe once the infection subsides, but it might keep coming back if the method of treatment does not work properly or full recovery does not occur.

In some cases, you might experience both types of pain simultaneously since they are related to different structures within the urinary tract system.

Blood in Urine

While many women experience blood in their urine as a symptom of bladder infections, this is usually related to another issue such as vaginal or uterine bleeding or passing blood clots during urination. If you notice blood in your urine, contact your doctor immediately because an infection can quickly lead to serious complications.

Urgency at Urination

For some women, the pain caused by a bladder infection is accompanied by the sudden urge to urinate. In some cases, that urge might happen well before the last drop of urine is produced and it makes it very difficult to ignore. The amount of urgency experienced might differ from one woman to another, but this symptom is usually caused by another underlying condition or simply due to reduced capacity for urination.

Difficulty Urinating

If you experience any pain while trying to stand up or push when you are trying to empty your bladder, then that could be a sign of a bladder infection. If there is enough pressure in the abdomen, it can make it difficult for you to urinate. This is considered one of the most painful symptoms associated with bladder infections and in some cases, this condition might worsen over time.

Treatment for Bladder Infections

Most people who experience a bladder infection seek help from their doctor or health care provider. If you are one of those people and notice any of the above described symptoms, then you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. In most cases, your physician will perform a physical examination and confirm whether or not there is an infection and what type it is based on the presence of certain chemicals in your urine or by getting a sample from your bladder using a catheter. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, you doctor will begin to treat your condition with antibiotics or other medications.

If you have symptoms of bladder infections and wish to try home treatment instead of going to the doctor,

then you should include these following recommendations:

Drink plenty of water -this is probably the easiest and most effective home remedy for dealing with bladder infections. If you are able to drink more fluids, then it will help flush out bacteria in your urinary tract. Make sure that your urine is clear and not cloudy as this might indicate a serious infection. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day and try drinking natural remedies such as cranberry juice in order to help your body eliminate bacteria faster. Avoid sugary drinks or alcohol -both of these will only make the infection worse and delay recovery. In addition, alcohol can irritate your urinary tract and worsen the pain caused by bladder infections. Avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) -these are a type of medication used to treat certain types of pain, but they also make it more difficult for you to urinate. If you experience any kind of pain or discomfort, then always ask your doctor about alternative medications that can help relieve symptoms without hindering your ability to urinate. Avoid acidic foods -this might also lead to bladder infections. If you have diet that is rich in tomatoes, citrus fruit and other acidic foods, then avoid them until you start feeling better. Take probiotics -there are many different probiotics used for different conditions and this will help your body fight off bacteria that cause bladder infections naturally. If you are interested in taking any of the ingredients found within these products, then please check the label carefully as they are known to interact with certain drugs. Follow a healthy diet -avoid eating foods that can make it difficult for your body to stay healthy and recover from a urinary tract infection. If you have been having a lot of trouble with your bladder or are trying to get rid of an infection completely, then you should start a new diet that consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Consume only natural sources of calcium -if you do not consume enough calcium in your diet but are still having problems with bladder infections, then this ingredient can be crucial in decreasing symptoms. If you are trying to find some natural sources of calcium, then try eating almonds and the milk they contain. Make sure that these foods do not sit out for too long since they can start to lose their nutritional value if left out at room temperature. Or better yet, eat dairy products that are known to provide a lot of calcium. Consult your doctor -in case you think that you have an infection in your urinary tract but do not know how to proceed, then consult your doctor right away. This will avoid making the problem worse or worsening existing symptoms and it will ensure that you get proper care.

In addition to these home remedies, here are some other treatment options for bladder infections:

Using herbal supplements -these can be beneficial as they might help increase the amount of oxygen that is carried by your blood and thus allow even better blood flow through the entire urinary tract system. Some of these supplements include: aloe vera gel, cranberry juice and flax seed oil.

Using acupuncture -if you are experiencing pain and other symptoms of bladder infections, acupuncture can help. This ancient Chinese technique involves the insertion of very small needles in certain pressure points that are located in your body. By inserting these needles, you will be able to increase blood flow to areas of your body such as your kidneys and bladder. In most cases, multiple sessions mean more effective results.

If you suffer from recurring bladder infections or ones that last for too long, then it is a good idea to discuss with your doctor the possibility of undergoing surgery so that a better functioning urinary tract can be created or reconstructed. In some cases, depending on your age and general health, doctors might recommend a bladder removal instead. This surgery is called a cystectomy and requires the removal of all or part of your urinary bladder.

After the surgery has been performed, patients are usually able to urinate more freely and not have to worry about bladder infections unless they become pregnant. Although it might sound like an extreme procedure, but this type of surgery does have a high success rate and does not have many serious side effects.


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