If one has been taking several trips to the bathroom within a few hours and is experiencing a burning sensation while passing urine, then one probably has contracted a bladder infection. A bacterial infection within the bladder is termed as a bladder infection. A weakened immune system invites yeast and bladder infections. Bladder infections may be contracted by using unhygienic toilets where Escherichia coli bacteria thrive. In some cases, the bacteria can move from the intestines to the urinary system.
Bladder infections treatment is fairly easy. Once a proper diagnosis is done to confirm bacterial infection in the bladder, the physician may prescribe antibiotic medication. Apart from medication, one may need other home care remedies to completely heal from the infection. When left untreated, a bladder infection may turn into a life-threatening condition when it spreads to the kidney or bloodstream.
Symptoms of bladder infections
A urinary tract or bladder infection symptoms vary with the severity of the infection. Common symptoms are as follows:
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Bloody or clouded urine
- Foul smell from urine
- Frequent urination
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Pressure or cramps in the lower abdomen and back.
Causes of bladder infections
As mentioned above, bladder infections are caused due to E. coli bacteria. This bacterium enters the bladder through the urethra or from the anus. Once it enters the bladder, it attaches itself to the walls of the bladder and multiplies rapidly. Using unclean toilets is one of the main ways of contracting the E. coli. Consumption of unhygienic food could also result in intestinal infections, which in turn, causes a build-up of E. coli bacteria.
Treatment for bladder infections
Bladder infections treatment varies with the severity of the infection. From drinking plenty of water to heating pads, there are a number of simple home care techniques to fight bladder infections. Mild bladder infection may subside in a few days with simple home care techniques. For severe infections, bladder infections treatment involves antibiotic medication combined with home care treatment.
Common bladder infections treatment methods are as follows:
- Drinking water: Water flushes out the bacteria from the body. Drinking plenty of water in a day (8 to 10 glasses) helps get rid of the bacteria from the bladder and dilutes the urine. The burning sensation or pain during urination reduces considerably if the water intake is increased.
- Frequent urination: Not withholding urine and passing urine frequently is another way of flushing out the bacteria from the system. Frequent urination prevents the build-up of bacteria in the bladder. Also, urinating after sexual intercourse helps flush bacteria from the urinary tract and prevents settling of germs and infection.
- Antibiotic medicines: Severe bladder infection may require antibiotic medicines for fighting the infection and also preventing it from spreading to other organs. Experts recommend antibiotics for treating bladder infections. If an infection lasts for more than 2 to 3 days or is coupled with other health issues like diabetes, or is contracted during pregnancy, immediate medical treatment is required. Moreover, medicines should be taken after consulting a doctor.
- Pain relief: People affected by severe urinary infection may experience pain in the pelvic region and lower back. This pain remains even when one is not urinating. Relief from this pain can be attained through painkillers. However, before taking over-the-counter painkillers, it is better to consult the physician.
- Heat pads: Placing heat pads in the lower abdomen may soothe the pain that occurs due to bladder infections. When combined with medication, this treatment method is more effective.
- Loose-fitting clothing: Wearing tight fitting clothes traps moisture in delicate areas of the body. Moisture and warmth promote the growth of bacteria. Wearing clothes that fit comfortably and allow free air circulation is most appropriate for preventing bacterial or yeast infections. Cotton undergarments should be chosen for comfort and hygiene.
- Cranberry juice: The juice of cranberries has been used as a natural method for preventing bladder infections.
- Limiting caffeine intake: Bringing down caffeine consumption is not only good for overall health but also helpful when one has a bladder infection. Caffeine tends to irritate the bladder and worsens an already existing infection.
- Personal hygiene: Maintaining good personal hygiene helps prevent a build-up of bacteria. Especially women during their menstrual cycle need to be extra careful while using public toilets. The chances of contracting the bacteria are high during this period. Washing up after urination is an extremely important preventive step toward urinary infections.
A weakened immune system is prone to bacterial and yeast infections. Any bacterial infection in the urinary tract causes a bladder infection. Bladder infections treatment aims at eliminating bacteria from the urinary tract. Medication is the popular course of treatment, supported by simple home remedies. Bladder infections treatment must be done promptly to prevent the infection from spreading to other organs.