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Frequent urge to urinate and burning or even pain when urinating are typical of cystitis. Women are much more often affected by a urinary tract infection than men. With the help of naturopathic treatment and self-treatment, the acute inflammation can be overcome and relapses and chronic suffering can be prevented. Intimate hygiene does not play an insignificant role.
Bladder infection (cystitis) as an uncomplicated urinary tract infection
Cystitis is an increasing inflammation of the lower urinary tract, which in addition to the bladder mucosa usually also affects the urethra (urethritis) and ureter (ureteritis), sometimes also the kidney pelvis. Women in particular often suffer from the symptoms, in many cases even chronic cystitis develops. 50 to 70 percent of all women have had a corresponding urinary tract infection in their lifetime.
There is also the non-bacterial cystis or chronic interstitial cystitis. In particular women over the age of 40, but also pregnant women are more often affected by such chronic cystitis.
Symptoms of cystitis
Typical complaints are frequent urge to urinate with pain and burning. A characteristic of cystitis is the constant, strong urge to urinate when small amounts of urine are released (pollakiuria), pain or burning when urinating (dysuria) and cramp-like pain above the pubic bone if there is urge to urinate (bladder tesmen).
In addition to the classic bladder symptoms, too
- Diarrhea and
- There is anorexia.
Chills may also occur as an acute symptom. The urine may also appear cloudy and stand out due to a changed smell. In some cases, a dull or pressure-like flank pain or lumbar pain is felt.
The complaints can occur in combination or individually in a short time and increase drastically. Sometimes, however, they remain moderate and are hardly noticeable. Small amounts of urine may also be lost when you sneeze or cough, especially if you have chronic cystitis.
The symptoms are similar to those of an irritable bladder, but no abnormal changes in the urine can be detected. The other way around, in many cases, a bladder infection runs without noticeable symptoms and can only be identified by the urine values in the laboratory. Untreated cystitis can lead to secondary inflammation of the kidneys (pyelonephritis).
Diagnosis through laboratory values
Too many red and white blood cells in the urine indicate the inflammatory process. For the noticeable signs of inflammation such as pain and overheating, a urine sample is tested in the laboratory (stick test) in order to ensure the diagnosis of an infection based on inflammation parameters. With bladder infection, there are too many white blood cells (leukocyturia) in the urine and blood in the urine (hematuria). In addition, there are usually increased nitrite values and an alkaline pH value. Germs can be detected in a urine culture, in more than 80 percent of the cases it is Escherichia coli, an ancestral inhabitant of our intestinal flora. Trichomonads, fungi or chlamydia can also be found. Pathogens such as streptococci or staphylococci can also enter the urinary tract via the blood and lymph channels.
Chronic interstitial cystitis, on the other hand, can only be diagnosed with a bladder examination.
Cause of cystitis
There are favorable factors for the development of cystitis. From the outside, for example, mostly Escherichia coli bacteria enter the vagina from the nearby anal area and can rise from there to the bladder. The fact that women are more likely to develop cystitis than men is due to an anatomical difference. At 2.5 to 4 cm, the urethra of women is shorter than that of men and is therefore more suitable for allowing invading bacteria to find their way up into the bladder. In addition, women tend to “hold up” for a long time, which favors an increase in germs on the bladder mucosa.
Other favorable factors for the development of a bladder infection are
- mechanical irritation (e.g. through tight clothing),
- synthetic underwear (due to air impermeability) or
- frequent sexual intercourse (so-called honeymoon cystitis).
In addition, intimate deodorants, chemically treated panty liners or washing lotions can lead to allergic-inflammatory processes.
From diagnosis to treatment
The disease arises in the interplay between pathogens and the body's defenses. While conventionally the (mostly) bacterial pathogen is viewed from the outside as the cause of the disease, the naturopathic focus always focuses on the interplay between the disease-causing germ and the immune system's defenses.
In addition to alleviating the symptoms, the therapy is therefore always aimed at strengthening or restoring the natural regulatory ability with which a person fends off microbes and avoids disease. Depending on the therapeutic focus, this is done as constitutional treatment based on a homeopathic anamnesis, in the classic west through iris diagnosis or with pulse and tongue diagnosis, as is done in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. The current defense situation can be determined and regulated, for example, using the dark field examination, blood and stool samples in the laboratory.
Possible sources of inflammation and interference fields, which can even be remote, e.g. the teeth, but are still involved in the development of cystitis due to the weakening of the organism, detected with electro acupuncture or bioresonance procedures and provide information for a comprehensive treatment, especially for repeated or chronic infections.
In contrast, chronic interstitial cystitis changes the bladder tissue. Vascular occlusion, an autoimmune disease, psychogenic or hormonal causes can be the trigger for interstitial cystitis. This causes the bladder to shrink (shrink bladder), which then triggers the symptoms that are very similar to acute cystitis.
Conventional and naturopathic treatment
The timely treatment of cystitis is of great importance so that the infection does not spread to and damage the kidney pelvis and kidneys. The conventional treatment consists in the administration of antibiotics, which is certainly justified in severe and advanced cases. Ibuprofen has been proven to treat pain associated with inflammation of the urinary tract. In 70 percent of all patients, ibuprofen is enough to successfully treat cystitis.
With interstitial cystitis, drugs that strengthen the inner mucous membrane of the bladder must be used in a targeted manner. Among other things, pentosan polysulfate or heparin is injected subcutaneously. If the bladder has shrunk extremely and the bladder tissue does not respond to drug treatment, it must be expanded by surgery.
Natural healing methods for bladder infections
In many cases, cystitis is very accessible to the abundance of medicines and forms of treatment in naturopathy, of which only a few can be mentioned here.
General measures, such as the switch to fresh and wholesome food and the absence of food and beverages that irritate the mucous membranes, such as coffee, tobacco, alcohol, citrus and lemonade drinks and hot spices, form the basis of every therapy. Sufficient hydration is necessary to flush out the affected urinary tract areas, water and thin herbal teas are most suitable for this.
Most of all Medicinal plants administered with diuretic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory effects, for example
- Bearberry leaves,
- Birch leaves,
- Bucco leaves and
- Orthosiphon sheets.
Goldenrod leaves also have an antispasmodic effect, while marshmallow root can soothe irritated mucous membranes. A preparation made from horseradish and nasturtium is often used as an herbal antibiotic and for immune modulation.
The right Bach flowers should be determined individually according to the current state of mind. According to the rail model by D. Krämer, however, certain flowers are assigned to the bladder meridian and should preferably be tested for cystitis. These include Centaury, Holly, Pine and Impatiens with the topics defense / demarcation, anger / irritability and feelings of guilt / guilty conscience. Crab apple is recommended as a cleaning flower "at all levels" for every infection.
The sugar "D-Mannose" is also very effective because it prevents the bacteria from attaching to the bladder mucosa.
After undergoing a bladder infection, fresh cranberry juice, drunk around a shot glass daily, should prevent relapse and strengthen the bladder mucosa.
Hygiene recommendations must also be observed. This includes regular toilet use, avoiding synthetic laundry or chemically treated toiletries and wiping from front to back after defecation to prevent the ingress of E. coli bacteria. (Jvs, fp, ok)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Jeanette Viñals Stein, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Merck and Co., Inc .: Interstitial Cystitis (accessed: July 15, 2019), msdmanuals.com
- German Society for Urology (DGU): S3 guideline epidemiology, diagnostics, therapy, prevention and management of uncomplicated, bacterial, community-acquired urinary tract infections in adult patients, status: April 2017, detailed guideline view
- German Society for Urology (DGU) / Professional Association of German Urologists: Kidney and urinary tract infections (available on July 15, 2019), urologenportal.de
- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG): Cystitis (retrieval: 15.07.2019), gesundheitsinformation.de
- Medical center for quality in medicine: cystitis (available on 15.07.2019), patient-information.de
- Mayo Clinic: Cystitis (accessed: July 15, 2019), mayoclinic.org
- European Association of Urology: Guideline Urological Infections (accessed: July 15, 2019), uroweb.org
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK): Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome) (access: July 15, 2019), niddk.nih.gov
ICD codes for this disease: N30ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.