If you have a sensitive bladder, or prone to UTI's, these holistic practices and nutritional foods are for you!
Bladder Problems & Inflammation
Cystitis is the medical term for bladder inflammation. Put simply, inflammation is when a part of your body becomes irritated and swollen. Most cases of cystitis are mild, and you won’t need treatment from a doctor. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, we recommend you speak to your healthcare provider: You should also speak to your provider if your symptoms are persistent (last longer than a few days), you are pregnant, you frequently experience bladder inflammation, or your child has cystitis.
pain, burning or stinging when you wee
needing to pee more often than normal
cloudy or strong-smelling urine
a high fever or chills
back or side pain
nausea and/or vomiting.
What causes Bladder Inflammation?
In most cases, bladder inflammation is caused by a urinary tract infection (or UTI), which occurs when bacteria enter the bladder or urethra and multiply. Many things can cause at UTI, including:
not urinating when you need to and ‘holding’ it
poor personal hygiene.
However, cystitis can also be caused by certain lifestyle factors rather than an infection, including:
using diaphragms and spermicides, which can alter the bacteria in the urethra
smoking – there are chemicals in tobacco that irritate the bladder
the menopause, which causes changes to hormone levels
sexual intercourse, make sure to urinate and provide perineal hygiene after sexual relations
taking certain medications
irritating hygiene products, such as shower gel and deodorant
How to improve bladder inflammation symptoms:
While a doctor may recommend antibiotics if your cystitis is caused by a bacteria, however; there are other at home treatment you can try as well. These include:
avoiding douching, which changes the bacterial composition of the vulva
taking showers instead of baths
wearing cotton underwear and loose clothes
applying heat packs or a hot water bottle for pain
over-the-counter pain relief, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen
Kegel exercises, yoga for pelvic strengthening
Foods to eat to prevent bladder inflammation
These simple dietary changes can help to manage your bladder inflammation health.
Drink organic 100% cranberry juice, which may help prevent UTIs by making it harder for infection-causing bacteria to stick to the urinary tract.
Increase your fluid intake to remain hydrated, as concentrated urine can irritate the bladder
Make your urine slightly acidic to ward off infection by taking a Vitamin C supplement or drinking barley water
Up your fibre intake with whole grain carbohydrates (such as pasta and bread) and five portions of fruit and vegetables. This helps to prevent constipation, which can make symptoms of bladder inflammation worse.
Increase your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids because they have anti-inflammation properties.
Examples of foods to eat:
Pears are a good source of fiber and about 100 calories per serving.
Bananas are great as snacks, toppings for cereals or in smoothies.
Green beans, at about 31 calories per 1-cup serving, green beans will add some color to your plate. You can eat them raw, add them to salads or roast them with a little olive oil.
Winter squash. Do not let the name fool you. Winter squash are available in both fall and winter. Squash varieties include acorn, butternut and spaghetti.
Potatoes. Need a bladder-friendly comfort food when the weather cools down? Try white potatoes or sweet potatoes (yams).
Lean proteins. Examples include low-fat beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish. Especially when baked, steamed or broiled, they are unlikely to bother your bladder.
Whole grains. Quinoa, rice and oats are just a few examples of whole grains. They come in many varieties and are generally not expensive.
Breads. Overall, breads are bladder-friendly and a nice addition to meals. Bread is also great for delicious turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving.
Nuts. Almonds, cashews and peanuts are healthy snacks and rich in protein.
Eggs. Also rich in protein, eggs are on several lists as one of the "least bothersome" foods for bladder conditions.
Foods that worsen bladder inflammation
As well as there being foods that can improve cystitis symptoms, there are others that are believed to make them worse. If you want to manage your symptoms, try limiting your intake of the following foods and drinks:
fruit teas containing hibiscus, as some people find these make their symptoms worse
caffeinated drinks, such as tea, coffee and certain fizzy drinks like cola, which are also bladder irritants
spicy foods, which can irritate the bladder.
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