Cystitis symptoms and treatment

Published: 28th January 2008
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The term 'Cystitis' refers to 'inflammation of the bladder'. It is a most common complaint in

women. Escherichia coli infections are considered the primary culprit in cystitis. The female

anatomy makes it more convenient for e.coli bacteria, which normally inhabit the colon., to travel

from the rectum to the vagina, up the urethra and into the bladder. This condition is rarely

dangerous but it is generally a forerunner to more serious troubles. The reoccurrence of cystitis

may in some cases be associated with kidney troubles.

The kidney and bladder are the principal strikers in the urinary system. The kidneys are situated

on the back of the abdomen, one on each side of the spine at about the level of the lowest rib.

The bladder is situated in the lower abdomen, in the pelvis. The body is relieved of the greater

part of the waste matter, resulting from the complex working of the whole body's vital processes

by means of these two organs.


Cystitis is characterised by symptoms which may cause great discomfort. The patient complains

of frequency and burning on urination as well as an almost continual urge to void. There may be

a feeling of pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen. The urine may become thick, dark and stingy.

It may have an unpleasant smell and may contain blood or pus. The 'scalding' sensation on

passing urine indicates that the inflammation has spread to the urethra. Some pain in the lower

back may also be felt in certain cases. In an acute stage there may be a rise in body

temperature. In the chronic form of cystitis, the symptoms are similar but generally less several

and without the rise in temperature. The persistence of the chronic form of the disease indicates

a process of deterioration, almost invariably due to wrong treatment of the acute form by

suppressive drugs.


Cystitis may result from infections in other parts adjacent to the bladder such as the kidneys, the

urethra, and the vagina. Local irritation and inflammation of the bladder may be caused if urine is

retained there for an unduly long time. It may also result from severe constipation.

Continual draining of pus and germs from an infected kidney may injure the epithelial lining of

the bladder. Trouble may also arise from the presence of a stone in either bladder or kidney.

Childbirth injuries and major surgical procedures within the pelvis may also lower the resistance

of the bladder-wall and predispose to the development of the cystitis. There is also the problem

of new brides who sometimes suffer from so-called honeymoon cystitis. The bladder wall may

become swollen and ulcerated so that the bladder cannot hold the normal amount of urine.

Germs may then find their way into the bladder and bring about chemical changes in the urine.

Calcium or lime may thus be deposited in the walls of the bladder, increasing the patient's



At the onset of acute cystitis, it is essential to withhold all solid food immediately. If there is fever,

the patient should fast either on water or tender coconut water for three or four days. If there is

no fever, raw vegetable juices, especially carrot juice diluted with water, should be taken every

two or three hours. By so doing the biochemical energy needed for digestion and metabolism of

food is diverted to the process of eliminating toxins and promoting healing and repair. It is

advisable to rest and keep warm at this time.

Pain can be relieved by immersing the pelvis in hot water or alternatively by applying heat to the

abdomen, using a towel wrung out in hot water, covering it with dry towel to retain warmth. Care

should be taken to avoid scalding. A little vegetable oil gently rubbed into the skin , will avoid too

much reddening. This treatment may be continued for three or four days, by which time the

inflammation should have subsided and the temperature returned to normal.

For the next two or three days, only ripe sub-acid fruits may be taken three or four times daily.

These fruits may include grapes, pears, peaches,apples, and melon, as available.

While the hot compresses are intended to relieve pain, the use of cold water compresses to the

abdomen is most valuable, if correctly applied, in relieving pelvic congestion and increasing the

activity of the skin. Care should, however, be taken to ensure that compresses do not cause


After the all-fruit diet, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of

seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. The patient should avoid refined carbohydrates

and salt, both at table and in cooking. Salt disturbs the balance of electrolytes and tends to raise

blood pressure, which is frequently already raised in kidney troubles.

The prescribed dietary should exclude meat, fish and poultry. They produce uric acid. Most

cases of food poisoning and infections, which may lead to gastritis and colitis, are also caused

by the flesh foods.

In case of chronic cystitis, the patient should commence the treatment of strict adherence to the

dietary programme, designed to cleanse the blood and other tissues and at the same time

provide a rich source of natural vitamins and minerals in balanced proportions. The patient may

adopt the following restricted diet for seven to ten days.

Upon arising : A glass of unsweetened apple juice or carrot juice

Breakfast : Fresh fruits, selected mainly from apple, pear, grapes, melon, peach and pineapple

and a glass of buttermilk, sweetened with a little honey.

Mid-morning : Tender coconut water.

Lunch : A salad of raw vegetables such as carrot, beetroot and cabbage, mixed with curd and a

tablespoon of honey. This may be followed by a ripe apple.

Mid-afternoon : One cup of unsweetened grape juice.

Dinner : A salad of green leafy vegetables and a fresh fruit, preferably a portion of melon

sweetened with a teaspoon of honey.

Before retiring : One glass of mixed raw carrot and beetroot juice.

After the restricted diet, the patient should gradually embark on a well-balanced diet , consisting

of seed, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. Even after the recovery from the chronic

condition, it will be advisable for the individual to live exclusively on vegetables or on tender

coconut water or raw vegetable juices for a day or two, every month. The water treatment and

other health building methods should , however, be continued to the greatest extent possible, so

that the patient may stay cured.

Sulamita is a freelance writer who writes on Health Fitness Articles, and collaborate on forex articles and travel articles

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