How Diet Impacts Cystitis?

It’s easy to notice when something isn’t quite right with your body, especially when you use the toilet. If you have started to feel pain or a burning sensation when you urinate, you might have a common type of bladder infection called cystitis.

What is Cystitis?
Cystitis is a type of bladder infection that causes the bladder to become inflamed. It’s the most common form of urinary tract infection, especially in women.

Your bladder is a small muscular bag that stores the urine produced by your kidneys. When you urinate, the urine travels through a tube called the urethra. If bacteria travels back up the urethra, it can lead to a UTI and bladder inflammation. Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli, is the usual culprit for cystitis. This type of bacteria does well in the bladder, using the acidic environment to grow, multiply, and inflame the bladder.

Cystitis isn’t a life-threatening illness and it can’t be spread from person to person, but it can be very painful for those suffering from it. If left untreated, it’s possible for the infection to travel from the bladder into the kidneys, leading to more serious complications like kidney infection, damage, or failure.

Symptoms of Cystitis
The most common symptom of cystitis is experiencing the increased urge to urinate, even if you are only able to pass a few drops.

Other symptoms of cystitis:
  • Painful urination
  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Foul smelling urine

How Does Diet Impact Cystitis?
Many people with chronic cystitis have reported that certain foods and drinks trigger their symptoms and flare-ups. These include:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Soda and energy drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Fruit juices including cranberry juice
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Pickled foods

Not everyone will have the same triggers. One of the best ways to identify your possible triggers is to keep a food diary and note any symptoms that may or may not appear afterward. Try cutting out certain foods you’ve identified and monitor yourself to see if your symptoms improve.

Common Misconceptions about Cystitis
  • Only women get cystitis: While it’s more common in women, especially post-menopausal women, cystitis can happen to anyone.
  • Cytitis is caused by sex: Sexual activity can make someone more likely to get cystitis, but it is not a direct cause. Be sure to urinate after sex to reduce your risk.
  • Douching and washing my genitals will prevent cystitis: Using products to clean your genitals will actually increase your risk of several types of infections as these can irritate your urinary tract.

Bladder Infection Treatment
You should take steps to treat cystitis at the first sign of symptoms to prevent it from progressing. At first, most people will feel a prickling sensation whenever they urinate. By drinking plenty of fluids (especially water) and avoiding acidic foods and drinks, you may be able to clear up a mild case of cystitis without further treatment. You can also try taking a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in water.

If these home treatments don’t work, you should speak to your GP or pharmacist for advice. Your GP may want to run some tests to see what type of infection you have or if your symptoms are caused by something else like kidney stones. If they confirm you have cystitis, antibiotics like Trimethoprim and Nitrofurantoin are usually prescribed to clear up the infection.

Nitrofurantoin tablets and Trimethoprim for cystitis can be bought online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet. Visit our website or contact one of our pharmacists to purchase cystitis medication online with swift delivery.