Cystitis – a burning issue
Urinary tract infections, also known as cystitis, are due to inflammation (swelling, often with irritation) of the bladder. It’s usually caused by bacteria that travel along the urethra (the small tube leading up to your bladder). Usually the bladders ‘self defence’ mechanisms enable the body to cope with these bacteria but in some circumstances, and more often in women, infection can result.
Signs of urinary tract infections are burning or stinging when passing urine, an urgent need to pass urine – and frequently, passing only small amounts at a time or producing discoloured, cloudy and smelly urine.
Self Care pharmacists advise at the first sign, drink two or three glasses of water, and continue drinking as much as you can to try and ‘flush-out’ the bacteria from the urinary tract.
If that is not successful, the next step are urinary alkaliniser medicines that help make the urine less acid and help relieve the burning when passing urine.
These can interfere with certain other medicines, and you need to discuss this with your pharmacist. If symptoms don’t go away within 24 hours, do follow up with your pharmacist or doctor.
Pharmacists are now able to discuss your condition and provide a course of antibiotics known as trimethoprim.
Cranberries are thought to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract.
Drinking cranberry juice or taking other cranberry products on a regular basis may be beneficial.
Signs of urinary tract infections include burning or stinging when passing urine.