Cys­ti­tis – a burn­ing is­sue

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY - Pre­pared by Phar­macy Self Care, Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety of NZ Inc, 16-20 Wil­lis St, Welling­ton

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.

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