How to Prevent Bladder Infections
I have been suffering from bladder infections for more than 5 years. For me the pain during bladder infections is one of the worst pains I have ever had. Over the course of the years, inspite of suffering several times a year from bladder infections, I have learnt how to fight against and prevent them by other means than antibiotics. Unfortunately, if the bladder infection is very serious like when you have blood in your urine or are in a lot of pain, antibiotics are essential and a doctor must be seen immediately. Bladder infections are dangerous and can affect your kidneys if you are not careful. If you do see a doctor, make sure to go to a urologist. He is a specialist in this area and will know exactly which bacteria need to be fought with which antibiotics. Too many times, I went to a regular physician who simply gave me any type of antibiotics against bladder infections but without really knowing which kind of bacteria he was dealing with. Taking antibiotics in excess is just as harmful as bladder infections themselves are.
Causes of bladder infections
Most bladder infections are caused by E.coli bacteria. However, other bacteria such as Proteus, Klebsiella and Enterococcus that live in the gut can also cause urinary infections. Bacteria tend to travel from the rectum or the vagina through the urethra to the bladder. As the urethra is shorter in women than in men, women are more susceptibel to urinary infections than men.
Symptoms of bladder infections
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination with often only a few drops of urine coming out
- Pain around the pelvic area
- Involuntary loss of urine
- Blood in urine
- Back pain (flanks)
- Foul-smelling urine
- In very serious cases or when the infection has reached the kidneys, symptoms can include fevers, chills, nausea and vomiting
Urethra Length Difference Women and Men
On the top of the list is an adequate fluid intake. And this does not mean you should only drink when you are thirsty. I can tell this from my own experience and have paid the price when I didn’t drink enough during the day. Doctors suggest you take in between 2 and 3 Liters a day. If you want to distribute that evenly during the day, you should drink one glass every hour if you are awake for 15 hours. That is pretty hard to accomplish which is why you need to have a bottle of water close to you at all times, wherever you go and whenever you are out of the house for longer than 2 hours. It is important that you drink continously during the day and never stop drinking for more than 2 hours. Besides water, other fluids have proven effective such as pure 100% cranberry juice or bladder and kidney tea. If you decide to use cranberry juice to treat or prevent your bladder infection, don't drink less than 2 glasses of cranberry juice every day. Newest research has shown that less than 1 glass of cranberry juice per day may not be enough to fight the bacteria. If you are not a big fan of pure cranberry juice, because to be honest the taste is extremely bitter and horrendous in my eyes, try taking cranberry capsules. You can get them in any drugstore.
Avoid getting cold feet or getting cold in general. Due to cold and wetness, the blood and energy circle in our body is disturbed and can lead to infections. My immune system has been weakened so much in the last few years that as soon as I get cold, I can feel the symptoms of a bladder infection.
Strengthen your immune system. This includes establishing a work-life balance, sticking to a healthy diet, spending time outside (ideally in a natural environment), integrating enough sunlight hours in your daily routine and exercising. Coffee and spicy foods should be avoided.
Intercourse is an easy way for bacteria to get access to your bladder. The most romantic hours with your loved one can turn into a nightmare for people susceptible to bladder infections. For a long time, I was not enjoying closeness to my spouse as I was living with the fear of being surprised by another painful bladder infection the next day. These are my suggestions: Genital hygiene is of utmost importance. Both should wash the genital area before and after intercourse using ph-neutral washing lotions without perfume. Enough fluid should be taken in before intercourse and you should empty your bladder right away afterwards. Try to drink 2 glasses of water, tea or 100% cranberry juice right after intercourse.
Tips from an Expert
Bad news. Avoid wearing unterwear made out of polyester or other synthetic fibers and instead wear panties made from 100% cotton. Panties shouldn’t be too tight either. Bacteria like to grow in dark, moist and warm areas and the rubbing of tight clothing creates the ideal home for them. So good-bye sexy panties but believe me, it is necessary if you want to get rid of those ugly infections.
The ph value of your urine should be around 5. This will make it very hard for bacteria to survive in your bladder. The drug ACIMETHIN can guarantee that this ph value is reached. It has urine acidifying and bacteria-inhibiting properties and can be taken on a long-term basis to prevent bladder infections.
I wish all my fellow-sufferers a successful treatment and am also looking forward to some useful tips from my fellow hubbers and my other loyal readers.