Bladder infection (Interstitial cystitis) is the chronic inflammation of the urinary bladder, possibly because of fungal, viral or bacterial infection. Microorganisms, which normally harbor only in the external opening of the urinary tract, pass through the urethra and into the bladder.
Cystitis occurs much more frequently in women than men because the urethra in females is about one-seventh as long as it is in males. Migration of bacteria, especially Escherichia coli which normally lives in the intestines, is also facilitated in women because the openings of the female urethra, anus and vagina are situated near one another.
The following practices help prevent bladder infections: good personal hygiene, urination after intercourse to wash away bacteria, completely emptying the bladder, urinating frequently, drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids, and wearing loose, absorbent undergarments to allowing for evaporation and absorption of body fluids. If stones are found, the physician may prescribe antibiotics, such as sulfa drugs (for chronic infection) or perform surgery.
Urethritis is an inflammation of the urethra, the tube which carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
Interstitial cystitis is a painful disease of unknown etiology and unpredictable course that primarily affects women.
The primary cause of a bladder infection is an invasion and infection of the urethra by bacteria which normally live in the intestines.
Structural defects in the urethral lining, including obstruction such as stones and tumors, which inhibit the bladder from emptying properly; consequently, urine stagnates and creates a breeding ground for microorganisms; infection by other microorganisms; enlarged prostate (most common cause in males) frequent intercourse; gonorrhea; and malnutrition.
Interstitial cystitis and Urethritis do seem more prevalent in patients with a history of sexually transmitted diseases e.g.
Bruising during sexual intercourse
Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacteria-like microorganism which is spread through sexual contact (nonspecific urethritis)
Signs & Symptoms
Change in urinary frequency
Change in urinary control, especially difficulty starting
Poor urine stream
Change in quantity of urine during urination
Change in urine color (may be cloudy or bloody)
Pain when urinating
History of cystitis is a risk factor for bladder cancer but the overwhelming risk factor is cigarette smoking. Coffee consumption and low intake of vegetables may also be important.
Overall, more than 2500 of the 5400 deaths due to bladder cancer in Italy in 1990 could have been prevented by eliminating cigarette smoking! With some appropriate dietary modification and intervention to prevent urinary tract infections and occupational exposures, this figure could approach 4000 avoidable deaths (almost 80% of the total from bladder cancer).
Consequently, more than 300 self-care strategies are in use, which fall into five physical subdomains (medications, treatments, hygiene, diet, and body comfort). They range from: wearing loose clothing, taking hot baths and using a heating pad over the pubis to dietary restrictions. Their effectiveness ratings are comparable to those reported for medications (including narcotics) in managing mild to moderate symptoms.
Some measurable differences have been identified, of certain metabolites and amino acids. A study of the metabolism of the arylalkylamines (tryptophan, tyrosine, tyramine, phenylalanine) revealed an inability to synthesise normal amounts of serotonin and MHPG, a noradrenaline metabolite.
Furthermore, the absence of ammonia and tryptophan in urine confirmed the presence of a membrane leak.
Structure & Function:
Immune System Support &
Adult Child/Adolescent L-acidophilus* Bromelain* Niacin 50 - 100 mg 10 - 30 mg Pantothenic Acid 100 - 200 mg 50 - 100 mg Vitamin C 2,000 - 6,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg
*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
Boosting the good microflora of all of the mucosal membranes should help this condition. To do this the diet is supplemented with billions of L-acidophilus.
Deriving from Japan, where it is a staple of the diet, kelp has been promoted in this condition.
Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Infection is caused by the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Nutritional management dictates drinking plenty of fluids and increasing the acidity of the urine.
Fluids are necessary in order to flush the organisms out of the urinary system. The intake should be increased to at least one quart per day. This is an important practice, especially before and after sexual intercourse. The pH of the urine should be lowered since bacterial growth is discouraged if the environment is too acidic. Urine can be acidified by taking vitamin C supplements (400 to 600 milligrams per day), drinking generous amounts of acidic juices such as cranberry juice, and adhering to an Acid Ash Diet. Vitamin C, however, should not be given indefinitely. Acidosis will occur, and there is a tendency to develop kidney stones with usage. The Acid Ash Diet is therefore the preferred method for acidification.
Recommended foods for the acid ash diet
Bread and cereal exchange list
Bread, especially whole wheat not containing baking powder or baking soda
Cereal Crackers Rice Pastas Lentil Corn
Fat exchange list
Fruit exchange list
Meat and meat substitute exchange list
All are recommended
Milk exchange list
None are recommended
Vegetable exchange list:
None are recommended
Miscellaneous exchange list
Pastries, cakes, and cookies not containing baking powder baking soda, or sugar.
Honey Tea - black Non-chocolate candy Coffee
1.* Cantharis30C 2.* Eupatorium purpureum 6C to 15C 3. Sarsaparilla tinct. 6C to 15C 4.* Terebinthina 15C 5.* Populus tremuloides 30X Cystitis 1. Rhus aromatica 6X
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Ferr. Phos. frequent urination, burning pain; Kali Mur. dark red urine, with thick white mucus; Kali Phos. scalding urination; Magnesia Phos. urging to urinate, however, urine passes in drops;
Buchu Leaves (Barosma crenata)
Cornsilk (Stigmata maydis)
Parsley (1/2 root, 1/2 leaf) (Petroselinum sativum)
Uva Ursi Leaves (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Cranberry may currently be the dominant therapy. Remember it only applies to bacterial infections and not interstitial cystitis.
Numerous diuretics are used, probably the simplest being good first choices, like Cornsilk, Dandelion or Parsley. Buchu and Uva Ursi provide more exotic choices.
Echinacea combats infection.
Pumpkin seed is recommended by the German Commisssion E for bladder irritation.
Avorn, J et al., Reduction of bacteriuria and pyuria after ingestion of cranberry juice. JAMA. 1994 Mar 9; 271(10): 751-4.
Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Cajeput Essence, Eucalyptus Essence, Juniper Essence, Lavender Essence, Pine Essence, Sandalwood Essence, Tea Tree Essence, Texas Cedarwood Essence.
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
Avorn, J. et al: Reduction of bacteriuria and pyuria after ingestion of cranberry juiceJAMA 1994 Mar 9; 271(10): 751-4.
Barrington JW et al., Antioxidant deficiency following clam enterocystoplasty. Br J Urol, 1997 Aug, 80:2, 238-42.
Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.
Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.
Browning, J.E.: The recognition of mechanically induced pelvic pain and organic dysfunction in the low back pain patient. JMPT 1989 Oct; 12(5):369-73.
Chasroff, I.J. & J.W. Ellis. 1983. Family Medical Guide, William Morrow and Company Inc., Pub. 594 pp.
Chicago Dietetic Association & South Suburban Dietetic Association of Cook & Will Counties. 1981. Manual of Clinical Dietetics. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadephia.
D'Avanzo-B et al: Attributable risks for bladder cancer in northern Italy. Ann-Epidemiol. 1995 Nov; 5(6): 427-31.
Elbadawi A: Interstitial cystitis: a critique of current concepts with a new proposal for pathologic diagnosis and pathogenesis. Urology, 1997 May, 49:5A Suppl, 14-40.
Eliakim A et al., Urinary tract infection in premature infants: the role of imaging studies and prophylactic therapy. J Perinatol, 1997 Jul-Aug, 17:4, 305-8.
Fisher JF et al., Yeast in the urine: solutions for a budding problem. Clin Infect Dis, 1995 Jan, 20:1, 183-9.
Fleet, J.C.: New support for a folk remedy: cranberry juice reduces bacteriuria and pyuria in elderly women. Nutr. Rev. 1994 May; 52(5): 168-70.
Gillespie-L : Metabolic appraisal of the effects of dietary modification on hypersensitive bladder symptoms. Br-J-Urol. 1993 Sep; 72(3): 293-7.
Hegsted, M.D. 1976. Present Knowlege In Nutrition. 4th ed. The Nutrition Foundation Pub., Washington D.C. 605 pp.
Heinerman, John, Ph.D. 1982. Herbal Dynamics. Root of Life, Inc.: Publ.
Hill DJ: Complications of hysterectomy. Baillieres Clin Obstet Gynaecol, 1997 Mar, 11:1, 181-97.
Howe, P.S. 1981. Basic Nutrition in Health and Disease, 7th ed. W. B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.
Hui, Y.H. 1983. Human nutrition and diet therapy. WadsWorth, Inc; Belmont, California. 1039 pp.
Hunt, S.M., J.L. Groff & J.M. Holbrook. 1980. Nutrition: Principles and Clinical Practice John Wileyand Sons, N.Y. 506 pp.
Iafolla AK: Medicinal leeches in the postoperative care of bladder exstrophy. J Perinatol, 1995 Mar-Apr, 15:2, 135-8.
Luke, B. 1984. Principles of Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Little, Brown, and Co., Boston. 816 pp.
Reid, G. et al: Use of adhesion counts to help predict symptomatic infection and the ability of fluoroquinolones to penetrate bacterial biofilms on the bladder cells of spinal cord injured patients. Paraplegia. 1994 Jul; 32(7): 468-72.
Shirai T et al., The etiology of bladder cancer--are there any new clues or predictors of behavior? Int J Urol, 1995 Jun, 2 Suppl 2:, 64-75.
Sobota, A.E. Inhibition of Bacterial Adherence by Cranberry Juice: Potential for Use in the Treatment of Urinary-Tract Infections. Journal Of Urology, 131 1984.
Spach, David H., MD, et al: Lack of Circumcision Increases the Risk of Urinary Tract Infection in Young Men. Journal of the American Medical Association, February 5, 1992;267(5):679-681.
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Webster-DC & Brennan-T : Use and effectiveness of physical self-care strategies for interstitial cystitis. Nurse-Pract. 1994 Oct; 19(10): 55-61.
Webster-DC & Brennan-T : Self-care strategies used for acute attack of interstitial cystitis. Urol-Nurs. 1995 Sep; 15(3): 86-93.
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Yachia D & Aridogan IA: The use of a removable stent in patients with prostate cancer and obstruction. J Urol, 1996 Jun, 155:6, 1956-8.
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