Cystitis: symptoms, diagnosis and prevention
Cystitis : a really annoying infection that affects the lower urinary tract and of which, typically, women suffer more than men .
It is caused by the ascent towards the bladder of pathogens of faecal origin, to a lesser extent of vaginal or urethral origin. The presence of pathogens such as Gram-negative bacteria , in particular Escherichia Coli, is almost always detected from urine culture . There are several types of cystitis: there is that bacteria , which can occur in women of all ages, with a higher incidence of reproductive age, but anmche the nonbacterial(or interstitial) that in women, if not detected, can develop into pelvic pain syndrome. In humans, it can cause prostatitis .
Among the disorders that accompany it, bladder burning and frequent urge to urinate : in short, a pathology that is not serious but that can compromise the serenity of our days.
What are the symptoms that help us recognize it? What are the tests for a correct diagnosis? And above all: what can we do to prevent cystitis?
Symptoms of cystitis
This urinary tract infection usually presents with the following symptoms:
Stranguria, or burning, pain and chills during urination.
Bladder tenesmus, a painful spasm followed by the urgent need to pee.
Pollakiuria , or frequent and painful urination. The pain, or the burning, remains even after peeing.
Dysuria , or difficulty, pain and irregularity during urination: this may be little abundant, may require effort and the jet may also stop involuntarily.
Turbine urine , sometimes smelly.
Hematuria, or presence of blood in the urine (microhematuria if present only in urine, macrohematuria if evident to the naked eye).
Fever : when this symptom appears, normally associated with lower back pain , it means that the infection has spread to the upper urinary tract.
Here are the tests that are generally used to diagnose cystitis.
The first test that is required is a simple urine test , which allows for the presence of bacteria , leukocytes and any traces of blood (microhematuria) to be verified .
L ‘ urine culture is used to determine which is the infectious agent.
Then follows the antibiogram to identify the susceptibility to the antibiotics that will be used for the therapy.
In the case of recurrent infections (chronic cystitis, or recurrent episodes of acute cystitis) a urethral swab is recommended and, if the doctor deems it appropriate, an ultrasound examination of the urinary tract to highlight the presence of an obstruction of the urinary tract or kidney infection (pyelonephritis).
In women subject to protracted or menopausal amenorrhea, it is advisable to evaluate the estrogenic state and vaginal pH : a local estrogen therapy is normally sufficient to end the infection.
When cystitis occurs after sexual intercourse , it is important to assess the tone of the perivaginal muscles : a relaxation of these muscles with self-massage can cure the component due to mechanical trauma and reduced vascular congestion.
To avoid recurrent infections it is important to make the right choices at the table and take small steps that can help us keep the annoying symptoms of cystitis away for as long as possible. Here are the tips to follow, easy but effective.
What to eat to keep cystitis away
To combat this disease it is good to adopt a diet low in sugars and simple carbohydrates : limiting the consumption of these foods helps to “starve” pathogenic microorganisms. Better to prefer complex carbohydrates , such as bread, wholemeal flour and rice, quinoa, beans and potatoes.
Go ahead for green leafy vegetables that support our immune system, such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli .
Excellent inclusion in the fiber feed , through the use of cereals and legumes, and probiotics , contained in yogurt and kefir.
Ok for fresh and seasonal fruit thanks to the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it contains. Among all the fruits there is one that, to counteract cystitis, is a real panacea: the blueberry . Numerous scientific studies have shown that its juice prevents bacteria from settling on the bladder walls, limiting the possibility that the infection develops or grows.
8 rules to prevent cystitis
drink at least one and a half liter of water a day
avoid retaining urine for a long time
avoid consumption of foods and beverages that can irritate the intestine or bladder (tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, sausages, fried foods, spicy foods)
urinating before going to sleep and after sexual intercourse
avoid jeans or underwear too tight
wear cotton underwear avoiding synthetic clothing
use lactic acid bacteria
perform regular intimate hygiene (not more than once a day) avoiding the use of aggressive detergents
keep a regular schedule.