Men can experience urinary symptoms due to prostate problems which can often be uncomfortable.
This article will discuss common causes of bladder inflammation, and how you can naturally relieve it.
What is bladder inflammation?
Inflammation is a process where tissues become swollen, reddened, warm, and tender. It results from the activation of the immune system, usually against a microbe or another pathogen. In some cases, no infection is seen. Instead, the tissue becomes infected due to an auto-immune process.
Bladder inflammation features swelling of the bladder with the characteristics mentioned above. It is usually due to an infectious process called cystitis.
However, similar symptoms may show up if you have kidney disease, kidney stones, or bladder spasms. Bladder cancer also causes significant inflammation, and prostatitis (prostate inflammation) may also affect the bladder and trigger similar symptoms.
Thus, urinary symptoms should be evaluated, and the source should be detected before treatment. Each disease is very different from the rest, even if they share similar features.
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Causes of bladder inflammation
This is the most common is a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is also known as bacterial cystitis. Bacteria colonize the bladder, and the immune system triggers inflammation to deal with the problem.
It usually starts as a bladder infection that goes up to the kidneys. In some cases, both bladder and kidney infections coexist.
Both cause urinary problems, but kidney infections trigger higher temperature levels and lower back pain.
They are kidney stones that run down into the bladder. They are eliminated through the urethra and cause damage on their way out.
In many cases, male cystitis starts with bladder stones. They cause lesions in the urethra that become infected.
It’s a malignant growth in the bladder. Cancer triggers inflammation in the surrounding tissues to increase the blood flow and receive more nutrients. Thus, urinary symptoms are more common in these cases.
Interstitial cystitis (Bladder pain syndrome)
This is also known as noninfectious cystitis or painful bladder syndrome. Interstitial cystitis patients do not have a bacterial infection and still experience bladder inflammation. It causes long-term pain that is very difficult to treat (3).
An overactive bladder results from a nervous dysregulation of the bladder. Instead of contracting when it is full, the bladder tries to squeeze out urine before time. They are bladder spasms and may cause incontinence in severe cases.
Patients end up having the same symptoms as bladder inflammation. Thus, it is a differential diagnosis doctors should always consider (3).
Seniors may get similar symptoms if they have an enlarged prostate. There’s urinary retention due to an obstruction, and they stop voiding normally. This is also a differential diagnosis doctors need to consider.
The most important symptoms of bladder inflammation include:
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Frequent urination due to a reduction in bladder capacity
- Pelvic pain (bladder pain)
- Chronic pain
- Dark or cloudy urine with a foul smell
- Tiredness and discomfort
- Pain in the thighs or the testicles
You will probably not experience all of these symptoms at the same time. They will depend on the source of inflammation and the severity of the problem.
5 ways to relieve bladder inflammation naturally
Bladder inflammation often requires medical treatment, and we encourage you to talk to your doctor about it. They might recommend a few changes in your lifestyle to speed up your recovery.
You can try these:
1. Drink enough water
We may think that drinking more water worsens the problem by increasing urinary frequency. It’s quite the opposite because it flushes out bacteria and prevents bladder stones.
2. Avoid bladder irritants
We can name a few. Carbonated drinks, coffee, alcohol, acidic fruits, and spicy foods. They irritate your urinary tract and may worsen your symptoms if you’re not careful.
Other bladder irritants people usually do not consider include perfumed soap, talcum, and bubble bath.
3. Take your daily supplements
Supplements can help you in different ways, depending on the source of your problems.
If your symptoms are caused by prostate enlargement, you can relieve the pressure from your bladder by shrinking your prostate using Total Health for the Prostate. Total Health will lower your PSA and alleviate your urinary symptoms, without any side effects.
Prostate Healer fights against prostate diseases like prostatitis and BPH, protects bladder health, provides symptomatic relief from urinary tract infections, and reduces inflammation.
If you have cystitis, cranberry juice and cranberry supplements can be helpful.
4. Practice with Kegel exercises
Kegels are specialized movements we do to strengthen the pelvic floor. It consists basically of holding your urine in the middle of your urinary stream to locate the pelvic muscles in your mind.
Once you find them, contract them repeatedly for a few minutes while sitting, standing, or laying down. This will give you more control over your voiding functions, and symptoms may start to improve after a while.
5. Bladder training
You could also try bladder training techniques. It mainly works for patients with an increased urinary frequency.
Start by taking notes of every time you void in one day. Try to determine how many hours between urination.
Now, in a controlled environment such as your home, try to hold your urine for one hour longer than usual.
Keep logging and when you feel comfortable with this time extension, add another hour. If one hour difference feels difficult for you, try with 30-minute intervals.
As noted above, treatment of bladder inflammation and similar urologic condition depends on the diagnosis. Thus, doctors should carefully evaluate your symptoms and run a few tests.
A urine test is usually enough to diagnose bacterial cystitis. More complex medical conditions such as overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis, and bladder cancer may require a cystoscopy.
After you’re correctly diagnosed, the doctor may recommend one of these treatments:
They are prescribed to treat urinary infections. They are sometimes used in case of kidney stones to prevent an infection.
There are different antibiotics for bladder and kidney infections. Doctors also need to choose the right antibiotic depending on the rate of antibiotic resistance in your local community.
Treatment usually lasts for a week, and it is generally taken orally. However, chronic and complicated cases may require intravenous medications and sometimes hospitalization when the kidneys are involved.
These medications are commonly used in psychiatry. But this time, they are prescribed in urinary conditions because the nerves that control your bladder are not functioning correctly.
Tricyclic antidepressants are often helpful in interstitial cystitis and cases of overactive bladder. They can relax the bladder muscles and prevent bladder spasms (3).
It is also known as a bladder wash. This treatment involves placing a urinary catheter, reaching your bladder, and introducing an aqueous solution.
The solution is removed after a while when it has done what it’s intended for. It usually contains a mixture of medications, including heparin, lidocaine, and dimethyl sulfoxide (3).
Bladder inflammation is a health problem that usually results from a bacterial infection. However, that is not always the case. Some patients develop interstitial cystitis, which is a noninfectious inflammation of the bladder.
Both conditions feature uncomfortable urinary symptoms that include a burning sensation when voiding, increased urinary frequency, urinary urgency, and pelvic pain.
We should also consider other ailments with similar symptoms, for example, bladder cancer, prostatitis, and BPH. Sometimes an overactive bladder is the cause of the problem, and it doesn’t necessarily involve inflammation.
If you constantly experience these symptoms, we recommend drinking enough water, staying away from bladder irritants such as caffeine and alcohol, and trying bladder training along with Kegel exercises.
Some herbs and supplements such as Ashwagandha, cranberry, and vitamin C may relieve your symptoms depending on the diagnosis. Thus, it is essential to see a doctor, run a few tests, and diagnose your condition to find the best treatment for you.
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