The bladder has a very important, if unappreciated, job to do every day. It sits in a surprisingly small sac in the pelvis. When empty, your bladder is only about the size of a peach.
If you’re like most people, you probably imagine your bladder being three times that size when it is full and there’s no bathroom in sight!
Here’s a quick primer on the production of urine.
Your kidneys produce urine, which then leaves the kidneys through the ureters—two tubes that extend to the bladder. Your bladder then stores the urine until you have a chance to head for the washroom. Without your bladder, you’d be spending most of your day trying to get rid of any stored urine.
Your bladder is made of muscle tissue. This muscle tissue is often lined with a protective layer of mucus. When harmful substances in urine get in behind the protective mucus, the muscle tissue below can become inflamed and irritated.
Bladder Inflammation: Symptoms, Causes and Natural Treatments
Bladder inflammation is a frustrating and a painful condition to deal with, especially when the condition reoccurs with stubborn regularity. Bladder inflammation, called interstitial cystitis, happens more often in women than in men. Some believe that this is due to the difference in anatomy between men and women.
Men have ureters that are about eight inches, while women have ureters that are 1.5 inches. The shorter ureter may make the urinary tract more susceptible to bacterial infections.
Bladder inflammation can also occur when bacteria travels from the intestinal tract to the bladder. Your bladder can become infected with these bacteria that would normally stay put inside your intestinal tract.
Yet another cause of bladder inflammation is the use of antibiotics. These drugs can alter your body’s balance of bacteria, leading to yeast infections. Regardless of the cause of a bladder infection, inflammation is the result.
How can you get relief from bladder inflammation?
Many CAM therapies could help to sooth both inflamed tissue in the walls of the bladder and the urinary tract. In one recent trial, researchers from Philadelphia conducted an Internet-based survey on complementary and alternative medicines used for the treatment of bladder inflammation.
The researchers had respondents rate over 40 therapies on a five-point scale. Over 2,000 people responded. Twenty-two CAM therapies were given a positive rating, 20 were rated negatively, and seven were inconclusive.
According to the participants, the following therapies proved to be helpful in treating bladder inflammation:
- Dietary management
- Physical therapy
- Applying heat and cold
- Meditation and relaxation
- Stress reduction
- Sleep hygiene
Herbal Remedies for Bladder Inflammation
Herbs that may be of benefit in treating an inflamed bladder include:
- Marshmallow root
- Yarrow and parsley.
As far as diet goes, add cranberries to your morning meal. Get lots of vitamins C, A, and E, along with adequate zinc. And finally, add foods rich in bioflavonoids to your meals every day.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
“Green Tea May Protect Bladder From Becoming Inflamed,” Science Daily web site, May 27, 2007; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070520140907.htm, last accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
“Diagnosing and Treating Interstitial Cystitis,” Harvard Medical School web site, http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Diagnosing_and_treating_interstitial_cystitis.htm, last accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
O’Hare, P.G., et al., “Interstitial cystitis patients’ use and rating of complementary and alternative medicine therapies,” Int Urogynecol J. June 2013; 24(6): 977-82.