Cystitis is the inflammation in the bladder wall. This is a quite normal condition but can turn to be serious when left untreated. This is an annoying and painful condition, and this can turn out to be a serious health problem. The underlying cause is how the treatment is diagnosed. The antibiotics, however, are the medicines that come into the picture. Various other medications can come into the picture. The staidest type of cystitis that is also chronic is interstitial cystitis. A bacterial infection is found to be the reason behind this condition. The condition will go off in a very few days, and when it stays over 4 days, the condition can be severe, and going to the doctor is the best thing to do.

The urethra, bladder are infected by bacteria to cause the condition. Otherwise, these are free from bacteria and microbes. The lining of the bladder is affected in this condition and the area becomes red and inflamed. This condition is common in both sexes, but most women are affected the most. This is because they have shorter urethras. When the bacteria in the bowel reach to the urinary tract, it leads to this condition, which is also the major contributing factor of about 80%. This is a common infection to the patients who are under urinary catheters.

There are certain types of cystitis that are non-infectious. They can result in bladder inflammation.

- Interstitial cystitis: This can lead to inflammation in the bladder. This is mostly found in women, and this is not easy to diagnose and treat.

- Drug-induced cystitis: This is caused due to chemotherapy drugs, like cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide. The broken down components still linger in the body to cause this condition

- Foreign body cystitis: This can be caused by the use of a catheter

- Chemical cystitis: This is caused by using harsh chemicals like strong soaps and shampoos

Symptoms of Cystitis:

The symptom of cystitis can vary in children and elders. The symptoms for elders are listed below. They can also alter based on the mental status. Elders feel the urge to urinate, but they pass a very little urine.

- Blood traces are found in the urine.

- The urine is dark and cloudy. The smell is also offensive

- While urinating the patient feels a burning sensation

- When the patient suffers from cystitis, the urge to urinate is quite often

- Pain in lower back and pubic bone are common

The symptoms in children include:

- Urethritis or inflammation of urethra happens in the urethra.

- Pain in the bladder

- Inflammation in the prostate gland, which is called prostatitis.

- Prostatic hyperplasia in men. However, this is not a malignant condition

- Infection in the lower urinary tract

- Candida

- Thrush

- Gonorrhoea

- Chlamydia

Causes of Cystitis:

Cystitis can be caused due to various reasons. The risk of ascending infection is what the major cause is.  There are several risk factors.

E coli bacteria are often the reasons for this condition. These bacteria are present in the skin and intenseness. This bacterium when entering into the urethra can cause this trouble and can lead to bladder issues too.

- Using tampons : The tampon usage can lead to the infection. When inserting the tampon, the bacteria can enter into the urethra.

- Use of urinary catheter : When a urinary catheter is used for a prolonged period of time, infections can be seen. The catheter will carry the bacteria into the urinary tract. While changing the urinary catheter can also lead to this infection.

- Diaphragm for birth control: When diaphragms with semicircles are used for birth control, the women are often affected by cystitis.  This is a comparison with other women who are sexually active.

- Sex preferences: Women who are sexually active have higher chances of getting infected by bacteria that enter into the urethra. When vigorous sex or frequent sex practices are on the cards, the chances of getting affected by cystitis are higher. There is a condition called honeymoon cystitis that can affect the newly married couple.

- Blocks: When the flow of urine is blocked by the blockage in the urinary tract system, the chances of getting affected by bacteria are higher.

- Kidney problems: Kidney stones and bladder infections can also pave way for cystitis

- Fall in estrogen levels: Women tend to lose the estrogen levels when they are attaining the age of menopause. In such cases, the lining of the urethra becomes thin, and there are many chances of infections and damage. After menopause, the chances of getting affected by cystitis are higher.

- Mucus reduction: During menopause, women produce very less mucus in the vagina. The mucus is a natural way to defend the bacteria entering into the urethra. When this is no adequate, naturally the chances of getting affected by cystitis are higher.

- Radiotherapy: Bladder is often damaged due to high-intensity radiation, which is given during radiotherapy.

- Gender: The urethra of women are shorter compared to men. Hence women have a higher risk of developing cystitis compared with men. Also, the menopause can pose a threat.

- Chemicals: A few chemicals present in the soaps, washes and bubbles can cause this condition

- Drugs: Drugs given for chemotherapy treatment to treat cancer can also lead to cystitis.

Interstitial cystitis is a condition and the bladder is constantly swollen. This is tough to treat compared with regular cystitis.

How is it diagnosed:

The diagnosis of cystitis begins with a physical examination. The doctor also asks a set of few questions and tends to identify the ailment with the symptoms. Hence it is essential to reveal all symptoms to the doctor.

- A urine test is prescribed to the patients, and at times, one may not be sent to a laboratory, and a urine dipstick test would do. The patient might have to wait for a few minutes, and the results come faster.

- The type of bacteria that is present in the urine can be identified only based on the urine culture test. The patient has to give away a specimen in the laboratory. The results usually take not more than a day or two.

- A blood test to find out the chances of the existence of sexually transmitted diseases is also on the cards.

There are a few severe symptoms that need immediate medical attention.

- Blood in urine

- Symptoms that linger on for more than 4 hours

- Symptoms that are not completely controlled by antibiotics

- High fever

- Chills

- Shaking

- Vomiting

- Diarrhoea

Advanced tests are required in a few people:

- Children

- In men, advanced tests are required because cystitis is a sign of other underlying diseases in them.

- If people have kidney diseases and are affected by cystitis, advanced tests are required

- Women who are affected by multiple bladder infections in a year

The tests are:

Cystoscopy : A cystoscope is used. This is a thin tube that has a camera. It is inserted into the urethra, and a sample for the test is taken off. In other words, it can collect a sample for biopsy

Imaging : CT scan and ultrasound scans are used to show the presence of tumours and infections in the kidney and bladder.

Intravenous urogram : IVU, as it is shortly known as, this is an X-ray that makes use of the contrast dye to get the images of kidneys, bladder and ureters

Voiding cystourethrography : This test involves putting a dye into the kidney, and the doctor checks if there is a flow of urine from the bladder to the kidney.

Retrograde urethrography : This test uses a dye to find out what the problems in the urethra are

Treatment of Cystitis:

The treatment for cystitis is always based on the cause of the condition. It, however, starts with antibiotics. The doctor will give you medications. After taking a few shots, you will be able to see results. But, the medicines should be taken as instructed by the doctor. Also, the duration should be followed as per the advice of the doctors. The severity of the condition decides how long it has to be taken. The frequency of the infection also decides how long the antibiotics are to be taken. In women, who have crossed the menopause age, a vaginal cream with estrogen is prescribed by the doctor. This eases the symptoms and also prevents further infections. Nitrofurantoin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin, cephalosporins, ciprofloxacin, and levofloxacin are the most often used antibiotics to treat this condition.

Prompt treatment is required for people with low immunity and pregnant women. People who have a risk of diabetes and high risk of kidney infection should get immediate medical advice to avoid further complications.

Surgery can also be done to treat this condition. But the doctor does not go for this in the first instance. This is because a structural tissue can be damaged.

Interstitial cystitis:

As aforementioned, this type of cystitis is tough to treat. A few steps can be followed to ease the symptoms and get some relief.

- Foods that are spicy and foods that are high in potassium should be avoided

- Keeping off from tobacco, smoking and alcohol is mandatory

- Bladder training is an area the doctor would give lots of advice. This also helps in modifying the habits of urination. This helps in staying off from rushing to pee very often

- Bladder soothing medications are involved. They can manage the pain caused due to this condition

- The nerves are mildly stimulated with minor electrical pulses. This helps in alleviating pain, and the need to pee often is also controlled.

- Cystitis of other types is also controlled with other techniques apart from medication. When it is caused by chemotherapy drugs, the doctor tells ways to manage the condition and also advises to keep hydrated enough to flush off the chemicals regularly. If the chemicals in soaps or bubble baths are causing this condition, then it is essential to stay off from using them. Mild soaps, bubbles and shampoos are available in the market.

At home care can also be used to manage the symptoms.

- Heating pads, when applied on the back and abdomen, can help in peeing completely

- Sitz baths offer comfort to the pelvic region

- Taking cranberry juice can lead to preventing infections in the kidney and bladder

- Taking in lots of fluids that include water, juices and soups

- Keeping off from processed foods as they are rich in sodium

Prevention of Cystitis:

Thankfully, cystitis is a condition that can be prevented.

- Don’t hold the urge to urinate. You need to relieve yourself as and when you feel so.

- Avoid using soaps and shampoos around the genitals. Deodorants and sprays should not be used around this area.

- Take lots of fluids. This helps in proper flushing out of waste from the body. The chances of forming kidney stones and other infections in kidney and bladder are lowered when you are affected by cystitis

- After sex, it is essential to urinate

- When you are going to wash your back, then use the movement from front to back. Back to forth cleaning can let the infection enter into the urethra fast.

- Avoid using tampons for long. Keep changing them in a few hours

- Wash the skin around vagina and anus gently, and never use soaps of any sorts over there

Complications of Cystitis:

The complications are very rare if the condition is treated on time. But when left untreated, the complications can lead to severe health issues.

- Kidney infection: Pyelonephritis is a condition that is resulted when the infection in the kidneys are left untreated. This cystitis when untreated leading to this condition can damage the kidneys for sure. This damage is very severe in children and elders. The bladder infections and kidney damage have the same symptoms.  So, it is not important to overlook them.

- Blood in urine: When cystitis is left untreated, it can lead to blood in the urine. This can be seen only with a microscope. This resolves only after a treatment. Even after treatment, the blood cells can remain, and advanced treatments might be required. This is common when there is bacterial cystitis, and at times, cystitis caused by radiation or chemotherapy too can lead to this condition.

Early treatment is the key to stay off from the severity of cystitis.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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