Bladder infections are a far more common problem than what is spoken about or known. Women of all ages suffer more from bladder infections than men. This is mostly due to the length of the urethra – tube through which urine is passed from the bladder out of the body. Being shorter in women, the possibility of an infection is greater, whereas bladder infections in men occur more often in older men due to the enlargement of the prostate as men age, causing restriction to the flow of urine and the bladder not emptying completely, resulting in a perfect breeding area for bacteria to flourish in.
So, how do you get an infection in the bladder?
Bacteria found in a pool or in river or dam water, or from passing a stool and not washing immediately afterwards or wiping the wrong way can travel up and enter the urethra and spread up into the bladder. If not treated, this infection can spread to the kidneys and repeated or ongoing undetected infections of the kidneys can lead to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and in some people even result in kidney failure.
The infection can also come from within the body when, for example, you have a skin infection such as a boil or you suffer with a bacterial infection in your throat. This infection is in the blood and can spread to the bladder and kidneys, hence why all infections, irrespective of what or where, needs to be treated quickly and effectively.
Therefore, it is important to follow basic guidelines to rather prevent infections before they start.
- Never use a pool or swim in a river or dam if your immune system is compromised, you are unwell, or if you can see that the water is polluted.
- Always wipe from front to back when you have used the loo and if you have had a bowel movement, immediately wash the area with soap and water.
- Drink enough water daily. Frequent urination is important to keep both the kidneys and bladder well.
- If you are sexually active, make it a habit to urinate soon after sexual intercourse to clear any foreign matter from the urethra that could lead to infections.
- Do not use scented hygiene products on the genital area. This includes coloured or scented toilet paper which can aggravate bladder problems too. Do not use scented sanitary products as this can also lead to problems such as thrush.
- Always wear cotton underwear as it allows the skin to breathe.
- If you have been swimming, always change quickly back into dry clothes as the dampness and wet material against the genital area can lead to irritations and infections.
- Keep your immune system healthy and strong by eating a balanced and healthy diet, sleeping well, drinking enough water daily and following a good exercise routine. Most importantly, a positive mindset and happy and joyful disposition is known to positively affect the immune system. People who are stressed, tired, negative or have or are enduring grief, trauma and illness are more prone to infections.
- When needing to urinate, ensure you empty the bladder properly. The stream should be strong, and the urine should pass easily. A good way to do this for ladies is to rather squat over the loo or to use a potty than sit. Squatting allows you to push harder and empty the bladder properly. Passing urine in the shower is also a good way to empty the bladder as the warm water relaxes the bladder wall, allowing the bladder to empty.
What to do if you do have a bladder infection?
Always see your medical professional to help you if you have a fever or chills, nausea or vomiting, severe headache, and a feeling as if you are getting flu as this could suggest a more serious kidney infection that might require antibiotics or, in severe cases, hospitalisation. Bladder infection not treated properly can lead to a kidney infection that can cause harm and scarring to the kidneys, so watch out for these additional warning signs as this needs to be avoided at all costs.
If it is the beginning of a bladder infection and you have the urgency of needing to go to the bathroom and only a small amount of urine is passed, then certain natural products used timeously and correctly can treat the problem quickly and effectively. Here, A.Vogel Cystoforce and Bladder Irritation Formula could be of benefit. Take 15 drops of Cystoforce in water two hourly to start with and then gradually reduce the frequency of the dose as symptoms start to improve, for Bladder Irritation Formula take 10 drops hourly in water to begin with and then also reduce frequency as symptoms improve (these are the adult doses, for children see package insert) Drink enough water to help clear the infection out of the bladder and urethra. In the Pegasus range there is a product called Cystitis that can be used with the above-mentioned products. Please refer to individual package inserts for dosage instructions. The ingredients in Cystitis are carefully selected for all the signs and symptoms of bladder infections. Drinking cranberry juice and using D-Mannose powder will also help, especially if it is due to an E-Coli infection, the most common bacterial culprit for bladder infections, especially in young girls who have not yet learned good hygiene habits after passing a stool.
For the person who gets repeated infections, take 15 drops three times daily of A.Vogel Cystoforce used long term together with A.Vogel Nephrosolid. Cystoforce is a herbal remedy that addresses infection and inflammation in the bladder and urethra, whereas Nephrosolid is supportive for the kidneys and bladder with its ingredients known to have an antiseptic, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory action. Nephrosolid is also supportive for the prevention and treatment of kidney stones. Should you have an infection or severe discomfort in the bladder and kidneys, you can use the products hourly until you feel relief, then reduce to three times per day and stay on the products long term.
Ongoing bladder inflammation and discomfort (without detectable bacteria), an overactive bladder, inflammation and burning in the bladder are also common problems people suffer from. Here, Cystoforce, Bladder Irritation Formula and Nephrosolid is again advised to be used long term as to support the functioning of these organs. We often receive positive feedback on these two products and chronic renal problems.
A.Vogel Multiforce is another product to consider using daily to help keep the pH of urine balanced, and a more alkaline body supports the kidneys and helps to prevent kidney stones from forming. Kidney stones are a painful condition to have, and one best avoided, as reoccurring kidneys stones if not managed properly can cause irreversible kidney damage and even kidney failure. Fizzy drinks and not drinking enough water daily are often the reason for kidney stone formation.
The human body has a few sphincter muscles and one of these is found between the bladder and the urethra, allowing the brain to control the passing of urine. This muscle weakens with, for example, pregnancy, the use of a catheter or aging, and causes one to either feel as if one cannot control when one needs to pass urine or hold properly until able to pass the urine. The remedy to help strengthen the connective tissue in the sphincter muscle is called Causticum, either in a 6CH or 30CH is recommended. This is a homeopathic remedy that you can get from your homeopath or homeopathic store that dispenses homeopathic medicine. Ask the homeopath to suggest a dosage for your problem. Support the remedy by taking the Cystoforce and Nephrosolid too as the toning of the lining of the bladder and urethra is as important to help with this ongoing discomfort. ThreshHold RealMSM can also benefit a person with incontinence as ThreshHold supports healthy connective tissue. Take 4 tablets daily long term. Tissue salts, Calc Fluor D6 and Calc Phos D6 can also be used long term to aid in strengthening the connective tissue.
A burning bladder and strong-smelling urine
The sensation of a burning bladder is usually because the urine is concentrated which could be due to a lack of water in the body leading to more acidic urine. Firstly, drink more water. At least two liters a day is advised for a person weighing approximately 70kg’s. Secondly, concentrated urine or burning when passing could also be caused by higher levels of acidity in the body. Here, A.Vogel Multiforce is effective in helping the body to systemically regulate acidity by supporting the buffering system of which the kidneys are a part of, leading to less acidic urine. On the pH scale where 7 is neutral, the bladder and urine should be between 6.0 and 7.5. Some say it can go as low as 4.5 and as high as 8. Ideal is just below 7.
Dr Alfred Vogel often shared at his talks the importance of drinking water and urinating at least nine times per day. The colour of the urine first passed in the morning is dark and can be stronger in smell. This is normal. The urine you pass for the rest of the day should be the colour of straw – not see through, just a little bit yellow. This is a sign that the urine is clear, and you are drinking enough water. Remember, what is passed out of your body as urine was present in your blood a moment ago, so your urine is telling you what is happening in your blood and in your body moment by moment. Drinking coffee, tea, cooldrinks, alcohol, fruit juices and thinking that is enough liquid for a healthy bladder and kidneys is foolish. Your body was made to consume water. You are more than 70% water. Fall in love with it as nature is. You do not bath in coffee or tea, so why do you think your body can be kept well and clean on the inside by drinking anything but water? Enjoying a glass of juice or a cup of coffee or tea now and then is fine but relying on these for your water intake is wrong. Water is and always will be the bladder and kidneys best friend.