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Cystitis - urinary tract infection (UTI)
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Cystitis - urinary tract infection (UTI)

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Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is one of many urinary diseases. Cystitis is an inflammation or infection of the urinary bladder. When caused by germs, it's called a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs can be painful and annoying. They can also become a serious health problem if they spread to infect your kidneys. Antibacterial, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory herbs are often used to treat cystitis.

Your urinary system is composed of your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. All play a role in removing waste from your body. Your kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs in your upper-posterior abdomen, filter waste from your blood. Tubes called ureters carry urine from your kidneys to the bladder, where it is stored until it exits your body through the urethra. A urinary tract infection can begin when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and then begin to multiply.

The usual treatment is with antibiotics. You can take a number of steps to help prevent a bladder infection.

Treatment

Antibiotics are the first line of treatment for community-acquired bladder infections. Which drugs are used and for how long depend on your health condition and the bacteria found in your urine test, if such a test is performed. The drugs most commonly recommended for simple UTIs include amoxicillin (Amoxil, Trimox), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Furadantin), sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) and trimethoprim (Trimpex, Proloprim). Make sure your doctor is aware of any other drugs you're taking or any allergies you might have.

Usually, symptoms clear up within a few days of treatment. However, you'll likely need to stay on antibiotics for three days to a week, depending on the severity of your infection. No matter what the length of treatment, take the entire course of antibiotics recommended by your doctor to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.

If you have recurrent UTIs, your doctor may recommend longer antibiotic treatment or refer you to a doctor who specializes in urinary disorders (urologist) or a doctor whose specialty is kidneys (nephrologist) for an evaluation to see if urologic abnormalities may be causing the infections. For some women, taking a single dose of antibiotic treatment after sexual intercourse may be helpful.

Hospital-acquired bladder infections can be a challenge to treat because bacteria found in hospitals are often resistant to the common types of antibiotics used to treat community-acquired bladder infections. For that reason, different types of antibiotics and different treatment approaches may be needed. Currently, researchers are testing whether using catheters pre-treated with antimicrobial products may help reduce the incidence of this type of bladder infection.

 

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