Treating a Bladder Infection
Incidence of Bladder Infections
Bladder infections can be annoying, inconvenient and downright painful. Urinary tract infections affect about 60 percent of American women at some point in their lives, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Men suffer infections in the UTI family much less frequently than women, at a rate of approximately 1 in 2000 men under the age of 50. When a UTI is isolated in the bladder, it is referred to as cystitis. Cystitis occurs when bacteria travels up the urethra into the bladder.
A bladder infection is typically treated with antibiotics. If you are experiencing an uncomplicated infection, your doctor will commonly prescribe an antibiotic. In March 2008, ACOG issued new guidelines for the treatment of bladder infections in non-pregnant women. These new guidelines recommend a three-day course of antibiotics, preferably Septra, Bactrim or Cipro. The same line of treatment is typically used for men.
Bladder infections frequently cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as burning or pain when urinating, unusual frequency of urination, the constant urge to urinate and little output when you do go to the bathroom. These symptoms may be treated with prescription or over-the-counter relief such as Pyridium, which reduces the pain and burning associated with bladder infection.
According to Darren M. Lynch, M.D. of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing, a division of the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, cranberry has been shown to be effective in preventing and assisting in treatment of bladder infections. Cranberry contains components that prevent bacteria such as E. coli from adhering to the walls of the bladder. The recommended dosage is 400mg three times per day in the form of dried cranberry capsules or three cups of pure cranberry juice daily.
Water is also a significant factor in the treatment of bladder and urinary tract infections. If you are suffering from a bladder infection—or if you tend to experience recurrent infections—it’s important to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. Water reduces the concentration of bacteria in the urinary tract and helps flush it out.