Your healthcare provider will take into account your medical history and any symptoms you report that relate to cystitis. Your physician will look for symptoms that are consistent with excessive exposure to anything that could contribute to infection or irritation that may result in cystitis. This could be anything from drinking too much soda or coffee, to exposure to toxic chemicals on the job, to having unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Certain lab tests are often used to measure the amount of potentially harmful chemicals in the body. These tests may include a blood or urine analysis that will directly relate to your risk of developing cystitis. You may have blood cells, WBC, or casts in your urine that can suggest an infection. If these elements remain after treatment (usually antibiotics), your doctor may recommend that you have more tests or visit a medical specialist to determine the cause. Visible blood in the urine is rare but this symptom is more common with chemotherapy or radiation treatment patients.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drinking enough water is critical for the entire human body to function properly. This is especially important for the bladder, kidneys, and all tissues related to the elimination system. People who drink a lot of clean water every day tend to have significantly lower rates of cystitis. They also tend to be healthier in general, because the body has enough clean water to wash out impurities.
Cranberry juice and other juices high in Vitamin C can help reduce the risk of recurrent bladder infections for some people, but if other lifestyle habits are unhealthy, the benefits will be lost.
While you are drinking all that clean water, make sure to visit the restroom frequently. If you feel the urge to urinate, don’t delay using the toilet if possible. The idea here is not to allow any impurities that your body has cleansed from your system to remain in the bladder for longer than needed. If you are at work, and leaving the work area is not convenient, you should discuss this with your boss. You need to make arrangements for being able to urinate more often until your cystitis is gone.
Planning your daily menu with healthy, non-processed foods that nurture your body’s beneficial microorganisms can greatly contribute to your health and minimize incidents of cystitis. Bacteria are always present throughout the human body, inside and outside, and are usually part of a relationship, a system working together for the benefit of the body. Specifically, beneficial bacteria in our intestines help digest food, destroy disease-causing microorganisms, produce vitamins, and distribute nutrients.
Avoid white sugar. Consuming a diet high in white sugar, white flour or high-fructose corn syrup sets the stage for inflammation throughout the body. If you have chronic cystitis, make sure to eliminate these products and any products containing them from your diet while you are healing. Inflammation can occur in response to many triggers, and some of these you can’t do much to change. You have much more control over the foods and beverages you choose to eat and drink. To stay as healthy as possible, keep inflammation (cystitis) down by minimizing your consumption of any foods, beverages, or seasonings that are known causes.
Proper hygiene for both men and women is recommended for staying healthy and minimizing the risk of cystitis. Showering in clean water (without using harsh chemicals) and careful cleansing after a bowel movement prevents non-beneficial bacteria from spreading into the urethra.
Take showers rather than tub baths. If you’re susceptible to infections, showering rather than bathing may help prevent them. Gently wash the skin around the vagina, penis, and anus. Don’t wash too vigorously. The delicate skin around these areas can become irritated and that can contribute to cystitis.
Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. Drink a full glass of water to help flush out any harmful bacteria.
Avoid using harsh deodorant sprays or feminine products in the genital area. These products can irritate the urethra and bladder. Quit smoking! Chronic and long-term abuse of nicotine and alcohol can contribute to cystitis.