Here Are Essential Things You Need To Know About Inflammation Of The Urinary Bladder

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Here Are Essential Things You Need To Know About Inflammation Of The Urinary Bladder

Inflammation of the urinary bladder is a medical condition known as cystitis. It occurs when the bladder becomes irritated and inflamed. This is usually due to an infection, though non-infectious causes can also be responsible. Cystitis is more common in females than males. Such is the case because the female urethra is shorter and closer to the anus. Before we dig deeper into the infection, it is best to know what this part of the body is responsible for.

Let us understand the urinary bladder more

The urinary bladder is an essential organ in the human body that plays a crucial role in storing and expelling urine. It is a hollow, muscular, and balloon-shaped organ located in the pelvis just behind the pubic bone. The bladder is a part of the urinary system, which is responsible for filtering waste products from the blood. All these are then eliminated from the body through urine.

The main functions of the urinary bladder are:

Urine Storage

The bladder stores urine that is produced by the kidneys until it is convenient and appropriate to eliminate it from the body. The bladder can expand and contract to accommodate varying amounts of urine. 

Urine Elimination 

When the bladder becomes sufficiently full, nerve signals are sent to the brain which indicates the need to urinate. The brain sends signals back to the bladder, initiating the process of urination or micturition. It contracts while the urethral sphincters (muscles at the base of the bladder and urethra) relax, allowing urine to flow out of the body through the urethra.

More about the bladder…

The bladder has a relatively elastic and muscular wall. This allows it to stretch and hold varying amounts of urine. It is lined with a specialised type of cell known as transitional epithelial cells. They can expand and contract to accommodate urine volume changes. When the bladder is empty, these cells form folds. But as the bladder fills, they unfold to allow for increased storage capacity.

The urinary bladder’s proper function is essential for maintaining overall urinary health. Any inflammation or infection in the bladder can lead to conditions such as cystitis, which causes discomfort and urinary symptoms. Keeping the bladder healthy involves the following: 

– maintaining good hygiene, 

– staying adequately hydrated, 

– and seeking medical attention for any urinary concerns or issues.

Speaking of health, let’s talk about the inflammation of the urinary bladder

The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection. This usually starts from Escherichia coli (E. coli), which naturally resides in the intestines. These bacteria can reach the bladder through the urethra and cause inflammation. Other bacteria, viruses, or fungi can also cause cystitis, but these instances are less frequent.

Non-infectious cystitis can result from various factors, including:

  1. Interstitial cystitis (IC) or painful bladder syndrome: A chronic condition characterised by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and surrounding pelvic region.
  2. Radiation cystitis: Caused by radiation therapy for cancer treatment which can irritate the bladder lining.
  3. Chemical-induced cystitis: Exposure to certain chemicals or irritants can cause inflammation of the bladder.
  4. Medication-induced cystitis: Some medications may irritate the lining which causes painful and uncomfortable inflammation of the urinary bladder.

The symptoms of cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder can include:

  1. Frequent and urgent need to urinate
  2. Pain or burning sensation during urination (dysuria)
  3. Cloudy or bloody urine
  4. Lower abdominal or pelvic discomfort
  5. Strong-smelling urine
  6. In some cases, fever and chills may be present if the infection is severe.

If you suspect you have cystitis or experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can diagnose the condition through a medical history review, physical examination, and urine tests. Treatment usually involves antibiotics for bacterial infections and other specific therapies for non-infectious causes.

How to avoid inflammation of the urinary bladder

To prevent cystitis, it is advisable to 

– maintain good hygiene, 

– drink plenty of water, 

– urinate regularly, and 

– avoid holding urine for long periods 

– lifestyle adjustments may be recommended by a healthcare provider as well.

Taking care of your urinary bladder is essential to maintain overall urinary health and prevent conditions like cystitis and other bladder-related issues. 

Here are some tips to help you care for your urinary bladder. Let’s discuss further, shall we?

Stay Hydrated:  

Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Proper hydration helps flush out bacteria and toxins from your urinary system. As such, it further prevents the formation of concentrated urine that can irritate the bladder.

Maintain Good Hygiene: 

Practice good genital hygiene, especially after using the restroom. Wiping from front to back (for females) helps prevent bacteria from the anal region. 

Urinate Regularly:  

Don’t hold in urine for too long. Regularly emptying your bladder helps prevent the buildup of bacteria and reduces the risk of infections. 

Empty Your Bladder Completely: 

Make sure to empty your bladder fully during each bathroom visit. Some individuals might have difficulty fully emptying their bladders. Unfortunately, as this happens it increases the risk of urinary tract infections or UTIs. 

Avoid Holding Urine:  

If you feel the urge to urinate, try not to delay using the restroom. Holding urine for an extended period can lead to bladder distension. As a result, this weakens the bladder muscles over time.

Be Cautious with Intimate Practices:  

Sexual activity can sometimes introduce bacteria into the urinary tract. Urinating before and after sexual intercourse can help flush out potential bacteria. 

Practice Safe Sex:  

Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by using condoms and engaging in safe sexual practices. 

Watch Your Diet: 

Certain foods and beverages can irritate the bladder. Spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners may trigger bladder irritation in some individuals. Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods. If you notice adverse effects, particularly in terms of passing urine, make adjustments accordingly. 

Exercise Regularly:  

Of course, it goes without saying that regular physical activity can help improve overall health. This definitely includes bladder functionality. If you have problems with controlling urine, Kegel exercise may help with the condition. This is because it helps strengthen the pelvic floor muscles for better bladder control. 

Manage Chronic Conditions: 

If you have conditions like diabetes or kidney problems, work with your healthcare provider to manage them effectively. These conditions can impact urinary health if not properly controlled. 

Don’t Smoke:  

Smoking can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. If you smoke, consider quitting to improve your bladder health and overall well-being.

Avoid Excessive Use of Catheters:  

If you need to use catheters, follow proper hygiene practices. You need to use them only as prescribed by your healthcare provider. When not comfortable using it alone, have a health professional be of assistance.

Regular Check-ups: 

Attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. If you experience any urinary symptoms or concerns, seek medical attention promptly. Don’t delay the check as every passing minute may make the condition worse.  

In a nutshell

By following these tips and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can promote good urinary bladder health. Furthermore, they all significantly help in the reduction of bladder-related risks. If you have specific concerns about your bladder health, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice and guidance.