Cystitis, often referred to as urinary tract infection (UTI), is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.
Cystitis describes inflammation of the bladder, which can cause pain and irritation.
Most commonly the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection (the reason the term is often used as a synonym for a urinary tract or bladder infection); but may also be caused by complications of other illnesses (e.g., gynecologic cancers, pelvic inflammatory disorders [PID], endometriosis, Crohn’s disease); certain medical treatments (primarily chemotherapeutic agents or radiation therapy); irritants such as feminine hygiene sprays, spermicidal jellies; or long-term catheter use.
The cause of interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder inflammation) is unclear.
If untreated, a bladder infection can spread to the kidneys.
Seek professional healthcare if you experience cystitis symptoms.
Symptoms of Cystitis
Possible symptoms of cystitis include:
- Strong, persistent urge to urinate
- Frequent passing of small amounts of urine
- Burning sensation on urinating
- Blood in urine
- Cloudy or strong-smelling urine
- General pelvic discomfort
- Sensation of pressure in the lower abdomen
- Low-grade fever
In children, new episodes of daytime bed-wetting (enuresis) may be a sign a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Treatment of Cystitis at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of cystitis treatment are to reduce pain and inflammation, resolve underlying infection (in case of a urinary tract infection [UTI]) and prevent recurrence by identifying and addressing the cause of the infection or inflammation.
Conventional treatment for cystitis caused by a bacterial infection is antibiotics.
Treatment for non-infectious cystitis varies dependant on the underlying cause, but includes pain management medications. Treatment of chronic bladder inflammation includes oral or intra-bladder medications; bladder distention; or surgery. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects or complications.
For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional treatments, or together with conventional treatments in order to limit conventional treatment required to treat your cystitis symptoms.
Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:
- Identifying specific treatment goals
- Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
- Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
- Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment
At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating cystitis may be to:
- Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., insufficient water intake, delaying urinary voidance, frequent tub baths, poor genital hygiene, use feminine hygiene products) or general health (e.g., hormonal imbalance, enlarged prostate gland, stone in the bladder, compromised immune system function, prolonged use of bladder catheters) that may be contributing to your cystitis symptoms
- Reduce discomfort and inconvenience caused by symptoms using hydrotherapy or acupuncture
- Resolve infection, if appropriate, using botanical (herbal) medicines
- Prevent recurrence by increasing immune system activity using botanical (herbal) medicines
Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:
- Nutritional counseling
- Nutritional supplements
- Metabolic detoxification protocols
- Botanical (herbal) medicines
- Bowen Therapy
- Exercise prescription
- Relaxation (meditation) training
- Lifestyle medicine and counseling
- Registered massage therapy
Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.
Cystitis [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2010 Jan 13]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cystitis/DS00285.