The most common reason a person experiences bladder problems is inflammation caused by a condition known as “cystitis.” Cystitis is much more common in women and occurs more frequently in pregnancy, after being catheterized, after intercourse, or during menopause. Bladder infections are caused when foreign bacteria and yeasts infect the urethra and ascend into the bladder wall. This can produce the typical symptoms associated with cystitis, including pain, burning, and increased urinary frequency. I recommend the following nutritional remedies to manage bladder problems:
1. Drink More Fluids
Drinking more fluids like non-caffeinated herbal tea, diluted fruit juices, and water can increase urine flow and help prevent the buildup of harmful pathogens in the bladder wall.
The extra fluids help dilute the organisms causing the trouble, making them less concentrated and increasing the urinary flow, which helps to remove the bacteria and yeast from the bladder.
2. Consume Cranberry Products
As females age, the normal amounts of the hormones estrogen and progesterone diminish in their bodies. This can alter the tissues that line the bladder and urethra, making them more susceptible to infection and more likely to have bladder problems.
I always recommend that females over the age of 50 consume more cranberry products in either the whole berry form or in a pure cranberry juice product that can be diluted with water. The use of blueberry juice can also have a very beneficial effect.
So how does cranberry juice work if you have a urinary tract infection? Researchers believe that the intake of cranberry products can help prevent the harmful bacteria (usually E. coli) from attaching to the linings of the urinary tract.
When experiencing a bladder infection or other bladder problems, I recommend drinking at least two liters of water a day, mixed with 16 ounces of pure cranberry juice.
3. Consume Herbs Like Uva Ursi and Goldenseal
Herbal medicine has long been able to provide many helpful treatments to many disorders we commonly suffer from.
The herbs uva ursi and goldenseal contain chemicals that can not only help control the concentrations of E. coli in your urinary tract, but can also prevent the recurrence of urinary tract infections commonly associated with the aging process.
Taking a daily dose of 200–500 milligrams of solid extract can help protect you from these troublesome and inconvenient infections.
4. Watch What You Eat and Drink
If you do suffer from a urinary tract infection or bladder problems, try not to drink alcohol or caffeine, or consume excessive amounts of spices and sugar, as these compounds can make your situation worse by changing the chemistry of your urine.
Takahashi, S., et al., “A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the preventive effect of cranberry juice (UR65) for patients with recurrent urinary tract infection,” J Infect Chemother. February 2013; 19(1): 112-7.
Wang, C.H., et al., “Cranberry-containing products for prevention of urinary tract infections in susceptible populations: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” Arch Intern Med. July 2012; 172(13): 988-96.
Goldman, R.D., “Cranberry juice for urinary tract infection in children,” Can Fam Physician. April 2012; 58(4): 398-401.
Head, K.A., “Natural approaches to prevention and treatment of infections of the lower urinary tract,” Altern Med Rev. September 2008; 13(3): 227-44.