According to Beverley Hills urologist Dr. Larrian Gillespie, author of, You Don't Have to Live with Cystitis , injury to your low back area can damage the nerves that go to your bladder causing your bladder not to empty completely. Thus some residual urine is always left, predisposing you to repeated infections. Gillespie recommends chiropractic adjustment to relieve the pressure and prevent infection.
Too much sex, too little sex, or oral sex, do not cause infectious cystitis. However, after sex it is important to urinate, but only after you have waited long enough to build up a good forceful stream to wash out the bacteria that have accumulated in the bladder.
Diaphragms that are too large can alter the angle of the bladder neck, making it difficult to empty the bladder completely. Make sure your diaphragm fits snugly, and be sure to urinate before you put it in and six hours later, after you remove it. Tampons can cause the same problem. So, if necessary, remove them before urination or use sanitary napkins. Use only unbleached tampons and pads.
The vagina itself is a balanced ecosystem. Friendly bacteria called lactobacillus acidophilus help keep the vagina acidic and resistant to infections.
Excess spermicide, foam, or lubricant, can also irritate the urethra and predispose you to infections. According to Dr. Gregor Reid, former Director of Urology Research, at Toronto General Hospital spermicides destroy a woman's friendly bacteria and increase the risk of bladder infections by as much as four times.
Dr. Reid and his colleague Dr. Andrew Bruce , Chief of Urology at Toronto General Hospital have been studying women with chronic bladder infections.
In the study, one group of 28 women with four proven bladder infections within the past 12 months, was treated with the acidophilus suppositories; the other group with inert suppositories. Another arm of the study treated 40 women with acute bladder infections with a three-day course of antibiotics followed by a three-month course of Restoration Plus, and compared it to results with 20 women treated with antibiotics followed by three months of placebo.
"When we looked at the two groups of women, those who did not have infections, had beautiful growths of lactobacilli," Dr. Bruce commented in the Toronto Star (Apr/13/92). "The lactobacilli seem to have a protective effect. A significant number of women who had repeated infections had a poor population of lactobacilli."
Restoration Plus is a unique vaginal suppository that contains two key strains of lactobacilli called lactobacillus casei and lactobacillus fermentum.
The results of this study have shown Restoration Plus to be a very effective preventative treatment for bladder infections. Acidophilus suppositories seem to stimulate the normal growth of lactobacilli in the vagina. The treatment is given once a week for six to 12 months. Dr. Reid estimates that the new treatment could save the North American health care system $150 million a year.
If you have repeated infections, you may want to try acidophilus suppositories placed in the vagina every night for a week, then once a week for six months to a year. You can use a high quality acidophilus powder available in any health food store, and put it in 00 gelatin capsules.
When symptoms first appear it may be helpful to drink one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, one time only. More importantly, make sure you drink at least eight ounces of water a day. Avoid acid foods like citrus and tomatoes, sugar and sugar substitutes and use only buffered vitamin-C.
Research to date has shown that cranberry or blueberry juices make it harder for bacteria to stick to the bladder wall and also acidify the urine. One study showed that if you take 300cc of cranberry juice daily, you cut the rate of reinfection by half. Unsweetened juices are best.
Eliminating contributing factors and improving the body's natural defences provide more options for women with this troublesome problem.
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