Cystitis is an unpleasant condition in which the bladder or urinary tract becomes inflamed. This usually happens as a result of an infection, though it can also happen as a result of trauma to the area. Anyone who's experienced it will be familiar with the burning or stinging sensation when passing urine and that horrid feeling given by the urge to urinate urgently and more frequently than is usual. Often the urine is strong smelling, dark and cloudy, possibly also containing traces of blood which are usually detected through a dip test performed by the GP. Many cystitis sufferers also report a general feeling of being unwell.
Causes of cystitis vary, however most cases are caused by a bacterial infection which sees bacteria enter the urethra. This is more common in women since their urethra's are shorter than men’s. Bacteria can
enter when the mechanism of wiping from back to front is utilised, causing faecal matter to come in to contact with the urethral opening.
Inserting tampons, having sex and using a diaphragm are all other common causes, with the most common bacteria involved in bouts of cystitis being E-coli. Generally the body is good at keeping this bacteria at bay, but on occasions it is able to effect an attack. Many other bacteria would not be able to set up an infection in the urinary tract due to the frequent uni-directional flow of urine, however E-coli bacteria are able to effectively colonise the bladder and urethra mucosa.
Once inside the bladder the bacteria are consumed by the host cells in an attempt to eradicate them,
unfortunately however this bacterium is able to form a bio-film which protects it from the cells natural protection mechanisms. In this way the E-coli are able to multiply and infect surrounding cells, effectively setting up an infection.
When this invasion is identified as a result of antigens being detected in the cell membrane an inflammatory response is stimulated. This causes swelling, heat, pain and redness, all of which stimulate the need to urinate frequently and urgently, and the associated burning and pain.
One of the most effective protective mechanisms the bladder employs is to secrete mucus from the mucus membrane lining of the bladder which helps to trap and expel bacteria in the urine. Thus effectively eradicating the infection.
As with all of my blog posts, the information here should not be viewed as an alternative to seeking professional medical advice.
Andrea Cooper CRM5 MAR PRM of Orchard Reflexology holds the prestigious Level 5 Centralia Reflexology Mastership. The Level 5 qualification is the highest available currently in the UK.
Andrea seeks to deliver excellence through Reflexology, maintaining full memberships with the Association of Reflexolgists and Professional Reflexology. Andrea completes regular research and CPD to further her knowledge, and also runs her own case studies to develop new techniques and treatment protocols.
In addition to her busy Reflexology clinic Andrea is undertaking a Level 5 Diploma in Education and Teaching (DET) which in the future will allow her to share her passion for this wonderful therapy with student Reflexologists.
For further information please visit the website, www.orchard-reflexology.co.uk
Alternatively contact Andrea directly on 07478745695