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Without antibiotics: gentle cure for cystitis
Especially in the cold season, many people suffer from cystitis. Not a few of them then trust antibiotics. But “harmless” pain relievers or simple natural remedies can also alleviate the symptoms. A new study has now shown that the majority of women with uncomplicated urinary tract infections have become healthy without antibiotics.
Urinary tract infections, especially in women
Especially in the cold winter months, many people suffer from cystitis. Typical signs of a disease are pain and burning when urinating. Constant urge to urinate is also an indication of an infection. Sometimes there is cramp-like pain, blood in the urine and fever. Men can also get sick, but health experts say that up to 95 of those affected are female. The fact that women are more likely to develop cystitis than men is due to an anatomical difference. The urethra of women is about four centimeters shorter and therefore more suitable for allowing invading bacteria to find their way up into the bladder.
To prevent illness, some advice from experts should be followed. But if it does happen, home remedies for cystitis can often help in addition to medication.
Prevent bladder infections
Inflammation of the bladder, also called "cystitis", is often caused by Escherichia coli bacteria, which are part of the normal human intestinal flora. Hygiene when using the toilet therefore always plays an important role in preventing illness: the rule is to always clean from front to back. Another beneficial factor in developing bladder infection is hypothermia. So it is not a medical myth that cold floors can catch the bladder cold. Experts therefore recommend warm underwear, especially made of cotton, especially in winter. This can protect the lower abdomen from extreme cold.
It is usually recommended to keep your feet as warm as possible. And in summer it is important to change wet swimsuits and swimming trunks immediately after swimming. Other risk factors for cystitis include hormonal changes during the menopause, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, a weakened immune system or frequent sexual intercourse (so-called honeymoon cystitis). Because of the latter, women are advised to empty the bladder immediately after sex.
Gentle methods against urinary tract infections
Since the inflammation is unpleasant in most cases, but relatively harmless, there are often simple therapies for those affected to alleviate a urinary tract infection. It is fundamentally important to keep warm and drink a lot. Warm drinks are particularly suitable here. For example, nettle tea, bearberry leaves or juniper can have a healing effect.
There are also herbal medicines that are available without a prescription that can help alleviate symptoms of cystitis. If self-therapy does not improve after about two to three days, experts should seek medical advice. For some sufferers such as pregnant women, children, men and women with chronic cystitis, a doctor's visit is recommended even with the first symptoms. Especially if there is blood in the urine or pain in the lower back. The doctor will then often prescribe antibiotics. In many cases, therapy with such drugs can prevent the bladder infection from causing permanent kidney damage. However, antibiotics are often not necessary for uncomplicated urinary tract infections, as a new study showed.
Antibiotics are often not necessary
The study, in which almost 500 patients took part in 42 general practitioners' practices in northern Germany, showed that two thirds of women with uncomplicated urinary tract infections who were given only one pain reliever got well even without antibiotics. As the researchers from Göttingen, Hanover and Bremen reported online in the journal "British Medical Journal", kidney pelvic inflammation only occurred in individual women. This was more common in the group treated with pain relievers only. However, the difference was not statistically significant.
The results of the investigation could possibly help to prescribe antibiotics in the case of cystitis only when they are really necessary. According to the information, the four-year study was supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation with 1.2 million euros. (ad)