Cystitis (Inflammation of the Urinary Bladder)

The term ‘cystitis’ refers to inflammation of the urinary bladder. The recurrence of cystitis may, in some cases, be associated with kidney troubles.

Ayurveda and Cystitis

The elimination of urine is considered as a function of Apana Vayu and any disturbance in Apana Vayu causes issues with urinary functions. Ayurveda refers to this condition as mootrakruchhra which is classified on the basis of the dosha (biohumor) that causes it the condition to expresses itself differently.

Vataj mootrakruchhra: Vitiated Vayu or Air element shows up as severe pain in the pelvic area along with obstructed urination.

Pittaj mootrakruchhra: The excess Fire element of Pitta dosha is marked by severely burning micturition with urine that’s tinged red or yellow.

Kaphaj mootrakruchhra: Typical Kapha characteristics like swelling and heaviness is experienced in the pelvic region along with sticky urine.

Sannipatik mootrakruchhra: Caused by the vitiation of all three doshas and therefore may show symptoms of all of the above types.

The Ayurvedic line of treatment for mootrakruchhra involves the flushing out infection with detoxification, cleaning out blockages of the urinary tract, along with herb that tone the kidneys and normalize the functioning of the Apana Vayu.

Symptoms of Cystitis

  • The patient complains of an almost continual urge to void and a burning sensation on passing urine.
  • There may be a feeling of pain in the pelvis and lower abdomen.
  • The urine may become thick, dark and stringy. It may have an unpleasant smell and may contain blood or pus.
  • Some pain in the lower back may also be felt in certain cases.
  • In an acute stage, there may be a rise in body temperature.
  • In the chronic form of cystitis, the symptoms are similar but generally less severe and longer lasting, and without a fever.
  • In very young children, new episodes of a urinary tract infection (UTI) may manifest itself in the form of accidental daytime wetting.

Root Causes of Cystitis

  • Cystitis may result from infection in other parts connected with or adjacent to the bladder such as the kidneys, the urethra the vagina, or the prostate gland.
  • There may be local irritation and inflammation in the bladder if urine is retained there for an unduly long time. Cystitis may also results from acute constipation.
  • Other conditions like an infected kidney, stones in the kidneys or bladder, or an enlarged prostate may also lead to this disorder.
  • Prolonged use of a catheter may lead to bacterial infections and to tissue damage, which may cause inflammation
  • Using hygiene products that contain irritants such as bubble baths, feminine hygiene sprays, etc.
  • Exposure to radiation may cause inflammatory conditions in the tissues of the bladder
  • Certain medications, particularly chemotherapy drugs such as cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, may cause bladder inflammation as they leave the body.

Risk Factors for Cystitis

Some people are more susceptible to bladder infections or recurrent UTIs. Being female is one such reason as physical anatomy is one of the key reasons. Women have a shorter urethra, which means the bacteria can reach the bladder more easily.
Women who are at greater risk of UTIs include those who:

  • Are sexually active. Intercourse can result in bacteria being given momentum in the direction of the urethra.
  • Use certain birth control methods. Those using diaphragms are more likely to suffer from an UTI.
  • Are pregnant. The extreme changes in hormones may heighten the risk of acquiring a bladder infection.
  • Are menopausal. Again, the changes in hormone levels in women who have experienced menopause are a contributing cause of UTIs.

Some of the other risk factors equally affect both genders including:

  • Interruptions in the flow of urine. Conditions such as bladder stones or an enlarged prostate in men can cause UTIs to occur.
  • Breakdown of the immune system. This can happen in certain conditions like HIV, diabetes and cancer treatment. When the immune system is not strong enough, one is more prone to bacterial infections.
  • Long-term use of bladder catheters. These tubes are usually used for those who are chronically ill or in older adults. But using them for prolonged periods can result in increased vulnerability to bacterial infections and bladder tissue damage.

Diagnosis for Cystitis

If you start to show any of the above symptoms or based on your medical history, your doctor might recommend one or more of the following tests:
Urine analysis: A urine bacterial culture may help determine whether there is occurrence of blood or pus in the urine.
Cystoscopy: For this test, the doctor inserts a cystoscope (a thin tube fitted with a light and camera) via the urethra into the bladder to look for signs of disease. The cystoscope can be used to extract a small sample tissue (biopsy) for lab analysis. This test is usually not needed for the first time you have the symptoms.
Imaging: An imaging test may only be needed if no other evidence of infection is found. For example, tumors or structural abnormalities can be determined with the help of an X-ray or ultrasound.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Cystitis

Herbs
  • Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa): Punarnava or hogweed is considered one of the top herbal remedies for cystitis as it is highly diuretic in nature. 10-15 ml of the juice or 3-5 grams of the powder of this potent herb can be taken as a simple remedy for cystitis.
  • Varun (Crateva Nurvala): Varun is one of the best natural remedies for cystitis as it is used to treat urinary tract infections. The bark may be made into a tea and drunk every day as a natural herbal treatment in urinary calculi, dysuria (painful urination) and cystitis.
  • Gokshura (Tribulus Terrestris): Mix together 5 parts of punarnava, 4 parts of gokshura and 3 parts of musta as an herbal remedy for cystitis. One needs to take half a teaspoon of this mixture twice or thrice a day with warm water.
  • Kasni (Cichorium Intybus): One of the most potent herbs for bladder infection, kasni or chicory is usually had as a tea or as a coffee substitute. Chicory is a diuretic and well-known for its antibacterial properties along with being a tonic for the stomach. The leaves are slightly bitter and can be added to dishes to get the health benefits.
  • Sandalwood (Santalum album): Sandalwood oil for cystitis can be a very soothing remedy for bladder infection and inflammation. Take 5 drops of pure sandalwood oil in a cup of milk. Add a pinch of powdered ajwain (carom seed). Drink daily for natural relief for cystitis. One can also add 10-12 drops of pure sandalwood oil to bathwater and soak in it to cure cystitis and prostatitis.
Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)  

                Chandanasava

               Chandanbala Laxadi Tail

               Chandraprabha Bati

               Varunadi Bati

               Punarnava Mandur

              Chandanadi Bati

              Kachnaar Guggulu

               Punarnavaristha

              Gandhak Rasayana

              Arogyavardhini Bati

              Dashamoolaristha

              Varmadhi Kadha

               Shilajeet Capsules

Diet
  • At the onset of acute cystitis, it is essential to withhold all solid foods immediately.
  • If there is fever, the patient should take only liquid food like fruit juices, soups, barley water, boiled vegetables, etc.
  • After the fever is over then patient should take non-spicy food for a few days. Then, gradually embark upon the all types of food.
  • Drink a lot of water and other fluids to ensure that any bacteria is flushed out and not given a chance to multiply.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages that may further irritate your bladder. An herbal tea made with equals parts of cumin, coriander and fennel boiled in water can help ease the burning sensation while passing urine.
Lifestyle
  • During the first three or four days of acute cystitis, when the patient is on a liquid diet, it is advisable to rest and keep warm.
  • Pain can be relieved by immersing the pelvis in hot water or a sitz bath with baking soda or Epsom salts.
  • Alternatively, heat can applied to the abdomen, by using a towel wrung out in hot water and covering it with a dry towel to retain warmth. The treatment may be continued for three or four days by which time the inflammation should have subsided and the temperature returned to normal.
  • Wear cotton undergarments and loose fitting clothing.
  • Stress can trigger inflammation and make the body prone to infections. Make sure to take time to meditate and relax.
  • Avoid using scented soaps or feminine hygiene products that contain harsh chemicals.
Yoga
  • Pranayama 
  • Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
  • Stomach Churning (Nauli)
  • Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
  • Frog Pose (Mandukasana)