Cystitis is a medical term which refers to the inflammation or swelling of the urinary bladder. Inflammation of the bladder could be due to bacterial infections usually caused by the Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. This medical condition causes discomfort which can even lead to extreme pain. Cystitis can be acute or chronic. For chronic conditions, longer periods of treatment or stronger doses of antibiotic medication may be needed.
How Diet Affects Cystitis
The kind of food a person suffering from cystitis eats can significantly worsen or alleviate the symptoms of the condition. Acidic types of food increase the acidity level of urine and can worsen the symptoms of cystitis. The color of urine is considered to be a parameter in determining whether a person has too much acid in the diet. Highly yellow urine is considered a sign of too much acid. For the best relief from symptoms, the urine should be as alkaline or neutral as possible and this can be achieved by either taking in alkaline foods or drinking lots of water.
Foods and Beverages to Stay Away From
Aside from bacterial contamination, acidic foods can cause the bladder to be irritated. Some examples of foods that are acidic include:
- tomato products and raw tomatoes
- chocolate and chocolate products
- spicy foods
- carbonated drinks
- beverages that contain lemons and other citrus fruits
- vinaigrette dressings and all other foods that have vinegar
- alcoholic beverages and artificial sweeteners
These types of food are better avoided for a person suffering from cystitis.
Types of Food that Can Help Alleviate the Symptoms of Cystitis
Avoiding acids in the diet can help significantly in preventing the pain of cystitis. There are also foods and beverages that help ease the pain. Water is the most basic beverage and the least expensive of them all. Frequently drinking water neutralizes the acids that have accumulated inside the body and in the urinary system. It also helps clean the bladder by flushing out bacteria that have grown in it.
Cranberries, as well as cranberry juice is said to be helpful in easing pain, as well. Although no studies have been done to prove the theory, small evidence has been observed by many which attest to the effectiveness of cranberries to ease the pain of cystitis. Like any other type of food, cranberries should also not be taken in excess as it can also cause the body possible harm. For instance, too much cranberry juice can cause gastrointestinal irritation which can lead to diarrhea.