Bladder infections are common urinary tract infections that most often occur in women 65 and older. In fact, 50% to 60% of women will have at least one bladder infection during their adult life.
While good hygiene and healthy bladder practices can help prevent bladder infections, cranberries have long been thought to have a positive impact on bladder health.
Cranberry juice, in particular, has been linked to the reduction of bacteria formation in the bladder.
Those small, red berries that grow near bogs sure seem to pack quite the punch when it comes to urinary tract health. But, just how effective is cranberry juice for bladder infections?
Let’s explore the tie between the sweet cranberry beverage and bladder health in more detail.
First, What Is a Bladder Infection?
A bladder infection is a urinary tract infection that directly affects the bladder.
The term “bladder infection’’ is sometimes used interchangeably with the initialism for a urinary tract infection and is called a “UTI.”
While not all UTIs involve the bladder, all bladder infections are classified as UTIs.
Infections limited to the bladder often cause mild to moderate pain and can usually be treated quickly without complications.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has a bladder infection, you should be treated immediately to avoid an increase in symptom severity and get the medication you need sooner.
Bladder Infection Symptoms
Bladder infection symptoms vary from person to person but often include
- Pelvic pressure
- Abdominal pain
- Frequent and painful urination
- Blood in urine
Cause and Risk Factors
Bladder infections are caused by bacteria multiplication in the bladder by way of the urethra in the urinary tract.
You are at increased risk of developing a bladder infection from bacteria entrance if you
- Are a female
- Have urinary tract abnormalities
- Are sexually active
- Take birth control
- Are in menopause
- Have a suppressed immune system
- Have a catheter
- Have recently undergone a surgical urinary tract procedure
Is Cranberry Juice Good for a Bladder Infection?
The short answer is yes, cranberry juice is good for a bladder infection.
In fact, extensive studies have shown that cranberry juice can help prevent harmful bacteria from forming in the bladder within just 8 hours of consumption.
In various clinic trials, cranberry juice has been confirmed to help fight off bacteria-causing infections in the bladder.
The researchers found that cranberry metabolites in the juice prevent E. coli from sticking to other bacteria, limiting its ability to grow and multiply.
While juice is not the recommended first choice for your daily beverage, a daily glass can help prevent bladder infection.
An added bonus is that cranberries are also low on the glycemic index, not causing an abrupt spike in blood sugar levels.
Other Ways to Prevent Bladder Infection
Although you cannot avoid a bladder infection altogether, there are various ways to reduce your risk of developing one.
Some effective ways to prevent bladder infection include
- Drinking plenty of water regularly to flush out any stagnant bacteria in your bladder
- Urinating every 2 to 3 hours
- Urinating before and after sex
- Wiping front to back each time you use the restroom.
- Managing preexisting conditions that could have a negative impact on your bladder or urinary tract, such as diabetes
Since women are more prone to developing bladder infections, they should take extra precautions and avoid anything that would disrupt the pH balance of the vagina, including
- Vaginal deodorants
Everyone should avoid
- Unlubricated condoms
- Holding their urine for excessive periods
- Staying in wet clothes or swimsuits
- Wearing noncotton underwear
Bladder Infection Treatment Options
Antibiotics are the most common treatment for bladder infections.
You could be prescribed any of the following as part of your standard treatment plan:
Bladder Infection Care in Houma
If you are experiencing bladder infection symptoms like frequent urination, pelvic pain, or blood in your urine, you should be seen now.
Our compassionate and experienced team can help you feel better sooner by providing effective bladder infection treatment now.
At Thibodaux Regional Urgent Care in Houma, we are open daily to help with all of your urgent medical needs, bladder infection included. No appointments are necessary; walk in to get the care you need now.