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What Is Cystitis?

Cystitis is an inflammation of the urinary bladder due to germ-infection which may occur in acute or chronic form. Any factor causing congestion of the bladder, or the presence of stone predisposes to cystitis. In men, enlargement of the prostate by narrowing the passage of the urethra may cause congestion and some degree of retention of urine thus predisposing to inflammation.

In women, owing to the short urethra, germs, particularly the colon bacilli, can readily gain entrance to the bladder and cause cystitis. This disease may also arise in certain diseases of the nervous system where the nerve supply to the bladder is affected. Infection may reach the bladder from the kidney in pyelitis.

Symptoms of Cystitis

There is severe pain in the lower abdomen. The passing of water (urine) is frequent and "scalding." In men, there is pain at the end of the penis, after passing water. There is often some fever with constitutional disturbance.

The water contains pus and sometimes blood.

Treatment of Cystitis

Rest in bed with a milk diet is necessary until the acute symptoms subside. Pain can be relieved by hot hip-baths, three per day lasting for about half an hour; or hot fomentations may be applied. The bowels should be kept well open-castor oil may be given to begin with, followed by cascara. Large quantities of fluid should be taken, glucose in water, fruit juices, barley water. Alkalis are generally prescribed, notably sodium citrate. Sulphonamides are useful in some cases, while the most recent drug advised is mandelic acid.

Hexamine, a urinary antiseptic, is also recommended.

Chronic Cystitis

This may follow an acute attack or may arise in women from bacillus coli infection, recurring periodically if the general health is debilita ted, especially in cold damp weather. There is a feeling of weight in the lower abdomen, with frequent desire to pass water, which is cloudy and offensive and contains pus. There is some d anger of infection ascending to the kidneys in chronic cystitis.

Treatment is dependent upon the cause. In bacillus coli infections, alkalis (sodium citrate and bicarbonate) with plenty of water to drink, are prescribed. Hexamine, along with sodium acid phosphate acts as a urinary antiseptic- the hexamine acting only in an acid urine. Careful attention should be directed to ensuring regular and free bowel action and the diet should be light with small quantities of fresh foods.

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