Yeast infections such as thrush, jock itch, and athletes foot are caused by the fungus Candida albicans. Infections that begin in the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra, explains the Mayo Clinic, are called urinary tract infections, or UTIs. Typical symptoms of a UTIs include a strong urge to urinate, a burning sensation when urinating and cloudy urine. Patients with yeast infections or UTIs should consult their doctor before taking any remedies for their condition.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines and vagina. One of the main roles of probiotics explains the University of Maryland is to protect the body from bad bacteria that can cause illness. There are varies strains of probiotics, the most commonly used one is Lactobacillus acidophilus. In a study published in the 1992 issue of the "Annals of Internal Medicine," researchers found that eating 8 oz. of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus every day for 6 months decreased candida colonization and infection in women suffering from vaginal candida infections. Probiotics may also be useful for preventing and treating urinary tract infections. In a study published in the 1992 issue of "Clinical Therapeutics," researchers found that vaginal suppositories of Lactobacillus acidophilus are safe and may be effective in reducing the recurrence of UTI following antimicrobial therapy. Katherine Zeratsky, a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic, comments that although more research is needed in this area, the evidence so far is encouraging. Probiotics can be found in foods such as miso and yogurt and in nutritional supplements. Products that are labeled as containing live and active cultures will also contain probiotics. People suffering from a yeast infection or UTI should consult their doctor before taking any probiotic supplement.
Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder caused by a bacteria infection. Diagnosis is usually done by testing the urine for bacteria, pus or blood.
In a study published in a 1994 issue of "The Journal of the American Medical Association," researchers studied the effect of regularly drinking cranberry juice on elderly women who suffer with UTIs. The team found that drinking 300 mL of cranberry juice a day reduced the frequency the bacteria and pus found in the urine. Cystitis sufferers wishing to try cranberry should consult with their doctor.
Use a Heating Pad
The Mayo Clinic recommends if you are suffering with a UTI to apply a warm heating pad on the stomach to help reduce bladder pressure and discomfort.
- Mayo Clinic: Urinary Tract Infections
- University of Maryland: Lactobacillus acidophilus
- "Annals of Internal Medicine": Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis: Hilton E, Isenberg HD, Alperstein P, et al: 1992
- "Clinical Therapeutics,": Influence of three-day antimicrobial therapy and lactobacillus vaginal suppositories on recurrence of urinary tract infections: Reid G, Bruce AW, Taylor M.: 1992
- Mayo Clinic: Is it important to include probiotics in a healthy diet?