Finding the cause of recurring cystitis

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hello all,

I am unfortunately a sufferer of recurring cystitis. I have had every kind of pain when i get this - extreme burning sensation during and after I go to the toilet, a sudden urge to go straight again after I've been, and really bad abdomen and back ache, so I know how bad it is!

Every time I've been to the doctors or the nurses (around 15 times) they have all told me that nothing really causes it, that some people are prone to it and to wear loose fitting bottoms and drink lots of water. Well, I did that already. So they were no help and said i'd just have to live with it.

However, looking closely to any link between when I got it and any thing else i was going through, I managed to find a connection. I'm not saying that this would apply to everyone, and I'm not a doctor, but I've researched this inside out, looked closely to my own body and found an answer for myself. 

I have mild symptoms of IBS, which means I am prone to getting constipated, I never really thought much of this and just carried on until I eventually had a bowel movement. Anyway, I came to realise that CONSTIPATION was the main cause of why I get cystitis/ UTI. If I'm constipated, meaning, I have full bowels and physically cannot have a bowel movement for more than 3 days, then no doubt I will get a water infection. If I'm just slightly constipated or have trapped wind and have sex with my boyfriend, this can worsen it and cause a water infection.

Ever since I found this out I have been eating/ drinking 5 pieces of fruit/veg a day (I make a smoothie so it's easier to consume) and it's been so much better. Basically, from doing my research, if there is faeces in the bowels that aren't moving, the bacteria from this can pass through to your urethra, leading up to the bladder, as they are so close together. This, inevitably causes more bacteria to grow and cause a water infection. Also, when you are constiapted, your bladder will retain urine, making it a breeding ground for bacteria to multiply. And another thing - when I strain to try and have a bowel movement, that can sometimes aggrivate everything down there, and possibly cause a water infection. 

So LUCKILY, there is some hope! If you realise you are getting constipated a lot, tell your doctor and they will try to work out why, as I said, I actually worked this all out myself and found out I can't have too much dairy products or I will get trapped wind, and possible constipation. This really did open my eyes and put my mind at rest because it meant there was some sort of reason behind this!

Additionally, I take a cranberry extract tablet every day called Cranmed Forte, it contains cranberry extract which stops bacteria sticking to the lining of the bladder (what happens when I'm constipated), so they are perfect for me. If I feel a water infection coming on then I will take a potassium citrate sachet ASAP to try and stop it/ reduce the pain. 

If this doesn't help then keep stessing to your GP that you keep getting them, they're painful and they're stopping you from enjoying every day activities and they will do something! Although I'm pretty sure I know what causes my cystitis, Im having an ultrasound scan done soon just in case it's anything serious, I just thought I would put this out there because I know the excruciating pain of a water infection! sad

Keep on top of eating lots of fruit and veg and drinking plenty of water, hope this has helped, good luck!! 

Beckie x

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Beckie,

    Thanks for writing this. It's 4am and I've been up all night going to the loo every 5 minutes cos I've got cystitis back and I'm fed up of it. It makes me feel unhygienic and worried on wetting myself if I don't get to a toilet every 5 minutes.

    The sachets of stuff I gag on, as I'm not great at taking solubles so I get the same prescription pills from the doctors each time and although they work, I'd rather not have to keep buying them.

    Now that's you've said about IBS, I know my mum suffers from that and I too can get constipated a lot so maybe I could have the same as you? So I thinking on going to the doctors tomorrow and saying to them what I've read and see if that can get me anywhere.

    Thankyou again!

    Good luck x

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    • Posted


      so sorry to hear that. It's awful feeling like you have to pee constantly, I just drink loads and loads of water and juice so there's actually something to come out and place a hot water bottle down there to ease the pain but it's still horrendous either way.

      Oh that's a shame about the sachets as they are great if you can't get hold of your antibiotics very quick, they have got them in tablet form though.

      I think it's best to go to a doctor and hopefully you'll see if you have constipation due to IBS or maybe something different. I'm having an ultra sound scan and will post the results!

      Glad I could help you and good luck at the doctors! X

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    • Posted

      Rececca I forgot to tell you about the bowel thing too..I do not get constipated but the opposite of you..If I am in a flair then that acts is so closley connected for sure...I noticed that as well, great minds!!!!
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  • Posted

    rececca I found your artical very comprable to my health situation

    I am telling you, we are what we eat for sure

    If I eat Any type of tomato product, lime, lemon , oranges, grapefruit or hot pepper type meals, I m a mess...usually about 12 hrs later total disaster strikes, and all plans out the window/ the pain, swelling and weakness takes over for a day or so.  Also Teas other than pure herbal can cause a flair up....our doc's do not necessarily talk about food, but again we are what we eat...tell me your thoughts....I had two dips of a chipolte sauce and suffered deepley for a day or so...


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  • Posted

    Hi Rebecca,

    I have suffered from reuccuring cystitus for 10 years although this has always been caused by either sex or dehydration. The doctors gave me a repeat perscription for antibiotics and if i took half of one when i felt it coming on, problem solved!

    At the beginning of the year I began to noice that I woudl experince stomach cramps, constipation and diahrea with different foods. I discovered that I cannot eat cheese or certain breads was almost overnight. This caused me to have 4 days bedbound with severe cramps and trapped wind.

    Then, just over three months ago I suffered from cystitus only this time my antibiotics did not work. Since then I have had symptoms of cystitus everyday. The cystitus comes and goes throughout the day and the most restbite I have had is 3 days symptom free before it returns. Mainly just burning and stinging.

    I have never been regular with going to the loo and once every three days is pretty normal for me but I am really seeing a connection with the cystitus. As soon as i do go - i get symptoms and they are pretty bad. I think this has further caused me to avoid going.

    The funny thing is that when i go to the doctors, they say they cannot find any bacteria. They call it chronic cystitus and nothing more they can do.

    I have been going to acupuncture weekly which has been amazing! I would highly reccomend it for cystitus. It has trained my body to not go into panic mode or wait for antibiotics but to get rid of it itself. Now 9/10 if I calm down and wait with my symptoms, they slowly get better. Its great.

    I also take tripple strength cranberry tablets daily and avoid caffine, sugar, tomoatoes and citrus fruits, although lemon is great to have as a treatment. Sachets now help slightly and when it comes at night, I place a wet cotton pad down there which draws out bacteria and sooths.

    I have strangely found that sex helps (without a condom). It seems to clear bacteria although this is an awful reason to have sex with my boyfriend.

    Its a horrible game and I am still suffering daily. Anxiety is a normal visitor when symptoms come up as well and the normal deep routed fear that this will not go away.

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