How to Treat Cystitis in Children


Not just a problem for adults, children suffer from cystitis too. Cystitis is an infection of the bladder. It may be caused by an infection due to the backflow of urine. Or if the child has been on a course of antibiotics, this may result in the yeast infection, thrush, which can also lead on to an infection. If your child is suffering from constipation, this may add to the problem. As with adults, this can become a continual prob­lem as antibiotics are given for the cystitis, which can cause an imbalance of bacteria, leading to the growth of thrush and then more susceptibility to infection, leading again to cystitis.

Symptoms may include a constant need to go to the loo, although in many children the only symptoms will be pain when passing urine and a raised temperature.

What you can do

Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids. Concentrated urine will be more irritable to pass. It will also help to frequently flush bacteria out of the body. They should always pass urine as soon as possible when they feel the need and completely empty their bladder. Don’t use bubble baths or talcum powder while the infection is present as this may just irritate further. Make sure they know to wipe from front to back, to avoid spreading any infection from the anal area. After urinating or passing stools, the area should be wiped (front to back) with warm water and then patted dry.

Treatment

Naturopathy

Cranberry juice, particularly during an attack of cystitis, is thought to be beneficial as research has shown it prevents bacteria from clinging to the bladder walls. However, it is very tart and many consumer brands are high in sugar to counteract this. An unsweetened cranberry extract tablet may be a good alternative. Blueberries also seem to be beneficial in a similar way. A naturopath may recommend increasing your child’s water intake to two pints (1 litre) a day. The naturopath will also look at your child’s diet as a sensitivity to some foods is also thought to play a part. Tea, coffee, sugar, orange juice, vinegar, spice, dairy products and gluten can all be culprits. And if your child also suffers from thrush, foods containing yeast or mould, such as bread, mush­rooms and blue cheese may also need to be eliminated. If your child gets into a cycle of cystitis followed by thrush, natural live yoghurt or the supplement acidophilus and bifidus should restore the balance of bacteria in the gut.

Herbal medicine

For chronic cystitis, homemade lemon bar­ley water may help to bring relief. One herbal remedy is to boil one tablespoon (15ml) of pearl barley in two cups (450ml) of water for twenty minutes, strain, cool and add one teaspoon (5ml) of fresh lemon juice. Give to your child to drink twice a day. Or a decoction of Couchgrass and Horse­tail may also help to bring relief. Couchgrass contains prop­erties which help to soothe irritation and inflammation and is particularly useful for urinary tract infections. Horsetail acts as an astringent and will help to heal.

Acupuncture

An acupuncturist may see cystitis as damp and cold pervading the outer layers of the body’s defensive Qi or vital energy. This ‘cold’ then turns to heat in the body, caus­ing the bladder to become inflamed and cause irritation during urination. Although conventional antibiotics can reduce the heat and infection in the short term, the problem returns whenever the child is in a similar situation to the one that first caused the problem. The acupuncturist would work on certain points to remove the localized inflammation and then treat the root cause to prevent recurrence.

Osteopathy

Tension in the spine and in local soft tissue can affect the functioning of the kidneys. The osteopath will work to correct these and any problems that predisposed the cystitis to occur.

Other therapies that may be beneficial: reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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