How Effective Is Cranberry Juice for Cystitis?

Madeleine A.

Cranberry juice for cystitis may be effective in preventing or relieving symptoms of this infection. This remedy is recognized by scientific research and is a time-tested natural remedy for urinary tract infections, or cystitis. If not treated, cystitis may spread to the kidneys, which can be a serious condition. Before using cranberry juice for cystitis instead of other conventional treatments, patients should consult a healthcare provider.

Cranberry juice.
Cranberry juice.

Drinking cranberry juice for cystitis generally is safe and tolerated well by most people. A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria is introduced to the urethra. This can be caused by poor hygiene, sexual contact, swimming pools, and low immunity. In addition, the offending organism is typically the E. coli bacteria. The infection typically causes urinary frequency, urgency, burning, pelvic pain, and sometimes, blood in the urine.

Cranberries may inhibit the proliferation of bacteria in the urinary tract.
Cranberries may inhibit the proliferation of bacteria in the urinary tract.

Eating cranberries can have similar effects as drinking cranberry juice for cystitis. Cranberries may inhibit the proliferation of bacteria in the urinary tract either by their high acidity or vitamin c content. In addition, drinking cranberry juice for cystitis may help ward off urinary tract infections because the juice's anti-bacterial properties prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder and urethra.

Although drinking cranberry juice for cystitis may be effective in treating symptoms, it may not be a viable substitute for antibiotic therapy. In fact, drinking plain water may have the same effect of reducing symptoms because doing so can help flush bacteria and toxins out of the bladder. When symptoms of a urinary tract infection occur, a healthcare provider needs to be consulted to determine the best treatment plan.

Since the health benefits of cranberries have been established in many scientific studies, eating cranberries may be an important part of a healthy diet. They may also help alleviate some of the symptoms that antibiotics can cause. Side effects of antibiotics used in the treatment of cystitis include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cystitis is usually the result of a bacterial, and not viral infection, so antibiotics are generally recommended.

It is important to note that when antibiotics for cystitis are prescribed, all tablets should be consumed per prescription orders. If the patient gives up treatment before finishing the prescribed amount, the infection may not resolve or worsen as a result. If side effects cause patients to quit taking their medicine, the healthcare provider should be notified who can suggest ways of reducing side effects or recommend another antibiotic.

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