Coping with cystitis at work

How to survive work if you’re dealing with recurrent infections

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Emma Thornton
Qualified Nutritionist (BSc, MSc, RNutr)
@EmmaThornton
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08 January 2018

Drink enough of the good stuff

As I’ll discuss later, there are some drinks that you should be avoiding, but the key is to keep drinking lots and lots of water. Contrary to popular belief, this helps keep your urine nice and dilute (concentrated urine is much more favourable for bacteria) and helps flush you through. Don’t be put off and assume drinking more will mean you’ll spend more time in the loo. Actually, an irritated bladder is much more likely to cause this. 

Then, another drink to consider trying is good quality Cranberry Juice. This contains special compounds which help to prevent bacteria from sticking to the inside of your urinary tract – this is why it’s so ideal to take as a preventative measures if recurrent infections are plaguing you! Try having 100ml of the juice daily or opt for a higher strength tablet such as Cranberry complex.

Antibiotics – use them when necessary

Although we do need to be cautious with antibiotics and not use them unnecessarily – there definitely is a time and a place. If in any doubt, why not have a read of my blog on this topic. The bottom line is; we don’t want to risk infections getting out of hand and if you’ve got something important on at work that week, antibiotics for a few days may be the way to go

Don’t avoid using the loo if you need to go

As much as you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed running to the loo more than normal, it has to be done – your health comes first! Keeping hydrated is key as it helps flush through your system; stagnant urine and/or time to multiply are perfect conditions for those pesky bacteria, so you want to aim to keep things moving and interrupt their fun!

Wear sensible clothing

Picking what outfit to wear that day might not be top of mind when battling a nasty bout of cystitis, but believe it or not, it’s important. Opt for cotton underwear which are more breathable and avoid tight bottoms – too tight and the transfer of bacteria (to where we don’t want it) is more likely. Skimpy underwear such as thongs can present the same problem, so opt for comfies instead.

Rethink those daily cuppas

Tea breaks are a popular ritual in many offices and workplaces and you can still enjoy them, but just think twice about what you are putting in your favourite mug. See, caffeine is problematic. Caffeine acts as an irritant to the bladder – certainly not what you need if it’s already rather sensitive. Stick to decaffeinated varieties of tea such as Golden Rod tea (a particular friend of the urinary tract and the kidneys), or a coffee alternative such as Bambu if you prefer a deeper taste, or why not simply try some lemon slices in some hot water – that extra vitamin C could do your bladder the world of good!

Don’t be tempted by office treats

With the brews often come the treats too – biscuits, chocolate, cake – you name it, and unfortunately they all have one ingredient in common which can cause chaos with your bladder – sugar. 

See, sugar feeds the bad bacteria in and around your digestive tract. Once the bad bacteria start to take over, this is when they can become harder to shift – so we certainly don’t want to give them a helping hand! Try to avoid overly sweet treats and opt for something more savoury instead.

Get sufficient rest outside of work

Although you might not feel comfortable taking a sick day for a urinary tract infection, believe me when I say, you need to rest up. In order to recover properly (remember we want to help prevent any recurrent episodes) you need to be fighting fit. If you run yourself into the ground, your defence systems will struggle to cope. 

Take it easy and be sure to take some Uva-ursi complex. This not only contains bladder-friendly herbs such as Uva-ursi, but also Echinacea in order to help treat the underlying infection and support your immune system.

Uva-ursi and Echinacea – for cystitis

50ml

£ 10.50

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Fresh extracts of uva-ursi and echinacea to help maintain bladder health and comfort.
More info

Biotta Wild Mountain Cranberry Juice

500ml

£ 5.99

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A combination of the fresh juice of organic cranberries together with birch and agave nectar.
More info

Our expert's top picks for a healthy bladder and dietary advice

1

£ 36.48

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Key products for bladder health and cystitis management: Uva-ursi and Echinacea Complex, Cranberry …
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Here’s what I recommend

Emma our women's health advisor recommends Uva-ursi complex to help ease symptoms of cystitis and cranberry to maintain bladder health.

Learn more

Did you know?

Cystitis is sometimes known as ‘honeymoon cystitis’. Why? Well, during sex, bacteria can spread from the perineum to the urethral opening. The risk of developing cystitis is therefore increased depending on the frequency you have intercourse (sorry honeymooners!).

7 reasons you keep getting cystitis

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