A Soak Could Help You Find Some Relief Urinary tract infections are one of the most common outpatient consultations in the United States. They are one of the most common causes of fever in the young and elderly and can cause urinary incontinence in women. Yearly, around 250,000 cases of kidney infections or pyelonephritis occur among women in the United States. Costs for the diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections in the United States can reach up to a total of $2-3 billion dollars a year. It might seem like a simple infection, but it can be really costly when you think of it from that scale. It is an essential infection to treat because it can lead to serious complications such as sepsis and renal damage if left untreated. That is why a lot of other remedies are being tested to see if they can alleviate symptoms of urinary tract infections. This article will discuss how Epsom salt baths are good for UTIs, what benefits Epsom salt baths have, and how to prepare an Epsom salt bath. What are Urinary Tract Infections? What are the Symptoms? Urinary tract infections are infections of the parts that serve as the passageway of the urine out of our bodies; this includes the kidney, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Urine is a sterile substance that passes out of our bodies; therefore, the introduction of bacteria can lead to a bladder infection, inflammation, and pus formation that can lead to various symptoms. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include pain and burning sensation while urinating, cloudy or foul-smelling urine, blood in the urine, and abdominal pain. What are Epsom Salts? What Do They Do? Epsom salt or magnesium sulfate is a white, crystalline water-soluble chemical compound that has been used for centuries to treat various illnesses. Epsom salts are commonly used to relieve sore muscles, stiff joints, itching, skin irritation, and sunburn and are used as relief for headaches or foot pain. Its uses in the human body are varied, and it has been found to provide relief for various ailments, which include urinary tract infections. How is an Epsom Salt Bath Good for UTIs? What Benefits do Epsom Salt Baths Have? Epsom salts provide several benefits for treating urinary tract infections. The primary benefit of using Epsom salt baths for bladder infections or urinary tract infections is to relieve pain. Epsom salt baths can help relieve pain and discomfort associated with UTIs. UTIs present with a burning sensation, pain while urinating, and cloudy urine. The warm, calming nature of Epsom salt baths has been shown to help relieve this. [youmaylike] If you soak in an Epsom salt bath, it can be helpful to reduce inflammation as well. Because they are rich in magnesium, they can help cleanse the urinary tract and aid in the healing process. The increased concentration of magnesium sulfate is believed to help change the environment in the urinary tract, which can lead to conditions unfavorable for bacteria to grow. It can help prevent bacteria from growing or multiplying when you soak in an Epsom salt bath and has a disinfectant property. Epsom salt baths can also improve the circulation of blood in the body. It can cause dilation of the blood vessels leading to improved blood flow, which also promotes the passage of cells that help in the body’s immunity. Epsom salt baths provide an overall relaxing and calming experience that can leave you feeling detoxified as well. Are Epsom Salt Baths the Answer to UTIs? Although Epsom salt baths may relieve urinary tract infection symptoms, there is not enough evidence to recommend using Epsom salts over established treatments like antibiotics. Epsom salt baths are currently home remedies that can be adjuncts to treatment but cannot be used to replace the treatment of urinary tract infections with antibiotic medications. In order to treat the infection, you should still take an antibiotic regimen prescribed by your physician. Are Epsom Salt Baths Risk-Free? Do Epsom Salt Baths Have Any Side Effects? Generally, Epsom salt baths are safe and don’t have a lot of serious complications. However, you still need to make sure that Epsom salt baths are safe for you. The most common side effects of Epsom salt baths include allergic reactions. So if you have an allergy to Epsom salt, it is better that you avoid this. It can also aggravate pain or discomfort if you have an open wound or breaks or scratches in the skin. If you have these, stay away from Epsom salt baths to avoid further complications. How Do You Prepare an Epsom Salt Bath? The general way to prepare an Epsom salt bath is to dissolve Epsom salt in warm water. Epsom salt is easy to find and can easily be bought in health and grocery stores. Recommendations include dissolving 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt in a gallon of warm water to create a water-soak bath. It is important not to put too much to avoid irritation and drying of the skin. Let the Epsom salt dissolve in the water, which can take about a few minutes. If you have a bathtub, you can prepare it to submerge and soak in it. However, this can be done as you shower as well. When you have a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection, you can do a water soak for 15-20 minutes to help relieve symptoms. Rinse after every water soak. This can be done daily or on an average of 2-3 times per week. Doing this soak gives ample time in providing relief until the antibiotics start doing their work and control further growth and multiplication of bacteria, completely eliminating symptoms such as pain. If you think you have a urinary tract infection, consult your physician for an evaluation. Further, you should seek medical attention if you are experiencing any serious side effects from using Epsom salt baths. There are no studies that show that using an Epsom salt bath for UTIs will prevent or cure a urinary tract infection, so it is still important to go to the doctor for proper management. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of a urinary tract infection.
Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms
Have you heard about a condition called acoustic neuroma? You might have heard it mentioned a few times, as it might not be as common as other tumors. In the U.S., around 2,000 to 3,000 people are diagnosed annually. Data shows that it afflicts 1 person per 100,000 per year. Although its incidence is not at an alarming rate, it is worth knowing a thing or two about this condition, as it can bring a lot of discomfort and disability to those who experience it. If you have not heard about acoustic neuroma before, this is the best time to know what it is. This article will explain what acoustic neuroma is, how it occurs and the common acoustic neuroma symptoms.
What is Acoustic Neuroma?
Acoustic neuromas are benign tumors that commonly arise from the vestibular nerve, a part of the eighth cranial nerve, which is responsible for maintaining balance through signals sent to and from the inner ear.
Acoustic neuromas are also called vestibular schwannomas, a term that better describes the tumor as it is due to the tumor’s overproduction of the Schwann cells, accessory cells that produce the protective myelin sheath of nerve cells. These usually occur in the cerebellopontine angle, a small triangle between the cerebellum and lateral pontine area where are a lot of cranial nerves pass, among them the eighth cranial nerve, which is affected in acoustic neuromas. Around 80% to 90% of tumors in this area are schwannomas, with the rest being meningiomas (tumors of the meninges).
The majority of acoustic neuromas are usually unilateral, that is it occurs on one side of the body. Bilateral tumors tend to occur especially in patients with another condition called type 2 neurofibromatosis, which more commonly occurs in children. Acoustic neuromas usually start to occur in patients aged 40 to 60 years old, with bilateral tumors associated with type 2 neurofibromatosis occurring at a younger age (30 years old). There is an equal incidence between males and females.
What Are the Symptoms?
Because of its usual occurrence in the cerebellopontine angle and the involvement of the eighth cranial nerve, the symptoms of acoustic neuroma are associated with the function of the structures in these areas. The vestibular nerve plays a role in balance and position, while the cochlear nerve plays a role in hearing. Naturally, a tumor involving these areas would cause problems with hearing and balance.
1. Hearing Loss
The most common presenting symptom of acoustic neuroma is unilateral hearing loss. This is due to the tumor causing a block in the cochlear nerve or in its blood supply and occurs in 90% of people with acoustic neuroma. Aside from it being the most common presenting symptom, it is also one of the earliest symptoms of the condition. It is sometimes not detected immediately and can be dismissed in the early stages. It can even be undetected for years.
However, once it occurs, it can worsen as time passes. Because acoustic neuromas are usually unilateral in nature, the hearing loss is also unilateral, but it can also be bilateral in some cases. The hearing loss can also be accompanied by a sensation of ear fullness, which people can describe as having pressure or the sense of having water inside the ear.
Another common symptom is tinnitus, wherein a certain noise is heard in the ears. The noise heard is usually a ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound. In acoustic neuromas, this is usually an intermittent, high-pitched sound due to the tumor. If the tumor is removed, tinnitus usually disappears in around 30% to 60% of cases. However, in a small group of individuals, tinnitus remains and may sometimes get worse even after the tumor is removed.
3. Balance Changes
Other common symptoms of acoustic neuromas are loss of balance, dizziness, or vertigo. This is because the vestibular nerve is affected, which plays a role in balance. This can occur in up to 50% of affected patients and worsens as the tumor grows. If the tumor grows big enough, it can compress the brainstem and cause problems in gait with the person falling on the side of the tumor. Dizziness or vertigo, which is a spinning sensation, can also be experienced once the tumor is large enough.
The following are other symptoms of acoustic neuromas:
- Facial numbness.
- Loss of facial muscle movement.
- Facial twitching.
- Problems swallowing.
- Changes in sense of taste.
- Dry eyes or excessive tearing.
It can sometimes be hard to diagnose acoustic neuromas immediately because symptoms such as hearing loss, dizziness, or tinnitus can also be caused by common ear problems. Moreover, these are symptoms where some people will not get a consult immediately, which can further cause a delay in the diagnosis.
Fortunately, acoustic neuromas are benign tumors and patients generally have a good response to treatment. Complications are also not common and are minimal.
Although symptoms may persist, in most cases they disappear. Tumors also rarely reoccur. However, prompt diagnosis and management are important, as acoustic neuroma can still worsen and be fatal if it is left untreated due to an increase in tumor growth, which can compress brain structures and lead to fluid buildup in the brain. This is why the evaluation by a trained professional is important. Acoustic neuromas are not a cause of worry once you know the signs and symptoms and get checked early.