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.
Angina vs. Heart Attack
Chest pain is one of the common causes of doctor consults for adults. You may often be told that once you experience chest pain, you should consult a doctor. This is because heart disease is a serious and potentially life-threatening cause of chest pain. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. where it accounts for one out of four deaths. Coronary heart disease, what most people might consider a heart attack, is the most common type of heart disease, which occurs in about 18 million adults above the age of 20. But the question is, are people experiencing angina vs. a heart attack?
This article will discuss angina vs. heart attack, how they are similar, how they are different and most importantly, when you should seek medical help.
Angina vs. Heart Attack: What Are They?
Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort that occurs as a result of reduced blood flow to the heart. It is the most common symptom of heart disease, experienced by around 9 million Americans.
Angina can be stable or unstable. Stable angina occurs when chest pain is encountered in the presence of certain factors, such as emotional stress, changes in temperature or during exercise and other forms of physical activity. Usually, stable angina is referred to as chest pain upon physical exertion. This is because when faced with these factors, the heart works extra hard. Stable angina is usually relieved with rest or when medications are taken to dilate the blood vessels of the heart. Assessment and management of these patients are usually done in an outpatient setting.
On the other hand, unstable angina occurs when chest pain is experienced even at rest. This doesn’t go away despite resting or taking medications. If left untreated, unstable angina can lead to a heart attack. Unstable angina is a serious symptom, and immediate assessment and management must be done. Assessment and management of these patients are usually done in an inpatient setting.
A heart attack, medically known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when the heart experiences severe blockage to blood flow and the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen, damaging the heart muscle, eventually leading to muscle death. With prolonged oxygen deprivation without medical intervention, heart attacks are fatal.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is not a heart attack per se, but angina and heart attacks are sequelae of blockages of the heart vessels due to coronary heart disease. Some people with coronary heart disease might not show any signs or symptoms. For other people with coronary heart disease, they will not experience angina, and a heart attack is the first sign of coronary heart disease.
The Similarities and Differences
1. Similarity: Symptom Presentation
Angina and heart attacks are similar in their presentation. People who experience these usually present with chest pain. The type of chest pain can be the same. People with angina or heart attack usually describe their chest pain as a squeezing, stabbing or crushing type of pain. Sometimes the pain can radiate or extend to other areas of the body, such as in the shoulder or arms, jaw and neck, abdomen or back. There can also be an accompanying difficulty of breathing or a feeling of fatigue. Because of this, people think that angina is a heart attack.
2. Similarity: Causes
The cause of angina and heart attacks can be similar as well. Angina and heart attacks can be due to blockage of the heart vessels due to increased cholesterol levels or blood clots, which cause physical blockage or high blood pressure that leads to muscle thickening, leading to narrowing of the blood vessel cavity.
3. Similarity: Risk Factors
Risk factors for angina and heart attacks are also similar, including:
- High cholesterol levels.
- Persistently high or poorly controlled blood pressure.
- Poor lifestyle (sedentary activity, poor diet).
- Family history of heart disease.
It is safe to say that in order to avoid angina vs. heart attack, you should minimize having these risks, especially avoiding those that are within your control.
4. Difference: Condition Classification
Although angina and a heart attack have their similarities, they differ greatly in many ways. Angina is a symptom and usually pertains to an underlying coronary heart disease, while a heart attack or myocardial infarction is a disease in itself.
5. Difference: Severity
Angina, especially stable angina, only occurs during physical exertion or in the presence of other factors. It is not usually life-threatening, whereas heart attacks are usually life-threatening, can occur suddenly and even at rest warrant immediate medical care.
Needless to say, any type of chest pain, whether it is stable angina or not, needs the evaluation of your nearest physician.
When Should You Seek Medical Attention?
When experiencing chest pain, it is important to differentiate musculoskeletal and other nonspecific causes of chest pain from serious cardiovascular conditions. It is important to consult a physician for any new onset of chest pain so that it can be evaluated to catch serious heart or lung conditions early. Urgent medical attention should be given to those who experience chest pain that persists for more than 15 minutes, chest pain experienced at rest or chest pain associated with other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, sweating, vomiting or loss of consciousness. Do not delay consulting for these kinds of chest pain. It can save a life.