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.
Cystic Fibrosis in Adults
One of the most common autosomal recessive diseases is cystic fibrosis (CF). It occurs in 1 in 2,500 to 3,500 newborns. Does this illness sound familiar? If it does not, do not worry. In this article, you will learn about cystic fibrosis in adults, including symptoms and how it affects different organs in the body.
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inheritable disease. In order for the disease to manifest, two copies of the abnormal gene must be present. Mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene (a gene that encodes a chloride channel) causes problems in the CFTR protein, which leads to imbalances in the salt and water inside the cell. This imbalance leads to the body producing thick and sticky mucus. Mucus is ideally fluid and runny so that it can act as a lubricant in the body, but for people with CF it tends to clog tubes, putting you at risk of other health concerns.
Cystic fibrosis is also a multi-organ disease, as its effects are seen in different organs, such as the lungs, pancreas and the other gastrointestinal organs, the sinuses and sweat glands.
1. Symptoms in Lungs
Mucus in the lungs normally helps in the lubrication and trapping of foreign substances and microorganisms. The increased viscosity of mucus brought about by cystic fibrosis leads to mucus plugging of the bronchial passages and small airway ducts. This leads to obstructive lung disease and inflammation. It also provides a good habitat for the growth of bacteria, leading to pulmonary infection. Because of its effect on the lungs, people with this condition have significant respiratory problems leading to extreme difficulty in breathing over time.
2. Symptoms in the Gastrointestinal System
Normally, the pancreas secretes enzymes that empty into the small intestine to help with the digestion of food. For patients with cystic fibrosis, this is impaired because the thick mucus secretion blocks and clogs the pancreatic ducts, leading to pancreatic insufficiency. The release of pancreatic enzymes for digestion is compromised too. The impairment due to cystic fibrosis causes greasy stools and difficulty of absorption of nutrients, especially the fat-soluble ones (vitamins A, D, E and K).
Not only that, but because the pancreatic enzymes are not released, it results in inflammation within the pancreas which can lead to destruction of pancreatic tissue and eventually pancreatic failure. Further damage of the pancreas can lead to complications that are similar to type 1 diabetes mellitus.
Duct obstruction also affects the gallbladder and liver, leading to liver cirrhosis and gallbladder disease, with an increased risk of gallstone formation.
3. Symptoms in the Sinuses and Sweat Glands
Obstruction in the sinus passages leads to increased inflammation. Cilia, which are hair-like structures that line the sinus passageways, are impaired. Cilia are part of the respiratory system’s defense and trap potentially-harmful substances, including bacteria that can lead to increased bacterial growth and sinusitis. Dysfunction also occurs in the sweat glands, and it causes the sweat in skin to have a higher salt concentration. In severe cases, this can lead to dehydration.
How is It Treated?
Cystic fibrosis can be diagnosed at birth through newborn screening tests. Because it can be detected early, treatment can also be started early and optimized. Treatment is also multi-factorial and patients are usually managed by a team of specialists.
The main goal in the treatment of cystic fibrosis is to ensure that all the organs affected by the disease are not damaged and function optimally for as long as possible.
Because cystic fibrosis has a significant impact on the lungs, one of the goals of treatment is to maintain lung function and avoid further impairment by controlling infection and inflammation.
Antibiotics are given to control infection and adequate oxygenation is provided by bronchodilators. Anti-inflammatory medications are given to control inflammation. If there are signs of respiratory distress, oxygenation and breathing are supported by using devices such as nasal cannulas or a bilevel positive airway pressure. Nutritional support is also important as malabsorption of important nutrients can lead to poor weight gain and weaker immunity. By addressing all these concerns, treatment is not only multi-factorial, but also holistic.
While many people believe CF is limited to the lungs, this is not true. Cystic fibrosis in adults can occur in other areas of the body, affecting the sinus cavities and digestive tract. If you believe you are at risk, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.