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.
What is IPF?
What is IPF? IPF (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) is a lung disease that causes the tissue in your lungs to become stiff. This makes it harder for you to take air in and breathe naturally. According to research, about 30,000 to 40,000 new cases of IPF are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
When lung function becomes severely limited, severe complications such as heart failure, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs), or pulmonary hypertension can be triggered. Existing symptoms of the disease are also known to get more severe after an infection, heart failure, or a pulmonary embolism.
What Causes IPF?
The causes of IPF are mostly unknown, but in some cases, it is said to have resulted from infections, medications, environmental exposures, and even other diseases. Doctors may look at several potential causes when diagnosing pulmonary fibrosis, including:
- Pollution and toxins
- Existing conditions, such as acid reflux disease
- Radiation therapy
- Genetic factors
Certain risk factors associated with IPF include:
- Age — it is more prevalent in people over 50 years of age
- Breathing in wood or metal dust at work or home
- Gender — about 75% of people diagnosed with IPF are men
- Smoking cigarettes
Common Symptoms Associated With IPF
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis causes scarring and stiffness in the lungs. The scarring usually worsens over time, while the stiffness makes it more difficult to breathe. The following are common symptoms that have been associated with the condition:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Leg swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplainable fatigue
- Joint and muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Chest pain or tightness
Over time, the lungs may not be able to take in enough oxygen to supply the body with the required amount. This can ultimately lead to respiratory failure, heart failure, and other health issues.
How is IPF Diagnosed?
It's usually difficult to diagnose immediately because its signs and symptoms develop slowly over time. It might also be tricky to differentiate it from other lung diseases because the scarring caused by IPF looks similar to scarring caused by other lung diseases. However, several tests can be used to diagnose IPF, including:
- Chest x-ray
- Lung function tests
- Arterial blood gas test
- Exercise testing
- Lung biopsy
- Pulse oximetry
- High-resolution computer tomography (HRCT) scan
Treatment Options for IPF
There is currently no cure, but treatment options are available to manage and reduce your symptoms. The medical treatment given for IPF aims to reduce lung inflammation, protect lung tissue, and slow down the loss of lung function.
Common treatment options include medications that help control inflammation and reduce lung tissue scarring and oxygen therapy to help with breathing. There might be a need for a lung transplant in some cases, but this is often seen as a final treatment step.
Although there is currently no cure for IPF, certain treatments may help slow the progression of IPF and improve quality of life.
Treatment options are usually based on the stage and may include:
- Kinase inhibitors. This type of medication can help slow down the loss of lung function and may prevent IPF from getting worse.
- Antacids. These help treat GERD if people also have this condition.
- Oxygen therapy. Initially, a person may need this therapy after exertion. In the later stages of IPF, they may need it continually.
- Ventilator support. A person may need this support if their breathing problems become severe.
- Lung transplant. This surgery may be necessary for people with advanced IPF.
Other forms of treatment depend on the person’s symptoms and will vary between patients. For example, if a person has developed a lung infection, they may require antibiotics. For chronic cough, they may take oral codeine.
Pulmonary rehabilitation may also be a part of their treatment plan. This program may involve:
- Breathing exercises
- Physical activity to strengthen the body
- Nutritional advice
- Education on IPF and how to manage the condition
Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage IPF
To help manage this, it is important you learn to adopt healthy lifestyle practices that can reduce symptoms and improve your outlook. The following lifestyle changes can help you manage symptoms:
- Stopping smoking and vaping, if you currently do
- Taking necessary vaccines, medications, and vitamins or supplements
- Attending regular check-ups
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Eating healthy to support heart and lung health
- Avoiding substances that can irritate the lungs, such as chemicals and dust
- Staying physically active and keeping up regular, moderate exercise
- Joining support groups for counseling
- Avoiding environments that may make breathing more difficult
- Using an oxygen monitor to keep your oxygen saturation in an optimal range
- Keeping track of symptoms and letting your doctor know if they worsen