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 Triggers Seizures?
Seizures are one of the most well-documented symptoms everyone is familiar with. It is one of the symptoms commonly shown in movies and shows and the most common acute neurologic problem in the U.S. Data shows that around 1 in 10 people will have a seizure not caused by an injury, such as a concussion, illness, or infection. This might make you ask, “What triggers seizures?” First, you need to understand that recurrent seizures, also known as epilepsy, is the third most common serious neurologic disorder and occurs in 1 in 26 people. Around 3.4 million Americans live with this condition.
Although many people know what a seizure is, not everyone knows what to do when it happens, and even fewer know that some seizures can be anticipated or preempted. Knowing when a seizure will occur is important to prepare appropriately, and in some cases, even prevent seizures from happening. This article will discuss what a seizure is, what the symptoms of a seizure are and what triggers seizures.
What is a Seizure?
The brain, comprising of nerve cells, communicates and functions by transmitting electrical activity from one nerve cell to another. This is how we are able to think, move and feel. When there is a disruption in electrical activity, this can affect our thoughts, feelings and movements. A seizure is an uncontrolled surge of electrical activity by the brain, which leads to changes in consciousness and involuntary movement of our muscles.
Seizures not only disrupt electrical activity but also disrupt oxygen transport and delivery. This is why, even though seizures usually resolve on their own, the aim is to prevent them from happening. Repeated seizures and seizures that occur for a prolonged period of time can lead to irreversible complications. The brain is one of the organs that continuously needs oxygen, and permanent brain damage can be observed in just minutes without an adequate oxygen supply. In severe cases, this can be life-threatening.
Seizures may present in various ways. The classic presentation of a person experiencing a seizure includes:
- Eyes that are rolled upward.
- Arms and legs exhibiting stiffening or jerking movements. This is due to the disruption in brain activity, which affects the muscles of the body.
- Sitting still and staring.
- Small, twitching movements in the fingers or face.
- A sudden stop in breathing or changes in breathing patterns.
- Loss of bowel and bladder control, which can lead someone to soiling themselves.
What Triggers a Seizure?
Once a seizure begins, there is little that can be done except wait for the seizure to cease or take the person to a nearest health facility. However, some seizures are more likely to occur under certain circumstances, wherein a pattern can be noted. In some cases, these situations can trigger a seizure, with increased chances of it happening. For people who have recurrent seizures, identifying these seizure triggers is helpful in seeing if a seizure might possibly happen and when these factors are removed, can the seizure be prevented. The following section discusses some common seizure triggers.
Although there are still debates as to whether or not stress can really trigger seizures, it is one of the most common factors perceived by people who experience recurrent seizures. Studies show that during periods of stress, there is an increase in the frequency of seizures experienced by patients with epilepsy. It is hypothesized that it can be due to the release of cortisol, which has excitatory properties that can further contribute to the occurrence of seizures.
2. Sleep Problems
Sleep problems have also been considered as another seizure trigger. Lack of sleep and disrupted sleep were found to contribute to occurrence of seizures, even in the absence of other triggers or factors. Poor quality of sleep has also been perceived by patients to trigger some seizures, although data is not as strong compared to quantity of sleep. Sleep deprivation as a seizure trigger is due to its effect on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Some studies show that treatment of sleep problems also results in fewer occurrences of seizures.
3. Flashing Lights and Bright Lights
Exposure to bright lights or flashes of light can also cause seizures. This occurs in around
3% of people with epilepsy. This kind of epilepsy is called photosensitive epilepsy.
Examples of light sources that can trigger seizures include:
- Light from television screens or computer monitors.
- Strobe lights.
- Flashing lights in vehicles.
- Natural light or sunlight.
Avoiding these can be helpful in reducing the occurrence of seizures in susceptible patients.
When seeing a seizure, it can look scary at first. Most people panic when they see someone experiencing a seizure episode. However, knowing how to deal with this medical situation and knowing how to identify seizure triggers can be extremely helpful and lifesaving.