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Alternative medicine offers solutions for many diseases and many people chose it as a treatment option when conventional therapy fails to solve the condition or simply when they want to try a more natural approach. Cystitis is one of those conditions that can be tacked with means of alternative medicine.

What is cystitis?

Cystitis, or more precisely, interstitial cystitis, is usually a chronic condition, characterized by bladder problems. It causes bladder discomfort, with feeling of fullness, pressure or pain, often radiating to the entire pelvis, problems with urination, burning sensation and similar. Pain during or after sexual intercourse is also present in women suffering from cystitis.

Interstitial cystitis, also called painful bladder syndrome, can affect anyone, including children, it is most common in adult women. In fact, women are ten times more likely to suffer from this chronic condition. Since it causes great discomfort and can last quite a while, cystitis affects the quality of life in a negative way.

The exact cause of cystitis is not fully understood. The diagnosis for this condition is usually made by ruling out other potential diseases, such as urinary tract infection, bladder infection, cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Alternative therapy for cystitis

Since there is no definitive cure for cystitis, most patients have to rely on lifestyle changes and alternative medicine. Physical therapy and biofeedback can be helpful for the pain and discomfort associated with cystitis. Some dietary changes are highly recommended and patients with cystitis are advised to avoid alcohol, coffee, cranberry juice, sodas, citrus juices, foods like onions, ripe cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, soy, tofu, beans, processed meats and all fruits except for blueberries, pears and melons. Certain foods act as triggers. Not all of the foods listed are necessarily triggers so they should not be excluded all at the same time. It is better to try excluding one at a time and if the symptoms subside, that food item can be identified as a trigger.

One of the bets alternative or complementary therapies for cystitis is guided imagery. This therapy uses visualization and imagery that is supposed to increase the ability of mind suggestion in pain relief and healing.

Acupuncture is also proven to be helpful for many people who suffer from cystitis. It uses tiny needles gently placed on specific areas of the body. Traditional Chinese medicine uses acupuncture to restore the balance of the natural flow of energy or qi in a person’s body, relieving both the symptoms and the root cause of the problem. Western practitioners also believe that acupuncture boosts the body’s own production of natural pain killers. Acupuncture is safe and generally painless.

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