Cystitis is an infection of the bladder, but the term is often used to describe a range of infections and irritations in the lower urinary system. It causes burning sensations during urination and a frequent need to urinate.

The most common cause of cystitis is a bacterial infection. In general women are at much greater risk of developing cystitis because the female urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside) is much shorter than in males. This makes it easier for bacteria to get into the bladder.


  •       Burning sensations or pain during urination
  •       Frequent urination
  •       Cloudy and foul-smelling urine.
  •       Pain directly above the pubic bone
  •       Occasional blood in the urine
  •       Young children often have less defined symptoms, such as weakness, irritability, reduced appetite and vomiting.
  •       Older women may also have no symptoms other than weakness, falls, confusion or fever.

Contributory factors

Inadequate emptying of bladder resulting in stagnation of urine: this may be caused by some drugs (antidepressants for example), immobility, abnormal bladder control, a congenital abnormality or constipation. Even the small drop which is always left behind may contain bacteria.

Toilet hygiene: the female urethra is shorter than the male and is situated relatively close to the anus. Wiping front to back, towards the anus – not the other way around – helps to avoid leading bacteria from the bowel to the urethra.

SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth): it’s now widely accepted that SIBO can cause interstitial cystitis and is common in people with digestive issues.
Reference –

Men with an enlarged prostate: in men, an enlarged prostate (male sex gland) can prevent the bladder from emptying completely.

The DUTCH Female Hormone Test measures levels of these hormones.

Postmenopausal hormonal changes: in women, the urinary system is more easily irritated by cystitis after menstruation ceases. 

The DUTCH Female Hormone Test measures levels of these hormones.

Diabetes: high blood sugar levels cause excess sugar to be excreted in the urine – and sweet urine is an ideal breeding place for bacteria.

You can check your blood sugar levels with an Insulin Resistance Test.

Irritation from genital toiletries or deodorants 

Increased frequency of sexual intercourse




Nutrition for cystitis

If you suffer from cystitis regularly, a nutrition consultation can give you advice on the best ways to support your body and prevent further infections.

Certain foods and supplements can help to make the bladder a less hospitable place for bacteria. A Smart Nutrition consultation can also be able to assist you in dealing with some of the underlying causes of cystitis such as constipation, prostate problems, diabetes, and menopausal hormone changes.

Useful Links

Please do not return samples to the laboratories that may arrive after Wednesday 27th March and up to and including Monday 2nd April.

The laboratories are closed from the 28th March – 2nd April for the Easter Holiday.