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Cystitis is an inflammation or infection of the urinary bladder.
Persons most commonly affected: Commonly affects women, but can affect all age groups from either sex.
Organ or part of body involved: Urinary Tract.
Symptoms and indications: Frequency of passing water, urgency or the need to pass water quickly when you sense the need to pass water, burning or pain on passing water, smelly urine, cloudy urine, and blood in the urine (This is a common feature and need not cause undue alarm.)
Causes and risk factors: The main cause of cystitis (and other urinary tract infections) is bacteria known as coliform bacteria, which are a common occupant of the bowel. Other bacteria may be involved. Other types of infection may inflame the bladder. Trauma as in \"Honeymoon Cystitis\" following unaccustomed and rather prolonged or vigorous sexual activity, radiation, eg. after radiotherapy to other organs in the pelvis, frequent use of antibiotics, stress, poor diet and allergies, pregnancy, and hormonal imbalance also cause cystitis.
Prevention: In general, drink more fluids on a regular basis. Preferably at least 1.5 litres daily. Eat plenty of watermelon, celery, or parsley, or use them to make fresh juices. Passing water shortly after sex is probably a good idea in women with recurrent cystitis. In girls it is important to confirm they use a hygienic approach to wiping themselves. Avoid coffee, alcohol, soft drinks with caffeine, citrus juices and spicy foods until your infection has cleared. These items can irritate your bladder and aggravate your frequent or urgent need to urinate.