Prolonged urinary tract infections (UTIs) may be linked to an overreaction by the immune system, according to a study published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.
During the first month of the study, a team of investigators monitored the symptoms of mice with UTIs, which included animals that recovered from the infections without being treated. The team found that some of the mice had chronic bacterial cystitis. This occurs when an abnormal amount of bacteria develops in the bladder and urine, which leads to inflammation of the urinary tract.
One group of mice was administered antibiotics to treat the UTIs, and then the team exposed them to several different bacteria linked to the development of these infections.
The results of the trial showed that the group with chronic bacterial cystitis had a higher risk of developing UTIs and had more severe infection symptoms. The team also found that controlling this abnormal reaction by the immune system could improve recovery from UTIs.
For those who are looking for a natural alternative to alleviate the side effects of UTIs, a report in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that drinking cranberry juice can relieve pain and speed up the recovery process.