Inflammation is one of the immune system’s first responses to an invading pathogen, allergen, or environmental irritant. Immune cells release chemical signals to increase blood flow, which in turn cause the area to swell, redden, and hurt. A familiar example of inflammation of the skin is a sunburn.
Inflammation can occur inside the body, too. Even though you cannot see it directly, the sensitive lining of the bladder becomes red, swollen, and painful in the condition known as cystitis. Learn what causes different types of cystitis and how doctors’ diagnosis and treat them.
Cystitis causes frequent, strong urges to urinate; as a result, children may wet themselves during the day and adults have their normal routines interrupted. Once in the bathroom, a person may notice a burning sensation as urine leaves the body. There is often very little fluid passed during each attempt, and the urine itself may appear cloudy, bloody, or strong-smelling.
Discomfort in the pelvic region is another symptom. Some people experience it as severe pain, while others may only be aware of pressure in the area below the belly button. As the condition progresses, immune cells in the urinary system send chemical messengers called pyrogens to the brain, resulting in fever.