Healing Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
Why Cranberry Juice can be the worst remedy for Bladder Infections!
Once you have ruled out the possibility of bacterial Cystitis being the cause of your painful bladder, you need to do your research on non-bacterial Cystitis known as Interstitial Cystitis (IC).
Healing Healing Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a longer process because the interstitial tissue takes a while to rebuild, especially when ulcerated.
I have helped many people, especially women, heal their painful bladders starting with the awareness that not all bladder problems are caused by bacterial infections. Often a painful bladder can be caused by a compromise in the lining, whereby the inherent acidity of your own urine can attack your defenseless bladder. This is known as Painful Bladder Syndrome. Or you might have an ulcerated bladder which cannot tolerate any acidity. Only recently has the diagnosis of Painful Bladder Syndrome been instituted as a diagnosis of a milder form of IC. However, the treatment is quite similar, so for simplicity sake I’m going to refer to them as both as IC, since that is the more widely known label.
This is basically a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder, which is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as a bacterial infection. This inflammation causes a thinning or ulceration of the bladder lining, known as the interstitial tissue.
The most common symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis are;
- Some degree of pain or pressure in the bladder; can be in chronic pain.
- Stabbing needles in the bladder, aka Zapping the Bladder.
- Sensations of irritation in the bladder.
- Strong “dead mouse” smell in the urine.
- Painful sex.
- Frequency of urination, can be as high as every 10 minutes.
- Cannot fully evacuate urine.
- Depression if you have reoccurring IC
Your quality of life can be considerably lowered when you have to live with the above symptoms.
It’s estimated that about 12% of women will have some degree of sensitive bladder in their lifetime, especially after 40. This is an unnecessary epidemic. Most IC is caused by misdiagnosis and unhealthy lifestyle, both of which can be prevented or healed.
Correct Diagnosis of IC is Critical
If you put “Interstitial Cystitis in search, you’ll read many tragic stories of women living in unnecessary pain and discomfort for years because they were not properly diagnosed with IC. I personally know of women who had totally unnecessary hysterectomies because they weren’t properly diagnosed, which is not even recognized by some Urologists.
It’s critically important that you take your health in your own hands and educate yourself on what causes the above symptoms. Then work on bringing your body back into balance (this condition is a red flag that your body is extremely out of balance) so you’re living from a place of cause and not effect. You do not need to be a victim of this painful affliction. And know that you are not alone. The Internet is a valuable resource of information and support groups.
If you’re well insured, you can have a Urologist do a cystoscopy where they look into your bladder to see if it is ulcerated or not. However, this is expensive and can actually contribute to the damage of the interstitial tissue.
Another Urologist’s procedure that is commonly performed is to Stretch the Urethra or the Bladder, done under a general anesthesia. Both of which are rather barbaric with little lasting effect. These procedures can be extremely painful and will often result in permanent tissue damage leading to incontinence.
Please only consider this as a last resort. If your Urologist recommends this to you as a first resort, know that you’re dealing with an ignoramus! I know this sounds unkind, but there’s so many alternatives to this that I just want to shake any doctor who doesn’t encourage his patients to treat the cause of IC, which is easy and inexpensive.
Often the only way to properly diagnose IC is by ruling out other known diseases that have the above symptoms, ie; bladder infection, bladder cancer, kidney disease, STDs, neurological disorders and vaginal yeast infections.
If you’re not insured or your insurance won’t cover the above tests, you can also try the following healing recommendations. If they work, that’s a sign you’re on the right track and you now know how to treat the cause.
Naturally Treat the Cause of Interstitial Cystitis
Treating the cause requires a dual approach of treating the symptoms and the cause at the same time. Healing the cause takes time. Meanwhile you’re in pain so you need to treat the symptom at the same time or you’re going to be miserable. Also, you need to allow yourself time to go through the learning curve here. You can’t undo and change all of your bad lifestyle habits overnight. So I will prioritize what you need to do first so can heal quickly and efficiently.
Before I lay out the healing procedures, I need to explain how you got this way in the first place. It’s quite simply actually; You eat too many acidic foods and you’re not aware of the damage they are causing in your body.
Your Bladder; The Great Red Flag
The bladder is an awesome red flag for your body. It will register exactly how out of balance you are by responding to an unhealthy lifestyle with alarm signals like pain and discomfort. Bless your bladder! It is waving it’s red flag for you so you can pay attention to what your body needs. In doing so you’ll be giving your body the blessed gift of preventing a multitude of other diseases.
For example; an over acidic body is the basis for most;
- Bad breath
- Lowered immune functioning
- Bladder conditions
- Prostate conditions
- Loose bowel
- Skin disorders
When your urine is too acidic, it will erode the interstitial or GAG lining of your bladder, eventually attacking the walls of your defenseless bladder. This lining can deteriorate to the point of being ulcerated, making it super-sensitive to any acids.
Our modern, convenience ruled diet is way too acidic. Our natural Ph (acid-alkaline) should be slightly alkaline, but due to eating outrageous amounts of bad food, our Ph is way out of whack in the acid level. And our bladders are in protest, world wide, making doctors rich with our endless visits and procedures that can be easily cured at home.
Healing Interstitial Cystitis – IC - Naturally
As I mentioned earlier, you need to treat the symptoms of over-acidity as well as the cause. Here’s an excellent trick to treat the pain immediately by instantly alkalizing the urine. (well, it does take about 20 min.)
Put ½ teaspoon of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) in a glass of water and drink it. Simple and fabulously effective! This will counteract the acidity by alkalizing your urine, thus no longer zapping your bladder. This will last for a few hours, in which time you’ll hopefully work on eliminating the offending acidic foods.
Warning! If you have High Blood Pressure then you need to substitute the above remedy with Potassium Bicarbonate, usually sold in German Deli’s as “Potash”. It’s the only place I’ve ever found that stocks it since they use it in one of their recipes. If you can order it through your pharmacy, great.
Now, treat the cause by going on the Elimination Diet, which is eliminating one food at time to test if the symptoms diminish. Most patients however, find they need to eliminate most of the following trigger foods;
- Coffee and tea, highly acidic!
- Alcohol, also highly acidic.
- Sodas, especially diet sodas.
- Citrus fruits, all citrus fruits, lemons, oranges and limes.
- Tomatoes, especially commercially produces, home grown are less acidic.
Tomato sauces and ketchup.
- Concentrated fruit juices
- Cranberries, highly acidic
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Spicy foods, especially Mexican food
- Regular Vitamin C; Ascorbic Acid (Buffered Vit C is OK)
- High sugar foods like candy, baked goods
- Aspartame (synthetic sweetener)
- Too much devalued fast food and packaged food
- Bananas; only some IC patients notice this as a trigger food.
- Mexican Food (IC people find it triggers symptoms)
Over time, as you test these trigger foods, you’ll find out which ones trigger your body. Some can eat avocados, others can’t. Some can drink Green Tea, others can’t. You need to keep a record of which foods zap your bladder. The worst offending foods are the tops ones, especially coffee! It seems you’re not IN if you don’t have a cell phone in one hand and a coffee in the other. Often from places like Star bucks which are even more acidic due to their over-roasting and high caffeine content.
IF you must have a cup or two, buy a quick acidic fix called “Prerelief®” from Akpharma, a supplement you take with your coffee that helps reduce its acidity. You can also buy low-acid coffees in some stores.
You can also find non-caffeine coffee replacements at your local health store, however, you won’t find any caffeine jolt there, except in Green Tea.
If you’re a soda addict, try to at least replace some of your sodas with water. Or drink Soda Water instead. But really, try to give this nasty habit up, your bones will thank you in your old age since sodas contribute to calcium loss in the body.
Not to mention preventing obesity and diabetes. Again, bless your bladder for preventing some other disease.
Most fruits and vegetables are alkalizing, exception being the above mentioned citrus and cranberry. Try to eat some raw.
Eat more berries, especially blueberries as they are rich in antioxidants.
Eat loads of greens! Greens, especially those found in Stephanie’s Power Healing Soup. Greens are the King of alkalizing foods.
Put parsley on everything, it doesn’t change the taste much but it does add alkalizing minerals to your foods.
Whole grains, especially brown rice, quinoa, oats and millet.
Eat meats in smaller portions as they’re somewhat acidic.
Goat milk cheese seems to be better tolerated that cow milk
Seaweeds are fantastic, especially Kelp.
Black Cherry Concentrate, 1 tsp mixed in a glass of water in the morning.
If you must eat in restaurants, try to find healthy ones that serve fresh food. You might want to avoid Mexican and Italian until you’re healed up and can tolerate some of their spices and tomatoes.
To speed up your healing you need to consider taking natural supplements. These will rebuild your compromised interstitial tissue much faster than diet alone.
- Cayenne pepper. No, I’m not joking. Cayenne is an amazing healer of Interstitial Tissue, it’ll speed the healing of your bladder considerably. Take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of fresh cayenne in water or 1 capsule 2-3 times a day. Note; Please do not email me looking for reassurance that cayenne won’t burn your bladder. Google “cayenne” and do your research. If you’re still a sceptic, start with small amounts, just a pinch, then work your way up and see how your bladder responds.
- Quercitin, a powerful bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids are critical for rebuilding damaged tissue. (Cayenne is rich in Bioflavonoids too) Take according to directions on the bottle.
- Buffered Vitamin C; Ester C or Calcium Ascorbate WITH Bioflavonoids, 1000-5000 mgs a day, critical for rebuilding cells.
- Supplemental greens; alfalfa, green barley, spirulina, kelp, chlorella, wheat grass, chlorophyll and blue-green algae. These nutrient packed greens are an excellent way to supplement a diet low in fresh greens. They’re all highly alkaline, perfect for IC.
- Calcium-magnesium with Vitamin D. Minerals are always alkalizing, especially calcium. Many IC patients tend to be constipated also, so read about the healing effect of magnesium for constipation.
- Co enzyme Q10 30- 60 mg;, this queen of antioxidants is also renowned for its rebuilding of damaged tissue, you’ll like the energy you get too.
- Vitamin E, 400 international units a day, another great antioxidant.
- Omega 3 fats, essential fatty acids are necessary for cellular integrity, they’re also great for you hormones, joints and skin! Take 500 mgs 3-6 times a day, or a tablespoon of flax seed oil every day. Salmon Oil is good too.
Remember to drink lots of fresh water to keep your bladder flushed. If you follow the above recommendations, you should notice a marked improvement in your symptoms, even if you can only follow some of them. Cut back on coffee slowly or you’ll get a nasty caffeine withdrawal headache.
And be especially kind to yourself. Don’t let your inner critic take over, beating you up for not taking better care of yourself. You’re probably just doing what you were shown or taught. Now its time to reeducate yourself on how to bring balance back into your body so that red flag’s are not waving away. Don’t let the pendulum swing too far, turning you into one of those boring raw foodists, who you can’t invite over for dinner because you might have some evil cooked broccoli.
Don’t start preaching to others about their nasty eating habits, you’ll only lose friends. Believe me, they aren’t listening anyway. Save your breath and send them to this page or link me up to your website, it’s all I ask in exchange for giving out this valuable information for free.
-Stephanie Waymen (Rolfe) CNC