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Natural Remedies for Interstitial Cystitis

Remedies to help with interstitial cystitis

September is interstitial cystitis (IC) Awareness Month. As the month draws to a close, I want to take this time to shed light on a bladder disease that affects millions of Americans, and several of my close friends. Unfortunately, it is not as easily as a common cold remedy but there are some natural things that can help.

What is interstitial cystitis?

IC is a disease of the bladder characterized by chronic pelvic pain, a persistent and urgent need to urinate (often throughout the day and night and sometimes more than 50 times a day), pain or discomfort while the bladder is full and relief after urinating and pain during sexual intercourse.

IC symptoms can come in flames, with periods of relief for some people and for others it may rage constantly. Often, the symptoms of interstitial cystitis mimic the classic symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI), but there is no sign of bacteria or infections and antibiotics do little to nothing to alleviate the pain. IC affects men and women, but is much more common in women.

Because IC has no cure and is a disease of chronic pain, successful treatment are generally limited to reducing the symptoms of frequency, urgency and pain. When symptoms of IC patients are reduced they are able to live a more comfortable life.

Much of it is trial and error for IC patients. What works for one does not always work for another, and often, a person should try many options before you find something that works. Moreover, what works during a flare can not be effective for another, so it is good to have a toolbox of possible resources.

This video explains IC, making the bladder and how it affects the lives of those who suffer

types of IC flares

there are generally 3 types of flares CI .. bladder wall flares, sparklers pelvic floor muscle and flares

sparklers bladder wall are most often characterized by a feeling of ground glass or razor blades scraping the bladder. During these eruptions bladder has often been irritated by a sensitivity to food / beverage and becomes more swollen than usual.

flares pelvic floor can be a product of sexual intercourse, long periods of sitting, or something as seemingly simple as riding a bike. They may also feel that something is falling out or being pushed into the vagina or urethra.

A muscular flare is usually when the bladder muscle spasms enters and often causes a feeling of severe pain in the bladder. The pelvic floor muscles can also become tight, spasm and pain.

Because conventional medical treatments have not been proven to offer a long-term relief for IC patients, patients often turn to alternative means to treat your ongoing pain. These therapies include hot / cold, physical therapy, dietary changes, hormones that regulate water intake, stress reduction, and supplements like pills marshmallow root and aloe vera.

Heat Therapy / Cold

sometimes therapy heat / cold are the most effective treatment to relieve pain from a flare. Depending on the type of flare, heat can be more effective, or cold, or even a combination of both.

sparklers bladder wall react well to heat as do muscle flares. The easiest thing to use is a simple thermal pad or bottle hot water on the abdomen when the bladder is in spasm. The heat helps tight muscles and to relax and calm spamming the bladder wall.

If treatment of an outbreak pelvic floor heat, can be useful to use pad portable heat longer (with a protective layer thereon) into pants or underwear. With extreme burning urethra, a bottle of frozen water (with a protective layer on it) placed against the urethra offers some relief. Cold helps reduce inflammation.

is important not to leave either too hot or cold weather, alternating or remove Evert 20 or so minutes.

Pressure / Supportive Therapy

La Mama Strut is a promising new product for patients with IC. It was not designed to treat IC but was invented to help women heal in the postpartum postpartum period, but seems to have the potential to be very effective in helping many other pain / IC issues, including healing .

the strut Mama has several compartments where hot or cold compresses can be placed on the back, abdomen and perineum … Perfect for IC pain flare! It’s a bit expensive, but for some women would be well worth the cost to place hot / cold compresses when necessary and also be able to move instead of having to sleep during flares ice or heat.

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La Mama Strut is also less bulky than other similar so that products can easily and discreetly use their clothes on it. This video shows how Mama Strut works.

Another line that offers many different options for therapy heat / cold is Solutions pelvic pain . Their products are a bit bulkier but also offer many different solutions for pelvic pain including pelvic cushions security, intimate care items, and muscle stimulators.


Many IC patients find that their pelvic floor muscles are tight. Physical therapists work in releasing sensitive muscles and trigger points by using techniques like deep tissue massage (also called “myofascial release”) therapy, trigger point release, and releases nerve.

Biofeedback is also used by some therapist by placing the probes into the vagina or anus (or electrodes on the body in these areas). These probes or electrodes displayed on a computer screen how tight pelvic floor muscles are. These readings can help you learn how to relax muscles.

Often IC patients do not realize how tight your pelvic floor muscles are until they see on the computer screen using biofeedback. They have become so used to living with these tense muscles and now need help to learn to relax.

When most people (especially women) think of pelvic floor exercises they think of Kegel exercises . This is the opposite of what you want to learn to do for IC. Kegel exercises teach your body to tighten the pelvic floor muscles. IC patients have to learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles and work with a physical therapist to learn how to do this using certain exercises regularly.


Many physical therapists use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to treat heart failure. This article explains how it works.

In TENS therapy, mild electrical stimulation is applied to the lower back or the pubis. These pulses may increase blood flow and strengthen the muscles of the bladder wall. Electrical stimulation may also help block pain.

TENS units can be used outside the office of physical therapy once patients are shown how to use them and can be bought for a reasonable price. They can provide relief of symptoms daily. Some patients find much relief TENS therapy with a similar device, called Interstim surgically implanted into the lower back to have the constant to treat the syndrome of urgency-frequency electrical stimulation, and urinary retention when other treatments have failed.

Many physical therapists also teach exercises bladder retraining so it helps reduce urinary frequency and urgency as well as learn more to completely empty the bladder. This is often done systematically spaced frequency of urination in order to train the bladder to go more and more time between urination.

For IC, it is important to find a physical therapist who specializes in problems of pelvic pain or women health. interstitial cystitis diet

One of the most popular for the treatment of urinary tract infection methods is pure cranberry juice drink. This treatment can actually be harmful for patients with IC. Cranberry juice is very acidic and acidic foods can often inflame the bladder.

Some common acidic irritants bladder are coffee, diet soda, alcohol, cranberry or other acidic fruit juices, tomatoes, chocolate and lemons. Many people are able to identify which foods, if any, cause outbreaks to worsen, but try an elimination diet .

Some patients with IC have a product called Prelief when they know they will eat an item that contains an irritant of acid bladder

The active ingredient in Prelief is calcium glycerophosphate, a dietary mineral combining calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of 1 :. 1 proportion. When acid is added foods, mineral acts as an agent based in reality what the pH of the food to a neutral level. ( 1 )

Other patients find that IC anti-inflammatory diet is useful as IC is an inflammatory disease. Often this is a wheat or gluten low sugar diet with little or no processed foods.


marshmallow root

Elmiron is a popular pharmaceutical product used to treat heart failure. It is believed to act to cover the protection of the wall of the bladder and provide patients with IC.

marshmallow root is used to act naturally Elmiron in a similar way, but without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs possible. Marshmallow root can take in capsule form or prepared as a tea .

Aloe Vera

Many OB / GYN are recommending the use of aloe pills their patients to help keep the flames at bay CI.

Lyophilized Aloe Vera Capsules has been shown in clinical trials to effectively reduce urinary frequency, burning and pain that are a part of many disorders of the bladder, but cystitis / painful bladder syndrome especially interstitial (IC / PBS).

It is theorized that the aloe plant helps patients with IHD in several ways. When processed correctly, dust maintains its high levels of glycosaminoglycans (GAG). The first lining of the bladder destroyed by IC is a GAG layer. It is possible that aloe vera is working hard as Elmiron, but without the side effects of a medicine made by man. The aloe plant is also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, analgesic, and a natural anti-microbial agent, but only when used in its super-force manner. ( 2 )

IC patients should be careful when consuming liquid aloe vera juice. Often the use of citric acid may be a bladder irritant remains.

regulating hormones

IC For many women, the pain can flare up with changes in hormones. Some women find that their IC flares are the worst in the days before ovulation and then disappear after ovulation. Other women find that the time between ovulation and the start of her menstrual cycle is the worst.

The pregnancy sometimes ease the pain of IC through the third quarter. Nor is it uncommon for women to have a great blaze at some point during their postpartum period because their hormones are at greater flow.

Working to balance hormones can help relieve the symptoms of IC, Essential oils can also be used to regulate hormones, as well as acting as analgesics and antispasmodics .

natural progesterone creams as Progest may also be useful in hormone balance. I intend to write an article in depth about this in the future (stay tuned). ( 3 )

water consumption

Water consumption becomes a little difficult for a victim of IC. It is important to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, deferring constipation, and keep the urine from becoming too acidic. The problem is that many IC patients are concerned about their frequency and drinking too much water will have to urinate more often can cause more pain.

Finding the right amount of water intake can be a balancing act. Drinking water throughout the day seems to be the best choice to stay hydrated and still maintain the urgency / frequency to a minimum.

During a crisis, some IC patients choose alkaline water to ensure that the urine is not too acidic. Another trick to balance the acidity in the urine is to drink ½-1 tsp. baking soda mixed with a full glass of water (Some caution is advised if you have high blood pressure. If this is the case, consult your health care provider).

Reducing stress

Stress can trigger inflammation in the body and IC is an inflammatory disease. It is important find ways to relax and eliminate stress that can help reduce inflammation. (It is easier said than done for someone in constant pain!)

simple steps like taking time to meditate and relax can help. Help the pelvic floor muscles are relaxed by it in an inverted on the floor with legs up on a chair or ottoman for 10-15 minutes a day while working position in relaxation techniques (listening to relaxing music, meditation, or using guided relaxation).

A Epsom salt bath can help relax the pelvic floor muscles and the bladder muscle. A bath of sodium bicarbonate used as an external calming agent is another great way to reduce pain in the bladder and aid in muscle relaxation.

Do you suffer from IC, reoccurring UTI or pelvic pain? What natural remedies have you found helpful?

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