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Interstitial Cystitis - Symptoms & Treatments

By - Sweet Cures Founder and Owner
Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a condition where the bladder is inflamed long-term causing recurrent pain

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a condition where the bladder is inflamed long-term causing recurrent pain and increasing the urgency and frequency of urination. Pain can be experienced in the pelvic area, perineal area or in the urethra. IC pain may increase during sexual intercourse, during urination or during menstruation.

"Interstitial cystitis is a condition where the patients predominant symptom is bladder related discomfort. It's a non malignant, non infective condition which may be associated with changes that are apparent when you look at the bladder, but sometimes the bladder may appear absolutely normal, that the patient may be crippled with discomfort." Dr Helen O'Connell, consultant urologist - Royal Melbourne Hospital.

What Causes Interstitial Cystitis?

There has been a great deal of research over the years with limited insight found into what causes IC. It has long been considered that IC is not caused by bacteria. However, more recently, it is beginning to be recognised that standard urine testing may fail to show up low grade infections.

What Do We Know from Current Research About Interstitial Cystitis?

Women are much more likely to experience this (they form 90% of reported cases)

Comorbid conditions that increase the likelihood:

Acidic fruits can intensify the pain. The sugar in fruit can also feed yeast such as candida, exacerbating symptoms.

Urine cultures do not always show up bacteria that is present so bacteria may linger.

Treatment

There are a number of pharmaceutical and surgical interventions for IC, some of which are somewhat drastic. Many people now are becoming aware of a more natural approach to tackling IC. One option is D-Mannose, an all-natural monosaccharide that can be bought in both powder and tablet form.

“Based on evidence the committee agreed that D Mannose was useful in preventing recurrent UTI’s.” NICE 2018

D-Mannose is non-harmful and does not cause any known interactions with any other medications. D-Mannose works two-fold by calming irritation of the bladder, allowing it to repair, and also by clearing out any indwelling E-Coli from your urinary system. D-Mannose coats the E-Coli, preventing it from clinging to the walls of the urinary tract and bladder and then flushes the bacteria out of your system via the urine. Many people experience the benefit from D-Mannose very quickly in terms of pain and symptom reduction. For long-term IC issues, you may need to continue to take D-Mannose for longer, but stick with it for 2-4 months. Many report they either no longer have IC or have significant improvement in their symptoms after taking D-Mannose.

The following extract is from a 6 month clinical trial of d-mannose, this part directly concerning sufferers of interstitial cystitis: Abstracted from a study by Michael Blue, M.D., Urologist (Norman, OK).

"Those females who were not confirmed by culture to have bacterial UTI but had UTI-associated symptoms were classified into a painful-bladder-syndrome (PBS) group. Of the 18 PBS females who were treated daily with D-Mannose, 17 (94%) reported symptom improvement, the lone exception being a subject unable to be contacted, but also not returning for treatment. Eighty percent became totally symptom free."

Interstitial Cystitis

You may have been told that you have IC or “interstitial cystitis” or even chronic “interstitial cystitis.”

But is it Bacterial Cystitis?

Your very first step should be to ascertain whether there is a bacterial cause. Get a thorough bacterial analysis of your urine. Unfortunately, you may need to go privately. The London Bridge Hospital and the London Hospital in the UK offer effective testing. Often, finding out the type of bacteria and taking appropriate action leads in a few months to complete relief from what had been previously considered incurable “interstitial cystitis”.

Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms.

Interstitial Cystitis symptoms, meanwhile, can seriously damage your quality of life. Symptoms of interstitial cystitis may include the following:

  • Pain or “pressure” in the bladder, often just above the pubic bone.
  • A feeling like sharp needles in the bladder
  • A feeling of unexplained irritation in the bladder
  • Smelly urine
  • Sexual intercourse feels painful.
  • Frequent urination day and night.
  • Retention of urine.

Interstitial Cystitis need not be a Life Sentence

One essential change we need to make is to focus less on our interstitial cystitis and more on the overall balance in our bodies.

Incorporate more of the following alkalizing foods in your diet;

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Eat more berries, especially blueberries as they are rich in antioxidants.
  • Eat lots of greens! Alfalfa, green barley, Spirulina, wheat grass, etc. are an excellent way to increase alkalinity in the diet and are therefore perfect for to help heal Interstitial Cystitis.
  • Substitute some meat meals with veggie meals.
  • Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar
  • Buffered Vitamin C; Ester C or Calcium Ascorbate, or buffered Vit C
  • Consider adding Calcium Magnesium, Vit D3

Read more about alkalising here: Making Your Urine More Alkaline

Finally, attend to dysbiosis in the gut: Take a quality Probiotic.

Most people who focus fully on cleaning up their diet, alkalising and repopulating the gut soon see the debilitating symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis disappear and their health gradually return.

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