Do you feel the urge to urinate frequently? Do you suffer from stabbing pains in the pelvis? Interstitial cystitis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can lead to severe discomfort and pain. In severe cases the patient’s life quality is reduced to someone who is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, cancer pain or kidney dialysis.
Sounds appalling, doesn’t it? What causes interstitial cystitis and how can one cure or prevent it? Are there any simple ingredients which can help you to keep this threatening issue at bay? Read ahead to find out!
What Is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis or IC is a chronic inflammatory disease of the bladder. The urinary bladder is a balloon like organ that collects urine from the kidneys and stores it for expulsion. The bladder walls are made of muscles that relax as the bladder fills up, and contract as the bladder is emptied. These walls are lined with thousands of cells that protect the muscle from coming into direct contact with the urine.
In conditions like interstitial cystitis, the inflammation causes the lining of the bladder to stiffen and thus bladder expansion isn’t as effective or as normal. This is what causes the sharp stabbing pain in the bladder and the inflamed feeling while you urinate (1).
IC is often mistaken for UTI. However, it’s not a bacterial condition and any antibiotics that you take are rendered ineffective. Initial symptoms of IC are often the result of hormone and immune system conditions like endometriosis or tumor conditions like uterine fibroids (2).
Causes Of Interstitial Cystitis:
Interstitial Cystitis has no known causes. It has been found that the causes of IC are different for every individual, but scientists have been able to identify some precursors, including:
- Defects in the lining of the bladder that allow the toxic urine to come in direct contact with the bladder wall.
- Overproduction of potential harmful chemicals like histamine by special types of cells called mast cells. Mast cells are usually produced to help protect the body from allergic reactions.
- Nerve damage in the bladder.
- An autoimmune response which fools the body into attacking its organs and tissues, in the process harming you (3).
Symptoms Of Interstitial Cystitis:
Pelvic pain and overly frequent urination are some of the telltale signs of interstitial cystitis. Other signs and symptoms usually include:
- Pelvic discomfort; specific pain in between the anus and vagina.
- Severe stabbing pelvic pain.
- A frequent urge to urinate, even if the discharge is little.
- Waking up in mid-sleep with a sharp urge to urinate; usually IC patients urinate as often as 50 times in a day.
- Painful sexual intercourse.
- Severe discomfort when the bladder fills, and sudden relief on urination.
As we discussed, the symptoms vary for every individual. These symptoms are also quite sporadic and you may experience times of complete relief (4).
Home Remedies To Treat Interstitial Cystitis:
Now that we know what interstitial cystitis, how it comes about, and signs of symptoms of it, let’s move on to some inspired home remedies for interstitial cystitis.
1. Baking Soda:
Baking soda is a popular home remedy for interstitial cystitis. It is alkaline in nature, which helps reduce the body’s acid level, reducing the burning sensation and providing relief from the other complications of IC. Simply add 2 tablespoonfuls of baking soda to a glass of water and drink the mix around 4-5 times in a day (5).
Probiotics are proven to help reduce the symptoms of most inflammatory conditions. You can consume probiotics to help combat inflammation and swelling in the bladder. Probiotics also contain Quercetin, an antioxidant of the flavonol group, a known anti-inflammatory agent. Quercetin helps decrease systemic allergic responses. Supplements and substances that usually feature Quercetin help improve the symptoms of IC considerably (6).
3. Identify Food Triggers:
Interstitial cystitis can be alleviated, and the inflammation can be lessened by charting out lists of acidic foods and replacing them with alkaline or neutral foods that do cause inflammation. While some foods may trigger reactions specific to your body type, known trigger foods include:
- Citrus fruits; lemons, oranges, grenadines and lime
- Fizzy drinks, especially diet varieties
- Commercially produced tomatoes
- Ketchup and tomato pasta sauce
- Concentrated/Processed fruit juice
- Coffee, which is highly acidic
- Processed meat
Once you identify food triggers, plan your diet accordingly and remember to steer clear from these acidic foods (7).
One of the richest sources of iron, folate, phosphorous and vitamin E, spinach is also crammed with phytonutrients, which provide energy directly to the cells and are the immunity boosters. Spinach is crammed with antioxidant properties and helps eliminate free radicals and reduces inflammation. It is also alkaline in nature and is thus one of the best choices for foods to have while suffering from IC.
Melatonin is an antioxidant that is available in supplement form. It helps eliminate free radicals from the system. In a 2003 study on rats, melatonin helped protect the bladder lining from irritants. Based on this particular study, scientists have stressed that melatonin has good potential to become an alternative cure for interstitial cystitis (8).
6. Colloidal Silver:
Colloidal silver is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that helps eradicate mycoplasma, candida and other anonymous infections that usually contribute to Interstitial Cystitis.
[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Cloudy Urine ]
Serrapeptase is another anti-inflammatory agent that has been found effective in alleviating inflammation caused by IC. It has been found effective for reducing bladder inflammation. Serrapeptase also helps break down undigested and damaged protein that is contributing to the complications of the disorder.
Alternative Medicines For Interstitial Cystitis:
At this point, there isn’t much research on alternative medical therapies or treatments for interstitial cystitis. Thus, it is quite impossible to recommend any alternative therapy. However, if you are suffering from IC, you need to talk to the doctor before opting for alternative treatment. Alternative therapy is usually supplemented by a doctor’s approval and cannot be substituted by routine medical care.
So, what are you waiting for? Share this important information with your friends and family today. To add to our list of Interstitial Cystitis remedies or to share your own experiences with interstitial cystitis, leave a comment below.
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