First of all, I would like to wish all my readers out there a happy new year! I hope that you will reach your health goals in 2019. This blog is all about empowering you to be able to get to the root causes of your bladder issues and I hope that at least some of you have been helped by the information provided here.
As the start of the New Year is a time for reflecting on the past and making new resolutions, I thought I’d do a bit of both in this post.
The most important Takeaways from 2018
I’ve learned so much since I’ve started this blog – stuff I wish I’d know when I was ill.
Last year also saw the launch of my nutritional therapy practice over at Real Food Real Health and I have since worked with women suffering from chronic bladder issues, which has helped me to understand better how theoretical knowledge translates into practice.
So here is what I’m taking away from this past year:
- Gut health seems to be key! Almost everyone I have seen or spoken to who has bladder issues also seems to have gut issues. The more gut issues, the worse the bladder issues seem to be.
- We can’t ignore the microbiome! We have learned that the bladder is not sterile and this changes everything, including the accuracy of testing that was based on the bladder being sterile. Balancing the microbes in the body seems to be an important step towards healing. If you don’t know what the microbiome is yet, then get googleing!
- Diet is still key but one size does not fit all! While I have a dietary template that I generally recommend (which is ancestral and generally gluten-free), I have seen that one size certainly does not fit all and that it is also possible to get better on a ‘not-perfect’ diet (but not on a standard Western diet!). I’m more wary these days of extremely restrictive diets, although I still believe that they can be helpful in the short-term for some people. The standard ‘IC diet’ seems to be hit and miss.
- A long-term antimicrobial protocol seems to be helpful for most people! Some of you may be aware of Professor Malone-Lee’s research and his approach treating ‘IC’ sufferers with long-term antibiotics and he seems to be very successful with his approach. As a NT I cannot prescribe medications but luckily there are natural alternatives (which are somewhat milder) and I have seen people respond favourably to those as well.
Thoughts for 2019
I think this year will see more research on the bladder microbiome and what a healthy bladder microbiome actually looks like and how we can manipulate it.
We already have a lot of research on the gut microbiome and its role in health but it remains difficult to know what a healthy gut microbiome looks like exactly, so hopefully we’ll learn more about that and how we can restore it once its disrupted – in my experience this is possible to a degree but certainly not easy!
My theory at the moment is that if we address the gut microbiome, the bladder microbiome follows suit.
I’m also hoping to work with more people this year to learn better how theories translate into practice and obviously I hope to share my findings with everybody!
What are your goals for 2019? What have you learned in 2018? Let me know in the comments!