I never had a bladder instillation when I suffered from ‘interstitial cystitis’ – my doctor at the time couldn’t even diagnose me, so I didn’t get to try any conventional treatment for IC. In my desperation, I very quickly turned to natural interventions… and the rest is history.
We often speak of orthodox medicine as being ‘evidence based’ and anything ‘alternative’ as being ‘quackery’. I have long come to understand that a lot of ‘alternative’ interventions are in fact very much following the newest evidence but also that ‘quackery’ (and maybe more importantly ego) can be found in all walks of medicine.
So far, I’ve mostly stayed away from writing about conventional treatments and it’s not my intention to slag anything off. But after hearing from so many sufferers I’ve spoken to that instillations have not helped them, I wanted to see if their use is actually evidence-based.
In this installment of ‘Tried and Tested’ I’m sharing my experience with infecting myself with ‘probiotic’ worms. Sounds like a stupid thing to do, but actually it’s quite an interesting therapy.
I decided to give helminthic therapy a go last year, not long after I found out that I suffered from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid and usually leads to under-function of the thyroid (please note that I was already free of bladder issues at that point, so that’s not what I tried it for) .
We mainly associate parasitic worm infections with disease, but what if there are parasites that are actually good for us?
There are many different types of helminthic worms and some can be really bad for our health. Other types, however, have been used therapeutically for several years.
Helminthic therapy is one of many therapies I have investigated in recent years and also tried on myself. Today, I’d like to give you all a little introduction on this rather interesting therapy.
After having suffered for two years of what I now understand was ‘Interstitial Cystitis’, years of researching and writing about bladder health and working with clients who suffer from chronic bladder issues I’ve gathered some key points to consider.
If you don’t want to read through all the information I have compiled on this blog, I think this could be a good starting point for anyone afflicted with these problems.
Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) is one of the few allopathic medicines that seems to be rather popular in functional medicine circles.
I have heard of people taking it for interstitial cystitis and therefore wanted to investigate the why and how it could be used and whether its use makes sense for this condition.
Stress is a major trigger of digestive issues for me. When I talk to chronically ill people, and especially my clients with chronic bladder problems, stress is almost always one of the main triggers of their symptoms.
I’ve written about stress in the past, so I won’t go into great detail in today’s post. To briefly summarize it, stress is such an issue because our body’s stress response is not adapted to the type of constant stressors we are subjected to in our modern world.
Chronic stress can have a range of consequences, including: reduced digestive juices, reduced immunity, muscle tension, high blood pressure – the list goes on…
While we can’t always change the source of stress, we can support the body dealing with stress better with stress management techniques.
Are you chronically ill and have been told that it’s genetic and there’s nothing you can do? Do you, like most people, believe that your genes are your destiny and there is simply nothing we can do to change this?
While these beliefs still seem to be prevalent, research has shown that this is not strictly the case.
Sure, our genetic sequence cannot be changed but the truth is that gene expression can indeed be influenced by our environment, which includes the diet we eat and the lifestyle behaviours we engage in.
This knowledge gives hope that we do actually have some power over our genetic destiny.
I am a fan of functional medicine and have recently become a functional nutrition practitioner. Therefore, I believe it is important to discover the root causes of our health issues in order to help us determine an appropriate course of action.
Functional lab testing is one of the ways that can help us do this.
I often use a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) test as a cheap way of getting an idea of my client’s main mineral levels in the body.
One pattern that I often see is a high calcium level, along with lowered magnesium (as well as potassium and boron). I personally also had this pattern.
Not everyone with this pattern has bladder issues, but I do believe that high calcium levels together with lowered magnesium might contribute to them.
Unrecognized sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as Chlamydia or Trichomonas Vaginalis may share similar symptoms to cystitis and could also be a co-factor in bladder problems.
Kimberly’s story is one example where a chlamydia infection played a role in worsening her bladder symptoms.
If you haven’t been tested for STDs but are suffering from bladder issues, it may be a good idea to get this checked out.