We’re all aware of the benefits of drinking water but I realized I didn’t actually know if sparkling water actually had the same benefits. Therefore I started to look at the research to answer the question: is sparkling water healthy? What about sparkling water and urinary tract symptoms?
Hopefully you know by now that the bladder and urine is NOT sterile but houses a community of microbes, collectively known as the bladder microbiota. Until now, we have mostly spoken about bacteria and fungi in the bladder. But a recent study has shed light on another never-before-seen member of the microbiota: tiny viruses called phages.
If you have been following this blog for a while you’ll hopefully know about the role of the microbiome in health, including bladder health. I’ve posted about this topic several times. Today I’d like to look more specifically at the bladder microbiota and interstitial cystitis (IC).
This is the second part of my experience with receiving a Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT, a.k.a stool transplant). After having received 5 implants at the Taymount Clinic in England, I took home 5 more (frozen) implants to administer at home by myself.
If you haven’t read part 1 yet you can read it here.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about you can read all about FMT here.
Welcome to ‘Tried and Tested’, my new series where I share my experience playing guinea pig with various ‘alternative’ health treatments. First up: my experience with receiving a Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) for IBS/SIBO/gut dysbiosis at the Taymount Clinic in England.
If you’re not sure what FMT is, please read this article first!
FMT stands for Fecal Microbiota Transplant, which is ‘the process of restoring the bacteria commonly found in a healthy human gut’ (according to the Taymount clinic).
Or, to put it in plain English: implanting a healthy person’s stool (+ microbiome) into a sick person’s gut.
The reason I wanted to share this information is that I’ve had FMT myself and will be sharing my experience in the future.
If you haven’t heard about the connection between the human microbiome and our health yet, you’ve probably been living under a rock – there’s been tons of news articles, blog posts, research studies etc. about this topic in recent years.
Type in ‘human microbiome’ into PubMed (the database for scientific research) and you’ll be rewarded with over 30.000 results!
Although the topic has probably been covered enough, I’d like to offer my own little summary here to use as future reference on my blog and for completeness sake.
I’ve recently come across an info-graphic on Twitter, claiming that interstitial cystitis (IC) is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the bladder lining, causing the painful symptoms of IC. This reminded me that it’s about time that I explore this question further: Is interstitial cystitis an autoimmune condition or not?
The short answer is: maybe sometimes.
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a painful bladder condition that, in the research, is usually described as being of ‘unknown etiology’  i.e. the true cause is unknown.
Several researchers have suggested that IC should be called ‘Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS)’ or ‘Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS)’ .
When we talk about a syndrome (such as IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome), we normally talk about an array of similar symptoms for which the causes are not known or for which several causes could exist.
If you’ve been following my blog, you will have seen several articles about different root causes of IC. This begs the question: is IC really just one disease? Or could it be several conditions, resulting in similar symptoms in the bladder?
The stomach and its acid secretion may seemingly be unrelated to bladder health but as a matter of fact, stomach acid plays an important role in overall health – as a first line of defense for our immune system, in protein digestion and nutrient absorption.
Many may think of stomach acid in relation to heartburn/GERD, which affects up to 27 % of adults  and has risen recent years. As a result, antacids are the 7th most popular personal care product in the US alone, with sales of many million dollars .
However, the symptoms for low and high stomach acid are very similar. While high stomach acid can definitely be very irritating, low stomach acid may have more far reaching consequences.