Welcome back to ‘Tried and Tested’, my series where I share my experience playing guinea pig with various ‘alternative’ health ‘treatments’.
This week I’m sharing my experience with the ‘Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush’. Sounds a bit whacky – well, in my experience it probably is!
The idea behind the flush is to release any stones that may be stuck in the gallbladder, thereby improving digestion and detoxification and leading to greater well-being.
But my own experience had nothing to do with well-being…
Many chronic lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) may actually be associated with undetected chronic infections . Testing is still based on the assumption that the bladder is sterile (and it’s not!) – I have written about the problems with gold standard urine testing in the past.
Today I would like to give you a list of some alternatives to standard urine testing.
Hippocrates already said over 2000 years ago that ‘all disease begins in the gut’. Today, we’re understanding more and more how right he was.
For me personally, gut issues preceded the onset of chronic cystitis and interstitial cystitis. When my gut was at its worst, so was my bladder. I have no doubt that, similarly to many other conditions, the gut is implicated in bladder problems.
It’s been a very busy past 2 years: besides starting this Blog and working full-time I have also been studying to become a Nutritional Therapist with the goal of opening my own practice at some point.
I’m happy to announce that the hard work has paid off and that I can now call myself a Nutritional Therapist and am able to offer 1-on-1 consultations. I have been busy these past few weeks setting up my practice (so apologies for the lack of new posts!).
My own experience with chronic urinary problems, as well as the research I have done for this blog has inspired me to specialize in bladder health.
I have been mainly clear of bladder symptoms for over 3 years now. One of the few things that can still flare up interstitial cystitis symptoms for me are B vitamin complex supplements. These tend to cause a burning sensation and a slight loss of bladder muscle tone. There is a reason why B vitamin supplements can be a problem for IC sufferers, which I’d like to share with you today.
Amino acids are derived from protein and they are the main building blocks in the body. For example, they are used to make hormones, neurotransmitters and enzymes. Some of them are essential, meaning they need to be taken in from the diet, whilst the others can be manufactured in the body.
As you hopefully can see from the above, amino acids are pretty important. But some of them can become problematic for people with bladder pain. These are tyrosine, tryptophan, tyramine and phenylalanine (called the ‘arylalkylamines’).
When I first had interstitial cystitis (IC), I started looking at diet and lifestyle changes that might help me get better. Exercise is generally considered to be health promoting, so I decided to include it in my routine. I knew quite a few people who were jogging regularly and decided to give it a go myself, since it required no special equipment or gym membership.
However, each time I did go for a run I would get a massive flare of my IC symptoms, as well as the urge to run to the toilet.
I eventually abandoned jogging (mainly because I was chronically fatigued and couldn’t do much at all). I only recently came across an explanation as to why jogging may not be so great for the bladder and I thought I’d share it with you!
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).