CBD oil has gained more and more popularity with chronic
illness sufferers in recent years and since it has been legalized in many US
states and also in the UK, it is starting to be more readily available (I only
just saw it today at Holland & Barrett in town!).
Since one of the symptoms of interstitial cystitis is pain,
CBD oil is of potential use. There is much need for a safe and natural pain
remedy, as the alternatives are rather risky long-term (e.g. opioids, ibuprofen).
Acupuncture has been used widely for chronic pain conditions for a long time and therefore lends itself as a potential therapy for interstitial cystitis and pelvic pain and I’m sure at least some of you have already tried it.
It seems to me that acupuncture is widely accepted these days by conventional practitioners, but as with any abstract therapy it remains controversial. In today’s post I’d like to take a closer look at what evidence we have for it.
Many IC sufferers I have spoken to are either interested in trying alternative natural therapies, or have already tried some.
There are a variety of natural therapies and remedies out there, and often it is hard to know what is effective. In my experience, this is highly individual. We do, however, have some data on what seems to help the most people.
Low level laser therapy is also known as light therapy or photobiomodulation. There’s different forms of light therapy, but this form mainly refers to red-light therapy of a specific wavelength.
It sounds pretty esoteric, but actually it has been used by NASA to help plants grow in space and by farmers for breeding chicks and other livestock. But it has also been used therapeutically for humans, especially in the context of recovery from physical exercise.
Oxalates are the salt form of oxalic acid, an acid that is found in many plant foods and can also be produced in the body.
Oxalic acid can form oxalate crystals when binding to minerals such as calcium. When deposited in the body, these can cause a lot of pain, similar to tiny glass shards.
This is probably most well-known with regards to kidney stones, which can often be oxalate/calcium stones.
There is also some evidence that excess oxalates could play a role in painful bladder conditions, such as interstitial cystitis. However, this evidence is more anecdotal than based on scientific studies (as there haven’t been any studies that I know of). Today I would like to look at some potential connections between oxalates and interstitial cystitis.
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’).
Exercise is generally considered to be health promoting, but not all forms of exercise might be ideal for someone with bladder issues.
Last time, I talked about why jogging may not be so ideal for bladder health. This week I’d like to look at some options that I consider to be safe and beneficial.
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!
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).