Vitamin C is probably the most well-known and studied vitamin. I’ve come to believe that it may also be one of the most important ones for people suffering from chronic bladder problems, which I’d like to explain in today’s post.
If you have interstitial cystitis (IC), you may have been told to stay clear of vitamin C supplements – a.k.a Ascorbic Acid. Why? Because as the name suggests, it is rather acidic and could therefore be rather uncomfortable when getting in contact with inflamed tissue. But fear not, I will explain how you can take it without the burn!
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.
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.
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.
Pharmacies usually sell ‘cystitis relief’ products designed to serve as a first aid for urinary tract infections. These preparations are designed to alkalize the urine.
Moreover, flushing through increased fluid intake is usually recommended.
I have previously recommended doing this as it is the common advice for cystitis relief before taking antibiotics.
Some people may well have success with this approach but is it scientifically validated?
When speaking about urinary tract infections, we usually speak about bacterial infections. Fungi (a.k.a yeasts or mold) are different organisms from bacteria and they can cause infections such as thrush in some parts of the body. Fungal infections in the vagina for example are a well-known condition. But can there also be fungal infections in the urinary tract?
Last week I had a look at how hormones affect the urinary tract. Changes in the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone and even the ‘male’ hormone testosterone appear to affect urinary tract symptoms.
Oral contraception affects hormone levels in the body and may therefore also affect urinary tract symptoms.
Other contraception may not affect hormones but may have an impact on the urinary tract in other ways.
Today I would like to take a look at what we know about different forms of contraception and bladder health.
Today I’d like to take a closer look at the role of hormones on bladder health. Hormones have been known for a while to play a role in lower urinary tract symptoms such as UTIs, interstitial cystitis and stress incontinence. Hormones may be the reason why women generally seem to be more prone to bladder problems than men and also why some symptoms may get worse at certain times of the month.
Most of us are aware of the dangers of food poisoning, especially from raw meat. But what if other infections in the body could also be transmitted via food? Well’ research shows that this is unfortunately often the case . Conventionally raised chicken meat could harbor pathogenic E. Coli, the most prevalent bacteria to cause urinary tract infections.
From the meat, these pathogens could pass over to humans and cause infections.
A prior history of urinary tract infections is considered to be a significant risk factor for developing new infections in the future. But why does a history of UTIs leave us more prone to future infections?
New research shows that pathogenic E. Coli can leave an imprint on the bladder lining, making it easier for future infections to take hold.