About Layla

I’m a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist (Dip NNT) who as been researching bladder health for a number of years now and is working with clients suffering from chronic bladder problems. My findings are posted on this blog so that anyone needing the information can get to it!

Why would I be so interested in bladder health you ask?

Well, it’s because a few years ago I developed what I now believe was interstitial cystitis. Determined to not be chronically ill for the rest of my life, I embarked on a quest to get better, naturally….

My story

I first experienced bladder issues as a child, when I regularly developed bladder infections. One time, my mum took me to the hospital where I had a cystoscopy under anaesthesia to check for any abnormalities. Nothing was found.

After that, I don’t remember having much trouble apart from being prone to increased urgency when feeling cold or stressed.

Chronic urinary tract infections

The real trouble begun when I moved to Thailand where it was extremely hot and humid – I developed a bladder infection that quickly turned into a kidney infection. I had been dehydrated.

Without knowing much about it, I went to the hospital and was given both intravenous and oral antibiotics and painkillers. It took over two weeks to clear the infection in which I experienced a lot of side-effects from the antibiotics.

A few months later I developed my second kidney infection. This time I saw a different doctor and the infection cleared on the first course of antibiotics.

After that, I was left with chronic bladder infections, which only cleared when I moved back to Europe a year later.

Apart from one minor bladder infection, I remained symptom free for a few years, although I had developed more digestive issues and food intolerances.

Interstitial cystitis

What I later started to call ‘my demise’ begun when I lived in student accommodation that was cold, drafty and mouldy. To my sub-optimal living conditions came a traumatic break-up, graduation stress, lots of traveling and partying and a decline in my previously fairly healthy diet.

I went on a winter-holiday to Switzerland where it was extremely cold. The first morning I woke up with my (up to that day) worst bladder infection and spent the whole night on the toilet. As I failed to seek treatment, the infection quickly spread to my kidneys, too.

Back home I went to see a GP and one more time it took two courses of different antibiotics to clear the infection.

A few weeks later I had the next infection and went through another course of antibiotics.

This is when the constant bladder pain started.

I went back to the GP’s and because of a ‘probable infection’ I received more antibiotics (which I took) but the test results came back negative.

Taking these antibiotics is one of my biggest regrets as the pain instantly got worse.

The next doctor I saw took an ultrasound and tested for an infection and similar diseases. But when nothing showed up she declared that there was nothing wrong with me and that I should just ‘try drinking some cranberry juice’…

I had a break-down. I remember sitting on the floor, crying and not knowing how I got to this dark place and how I would get back out of it. The issue had started to severely affect the quality of my life.

Then, I decided to find an answer on my own.

My journey to freedom from cystitis

My first step was to read Angela Kilmartin’s book ‘The Patient’s Encyclopaedia of Cystitis, Sexual Cystitis, Interstitial Cystitis’ and implementing her ‘bottle-washing’ technique. This prevented further bouts of bladder infections from occurring.

Although I had decided to be a vegetarian as a child and was raised by a mother who had studied TCM nutrition and prepared meals for us every day, I had never really given much thought to nutrition. But when I started searching for my symptoms, I came across forum entries in which women linked their symptoms to a fungal ‘candida’ infection. Not wanting to see a doctor again I found out about anti-candida diets and decided to try one.

For some reason I got convinced that a raw vegan diet was the answer to all problems, whilst also taking a lot of natural anti-fungals.

6 months later my bladder symptoms were worse and my gut was on fire. I spoke to a therapist at one of the companies that sold anti-fungal supplements and he said to me ‘stop what you’re doing! You have interstitial cystitis!’

This was the first time I had really considered that it was in fact interstitial cystitis that I was suffering from. I have never officially been diagnosed with the condition but all my symptoms fit exactly into its definition.

I followed the therapist’s recommendations, stopped the anti-fungals, took lactoferrin and colostrum supplements and introduced fermented foods into my diet.

The turning point came when I read the wonderful book ‘Nourishing Traditions’ by Sally Fallon and not much later ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ by Natasha Campbell-McBride – both books recommend a traditional, real-food based diet including bone broth, fermented foods and animal fats.

After over 20 years as a vegetarian I slowly started introducing animal foods back into my diet and a while later went on the GAPS diet.

My body started going through a lot of changes.

The journey was tough, but 6 months later my interstitial cystitis was gone.

My health today

To this day I have not had another urinary tract infection and the symptoms of interstitial cystitis are gone. I only have flare ups of bladder pain on very rare occasions when I’ve overeaten or eaten something that doesn’t agree with me. But they never last long.

The changes I’ve made to my life have had additional benefits such as increased energy and fitness. However, I still have some digestive issues that I keep on trying to resolve. But overall I’ve come a long way!

My Mission

My mission behind bladder-help.com is to provide helpful, informative and science-backed material to empower women (and men) to overcome their bladder issues naturally through diet and lifestyle changes. I know how debilitating it is to live with these issues and I hope I can provide some help for fellow sufferers.

Ad and Sponsorship Policy

[2018] This blog uses Adsense to display avertising, which in turn helps to cover the costs of running the blog. This has no influence whatsoever on blog content.

Contact me

  • Have you found inaccurate content on this blog?
  • Have you experienced trouble viewing this blog?
  • Are you interested on advertising on this blog or working with me?

Then please contact me here.

  • Would you like to receive my newsletter?

Then you can sign up here.

  • Would you like to share your own story of recovery from chronic bladder problems?

Then please contact me here or on social media.



  • Reply


    August 15, 2016

    Trying to re-post my comments that failed to post earlier.
    My wife began experiencing what we would later learn to be Interstitial Cystitis over 10 years ago. She had multiple checks by our family physician, by urinary tract Specialists, etc. One pretty much gave up and told her she would have to live with it. The others were much more sympathetic, but pretty much relying on AMA style medicine, they were not so productive of results.
    She was subjected to Bladder Distention, Scraping material for a Biopsy to check for cancer, etc. Checked for Uterus problems, Bowel problems, etc., the whole gamut. The Bladder Distention thing worked for 6-8 weeks and then not so much. Eventually a friend with IC recommended a Dr. who specialized in IC and she began to get some relief. She was Drinking Marshmallow Root Tea, All Organic tea, Cut out most everything, including caffein beverages, alcohol, acid foods, etc. And the Dr. prescribed a pill “Elmiron” 3X per day at $500/month.

    A little over 2 years ago, I decided to view all of the YouTube videos on IC and looked for clues as to how to get her relief. (I have my own YouTube Channel on mostly unrelated topics: KRoseVideo.) I saw mostly videos that told sufferers what to do and what to avoid, but without really telling them why. As a Mechanical Engineer, I wanted more. I saw my wife’s pictures of the lining of her bladder and I saw pictures of the IC bladders contained in some of the YouTube Videos, but did not really understand what I was looking at until I found a Video which turned into a Series of videos by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a Professor of Artificial Intelligence at MIT.

    I just checked (26-JULY-2016) and my wife has stopped taking her Elmiron altogether and she can drink alcohol, eat pretty much any Organic Produce and any meat she chooses.

    Here is the first Video of Stephanie that I viewed and it is necessary to view the entire thing. If watching 60 minutes of Video is too much of a price to pay, then the person does not really have Interstitial Cystitis.

    Start here: The Health Dangers of Roundup (glyphosate) Herbicide. Jeffrey Smith & Stephanie Seneff

    I contacted Dr. Seneff at MIT and asked her if she had heard of Interstitial Cystitis and she had not. I, being an engineer, asked her if IC did not sound very much like what she and Jeffrey Smith referred to as “Leaky Gut Syndrome”. She did a little research via her Artificial Intelligence which she teaches at MIT and responded positively.

    In addition to avoiding Glyphosate, she recommended eating all Organic foods, boil meat bones for a few hours and make a broth with it, and, as an aside, she suggested that a Sulfur deficiency (more specifically Sulfate Deficiency) is a common cause of many modern day illnesses. She explains in the above video why you cannot take sulfate supplements orally and suggested to soak in a hot EPSOM SALT (Magnesium Sulfate) Bath a couple times per week for 20-30 minutes. (My wife likes to add Lavender to the bath.)

    In any event, my wife has recovered over 90% from this horrible illness. Eat Organic, Avoid ALL GMO’s, especially those made from grains that are declared to be “RoundUp READY” so that “Monsanto’s RoundUp with its Glyphosate can be used in the harvesting process. This includes most, if not all, restaurant food, Bakery products that you do not bake yourself with organic flour, etc. It ultimately could include all Meat products if the animals are fed with the GMO modified grain. My wife has been able to eat most meats without worrying, but we are ever vigilant.

    Oh, one other thing, we bought a farm which needed to have “RoundUp” spread on the grass along our driveway. My wife had started doing that be we stopped her as soon as we saw this first video by Seneff.

    Any further questions, you have my e-mail, but most importantly, my Wife has her life back! And lucky me, I have my happy, healthy wife Back!
    Joy 2U and all your readers that I hope this helps.

    • Reply


      August 16, 2016

      Hi Roy,
      Thanks so much for sharing your wife’s story!It is very much along the findings I’ve had with myself and many of the topics I will address on this blog. Her story is great confirmation for my own findings. I will also watch the videos, thanks. Luckily I wasn’t really affected by glyphosate for most of my life (in Europe it’s more regulated, GMOs as well) but I did suffer from leaky gut nevertheless.
      So happy you’ve found a way to give your wife her health back – I think we can all get better when we start taking matters in our own hands!
      All the best,

  • Reply

    krosevideo Roy Wagner

    August 16, 2016

    Hi Layla,
    Hopefully the sharing will help at least one person, somewhere in the world, to overcome this terrible chronic condition. IT was especially interesting for me to see the simple natural solutions as opposed to the extreme medical procedures that were being suggested by the doctors.
    Best regards,

  • Reply


    April 19, 2017

    Hi Layla,

    Are you familiar with the work of Prof M-L of UCL regarding chronic UTIs (or perhaps a former patient yourself?). A lot of your recent posts-articles seem to be along the same lines as the latest research coming out of UCL, regarding infiltration of bugs into the urothelium cells, laying dormant, then re-activating when they realise the body is shedding these cells to get rid of the embedded infection, etc…. Hopefully trials are not far off regarding a ‘nanocapsule’ antibiotic that will target the hidden bugs in the bladder wall (as a a more targetted treatment, will hopefully allow probiotics to survive in the bladder biome unaffected by the treatment)….

    • Reply


      April 22, 2017

      Hi, I am familiar with some of his research as I’m trying to dig into all the research I can find – I never knew about him or the clinic when I was still suffering though, so I’m not a former patient myself. I also don’t know his exact treatment plan unfortunately! I also really hope this research into antibiotics and also probiotics will be done soon..

  • Reply

    Anuj Agarwal

    October 13, 2017

    Hi Layla,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Bladder Help has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Chronic Illness Blogs on the web.


    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Chronic Illness Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.


  • Reply


    October 31, 2017

    Hi Layla
    Thanks for sharing all the information.
    I am actually going through some very tough time in my life. I have been having recurrent uti e coli since couple of months. And sometimes i have symptoms and culture shows negative. So basically the discomfort and the pain is always there.
    I started paleo diet but i saw you mentioned you went on gaps diet.
    Im little confused is gaps diet in stages i mean i can only have broth for sometime and then add food gradually?
    Also wanted to find out which brand you used for lactoferrin and colostrum supplements and what was the dosage.

    • Reply


      November 1, 2017

      Hi Fariha,
      Standard tests often miss infections, so you may still have one even if the tests are negative – you could try a safe natural antibiotic such as Lauricidin. GAPS is a very restricted diet and yes, you basically start with mainly broth and introduce foods slowly. I’d see how you get on with paleo first, as GAPS is very restrictive and not always necessary. I used Immunecare Lactoferrin and Colostrum in the past, but improvements weren’t massive. It may help, something you could try.

  • Reply


    June 28, 2018


    Thank you for your page, the past 6 months have been a bit of a struggle. I too have struggled with UTIs, with a particularly nasty one in December (2017) that required two rounds of Cipro and have left me with bladder issues. I am partially convinced that Cipro is the culprit, as for the past 5-10 years have always been prescribed it and feel like it caused this.

    Initially in the middle of the second round of Cipro I had just frequency and urgency. I sort of ignored this and continued drinking caffeine, alcohol and eating acidic foods which resulted in more of a problem. I had constant (variable) pain in my bladder, and pain at the end of urination after eating/drinking something I shouldn’t have. I have been good with my diet for the past several months, and have avoided caffeine and alcohol. From taking an anti-inflammatory suppository (which worked immensely) every day, I am now 2.5 weeks without taking them. Now I just have a bit of heaviness/soreness here and there, and pain at the end of urination first thing in the mornings. I want to be positive and think this isn’t something that I will be dealing with forever but I’m also afraid to have hope and have it crushed. I’m not sure if I am doing well because I have been avoiding the bad things, and nothing has improved or if I am actually healing. I have tried numerous supplements but just recently tried a Bone broth powder, collagen protein, and a supplement with hyaluronic acid, chondriotin and glucosamine. I am vegetarian, so taking these things were not easy for me but I want to heal. I am wondering if drinking bone broth liquid every day might help. I don’t believe this is IC (or maybe it is a mild version which I just need time to recover from), as I can go atleast an hour or two between urinating, I don’t have pain when my bladder fills (just the intense need to pee) but just the discomfort/mild pain at the end of urinating that I mentioned. I also don’t have painful sex and generally sleep through the night. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Reply


      June 29, 2018

      Hi Alyson, problems that start after antibiotics could be due to a change in the urinary and gut microbiome – the communities of microbes living in the bladder and gut. This is because antibiotics kill all bacteria, not just the bad ones. Research has shown that changes in the microbiome can be found in all bladder conditions. So the strategy I use with my clients (and I used on myself) is to try and support microbial balance through diet and supplements. Bone broth etc may be helpful to support the bladder lining as it contains some of the raw materials needed for tissue repair – it may or may not support the microbial balance.

  • Reply


    July 13, 2018

    Hi Layla,

    Thank you very much for your reply! I just recently started drinking bone broth (ugh) and taking supplements with hyaluronic acid, collagen, MSM, Chondriotin and Glucosamine– as well as probiotics. Any other suggestions on how to support/improve the biome as well as tissue repair? I am assuming multiple rounds of Cipro could have caused a bit of damage? Cystoscopy is scheduled at the end of the month…I am pretty worried.

    • Reply


      July 14, 2018

      Yes, antibiotics are known to disrupt the biome unfortunately. Generally I would say a nutrient dense diet is important as well as balancing nutrient levels (this is like providing the right soil for good microbes to grow). And then fibre that feed good bacteria but depending on your individual biome composition, some weeding may also be beneficial. I find it useful to test these things – personally I have often gone down a rabbit hole purely based on what I thought I had and later it turned out to be something different – now I just test…

  • Reply


    July 13, 2018

    Hi Layla,

    Thank you very much for your reply! I just recently started drinking bone broth (ugh) and taking supplements with hyaluronic acid, collagen, MSM, Chondriotin and Glucosamine– as well as probiotics. Any other suggestions on how to support/improve the biome as well as tissue repair? I am assuming multiple rounds of Cipro could have caused a bit of damage? Cystoscopy is scheduled at the end of the month…I am pretty worried.

  • Pingback: 17 Chronic Illness Blogs You Should Follow - Chronic Mom Life

Leave a Reply