Interstitial Cystitis Natural Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
Understanding Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis (IC), also referred to as painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder characterized by urinary urgency, frequency, and chronic pelvic pain. Individuals with IC are plagued with a constant urge to urinate throughout the day and night and often have to urinate up to 50 times per day.
IC can significantly affect one's daily functioning and ability to obtain restful sleep at night, and negatively impact one's mood and quality of life. Traditional interstitial cystitis treatment typically involves pharmacological measures; however, the results of conventional treatment are often unsatisfactory.
Alternatively, interstitial cystitis natural treatment, including dietary modifications and natural supplements, is available and can significantly improve symptoms by helping to repair the bladder lining, reduce urinary urgency and frequency, as well as pain and spasms of the bladder.
To schedule a consultation with a healthcare practitioner in Santa Monica who specializes in natural remedies for interstitial cystitis, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Interstitial Cystitis Causes
IC affects both men and women but is more prevalent is women. IC can also occur at any age. The exact cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown; however, there are several theories as to what may contribute to this condition. Some possible causes include:
- Defects in the lining of the bladder causing irritation
- Bladder trauma or overdistention (excessive stretching of the bladder)
- Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- Autoimmune disease
- Neurogenic inflammation
- Spinal cord trauma
- Genetics or heredity
Interstitial Cystitis Symptoms
The symptoms of interstitial cystitis often mimic those of a urinary tract infection but a bacterial infection is not present, and antibiotics do not help IC—antibiotics can actually aggravate IC symptoms.
The most commonly experience interstitial cystitis symptoms include:
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Pain in the perineum, urethra, lower abdomen, and lower back
- Pain in the vulva or vagina in females
- Pain in the testicles or penis in males
- Frequent urination (up to 50 times per day)
- Bladder pain while full, and relief after emptying bladder
- Pain during or after sex
The symptoms of IC vary in degree; some people experience IC flares with periods of intermittent relief, while others suffer from chronic pain and burning around the bladder region along with urinary frequency and urgency. Emotional stress can worsen symptoms of IC.
Conventional Interstitial Cystitis Treatment
Conventional treatment for painful bladder syndrome often includes the use of one or more medications such as antihistamines, antidepressants, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) which is instilled into the bladder.
Nonpharmacological measures include biofeedback therapy, stress reduction therapy, and bladder retraining therapy. The results of conventional treatment vary per individual. Many patients with moderate to severe IC report unsatisfactory results with conventional treatment and often search for complementary therapies to help alleviate this condition.
Painful Bladder Syndrome Natural Treatment
There is no cure for interstitial cystitis nor is there a single treatment which can eradicate symptoms of the condition entirely. Instead, painful bladder syndrome natural treatment focuses on managing your symptoms to reduce your daily pain and discomfort, as well as provide strategies to repair the bladder lining. These natural solutions will likely include dietary modifications and nutritional supplements.
Diet for Interstitial Cystitis
The symptoms of IC have been reported to improve significantly by reducing the intake of bladder irritants which include acidic foods and arylalkylamine-containing foods (phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, aspartate, and tyramine).
Acidic foods include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Carbonated beverages, fruit juices, tea, and coffee
- Spicy foods
- Foods and beverages which contain vitamin C
Foods high in arylalkylamines include:
- Fruits such as avocado, bananas, and pineapple
- Aspartame (Nutrasweet)
- Alcoholic beverages like beer, champagne, and wine
- Onions, fava beans, and lima beans
Avoiding allergenic foods, particularly gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, oats, and rye—can help reduce inflammation and a possible underlying autoimmune condition. Your healthcare provider may recommend an anti-inflammatory diet based on your unique needs.
Interstitial Cystitis Natural Supplements
Natural supplements when used in conjunction with dietary modifications, can significantly improve symptoms and expedite the healing process. The following nutritional supplements can be used to help relieve inflammation and repair the bladder lining:
- Quercetin: A flavonoid that acts as a natural anti-histamine and has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Glycosaminoglycans: The lining of the bladder is made up of a layer of glycosaminoglycans which act as a barrier between the bladder wall tissues and the urine. Individuals with IC often have dysfunction of this protective barrier. Natural glycosaminoglycans include glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid which aid in healing the bladder wall.
- Marshmallow root: Acts to naturally coat and soothe the lining of the bladder.
- Aloe vera: A natural anti-inflammatory and helps soothe the lining of the bladder.
It should be noted that supplements containing vitamin C, in the form of ascorbic acid, should be avoided as they can irritate the bladder.
Additional Natural Remedies for Painful Bladder Syndrome
While diet and nutritional supplements are two critical components to a natural treatment plan for interstitial cystitis, there are other therapies and treatments which can help to reduce IC symptoms. These natural remedies for painful bladder syndrome include:
- Heat and cold therapy
- Epsom salt bath
- Stress reduction techniques like acupuncture, aromatherapy, and meditation
- Smoking cessation
Interstitial cystitis can be a chronic and debilitating condition that impacts your mental and physical wellbeing. Many individuals with IC often try numerous medications and treatment modalities with little to no relief. Natural treatment options are available to help heal your bladder and alleviate the symptoms of IC.
Meet with a healthcare practitioner in Santa Monica who specializes in natural remedies for interstitial cystitis, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
Address4849 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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Wed: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
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