What Is Interstitial cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is a condition that causes pressure in the bladder and bladder pain, which may be accompanied by pelvic pain too. The pain may be mild to severe and the condition is also called painful bladder syndrome.
Your urinary bladder stores urine and as it fills, it keeps expanding. When it is full, the bladder sends signals to your brain and creates the need to urinate. If you suffer from interstitial cystitis, the signals get confused and you will feel the urge to urinate more often, while the volume of urine produced is much lower. The condition of interstitial cystitis usually affects women that affect the quality of life in the long run. It can affect your general life, sleep, exercise and your ability to carry out daily activities. Although you can treat the condition to make it better, there is no permanent cure for it.
What Are The Symptoms Of Interstitial cystitis?
The symptoms of interstitial cystitis can vary from person to person. They can go away in a week or may stay for months or even years.
Some of the symptoms of interstitial cystitis include:
- Pain between the vulva, vagina, and anus or in the pelvic region in women.
- Pain that occurs between the perineum or scrotum and anus in men.
- Pain in the lower back, lower stomach, urethra or pelvis.
- Chronic pain in the pelvis.
- Continuous need to urinate urgently.
- Frequent urination, usually in small amounts all through the day as well as night, sometimes even up to 60 times.
- Discomfort and pain as the urinary bladder fills and the feeling of relief after you urinate.
- Painful sexual intercourse in women.
- Pain after intercourse in men.
The symptoms of interstitial cystitis usually resemble the signs when you suffer from a urinary tract infection; however, in the case of interstitial cystitis, there is no infection.
What Are The Causes Of Interstitial cystitis?
There are no clear reasons for the occurrence of interstitial cystitis. However, the symptoms may flare up due to common reasons such as:
- Menstruation, stress
- Exercise, sitting for long periods, sexual activity
Some of the causes of interstitial cystitis are:
- Any problem with the bladder tissue allows the urine to irritate the bladder.
- Inflammation in the bladder causes the release of chemicals which cause interstitial cystitis symptoms.
- Some substances or chemicals present in the urine damage the urinary bladder.
- A nerve problem that causes pain in the bladder.
- The immune system attacks the urinary bladder.
- Some other infection or disease that causes inflammation which affects the urinary bladder.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Interstitial cystitis?
- Stress can be a cause that triggers interstitial cystitis. So, you should avoid stress and follow techniques to reduce stress.
- Practice holding the urine in for longer periods of time. For instance, if you want to urinate every half hour, try and keep it in control for around 45 minutes.
- Follow a low-impact exercise routine such as stretching, walking, etc.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Interstitial cystitis?
- Avoid wearing tight clothes, as this can put pressure on the bladder and cause an urge to urinate frequently.
- Avoid foods and beverages that can trigger the symptoms of interstitial cystitis and make a change in your diet. Maintain a journal to see the foods and drinks that irritate your bladder.
- Avoid smoking, as this worsens the condition of interstitial cystitis. Also, smoking can cause bladder cancer.
What Are The Best Foods For Interstitial cystitis?
- Eat healthy vegetables and whole fruits instead of fruit juice.
- Consume low-fat or fat-free dairy foods like yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.
- Choose lean meats like poultry without skin, seafood, pork, turkey, etc.
- Eat foods that contain high-fiber such as whole grains and whole grain products like 100% wheat, brown rice, bran, whole grain cereals, legumes, beans, etc.
- Eat soy-based foods like soybeans, soy milk, tempeh, tofu, etc.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids and stay hydrated as this helps to detoxify and also reduce the acids in the body.
What Are The Worst Foods For Interstitial cystitis?
- Foods like alcohol, spices, chocolates, citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, citrus- and caffeine-based beverages like soda, cola, coffee can cause the inflammation and irritation of the bladder worsening the condition of interstitial cystitis.
- Acidic foods such as tomatoes, pineapple, mango, guava, grapes, cranberries, etc. can make the condition of interstitial cystitis worse.
- Foods and beverages like nuts, cheese, bananas, chicken liver, raisins, avocados, chocolate, sour cream, fava beans, beer, wine, etc. contain the chemical tyramine, which worsens the condition of interstitial cystitis.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners and foods and beverages containing them, as they aggravate interstitial cystitis.
What Are The Medicines For Interstitial cystitis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Interstitial cystitis?
- You can make use of bladder training techniques and other methods like distracting yourself or relaxation techniques to prevent frequent urination. This can help you to lengthen the time between urination times and you can also make use of a diary to keep track of your progress.
- You can make use of physical therapy to help relax your pelvic muscles and this can help to reduce the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
- Reduce stress by using relaxation techniques, meditation, talking to a friend or take up calming activities such as reading a book, photography, etc. This can help a lot in reducing the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
- Using alternative therapies such as acupuncture, etc. can help to reduce the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
Some home remedies that can be used to help the condition of interstitial cystitis are:
- Baking soda helps to reduce the acidic content in the body. So, mixing a teaspoonful of baking soda in water and drinking it 2-3 times a day can be very helpful. You can also add some baking soda in half a bathtub of water and soak for a few minutes to reduce the bladder pain.
- Alternative use of heat and cold packs on the pelvis and bladder area can help to reduce pain caused by interstitial cystitis.
- Foods rich in quercetin, a flavonoid, like apples, berries, sprouts, leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, etc., cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. can help to relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
- Turmeric contains the anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin which can help to treat the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. You can add turmeric to your cooking or drink it by adding a teaspoonful to a glass of milk 2-3 times in a day.
- Adding some Epsom salt to warm water and soaking in it can help to provide relief from soreness and pain caused due to interstitial cystitis, as Epsom salt contains magnesium that is beneficial.
- Consuming the liquid form of colloidal silver can help to treat interstitial cystitis and it can also be used to treat the condition externally.
- Pumpkin seeds contain arginine which helps in curing bladder infections and if consumed for a few days can help to treat interstitial cystitis.
- Foods like yogurt, cheese, mayonnaise, etc. containing probiotics have been found to be beneficial for the condition of interstitial cystitis.
- Marshmallow root is a good remedy for interstitial cystitis as it helps to soothe the urinary tract and bladder and can be taken in the form of supplements and tea.
- The juice of aloe vera is a mucopolysaccharide that can help to reduce the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. aloe vera juice also has antibiotic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. You can drink the fresh juice from the leaves, consume aloe vera gel or pills available in the market.
- Liquorice has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties and has found to provide benefits for the condition of interstitial cystitis. Boil water with powered liquorice root, strain and drink the liquid for relief.
- Green tea has antioxidants that are beneficial for inflammation of the bladder and drinking green tea 2-3 times in a day can help to eliminate interstitial cystitis.