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Intercystial cystitis or Bladder pain syndrome

Interstitial cystitis or Bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis (commonly abbreviated to BPS/IC) has been called an inflammation of the bladder wall or bladder. It is not known how it is caused; it is characterised by pain in the bladder, pain associated with urination (dysuria), urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, and/or pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis. The pain, together with possible increase need to urinate, can make this a very difficult and debilitating condition.

It is not unusual for patients to have been misdiagnosed with a variety of other conditions, including: overactive bladder, urethritis, urethral syndrome, trigonitis, prostatitis and other generic terms used to describe frequency/urgency symptoms in the urinary tract before they receive the correct diagnosis.

BPS/IC affects men and women of all cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages. Although the disease previously was believed to be a condition of menopausal women, growing numbers of men and women are being diagnosed in their twenties and younger. BPS/IC is not a rare condition, however, with approximately 400,000 people with the diagnosis in the UK, of which 90% are women.  There has been an association between BPS/IC and certain sort of VIRUS. Also inflammation has been linked to intercystial cystitis. Because of its dualistic nature it is difficult to get a diagnosis and GPs advice must be sought. Therefore the following information is given on the undertanding that a diagnosis has been made.

Psychologicial strategies have been found to be helpful. Kinesiology can access the 'unknown' blocks to healthy outcomes and is a non verbal therapy using bio resonance feedback to find out what may be hidden causes of dis-ease; 

Simple self help covers using a hot water bottle over the bladder, avoiding acidic foods, a hot bath with magnesium bath salts. Meditation, Reiki and other healing arts can also be useful in coping since most sufferers find the condition very stressful. Perhaps stress has led to the condition in the first place?

Using pH strips from www.kiki-health.co.uk £9.99 for 100 strips, will help to establish if the urine is alkaline or acidic; over acidic urine has been linked to intercystial cystitis. The test, which can be done with either urine or salivia, takes 15 seconds to reveal the pH of the person measured against a chart on the packet. Up to three tests a day are suggested to keep track of the pH value of the person. A range of 7.1 to 7.3 is ideal, with even slight variations being viewed as unhelpful to health.  

What natural remedies are there that may help with this condition? 

D Mannose Powder from Bio Tech has been found to help and is taken at a teaspoon 4 to 5 times a day, reducing the dose as the pain subsides. http://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/D_Mannose_Powder_100gm-4653-0.html

Nature's Biotic can also be very helpful in establishing the correct levels of natural bacteria in the gastro intestinal tract. Taken with GiSol from Nutri to help the secretary immunoglobin levels (SIgA) it can help with relief. http://naturaldispensary.co.uk/products/Gisol_90_s-9988-136.html 

Another product is Colostrum. One of the primary functions, if not the primary function, of colostrum is gut health. Colostrum is rich in proteins and peptides which play a crucial role in development of the immune system. Colostrum functions to reduce inflammation protect against irritation from toxins and check any potential infection, while promote epithelial growth and repair. Research shows that colostrum can correct this leaky gut syndrome with its unique combination of immune factors and growth stimulators, which includes epithelial growth factors.

According to Dr Tom O’Bryan, the leading ‘Gluten Sensitivity Doctor’ research has shown that colostrum is the single most effective agent for correcting leaky gut syndrome. Use before and after the anti-fungal phase is recommended. Colostrum also promotes re-colonisation of the bowel by the friendly flora.

A little know but extremely effective version of Cat's Claw (Uno de Gato) called Samento, which is TOA free, (tetracylic oxindole alkaloids) version of traditional Cat's Claw, has also been shown to be effective. In tincture form, it is recommended to take for up to 3 months. Samento has been extensively researched and trialled in Ecuador and has no known contra-indications, no known side effects and no known interactions with other drugs. Please contact this web site for details on Samento.

Several clinical studies have shown cranberries to be useful in helping the body overcome urinary tract infections caused by bacteria (but beware of over acidic products - see above), which adhere to the lining of the bladder. Evidence suggests that certain constituents in cranberries can interfere with this adherence, thereby helping the body fight off infection and also reducing the likelihood of an infection occurring.

However, cranberry juice has a rather bitter taste and so you’ll find that most of the commercial cranberry drinks are laden with sugar and high in calories. Also the cranberry tablets and capsules that are available are unlikely to contain anywhere near the levels found in a straight powdered product.

Lamberts® Cranberry Complex is a high potency sugar free powder concentrate produced from mature cranberries, mixed with a complex carbohydrate called fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS), extracted from chicory root. FOS acts as a prebiotic, which means it encourages the growth of friendly bacteria, which help to suppress pathogenic, troublesome bacteria. This unique combination of ingredients helps to prevent troublesome bacteria taking hold in the bladder.

Please contact cynthia@healingtouchtherapy.co.uk for more information and support. The Cob foundation (cobfoundation.org) produces useful literature including food lists of potential irritatants to the bladder beyond the usual suspects. These include citrus fruits, coffee, wine, tomato and chocolate. An elimination diet can be revealing if there are suspected food groups that aggravate the condition.