The chronic pain of Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is real and is endured by millions of Americans on a daily basis. The cause is unknown but symptoms may include an immediate and constant need to urinate.
For some, this is up to 50 times per day. They may also suffer pain during sexual intercourse.
Just as there is no known cause, there is also no known cure for IC, although there are many ways to reduce some of the symptoms.
This article will explore 10 natural home remedies to deal with the pain of IC.
Heating It Up and Cooling It Down
This very simple, very easy treatment will aid in reducing the swelling that is a regular part of dealing with Interstitial Cystitis. When the pain is from the bladder wall, a heating pad or hot water bottle will help to reduce the spasm of the muscles.
It would be better to use a heating pad for the pelvic floor. In either instance, lay the pad or bottle on a towel or some other covering before laying it on your pants or inside your underwear.
At other times, it will be better to use an ice pack or frozen water bottle to numb the pelvic floor. As with the heating pad, use a cover between the cold pack and your body. Be careful to remove or alternate between hot and cold after about 20 minutes.
For those suffering from IC, the work of a physical therapist is to find where your tight muscles are located and then to work at releasing the tension. One way to aid in the relaxation of these tight muscles is through deep tissue massage.
Physical therapists may also use biofeedback to pinpoint the muscles causing the discomfort. To do this, they will place electrodes on your body or place probes in the vagina or anus.
When you see the read-out and know where these muscles are located, they can show you exercises and techniques to release the tension.
The Interstitial Cystitis Association shares their advice on physical therapy for IC patients on different types of therapy and exercises that may help you.
Less Stress is Best
Stress is not a cause of IC, however, it can make your symptoms flare up and trigger an inflammation in your body. Anything like this will only make the symptoms and pain worse. Find the things that help you relax and try to do one of these every day.
You might begin your day with some form of light exercise. Don’t do anything that would jolt your body or your bladder. However, smooth exercises like stretching or walking can be helpful.
When you are able, listen to calming music and sit peacefully for 20 minutes or so. This can also be a great stress reliever, as can taking a bath in Epsom salts.
Diana Brady, MA, CNC, author of IC Naturally, writes that an Epsom salts bath will help in managing IC flares.
The antioxidants in green tea will do wonders toward relieving the symptoms of IC. The catechins found in the tea will protect your bladder cells from becoming inflamed. Drink at least two cups every day to receive the best results.
Better yet, for a much more intensive dosage, take a green tea supplement to deliver the catechins your body needs to fight the inflammation of your bladder cells.
Pitt School of Medicine’s Michael B. Chancellor, professor of urology and gynecology, stated that, “Although further studies are needed, these results indicate herbal supplements from green tea could be a treatment option for various bladder conditions that are caused by injury or inflammation.”
Marshmallow is an herb. It soothes irritated tissue and soothes the urinary tract. The benefits of this herb are that it will cover your bladder wall, forming a protective substance.
As one of the most preferred herbs for treating IC, Marshmallow Root can be taken in two preferred forms.
You can buy the root and prepare an infusion, or buy it already prepared as an herbal tea. It can also be taken in capsule form. You can find the recipe for making your own Marshmallow Root Tea here.
Aloe Vera or Aloe Vera Juice
BJ Czarapata, Nurse Practitioner, reports of the use of freeze-dried aloe vera capsules in Interstitial Cystitis, saying, “It is theorized that the aloe plant helps IC patients in several ways.
When processed correctly, the powder maintains its high levels of the glycosaminoglycans (GAG) … The aloe plant is also a natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, analgesic, and anti-microbial agent but only when used in its super-strength form.” Your text to link…
Aloe vera and aloe vera juice can be very helpful in reducing some of the symptoms of IC. Aloe will work to keep your GAG levels properly aligned. You will need to be careful if you choose juice over the pills. Aloe is acidic. For some people, this only increases inflammation and irritation.
Change Your Diet
What you eat could be a cause for some of the pain you’re suffering. There are certain foods that, while they are not the cause of your bladder inflammation, may increase pain and other symptoms, will contribute to it and make it even worse.
You may be able to pinpoint one or two foods or ingredients that are your problem foods. But unless you know for sure, it could help you to remove the following foods from your diet:
spicy foods, coffee, chocolate, fruits (especially citrus), tomatoes, vinegar, pickled foods, anything with caffeine, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
Drink This – You’ll Feel Better
Drinking water can help detoxify your body and get rid of some of the toxins. Even though some people must deal with an urgent and frequent need to urinate, and others feel pain when they do, it is vital to maintain a 6-8 glasses of water regimen.
To minimize the urgency and frequency to urinate, try sipping on your water throughout the day instead of taking big gulps. This will keep you hydrated and keep you from getting constipated. It will also lower the level of acid in your urine.
It will help to know if your hormones are balanced or not. When these levels are imbalanced, particularly the estrogen in women, this could bring about an increase in inflammation. Near the time of ovulation, some women will see an increase in IC flares.
Look into ways to regulate your hormones, including the use of essential oils. Certain oils will help relieve some of the pain. You may also find that a natural progesterone cream will work toward balancing your hormones.
“It’s the Great Pumpkin” Seed
Pumpkin seeds are filled with iron, fiber, and many other nutrients. The most basic element in pumpkin seeds is arginine.
This will help these seeds to work at clearing up any infections that may be in your bladder. Eat these every day and you will see an improvement in the bladder pain in only a few days.
Interstitial Cystitis is a very painful and sometimes debilitating bladder disease. Its symptoms can be constant with some people, intermittent for others.
In this article, we have looked at 10 remedies that do not use chemicals nor physically invasive treatments. Thankfully, these are simple things that anyone can try, most in the privacy of your own home.
There are teas and infusions you can drink, foods to exclude from your diet, or doing some basic exercises can make a big difference in reducing your pain levels.
You have nothing to lose except some of the pain and inconvenience suffered by those with IC. Try one or two of these suggestions today to bring an improvement to your quality of life.