Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that causes painful urination, bladder spasms and pelvic pain. It affects between 75,000 and 300,000 people in the United States alone, according to the National Institutes of Health. The cause of interstitial cystitis isn’t known, but some research has found that bacteria or viruses could be responsible for triggering an immune system response in patients who have weak immune systems (which can make you more prone to developing IC). If your health care provider suspects you might have interstitial cystitis, he or she will likely perform a urine test first to rule out other causes of bladder pain (such as bacterial vaginosis). If everything checks out okay with your pee sample and you still feel like your bladder hurts even after taking antibiotics for 10 days… keep reading!
My doctor told me there was no cure.
When I was first diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, my doctor told me there was no cure.
I thought that meant that I would just have to live with this disease for the rest of my life. But after years of research and trial and error, I found a cure that worked for me–and it can work for you too!
I started to think outside the box.
I started to think outside the box. I had tried everything my doctor recommended, but it wasn’t working for me. I wanted to find alternatives to what they were telling me and see if there was something else that might help my condition.
I looked up what other people had done to cure their interstitial cystitis and how they went about it. This helped me realize that there were many different types of treatment available; not just one or two options like my doctor had led me to believe.
I read as much as I could about these treatments until I found one that sounded promising enough for me try out (it was called bladder instillations).
So I sought out alternative treatments.
I tried acupuncture, yoga and meditation. I went on a gluten free diet, then a vegan diet, then an FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharide disaccharide monosaccaride and polyol) diet. I tried the low oxalate diet (which was not very effective for me), as well as the low histamine diet which seemed to help at first but eventually made my symptoms worse again.
I tried everything I could find.
I tried everything I could find. I tried acupuncture and herbal remedies, chiropractic treatment, yoga and meditation, massage therapy. I even changed my diet and supplemented with magnesium (an essential mineral). But nothing worked for long enough to make a difference in my life or give me relief from the pain and discomfort of IC.
So what did work? The answer is simple: nothing at all!
You can do this too!
You can do this too!
If you have a chronic illness, you might feel like your body has betrayed you. You may be angry and frustrated that your symptoms have not gone away or even gotten worse. But the truth is, there are many different ways to treat chronic illnesses like IC, and they don’t all involve drugs or surgery–some solutions are simple lifestyle changes that anyone can make if they’re willing to try them out.
I know it’s hard to find a solution to your interstitial cystitis, but it’s not impossible! I’ve been there. The first step is always to talk with your doctor about any options they may have for treatment or management. Then, if they don’t have anything that works, try some of these alternative therapies. They worked for me and I hope they can help you too!