Interstitial cystitis (irritative bladder syndrome, leaky bladder syndrome) is a chronic non-bacterial inflammation of the bladder involving the mucosa and muscular tissue and resulting in reduced bladder capacity. The underlying reason of interstitial cystitis is not due to infection and the cause is presently unknown, however is most likely associated with allergy or autoimmunity. Symptoms include increased frequency of urination, painful urination and hematuria (blood in the urine).
If you are prone to recurrent urinary tract problems I would suggest that you investigate the cause behind it, especially if there is blood present in the urine, frequency of urine or painful urination. It may an idea to speak to your Doctor about a cytoscopy (examination of the bladder to properly diagnose the cause). Interstitial cystitis is commonly misdiagnosed because its symptoms are so similar to other urinary system ailments. If there is reason to believe that the cause is due to immunity (allergies/ autoimmunity) then it would benefit you greatly to speak to your Healthcare professional about allergy testing and a full blood test which includes kidney function, histology, immune modulators and eisonophils.
How long does Homeopathic Cantharis take to work for interstitial cystitis?
Homeopathic Cantharis is an acute remedy for easing the symptoms of cystitis, urinary tract inflammation, violent irritations and sensitivities of the whole urinary tract. It is a remedy prescribed for raw burning pains, constant urges to urinate, irritated mucous membranes and dysuria. It is a common female remedy which is fast acting when taken in an acute dosages, especially if it is the remedy best suited to your constitution as well as your presenting symptoms. Generally the symptoms should be eased with this Homeopathic remedy and the urinary system responds well to Cantharis. Chronic inflammation should be relieved within a couple of days, however the residue inflammation and production of bacteria needs to also be addressed so that it does not become a reoccurring problem. Long term urinary tract inflammation may cause further complications of the kidneys and urinary system.
Please seek the advice of a Healthcare professional who can give you the support and ongoing advice that this condition requires. A Healthcare professional can take into account your personal history, medications, diet, lifestyle and supplements when choosing the best remedies for you.
Diet tips for Interstitial Cystitis
- Manuka Honey may help to soothe an irritated urinary tract and provide anti-inflammatory action
- Herbal teas such as Lemongrass, Rosehips and Fennel
- Increase water intake to ensure that the urinary system is properly flushed out and metabolic wastes are removed from the system. "The solution to pollution is dilution"
- Reduce acidic foods in the diet and increase alkaline foods. Acidic foods include tea, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, dairy, wheat, sugar, preserved and processed foods. Simple sugars and coffee are strong irritants to the urinary tract and kidneys
- Eat plenty of foods high in anti-oxidants
- Alkalise the blood - vegetable juices, watermelon, barley grass, miso soup, brown rice, vegetable broths and plenty of water
- Make some barley water - boil pearl barley for 20-30 minutes. Drink 3 cups/ day. This preparation soothes the urinary tract and alkalises the system
- Avoid foods which can aggravate urinary tract infections such as alcohol, coffee, soft drinks, citrus foods, tomatoes, vinegar, yeasts, sugar and artificial sweeteners
Lifestyle factors for interstitial cystitis
- Watch for symptoms of candida as this complaint contributes to urinary tract infections i.e. bloating, thrush or constipation
- Relief from the pain and burning sensation for females can be found by wearing a sanitary pad which has sugar free yoghurt applied to it
- Address immunity and inflammatory conditions
- Address Kidney insufficiencies
Natural remedies for interstitial cystitis
- Golden seal due to its berberine content to provide healthy bacteria to the urinary system
- Slippery elm powder may help to soothe the lining of the urinary tract
- Echinacea and Olive leaf may support the underlying immune system weakness and is also an anti-bacterial
- Marshmallow is a herb used for soothing irritation to the mucosal linings of the urinary tract
- Buchu, Horsetail and Cornsilk are used by many herbalists to strengthen the urinary system and prevent degradation of the urinary tract wall
- Green Barley powder, Wheat Grass, Spirulina or Chlorophyll is a blood alkaliser which may reduce inflammation, acidity and pain
- Herbs to support kidney function, remove wastes and improves filtration of wastes - Rehmannia, Chaparal, Parsley, Rosehips, Sarsparilla, Epimedium, Goji Berry, Morinda, Poria, Alisma, Dandelion leaf, and Chlorophyll
- Herbs to modulate immune function, reduce inflammation and decrease allergic responses which may be a contributing factor are Astragalus, Codonopsis, Pinella, Albizzia, Echinacea, Reishi mushrooms, Bupleurum, Ginger, Garlic, Golden Seal and Atractylodes
- Beneficial probiotic bacteria (probiotics - Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus) may help to prevent the symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis
- Buffered Vitamin C and bioflavinoids (especially Quercetin) may be helpful to reduce acidity and provide anti-oxidants to an irritated mucosal lining
Bacteria and the urinary tractIdeally the urine should be sterile. A beneficial bacteria resides in the vagina called (vaginal lactobacilli). Researchers aren't completely sure why it is that lack of vaginal lactobacilli seems to be linked with UTI's. It may be due to a combination of reasons according to Dr. Ann Stapleton, professor of medicine at the University of Washington. "Maybe [the vaginal lactobacilli] kill off E. coli, or maybe they exist in much higher numbers and stop them from attaching to cells that line the vagina, or they may inhibit growth of E. coli, Stapleton said".
Infections are usually caused by E. Coli which normally resides in the bowels. There have been studies that suggest bacteria may also reside in the cells of the bladder and protect themselves from the immune system by creating a Biofilm within the cells. One aim of treatment is to reduce the strength of these biofilms and the actions of Berberine found in Golden Seal may be helpful.