Interstitial Cystitis
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Interstitial Cystitis Remedies

| Modified on Sep 19, 2021

Dietary Change, Probiotics
Posted by Lea (Ca) on 03/21/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Healing my painful bladder problems:

For years I suffered with over-active bladder and later Interstitial Cystitis. Major OUCH! I couldn't eat many foods, such as tomatoes or citrus, without it irritating my bladder. I would be up all night, needing to urinate every half hour. The symptoms were much like a bad UTI, of which I had many.

The doctors were of no help, often prescribing antibiotics, ever though the UTI causing bacteria was no longer found in my urine. The symptoms would come and go. Some weeks I would be fine, then the pain would mysteriously start up again. As the years went on, I soon discovered a pattern. Eating too much sugar, or taking antibiotics would bring on a serious flare. Yeah, I'm a slow learner.

After a UTI and being on antibiotics, I would be fine for about a week, and then the painful IC symptoms would return with a vengeance.

Then, while on this very site, Earth Clinic, I ran across a post describing exactly what was happening to me.

The antibiotics I had been taking had killed off the good bacteria in my bladder and had also given me a horrid sinus problem. I had read somewhere that the two issues usually go hand in hand, but I had never connected the dots.

I discovered I had Candida, an over abundance of bad yeast. The sugar I ate had been feeding the bad bacteria. So, this made sense. The yeast had created little holes in my bladder lining, causing certain foods to irritate it. This also made sense.

The cure, for me, was cutting way back on sugar, staying on a good diet, drinking lots of water and taking GOOD Probiotics. Lots of GOOD Probiotics! That was the real answer, but it wasn't cheap. I didn't care at this point and just bought them.

The good bacteria in the Probiotics soon over took the bad bacteria and healed the little holes in my bladder.

For 2 weeks, I would take one pill with every meal. Soon my sore bladder issues were gone and so far have not come back. It's been two months now. Fingers crossed.
I can now eat anything without a problem. No more getting up all night, going to the bathroom. I still have a slight sinus problem, but it's getting better. I am no longer getting UTI's, so am able to avoid antibiotics. I still take daily maintenance Probiotics and can now tolerate Cranberry pills, which keeps the UTI's away.

Why oh why could any doctor not have told me this years ago? All they would say is "Stay away from the foods that hurt your bladder." They could not direct me to the root of the problem.

I have read that there are thousands of women who have over active bladders and now believe that in many cases Candida is the problem.

I hope me taking the time to write this helps at least one sufferer.

I can now enjoy life again. Hugs to you all.

Bone Broth
Posted by Lea (Ca) on 03/20/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Years ago I started having symptoms of IC, the same symptoms as a bladder infection, without the infection. (Google it) Symptoms would come and go through out the years. The inflammation would cause me to feel weak and tired. Then I remembered that my bladder problems always seemed to act up after I took antibiotics. So, this got me to thinking...."Candida fungus was probably at the root of my bladder problem."

So, I went on a Candida diet, for 3 weeks and I not only lost weight and started feeling better, but my IC symptoms seemed to let up...but not entirely.

Then, after my latest flare, I did some research and discovered Bone Broth. I mixed a cup, half and half with vegetable broth, heated it, drank it and within 4 hours the pain had let up.

My understanding is that the Candida fungus causes little holes to form in the protective lining of the bladder, causing pain when the wrong food is consumed, and the broth helps heal that lining. Much like it is suppose to help heal leaky gut.

I thought, "It can't be this simple." So, I tested it, ate some citrus (a big no-no for IC suffers), symptoms flared, I drank the broth and the pain let up. I now drink at least one hot cup of broth a day and, knock on wood, I think it's my answer.

I believe that the Candida fungus was the root cause of the IC. Going off bad carbs was really hard at first, but now I seldom feel hungry. I eat very little but what I do eat is very nutritious. I have so much more energy and feel much younger. I told my hubby..."Unless I'm dying, DON'T let me take any more antibiotics! "

Hope my story helps at least one IC sufferer.

Posted by Amanda (Madison Heights, Mi) on 06/20/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I started taking turmeric the day I first suspected interstitial cystitis. I had been struggling with what I thought was an extremely stubborn UTI for about 2 weeks, off and on. Every night my sleep was interrupted about 7 to 8 times with the desperate urge to pee. On this particular afternoon the pain and urgency became so beyond ridiculous that I couldn't function. I was exhausted, peeing every 5 minutes, hurting every second of the day, so much that I could not focus on anything. None of the usual treatments had worked (D-Mannose, baking soda, cranberry, cherry). I had recently been to the doctor for another UTI but the bacterial culture came back negative.

Having done some reading about IC and noted that it is an inflammatory condition, I drank one glass of about 8oz water with about 1/2 tsp turmeric and a small pinch of black pepper. Then I lay down in the only position that offered a shred of relief, on my back with my knees out. I felt somewhat better within a half hour and was able to fall asleep shortly after. I woke up 2 times to pee, and did again when my alarm went off for work. Each time the burning and urgency were further lessened. The following day I felt almost normal again. I continued to take turmeric and it has not lost its effectiveness for me.

I have tried buying turmeric capsules with black pepper extract since then, and they work pretty well. I have also tried aloe, which seemed to have more effect when it was juice rather than dried in a capsule. These are all helpful, but I am still learning which foods bother me, and when I eat something that triggers an incident, the powdered turmeric spice with a little black pepper stirred into water is what helps me recover the most quickly and fully. Not sure why. I may try making my own capsules because the taste is not delicious. Totally worth it, though.

Posted by Dmsogirl (Minneapolis) on 05/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars

IC for 10 years!

To do DMSO in the doctors office with major medical only insurance would have cost me $4,500.00. I didn't have that kind of money. I tried EVERYTHING on this site and the diet, also no gluten, sugar, alcohol, baking soda, and tired many drugs. Doing the Physical Therapy, Heprin/Bicarb, Ladicane, many other drugs also for IC, but in the WORST flair for last 12 months was going to give up, and remove my bladder when I realized I have Amazon's DMSO 99.99% Pharma Grade 99.99% on my medicine shelf. I use it for bruises, back aches, etc.

So hey, I researched for 2 months, and then with my Dr's (barely) approval, I put some in my catheter w/my meds. (5 drops (diluted to 50% w/Reverse Osmosis water from Target) No pain, so I held it for 1.5 hrs. The flair stayed the same. But the next week I did it again. WOW. Instead of waking every hr to pee all night, I only got up 2x. Was more comfortable all day! I need to do 6 total. (one per wk).

You should also put 50% DMSO on belly and back (7 drops or so per day) as DMSO is also absorbed in the skin. (See Dr Jacob's site on DMSO. He says MSM is even better for this.) I will continue with the 6 weeks. God knows, this is a miracle drug! My Dr (an ANGEL) wants me to report to her my results. I will update to you all as I go.

RESEARCH THIS before doing or you can have HORRIFIC results, with permanent damage.

*** Never use it straight, nor with only a tiny amount of liquid, nor too often. ***

DMSO per 6.5 drops diluted w/6.5 drops of water would have cost me $592.00 at the pharmacy per week w/out the dr's appointment. It cost me about 4 cents. What a money grab!

God Bless. If?s, (Please respond here. )

Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide Douche
Posted by Pinklight (New Orleans, Louisiana United States) on 05/21/2011

I am greatly interested in anyone who read about an equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide douche that reduced or cured ic. My issue is the frequent urination day and night. I tried this concoction today and it burned so badly I could not really do it. It may have been the Apple Cider Vinegar that caused the burning; I'm just not sure. Has anyone tried this? If so, did you end up having to dilute the recipe with water and it still worked? I'm anxious to know. Thanks for any replies! -Pinklight

Posted by Elizabeth (Nashville, TN) on 07/21/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I said I would update my IC post if I found other remedies that work and I daresay I have found something....Turmeric. I had to take a whole bottle of turmeric pills in order to start seeing a difference BUT it was totally worth it. I'm afraid to jinx it but here it goes...I am virtually pain constant urethra pain and no awful urgency to pee. I do notice that if I don't drink my 8 glasses of water a day I may get a little discomfort but all I have to do is drink more water and take my turmeric and I'm good! I take anywhere between 4-6 pills a day (500 mg each). I hope and pray that I continue to stay sympton free. I was reading a report on this disease and doctors are comparing the pain (at its worst) to cancer pain. They are right. I thought I would go crazy with pain at times. It is just so darn uncomfortable (considering where the pain is located) and my pain would not let up (until I used some of the remedies from my last post). These remedies helped but did not get rid of the pain for this long a period of time. I LOVE this site!!! Thank you so much to everyone that posts their experiences on here. It helps more than you could ever imagine.

Baking Soda for Bladder Pain
Posted by Mama (TN) on 03/24/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I have had trouble with bladder pain for the last year. Many things have helped, but baking soda has been the easiest, cheapest, most effective cure of all.

Red raspberry leaf tea helps if I drink at least 2 strong cups a day.

Marshmallow Root and Usa Urvi capsules help.

Quercetin and Bromelain help.

I was drinking the juice of a lemon for digestion and realized it was helping my bladder pain. I realized it was probably helping to make me more alkaline and perhaps that was what was helping.

Now I take some baking soda in water (1/4-1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 1/4-1/3 cup water) 2-3 times a day or as needed and rarely have pain.

I am thrilled to say the least. I hope others with this issue will have relief as well!

~Mama to Many~

Sea Salt
Posted by Carmen (Eureka, Ca) on 04/04/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Several years ago I developed interstitial cystitis after a bladder infection. My daughter-in-law began research, and feeding me (and keeping me from) certain foods. I was given high alkaline foods, such as potatoes salted with himalayan salt, and raw cabbage (cabbage would take the pain away immediately), and I would not eat any foods that promoted an acid urine. I tested my urine often (because I had to urinate constantly), so I was able to see what helped. One day we were invited to dinner, and I only ate what I was allowed, in this case, potatoes and salt. WOW, what pain!!!! I was up all night, and was on the internet looking for yet another cure!!! One site declared that salt was the enemy. Well, I am a Christian, and the Scripture speaks positively about salt, so I was dubious...Yes, salt, the white, purified stuff we buy in the grocery store, IS the enemy. I switched to natural, UNPURIFIED sea salt, continued on my food regiment, and my bladder healed. It has been 5 years, and I have had no further problems. My entire family does not use purified salt anymore. Just another case of the modern method of taking a good thing (salt), taking it apart, selling us the part that is poisonous on its own, then putting the extracted elements into supplements that they sell back to us in the form of a cure...By-the-way, my other daughter-in-law has seen enormous improvement in her blood pressure after switching to natural salt.

Marshmallow Root
Posted by Shelly (Nc) on 03/10/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Marshmellow root, a true miracle.

I have been so lost, confused, depressed and in a whole lotta pain until I read about this miracle drug and tried it. I am 47 and have been through two operations for endo. I developed severe pain in my lower stomach and pelvis area and went to urinate constantly. Although drs always told me I had ic and endo, I never was told what to take for relief. Couldn't sleep for a complete night without having to pee. Back pain got worse and I ended up going to my obgyn again. He looked at me and said that when I have had enough pain I'll agree to have a hysterectomy that he recommends. Sent me home with birth control pills. Why don't drs tell u about these possible drugs that can actually help? Seems like there just out for themselves. I came home and started searching on the internet for help. And there I saw marshmellow root and the reviews. I decided I was gonna try it and after two days, my pain has drop tremendously and the swelling has went down a lot. I also have ibs and it seems to help with that too. I gave up my diet soda which I'm sure that has a lot to do with the irratation. But I am willing to try just about anything to feel like me again. So far I'm so impressed with the marshmellow root capsule. I hope this gets out there to someone who is at the end of there rope like I was. Give this a try, u have nothing to lose. I only paid ten dollars for 100 capsules and so far, it has been worth every penny. God bless.

Coconut Oil, Coconut Water
Posted by Kelly (Chicago, Il) on 03/29/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I only found out about virgin coconut oil Dec 2009. I had bladder pain for 15 years - eventually diagnosed with interstitial cystitis but was always convinced it was a bladder infection since Bactrim (sulfa antibiotic) would always make me feel better with flare ups even though cultures were negative. I had a flare for months that would no longer go away with Bactrim. I started with coconut water and it helped my urethral pain. Now, I take coconut oil and coconut water. I no longer have urethral or bladder pain!!!!

I am beginning to believe that interstitial cystitis is a bogus diagnosis that thousands of MDs have earned a pretty penny off of - in fact - entire medical fields have opened due to this diagnosis. I think all women with this should try coconuts before they spend another dime! I know the frustrations - I have been to the best urogynes and urologists - Northwestern in Chicago since I was a teenager and in California. I have had my urethra widened twice, - I have been tortured like so many other women; missed life events, canceled trips, spent many days in the ER with flares - not too mention the $$$ spent! AND ALL THIS TIME -- COCONUTS WOULD HAVE SOLVED MY PAIN. I MUST TELL EVERY WOMAN!!!!

Posted by Angela (Federal Way, WA) on 07/28/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I am so sorry to read of soo many struggling with bladder problems and UTI's. It is miserable and costly and sometimes embarrassing!!!

I had what I thought was constant UTI's or feeling like I was getting one for about a year. I did get many uti's but even when i didn't 'officially' have one it felt one was coming on. I was finally diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis. This is when part of the lining in your bladder is thinned or damaged- causing tissue, muscle, and nerves to be exposed to your urine causing debilitating pain. If you get an infection on top of this it is excruciating. I thought I was dying one time. After being diagnosed and not ok with "experimental drugs" I looked into natural options and prayed a good deal. I asked God for wisdom as no one here seems to know what to do to end the pain.

I started taking cayenne pepper. Believe it or not it actually works! I was scared to death to try it but the incredible pain i already had made me feel "it can't get any worse". I found capsules that also had ginger root in them to help the pepper not burn your tummy. Cayenne is an amazing healer of Interstitial tissue (bladder lining included). Start slow.. maybe two pills a day at 40,000 hu. It does burn some but that means it is working. After a couple of days add more pills to your intake until you can take 3 in the morning and 3 at night. Always take with food. Hang in there through the initial tough parts... you will get some diarreah and it can be painful. Also, cut out coffee, fruits and berries for awhile. After a couple of weeks try a half cup of coffee with an antacid and see if you can tolerate. Add lots of greens to your diet.

I have been doing this for over two months now. I can drink small amounts of coffee and little bits of fruit. I went from a 10 in pain to a 0... no pain at all. At times a little discomfort but I can tell my bladder is healing. The heat of the pepper is supposed to help fight infection too.

Baking Soda for Bladder Pain
Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 03/31/2021

Hi Wendy!

Thanks for letting me clarify.

I don't think I am having pain from UTIs.

After give birth to 9 kids in 17 years, I had some serious pelvic prolapse problems. I tried a lot of things, including physical therapy but ultimately had surgery to get everything back in place. Well the trade off for fixing the prolapse was chronic burning bladder pain. :( At first I did think I was having constant UTI's but I think surgery left me with interstitial cystitis. The herbs helped a lot if I was really diligent. I still try to drink red raspberry leaf tea daily. But the baking soda taken a few times a day helps the most.

I do see that it is a popular remedy for UTI's here at Earth Clinic, so it probably has multiple benefits! I am prone to UTI's will be interesting to see if regular baking soda use reduces the frequency of them!

~Mama to Many~

Peppermint Oil
Posted by Celestine (Berkshire, UK) on 07/16/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I realised quite recently that I have suffered from interstitial cystitis for a long time. It has been aggravated at times when I was on the pill and again now that I am on HRT. In the past I thought it was straight cystitis - but often the urine samples came back as negative for infection.

After it became bad again recently, and I was getting up in the night a lot - even though I was only doing a tiny bit of wee each time, I decided to research further. I found a research paper online. It was a very small study. The key learning was that women who DON'T suffer from interstitial cystitis have more menthol in their urine than women who do have IC. Menthol is a by product of kidney function I believe. Peppermint is the plant that contains menthol.

Immediately I started to drink peppermint tea which helped somewhat. Then I bought some peppermint oil capsules. Mine are the High Strength 100mg soft gel capsules and I take one in the morning and one before bed. I'm in the UK so I get the brand Nature's Best. Complete gamechanger! I am getting up only once in the night now. Going much less often during the day. Also just less aware of bladder pain. They are not very expensive so perhaps worth a try?

Multiple Remedies
Posted by Lynnann (Florida) on 04/28/2018
5 out of 5 stars

After two weeks of misery and what I thought was a UTI, I came to the conclusion it's something more serious. After reading up on IC, it seems like this is what I have, and after two rounds of antibiotics plus tylenol, ibuprofen and AZO around the clock I was still in extreme pain. I have cried more in the last week than I have in the last 3 years. I was beside myself. I realize now that long hours of sitting at my desk and working a stressful job where I am overloaded were clearly contributors to my condition. Since the antiobiotics weren't working, I did some research here and found much helpful info from all you folks! Thank God so many people get on here and report what works for them. I went to the health food store and loaded up: uva ursi extract, marshmallow extract, a powdered berry drink called UT Vibrance, colloidal silver, tumeric caps, cinammon caps, parsley caps, quercetin.

The first thing I did though, was ACV and baking soda, and this did seem to help right away. 2 Tbs ACV, 1/4 tsp baking soda (I tried 1/2 Tbs and it was too much, I got diarreah! My bladder did feel better though), and 8 oz of water. I ran out of Stevia so put a little honey in there. It wasn't bad.

Yesterday I stopped all meds, including pain meds, and I did the extracts, the powder and the colloidal silver on an empty stomach, then ate some healthy greens and such a while later and did all the caps. Today I've done a couple rounds of extracts and caps with food, and I am still pretty much pain free! I have hope again! I still feel a little discomfort, but I am not writhing in pain anymore. I do the ACV an hour after I've done the extracts. Don't do this with food as it interferes with digestion.

I am convinced that some of the problem is that my pH was terribly out of balance, and that was a lot of the problem. But stress and sitting for too long were definite contributors. Time to change my life! I truly thought I was a goner, I was in so much pain. I'm going on a trip to Italy with my family in a little over a week and I was afraid I would not be able to go. I have hope today! So don't give up trying, folks. Try these remedies or others on this site to see what works for you, especially if you've tried antiobiotics and have no relief. Also, eat foods that make your body more alkaline, consider juicing (guess I'm going back to this good habit! ). Don't give up. You will find what works. My best to you all!

Dietary Changes, Supplements
Posted by Deziner (Philadelphia Pa) on 07/05/2017
5 out of 5 stars

IC can be chronic streptococcus in bladder, in my opinion. Possibly triggered by dormant Epstein Barr Virus. A Herpes virus which can be at the root of strep infections. The burning pain can be Shingles without rash. Another Herpes virus that can inflame bladder and pelvic floor. Doctors only recognize Shingles with rash. They're clueless. Shingles can attack pelvic floor without any rash or itching.

Change your diet and you may watch symptoms get better. Trigger points in the pelvic floor, vagina, pubic bone, anus, or psoas muscle can also cause urgency, pain, frequency. I'd recommend seeing a pelvic floor therapist to rule out tight muscles and pudendal nerve entrapment. Pudendal nerve directly linked to bladder and pudendal neuralgia can be inflamed nerves caused by Epstein Barr.

An inflamed bladder is caused by isn't a mystery and it's not incurable. Maybe to doctors it is, but to informed patients it's curable. Eggs feed viruses, as does dairy, corn and wheat. Viruses feed off of eggs and corn in laboratories. Dairy is just mucous causing food from cows fed antibiotics and hormones.

Wheat destroys the villi in intestines and nutrition cannot be absorbed. IC patients are told to avoid certain fruits and urged to eat eggs, milk and wheat. Ridiculous! When I changed my diet to exclude wheat, eggs, corn and dairy and started juicing green vegetables and many fruits my symptoms improved. It takes a while, maybe months, but you can get much better.

Juicing celery can really start to rid yourself of IC symptoms. Cucumbers, apples, asparagus, leafy greens, wild blueberries, other berries, bananas, melons, kale, coconut water, garlic, and anything grown in nature in whole forms are healing. Dairy, wheat and eggs are inflammatory foods. Even if they dont feel inflammatory.

Supplements like cats claw, L Lysine, Vitamn C, Zinc, colloidal silver, spirulina, and other anti viral, anti bacterials can lighten the viral load and strep in bladder starts to go away. If symptoms are coming from a tight pelvic floor then internal massage may help. The IC support groups refuse to accept that IC can and has been cured by diet, pelvic floor therapy, and/or supplements. They're stuck in the mindset that they need toxic drugs and told to eat a toxic diet. Rounds and rounds of antibiotics wreck havoc on the immune system and can actually cause IC. Benzodiazepines can cause IC to erupt. It's tragic that women and men are told there is no cure.

Many people have been cured by a high raw fruit and veggie diet and pelvic floor trigger point release. And antimicrobial supplements. There is hope but you won't find it with conventional doctors. They thrive on the chronically ill. God put Adam and Eve in a garden for a reason. Not a wheat field or dairy farm.

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 11/11/2017

Dear Jen,

Just today I was researching Mullein Root Tincture for a friend and noticed that it said it is sometimes used for Interstitial Cystitis. Mullein root is difficult to find. I have bought it from beneficial botanicals and made my own from mullein root in my yard. I have used it for my joints with success.

A dose for Mullein Root Tincture are 5-15 drops.

I also wonder if frankincense essential oil, a quality one (Hopewell oils are my favorite) would help. A drop or two applied to the abdomen has helped me before with a UTI and also with ovarian cysts.

Just a couple of things I would try myself if I were dealing with IC.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Tina (Knoxville, Tennessee) on 05/29/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I've had Interstitial cystitis for 30 years. I was finally diagnosed with it 9 years ago. My doctor told me not to drink caffeine. I never had drank coffee before I was 40. In the last 5 years I've had 4 or 5 flare-ups. Today I filled a capsule with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and in 3 hours there was NO PAIN. There was no burning from the pepper either. The reason cayenne pepper works, is because it goes to the places in the body that need healing, stimulates the blood flow in that area, and the blood is what heals the wound. This also works for bleeding ulcers.