The pain and discomfort in the pelvic region and the bladder is termed as interstitial cystitis. It often requires urinating frequently (1).
There can be several reasons behind this bladder problem like bowel disorder, infection, endometriosis, etc. (2). The disease is more common among women, but it can affect men equally (3). The causes can be previous bladder damages like disorders, bladder overdistention, spinal cord trauma, mast cell activation, and many more. There are some home remedies that can work wonders for the disease. These remedies, along with some basic changes in diet, can be used to cure the condition naturally without any side effects.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the effective methods to treat the disease. As the disease requires a reduction in acidic content in the system, alkalizing it with baking soda can provide immense relief in the condition (4).
To use the soda, just mix ½ to 1 tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it twice or thrice a day.
- Apart from that, you can also have a baking soda bath by mixing some amount of soda in the half-filled bathtub. Just soak for a couple of minutes to get rid of the pain.
2. Heat and Cold Therapy
To reduce the pain and swelling associated with the condition, you can use the hot and cold therapy (5).
For this, apply hot bags on the affected areas for some time followed by ice packs. Repeat it alternatively for some time. Do this daily or whenever you feel pain in the bladder and pelvis areas.
Studies have found the effectiveness of flavonoids like quercetin in the treatment of interstitial cystitis (6). Include the food that is rich in this compound to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.
Turmeric is beneficial for many ailments including UTI. The compound curcumin in turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and has anti-cancer properties. Due to these qualities, it is used to treat symptoms related to interstitial cystitis and bladder problems (7).
To include this in your diet, you can add it to curries, vegetables, milk, etc.
Consume this daily for better results.
5. Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt provides relief from soreness and pain in muscles and other parts of the body, as it contains magnesium (8). Some trials showed that the magnesium tablets can be useful for the urinary tract infection and interstitial cystitis (9). Since the salt contains magnesium as the main component, taking a bath might ease out the symptoms.
6. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is used both externally and internally for the treatment of various diseases like cuts, rashes, several infections, etc. (10). Several findings show that it is effective for the treatment of bladder diseases, especially cystitis (11). Consume it in liquid form daily for curing the disorder.
7. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are packed with many nutrients and compounds like iron, fiber, magnesium, etc., that make them a wonderful natural source for treating many ailments (12). The main component is the arginine (13), which makes the seeds useful for bladder infections. Eat the seeds daily and notice the improvement just after a few days.
Probiotics are basically the friendly bacteria that play important role in the human body (14). The probiotics also provide relief from the condition of pain associated with interstitial cystitis by balancing the microbes in the intestine (15). You can improve the amount of probiotics by adding foods like mayonnaise, soft fermented cheese, beer, yogurt, sour cream, etc. (16).
Spinach is a known source of antioxidants (17), which can help with the condition of a painful bladder. Consume it every day to get rid of the condition of interstitial cystitis. It can be consumed in either raw (as a salad) or cooked form.
Herbal Remedies For Painful Bladder Syndrome
10. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is one of the best and most preferred herbs for interstitial cystitis. It has been traditionally used for soothing the tissue of the urinary tract system (18). It works by coating the walls of the bladder. It can be taken in the form of tea or supplements.
11. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera juice is used for ages for therapeutic purposes (19). It is mucopolysaccharide, which is beneficial for reducing the symptoms of interstitial cystitis as some researches reveal (20). It is effective because of the fact that it maintains the required level of the glycosaminoglycans (GAG) in our body, which is the first thing destroyed by the IC. Aloe vera is also anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antibiotic, and antimicrobial. Therefore, it is the best ingredient for this disease.
You can consume the fresh juice of the leaves every day to get relief.
- Or, aloe vera pills are also available these days, which are equally effective.
- Alternatively, you can also consume the gel that is easily available in the market.
The roots of licorice are capable of alleviating the burning sensation that is associated with the disease as studies reveal (21). The roots also possess strong antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, which aid the healing process.
You can prepare a drink by mixing powdered licorice root in a cup of water. Heat the mixture until boiling and then strain it and sip slowly.
13. Green Tea
Green tea is another wonderful ingredient that can eliminate the problem totally. It has many important antioxidants (especially catechins) that protect bladder cells from inflammation (22). You can consume the tea twice a day regularly for the best results.
Interstitial Cystitis Diet
Foods to Avoid?
- Coffee and Products Containing Caffeine The content of coffee, primarily caffeine can increase the irritation and discomfort. It is advisable that the people suffering from IC must completely eliminate or reduce the consumption of caffeine and caffeine-containing products like chocolate until the condition is cured (23).
- Acidic Fruit Juices Some of the juices like cranberry are recommended for several UTIs. In the case of IC, the juices of citrus fruits and vitamin C must be avoided (24).
- Carbonated Beverages and Alcohol The carbonated beverages are also known as the culprit for intensifying the symptoms of the disease. Alcohol too can cause several problems. Therefore, they must be avoided until the symptoms disappear (25).
What to Consume ?
For interstitial cystitis treatment, your diet should include the things that help prevent and cure the disease. Since it is an inflammatory condition, the diet must be alkaline and must contain anti-inflammatory products.
Tips to Follow When Suffering from the Disease
- Balance Your Hormones If your hormones are not balanced, then they may aggravate the situation (26). Your hormones, especially estrogen, play an important role in maintaining the inflammation in the body. For balancing hormones, you should always opt for natural options like soy products.
- Maintain a Bladder Diary Maintain a personal diary and note down the schedule of 24 hours of what you eat, drink, and consume. How often you feel the urge to urinate, the level of pain and discomfort, how much relaxed you feel after urination and more such questions (27).It will be easy for you and your doctor to know the exact condition and severity of the disease.
- Water Intake It is said that water can resolve many of the diseases. It is true for painful bladder also. Drinking water helps eliminate toxins from the body (detoxification) and reduce the acidic content of the water. Therefore, you must drink at least 8-10 glasses (or more) of water every day (28).
- Avoid Stress Stress can not cause the problem, but if you are suffering from IC, stress can trigger the symptoms and flare-ups related to the disease and thus, can worsen the situation (29).
- Don’t take bladder medicines without a prescription from a doctor.
- Don’t try physical therapies like trigger point release therapy and nerve releases at home.
- Wear loose clothing (30).
- Do simple exercises like jogging, stretching, etc., and meditation to aid the healing process and get relieved.
- Quit smoking.