Courtesy : IC Optimist
An action plan to soothe your bladder & body
1. Avoid Irritation:
An IC bladder is often badly irritated and, for some patients, wounded (aka glomerulations or hunner’s ulcers). Ask yourself “If you poured acid, alcohol or salt on your wound every day, would it heal?” the odds are that it won’t and it could get much worse. Diet modification is your first defense! For at least three months, avoid all coffee (even decaf), teas, herbal green teas, sodas, diet sodas, artificial sugars, concentrated fruit juices and chocolate. The only exception is a plain peppermint or chamomile tea. Peppermint tea is known for its antispasmodic ability in the GI tract as proven by various research studies. It can be very helpful for patients with an IBS flare as well because it helps to soothe the bowel.
2. Reduce Inflammation:
A bandaid sits on the surface of the skin and does not get down into the reddened or sore tissues where inflammation is running rampant. Another treatment goal is to control inflammation.
3. Treat pain promptly:
Pain is like a fire. The longer pain goes untreated, the worse it can become and the harder it can be to stop. It is important to catch pain early so that you don’t allow the pain cycle to get fully activated.
4. Listen to your muscles:
Your body’s natural reaction to pain is to tighten muscles to protect you. This is why so many IC patients struggle with pelvic floor dysfunction, or muscles so tight that it’s actually hard to relax enough to begin urination. Both the bladder and pelvic floor dysfunction need to be treated simultaneously. Many urology clinics now offer pelvic floor assessments and therapy for pelvic pain patients.
5. Break the isolation:
This is probably the hardest thing about IC. After all, does one really want to go anywhere when they know that they will be searching for a restroom? But isolation breeds depression. Depression breeds despair. You are not your IC. IC doesn’t change your head, your heart, your brain, your intelligence, your soul. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You are hurt, just as someone who might have been in a car accident. So, each day, you have to break your isolation. Go take a walk, call a friend, call your IC buddies. If you’re feeling more chipper, go shopping or take in a movie.. you deserve that movie!