Interstitial Cystitis – Inflammation of the bladder
Interstitial cystitis is normally caused by some bacterial infection of the bladder, which in turn causes the bladder to become inflamed. Almost 85% of all urinary tract infections are caus
e by a bacterium named Escherichia coli which is usually found in the intestines. Another source of bladder problems can emanate from chlamydia caused by bacteria introduced by fecal contamination or from vaginal secretions gaining access to the bladder through the urethra. Cystitis occurs much more frequently in women than men due to the shortened female urethra to the bladder, enhancing the transmission of bacteria to the bladder. Bladder infections in men, although occurring less frequently than in women, may be more serious in nature, such as Prostatitis.
Some of the symptoms are an urgent need to urinate, a burning sensation in the urinary tract, and may introduce blood into the urine. Usually cystitis is more of an annoyance, however if left untreated the infection may eventually lead to kidney infections. The pressure from the inflammation can cause pain and spasms preventing ordinary activities and affecting one’s sleep.
DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) has been approved as a prescriptive agent for interstitial cystitis (IC) used by urologists. DMSO can be applied intravesically as a type of bladder wash by introduction through a catheter into the patient’s bladder. Treatment cycles are repeated as necessary up to eight weeks.
MD also used MSM as a treatment for interstitial cystitis which allows the patient to hold the solution longer in the bladder gaining greater benefit to the treated area. Another professional in the IC field, Stacy J. Childs, MD, conducted a small study in Jacob’s clinic and reported his findings in Urologic Clinics of North America, concluding that MSM did as good a job as DMSO without the side
effect of the unpleasant taste experienced by the user. “The Miracle of MSM, The Natural Solution For Pain” , Stanley Jacob, M.D., Ronald Lawrence, M.D. Ph. D., and Martin Zucker, Berkley Books, 1999, at page 207. “Usually I find that IC patients don’t have just bladder or urinary symptoms alone, but instead suffer multiple problems throughout the body, such as musculoskeletal disability, intestinal irregularities, depression, and over whelming fatigue. I have concluded that IC is not an illness localized in the bladder but rather is part of a systemic disorder.” Id at page 208.
Some other traditional applications, such as antibiotics, may help if there is indeed an infection, however, this may not be the only aggravating factor present. Herbal remedies like cranberry juice produces hippuric acid in the urine, which in turn acidifies the urine and inhibits bacterial growth. Birch leaves are a natural diuretic and reduce some of the pain associated with bladder infections as well as dandelion tea which will act as a diuretic and liver cleanser.