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Interstitial Cystitis Treatment Options for Women Who’ve Tried It All

I’m a healthy person overall. But I’ve had my fair share of health issues. Most of the people who know me probably don’t know that. When problems arise, I tend to be downright secretive about whatever ails me. This blog is my outlet though. I don’t tend to discuss my health problems when they’re afflicting me but I do like to share my experiences with treatments that work so that other people can perhaps find relief for similar problems too.   I’ve written about interstitial cystitis in a previous article that was composed about 2 years ago. It has some of the same information here combined with my experiences with intestinal parasites. Even if you don’t believe you have intestinal parasites, if you have chronic cystitis, you might benefit from reading the article. Two years ago, I didn’t want to believe that I had parasites either, but apparently, most people do have parasites. Treating parasites is relatively painless, affordable, and it can make a huge difference in terms of your overall health. I always recommend a parasite detox using ONE of the following as the first step toward treating chronic interstitial cystitis: 1) Albendazole (I used Valbazen, purchased online at Amazon.com) 2) Pyrantel Pamoate  (Also purchased on Amazon.com) OR 3) A combination treatment using Wormwood, Black Walnut, and Cloves   That being said, this article, however, addresses interstitial cystitis treatments for bladder irritation that isn’t caused by parasites and that doesn’t respond to a parasite detox protocol…   When I was 4 years old, I tried lifting my dad’s weights. I’d seen him do it and it looked pretty easy. And I loved my dad. I wanted to be like him. As soon as I did it though, I knew it was a mistake. The weights were way too heavy for me and one end of them crashed through the wall. And, I got a hernia.   Of course, my parents didn’t know at first that I’d gotten a hernia. And I didn’t know. I successfully hid the hole in the wall too. For a year, I was plagued with chronic urinary tract infections. My parents took me to a rural doctor who refused to diagnose me with an inguinal hernia even though my mom insisted that this was what was wrong with me. My mom would stand me up on the table and point at the bulge. But the doctor just prescribed more antibiotics and sent me back home—for a year.   Finally, around... read more

On Endovascular Surgery, Fluoroscopy, No Mesh Hernia Surgery, Gallbladder Removal, and the Metal Coil for Intestinal Aneurysms

MY MOM’S STORY   As a medical writer who specializes in writing about controversial topics, I have a good sense of what’s hype and what’s not on the Internet. This ability to recognize the bullshit is really helpful to me in day-to-day life when everyone I love in the world is happy and mostly healthy. It’s easy to sift through all the crap to find information about things like toxins in shampoo, or how eating a gluten-free diet can totally change your life for the better. When there’s no time pinch and no emergency, I can wade through all the misinformation to find the good stuff. But recently, my mom started vomiting blood. She was bleeding profusely from her rectum. She passed out in a pool of blood. It happened very suddenly and there was little to no time to do research and try to figure out the best course of action for her. She was swept up into the hospital and transferred twice to bigger cities for procedures I’d never heard of before. I was on the road, driving or talking to doctors and I was grateful for every bit of information online that helped me and my family make decisions for my mom.   My mom is not someone who watches what she eats. She thinks that alternative medicine is only a last resort and that it’s mostly fluff. Her lifestyle isn’t particularly healthy. But though she and I don’t agree on very many “medical” things, I still wanted to prevent her from being sold on a procedure that might kill her or leave her with a lower quality of life. She was stabilized initially at a tiny rural hospital before being transferred to a slightly better equipped hospital an hour away. There, they discovered that she was bleeding from an area of her small intestine just beyond the duodenum—an area that they couldn’t reach with the technologies available to them. So they transferred her yet again to a bigger hospital in a city four hours away. Again, I was on the road…driving, driving, driving.   At the new hospital, they used an endoscopy to try to find the bleeding. Because she’d vomited blood, the doctors felt like it was likely that the bleeding was coming from an area of the small intestine that was at least close to the stomach. This little piece of information—that she’d vomited blood–was important because it gave the doctors a clue... read more

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is referred to as a “disorder” by doctors and not a disease. People who have been given this diagnosis have frequent stomach pain and discomfort and bowel movements that are irregular in some way. It’s a catch-all term that has been coined for this problem that seems to have no cause and no cure (it is only diagnosed by systematically testing for other diseases and excluding them). But don’t succumb to the IBS diagnosis. There are alternative treatment strategies available and lifestyle changes that can bring relief from this “disorder”. But before you start cutting things out of your diet or trying prescription medication, consider doing a parasite cleanse using herbs like wormwood, cloves, and black walnut. Intestinal parasites can cause many of the same symptoms as IBS. Doctors say that IBS is caused by irregular movement of the intestine as food is being digested. Thus, it is a “functional” disorder (meaning that the intestines aren’t functioning properly). In the 1950’s when IBS was first introduced and doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with their patients using surgeries, scopes, lab tests, or ultra-sound a consensus was developed that the problems was “in the patient’s head”. Indeed, stress can cause the intestines to behave strangely and IBS can be caused by anxiety and stress, but the implication was that the pain and discomfort was imagined, which was insulting to patients. Some patients experienced relief from their IBS symptoms following the colonic cleanse required for a colonoscopy because their real affliction was a parasitic infection that was expelled from the body prior to the scope. Some patients may have food allergies or sensitivities to wheat or dairy. Most doctors won’t mention diet as a possible cause of IBS because doctors are usually uneducated about nutrition. They take one nutrition class during their undergraduate days and never revisit the idea that food could cause symptoms for the rest of their days in school. Women tend to develop the symptoms associated with IBS more often than men. As many as 15% of the entire population suffers from IBS. If you have regular and persistent tummy troubles and your doctor says you have IBS, consider doing a parasite cleanse using an herbal formula, or visiting an acupuncturist or a holistic practitioner who will help you make lifestyle changes to get your belly back on track. My husband was diagnosed with IBS when he was still in our 20’s, but in fact, he had intestinal... read more

What is cystitis?

Cystitis is a swelling or inflammation of the bladder wall. According to popular medical web sites, the bladder can become inflamed for a variety of reasons: -infection -irritation -general inflammatory response in the body -stress -hormonal changes -other reasons that have not been acknowledge by modern medicine yet (like intestinal parasites–see my article Can Interstitial Cystitis be cured? for more information.) When cystitis is the result of a bacterial infection, it is referred to as a Urinary Tract Infection or UTI and it can be treated with antibiotics, D-Mannose powder, or herbs like Uva Ursi. Basically, the difference between cystitis and Urinary Tract Infection has to do with evidence of infection in the urine. If you don’t have an infection (a UTI), then you just have discomfort or pain (interstitial cystitis) and as far as your doctor is concerned, there is no cause and no cure. If you ask your doctor about the possibility of a parasitic infection, he (or she) will probably scoff at you. There are few diagnostic tests on the market to test for parasites of any kind and the ones that do exist are unreliable. Luckily, you can treat yourself for parasites even if you just suspect that you have them by taking herbs like wormwood, black walnut, and cloves. These herbs are available online at Amazon or at your local Whole Foods of Vitamin Cottage. You can buy AZO test strips to test yourself at home for a UTI caused by a bacterial infection. An antibiotic like Macrobid (also known as Nitrofurantoin) is a good choice because it won’t destroy your intestinal flora, but if you have a more serious UTI infection, Bactrim may be a better choice even though it’s a broad spectrum antibiotic. D-Mannose powder can also cure UTI’s as well as the herb Uva Ursi. You can take D-Mannose powder daily to prevent bacterial bladder infections. It works really well, costs very little, and it doesn’t cause toxic side effects like antibiotics. When cystitis has no known cause, doctors call it “interstitial cystitis” or “painful bladder syndrome”. Western medical doctors in the United States may prescribe phenazopyridine for the pain and irritation of interstitial cystitis, but our medical system offers no cure for the problem. Phenazopyridine just covers up the symptoms temporarily and it can have a negative impact on the kidneys. A lower dose of the same stuff, known as AZO is available over-the-counter. These drugs are really helpful if you can’t figure... read more

Alternative Treatments, Lifestyle Changes, and Home Remedies for Cystitis

Cystitis is one of those diagnoses that people don’t like to talk about. Unfortunately, this works to our disadvantage if we’ve received a taboo diagnosis (like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as another example) with no known cause and no known cure because it’s through word-of-mouth (not your doctor) that you’re most likely to hit upon a combination of treatments that will work for you. It’s taken me many years to discover the root of my cystitis problems. Below are a list of lifestyle changes I made over about a decade’s time to help relieve my cystitis. The one’s listed below made the biggest difference in my symptoms: -Eliminating caffeine -Taking D-Mannose powder every day -Drinking plenty of water -Doing yoga every day (for 5 to 60 minutes, depending on my schedule) -Eliminating dairy (gluten caused swelling in my intestines which put pressure on my bladder) -Eliminating gluten (gluten caused swelling in my intestines which put pressure on my bladder) -Eliminating trans fats (also known as trans fatty acids, they cause increase the acidity of urine) -Taking Vitex Berry (also known as chaste berry. Vitex Berry helps regulate female hormones which seems to help)   Below are alternative medical treatments that I’ve used to help relieve cystitis. All were effective though they didn’t cure the problem: -Acupunture My acupuncturists was a magazine editor who suffered from cystitis. Her doctor couldn’t find a cure, but she went to an acupuncturist and finally found relief. It made such a huge difference in her life that she decided to quit her job and study acupuncture. Her name is Robin and she works at Acupuncture Boulder in Boulder, CO. -Steam Room or Temazcal If you drink plenty of water, the steam room (known as a temazcal in Mexico) can help your body eliminate toxins. This treatment is also worth considering if you suffer from other inflammatory problems like fibromyalgia or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My favorite temazcal is in Guanajuato Mexico.   The most profound changes for me occurred after I did a parasite cleanse. Apparently, my husband, daughter, and I had been host to hookworms and pinworms, probably for many years. These worms primarily live in the intestines, but they crawl out of your anus at night and, in women especially, sometimes crawl back up inside the wrong hole. Women may suffer from cystitis, menstrual irregularities, or both as a result of parasites. Doctors in the United States aren’t educated about intestinal parasites and prescription medications for worms are especially toxic and... read more

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