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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:
-general inflammatory response in the body
-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. D-mannose powder is just a sugar that keeps bacteria from binding to the walls of the bladder. This stuff can be a lifesaver for people who have chronic urinary tract infections that just aren’t responding to antibiotics. Taking 1 teaspoons of D-mannose powder per day is enough for many women to prevent urinary tract infections even when all else fails.
The difference between cystitis and Urinary Tract Infection has to do with the presence of infectious organisms in the urine. Normally, urine is sterile. And 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, which is frustrating to say the least. But it’s not the end of the story so keep reading…
Cystitis and Iodine
Iodine supplementation is not a small topic. If you’re American, you probably think you get plenty of iodine by eating salt, but salt is a terrible carrier for iodine. The iodine starts to evaporate out of the box the second the salt is opened which is why bread used to be fortified with iodine. But sadly, today, instead of iodine, bread contains bromine. Indeed, bromine is everywhere! And bromine causes all kinds of health problems because it competes with iodine in the body.
Again, iodine supplementation and the role of bromine in causing iodine deficiency is a HUGE topic. I refer you to the article I wrote on the strong connection between iodine deficiency and breast cancer and other reproductive cancers. Read the article even if you don’t have cancer so that you can understand the bromine-iodine connection and how a lack of iodine can cause a wide range of health problems while a toxicity of bromine in the body can cause yet additional health problems including obesity and weight problems.
When you start to take iodine as a supplement, your cystitis will get worse. In fact, bladder irritation is one of the detox symptoms that almost everyone experiences as they purge bromine from the body and start replacing iodine. But iodine changes women’s lives! If you suffer from foggy-headedness, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, cystitis, breast cancer, fibrocystic breasts or just about any “woman problem” then you need to consider iodine. And frankly, even if you suffer from none of these issues, but you live in the United States you need to consider iodine supplementation. The U.S. is the only country in the world that still allows the use of bromine as an ingredient in pesticides which means that you’re exposed to this toxic element even through the air that your breathe! Taking iodine as a supplement will change your mood and your energy level as well as clear up health issues that seemed to have no origin. Allow up to 6 months for a full detox.
Cystitis Caused By a Parasite Infection
If you ask your doctor about the possibility of a parasitic infection, he (or she) will probably laugh at you. There are only few diagnostic tests on the market to test for parasites of any kind in the lab and the ones that do exist are unreliable. In more progressive countries outside of the U.S. (Mexico, for example), anti-parasitics are sold over-the-counter right next to the aspirin and ibuprofen. In these countries, everyone knows that if you don’t do a bi-annual cleanse that you’ll end up with some major health issues! But in the U.S., we’re told that we aren’t likely to have parasites. As though Americans are immune them! HA! But if this is new to you, don’t worry. You can treat yourself for parasites at home even if you just suspect that you have them, but you aren’t 100% sure. The fact is, a few parasites are desirable for healthy gut flora. Without them, people are crippled by allergies. When we discuss parasites and infections, we’re not talking about getting rid of all of the parasites. Infection means that you have a “heavy worm load” that’s squeezing out the other good gut flora. The goal is restore balance by doing annual or bi-annual parasite detox programs. By taking herbs like wormwood, black walnut, and cloves. Or, if you want to hasten the process of your parasite detox, take 1 dose (dosage instructions are on the bottle) of pyrantel pamoate per day for 3 days.
If you’ve never done a parasite detox and you’re old enough to be reading this, chances are you’ll need to either do an ongoing herbal detox with wormwood, black walnut, and cloves for 6 months to a year or you’ll need to do 3-day (1 dose per day) detoxes once a month for 6 months to a year before you start to feel a sense of balance and restoration of health. Don’t try to take the pyrantel pamoate every day because you risk encouraging the parasites to mutate and become resistant to the medication. Stick to the protocol of taking the meds for 3 days per month, one dose per day.
Candida albicans and Cystitis
Candida albicans can cause vaginal yeast infections. Most women are familiar with yeast and vaginal infections. But some women may not realize that yeast can cause all kinds of grief in the urethra and bladder too! If you regularly have vaginal Candida infections and you use over-the-counter medications to treat it, you may have noticed that the medications aren’t working as well as they originally did. If that’s your story, I’d recommend purchasing some bentonite and garlic cloves.
Bentonite is clay. Above is a link to a food-grade bentonite that can be swallowed with water (mix it thoroughly so you don’t aspirate on the powder). If you find that you’re suffering from chronic cystitis, it’s time to start drinking 3 daily doses of bentonite per day to get Candida under control in your intestines. Controlling systemic Candida overgrowth is one of the most important first steps you can take toward treating chronic vaginal yeast infections and the corresponding bladder infections that are caused by yeast too. When you drink bentonite, you can also do a douche with a light concentration of bentonite dissolved in it. The bentonite has a charge that pulls Candida into its microscopic holes and traps it. Douche with a very light concentration of bentonite and follow that up by inserting a garlic clove into the vagina overnight. The garlic travels throughout the body when you insert it into the vagina which means that the garlic will also help with yeast overgrowth in the bladder. (You can test this out for yourself. Shortly after you insert the garlic clove vaginally, you’ll begin to smell garlic on your breath).
Yin Care for Vaginal Yeast
In addition to garlic and bentonite for a vaginal and systemic yeast infection, you can also purchase some Yin Care, a yeast treatment that’s also administered via douche. The Yin Care will help treat the vaginal yeast infection and it will also help diminish the discomfort of dealing with a vaginal yeast infection. This is an herbal treatment and it’s AMAZING! It has a very cooling effect on the itching and it lasts.
DMSO Treatment for Cystitis
Even after years of struggling with cystitis and multiple visits to the doctor’s office, I never once had a doctor mention using DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) as a possible treatment for the condition even though DMSO is FDA approved as a cystitis treatment in pregnant women! In clinics, doctors will administer DMSO via a catheter, but DMSO is affordable and it’s widely available online. And here’s the good news: when you drink a glass of water with DMSO mixed into it, about half of the DMSO ends up in the bladder. DMSO will not only soothe irritated bladder walls (one of the main functions of DMSO is the cleanse and rejuvenate cells of all different kinds), but it will also kill pathogens if you do, in fact, have a urinary infection. So you really can’t go wrong using DMSO to treat cystitis!
DMSO is a diuretic, so you might notice that when you drink it with water that it causes you to pee more often. Drink 20-50 drops of DMSO in a glass of water if you’re suffering from cystitis. It would be okay to take a larger dose if necessary, but start with this amount and see what works for you. DMSO is derived from trees and it’s one of the least toxic substances used in medicine. It has the broadest spectrum of medicinal action currently known to man. It’s FDA approved and it’s widely available for purchase online. This is one of my favorite home medicinals that everyone should have on hand because of it’s diverse healing action in the body. Many books have been written about this one substance and a whole system of medicine could be based on the use of DMSO so I recommend that people take some time to read about it just so they know the power of what DMSO can do with them beyond just helping them deal with UTI’s and cystitis.
Visceral Manipulation and Acupuncture
Cystitis can be caused by prolapsed organs. Though women of any age can suffer from prolapsed organs or organs that have fallen into the wrong positioning in the pelvis, prolapse is particularly common after childbirth. In fact, I just completed writing a document for a client educating doctors about birth injuries that women can suffer as a result of childbirth. Doctors are often clueless about the issues that can develop after a woman gives birth. And often, they suggest surgery as the first option, but surgery may not be the best choice! In fact, surgery can lead to some really horrible problems. If you’re considering surgery to correct prolapsed organs or any issue causing cystitis, be sure to watch the documentary The Bleeding Edge before you commit to the procedure. Know that mesh is often used in surgeries to correct “women’s problems” and the mesh literally destroy’s women’s lives. Every woman needs to know about the mesh and other medical devices that may be used during surgery without your consent before you commit to a procedure.
If you believe your cystitis is the result of prolapsed organs, it might be profitable to try acupuncture or visceral manipulation to correct the problem. Acupuncture is often performed to energize the organs that have fallen and I know people who have personally had miraculous results with acupuncture for cystitis (in fact, my acupuncturist in Boulder, CO, Robin Schiesser changed professions from editor to acupuncturist because of a miraculous recovery from cystitis using acupuncture).
Finding someone to do visceral manipulation for cystitis can be challenging in the U.S., but Rosita Arvigo is a well-known healer who studied under shaman in Mexico to perform a special type of Mayan visceral manipulation there. She trains healers all over the world to do the Arvigo Abdominal Massage technique so do a Google search to find out if there’s a healer near you who can perform this type of treatment for cystitis.
How to Test for Urinary Tract Infections at Home
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. But I don’t ever recommend antibiotics because bacteria become resistant to them quickly. And let’s face it…if you’re reading this article it’s probably because conventional medicine is no longer working for you! 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. Cystex, which is also available over-the-counter for cystitis is yet another pain-relief product, but it also contains a very low-dose of an antibiotic in it. Cystex doesn’t work as well as AZO to mask the pain of cystitis, but it might be a little gentler on the kidneys. If you find that you need to take these medications chronically, I would definitely suggest that you start working with some of the other treatment options on this page because both AZO and Cystex can be hard on your body even though they cover up the symptoms of cystitis.
These drugs are really helpful if you can’t figure out what’s causing the interstitial cystitis and you need some relief from the symptoms. Pau d’Arco is an herb that lessens inflammation in the bladder without the same negative effects on the kidneys and as an added bonus, this herb also combats yeast infections. It may take slightly longer than AZO to take effect, but if your cystitis happens to be caused by excess yeast in the bladder (which is a common problem and one that’s associated with an intestinal parasite infection), Pau d’Arco will be your best friend. But you can’t buy just any kind of Pau d’Arco…
Pau d’Arco for Vaginal Yeast Infections and Cystitis
There are a number different species of Pau d’Arco and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), a particular species of this plant can cure cancer. The species that cures cancer is Tabebuia impetiginosa and its cancer curing abilities were identified by doctors first in Brazil and then in Argentina. Once discovered, masses of people lined up at hospitals for the treatment, but doctors were warned to stop administering it to cancer patients (because it would destroy the chemo/radiation industry–the most profitable health protocol on the planet). Doctors were threatened by Big Pharma and told that they’d lose their licenses if they continued administering Pau d’Arco. So they stopped. And then people went out into the forests and started pulling the bark off the trees directly, which made it even harder to get this herbal medicine. Today, most of the Pau d’Arco sold in health food stores is practically inert. It’s not the species that actually has medicinal action.
But if you know what you’re looking for, you can order Tabebuia impetiginosa and drink it as a tea to treat not only Candida but a wide variety of other health problems including cancer! If you have cystitis and you’re not sure what might be causing it, Pau d’Arco tea might be a good drink for you. In fact, consider replacing your coffee with Pau d’Arco since coffee can create an acidic environment in the bladder that irritates it and leads to regular urinary tract infections.
Diet and Cystitis
Nutritional and lifestyle changes can also sometimes cure the problem. Twenty years ago, when I suffered from chronic cystitis and regular urinary tract infections, I had no idea that any of these other treatments existed. So I approached the problem by changing my diet. And what I found was that coffee and caffeine irritated my bladder. So I stopped drinking caffeine and I even avoided decaffeinated coffee. My overall health improved dramatically! So I haven’t had trouble continuing to avoid coffee. But recently, I have started drinking green tea because green tea is alkalizing and it contains antioxidants.
If you have cystitis, it can make a big difference to change your diet so that you eat less than 5% animal products. Steam your vegetables and do a month-long juice detox, if possible. Changing your diet can help you identify issues with your lifestyle that lead to cystitis. And it can help you improve your health overall in the meantime.
Take Care of Your Bladder
Cystitis can happen in men or women, but it’s thought to be more common in women. If you have a problem with cystitis, it probably means that your bladder is a weak point in your body. You may notice that stress causes cystitis to come on. I always know that on big travel days across the globe on airplanes that I’m going to have a little bit of bladder irritation. This is my bladder communicating with me! Everyone creates nervous pathways in the body like this to vent stress and for me, the stress goes straight to my bladder! So on those days, I plan ahead to take special care of my bladder. What this translates into is a situation where I take better care of myself when I’m under stress.
Contact me by clicking GET COACHING if you have questions or if you’d like coaching to overcome your cystitis! And keep reading… you can, in fact, cure cystitis yourself using home-based treatments.
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