Knowing how to relieve bladder inflammation during Interstitial Cystitis (IC) flares can significantly help to alleviate other symptoms too. Starting at the source and treating the bladder inflammation can lower the intensity of the burning sensation, pelvic pain, and the frequent urge to urinate.
Even though the symptoms of IC, also known as Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS), can appear similar to those of a urinary tract infection, there is generally no infection, just severe and painful bladder inflammation.
Although there is no known cure for IC, understanding how to relieve the bladder inflammation associated with it can dramatically improve the quality of life for IC and BPS patients.
Read on to learn our top six tips to relieve bladder inflammation.
Your Diet Could Be the Main Culprit For Bladder Inflammation
The majority of IC flares are thought to be triggered by certain foods.
Processed meats, spicy foods, soy products, smoked fish, tomatoes, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and citrus fruits are some of the main food triggers for bladder inflammation. Caffeine, alcohol, citric juices, sodas & carbonated drinks are some of the triggering beverages.
However, trigger foods and drinks will vary from person to person. Thus, nutritionists suggest keeping a food diary to track the foods that trigger symptoms related to bladder inflammation.
In the last decade, over 90% of IC patients have found substantial relief in symptoms once they’ve eliminated their specific trigger foods and beverages from their diet.
Is Stress Causing Your Bladder to Inflame?
After the diet, stress is believed to be the next major contributor to interstitial cystitis flares. The good news is, managing stress can not only reduce IC symptoms but also improve other facets of life too.
Daily meditation is a great way to manage stress and with so many free guided meditations on platforms like YouTube, everyone is likely to find something they enjoy. Try to aim for 10-15 minutes of meditation per day, preferably in the morning, to provide you with a calm mind for the day ahead.
Exercise to Reduce & Relieve Bladder Inflammation
Some exercises can actually contribute to bladder inflammation, like bike riding, spinning, or horse riding. However, gentle exercises that relax muscles, like yoga, can be hugely beneficial to reduce bladder inflammation.
Yoga to relax the pelvic area specifically targets pelvic organs like the bladder, as well as the pelvic floor muscles. By releasing tension with some gentle yoga, the bladder will begin to relax and inflammation will reduce.
Aloe Vera Supplements For Bladder Health
With its natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-fungal properties aloe vera is probably one of the best-known natural remedies around the world.
When ingested as a supplement in capsule form, like the Freeze Dried Aloe Vera For Interstitial Cystitis from Intimate Rose, its natural anti-inflammatory properties act quickly to reduce bladder inflammation.
Aloe vera supplements also soothe IC symptoms like the burning sensation and the frequent urge to urinate.
L-Arginine to Reduce Bladder Inflammation
Another natural supplement that helps in reducing bladder inflammation is L-Arginine.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that aids in producing nitric oxide in the body. In turn, nitric oxide improves circulation and relaxes the bladder muscles.
In a 1999 clinical trial, 48% of participants reported reduced IC symptoms after taking 1,500 mg of L-Arginine daily for three months.
Physical Therapy for the Pelvic Floor
Physical therapy for the pelvic floor focuses on massaging the deep tissue of the pelvic area, as well as trigger point release therapy, and nerve relief.
By releasing the tension from the pelvic muscles, physical therapy has been proven to reduce bladder inflammation and help pelvic muscles to function more normally.
As a matter of fact, pelvic floor physical therapy is the only IC treatment to have been awarded an ‘A’grade by the American Urological Association.
While the symptoms of bladder inflammation are similar to those of urinary tract infections, there is usually no infection present in the bladder during IC flares. This generally means that inflamed bladders can be treated without antibiotics.
Instead, relief from bladder inflammation can be achieved naturally through understanding your diet, stress management, physical therapy, and a regular intake of natural supplements.
National Center of Biotechnology Information - Role of inflammation in bladder function and interstitial cystitis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126088/
American Urological Association – Diagnosis & Treatment Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome - https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/guidelines/interstitial-cystitis-(ic/bps)-guideline
Urology Care Foundation – Effect of Diet on Interstitial Cystitis - https://www.urologyhealth.org/healthy-living/urologyhealth-extra/magazine-archives/summer-2016/effect-of-diet-on-interstitial-cystitis
National Center of Biotechnology Information - A randomized double-blind trial of oral L-arginine for treatment of interstitial cystitis - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9915448/
American Urological Association - Diagnosis and Treatments Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome - https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/guidelines/interstitial-cystitis-(ic/bps)-guideline