Interstitial cystitis is a chronic discomfort of the urinary bladder characterized by pain in the urinary bladder and surrounding pelvic area. This condition doesn’t have a clear cause, however, it is believed to be caused by bacteria. People with interstitial cystitis may experience a variety of symptoms, including frequent urination, a sudden and strong urge to urinate, pain in the pelvic area, and discomfort during sexual intercourse. The symptoms of interstitial cystitis may vary in intensity and may come and go over time, leading to significant disruption of daily life and activities.

Diagnosing interstitial cystitis can be challenging because its symptoms overlap with those of other medical conditions, such as urinary tract infections (UTI) and pelvic floor diseases. Healthcare providers typically perform a thorough medical history review, physical examination, and various diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions and confirm an interstitial cystitis diagnosis. While there is no cure for interstitial cystitis, different treatment approaches aim to relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life.

Role of homeopathy in interstitial cystitis 

Homeopathy aims to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by interstitial cystitis by supporting your body’s healing abilities. Working closely with a homeopathic practitioner is important to find the right treatment for interstitial cystitis. 

Six effective homeopathic medicines for interstitial cystitis 

Cantharis (Canth.)

Common name: Spanish fly

Cantharis is recommended for intense burning pain during urination. Individuals may also experience cutting pains in the bladder region and a constant urge to urinate, but every time, only small amounts of urine are passed.

Apis mellifica (Apis.)

Common name: Honey bee

Apis is beneficial for interstitial cystitis with stinging pain and inflammation. The urine may be scanty, and there could be a sensation of burning and soreness in the bladder. Additionally, individuals may experience swelling and redness in the genital area.

Sarsaparilla (Sars.)

Common name: Similax ornata

Sarsaparilla is indicated for interstitial cystitis with burning pain at the end of urination. The pain may extend from the bladder to the urethra, and individuals may experience difficulty initiating urination. There may also be a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder.

Sepia (Sep.)

Common name: Cuttlefish 

Sepia is useful for interstitial cystitis with a dragging sensation in the bladder and a feeling of fullness. Individuals may experience difficulty emptying the bladder, and there may be associated symptoms such as fatigue and irritability.

Nux vomica (Nux-V.)

Common name: Poison nut

Nux vomica is indicated for interstitial cystitis aggravated by spicy food and alcohol consumption. Individuals may experience a frequent urge to urinate, but every time only a small amount of urine is passed. There may also be associated symptoms such as irritability and digestive disturbances.

Berberis vulgaris (Berb.)

Common name: Barberry

Berberis vulgaris is helpful for interstitial cystitis with radiating pain from the kidneys to the bladder. Individuals may experience sharp, shooting pain in the bladder region, which may be accompanied by urinary urgency and frequent urination.

Causative factors of interstitial cystitis

  • Bladder irritation

When the lining of the bladder gets irritated for a long time, it can cause interstitial cystitis. This irritation can make you feel like you need to pee a lot and can hurt after peeing and also during passing urine.

  • Problems with pelvic muscles 

If the muscles in your pelvis aren’t working right, it can worsen interstitial cystitis. This can happen if the muscles are too tight, weak, or spasm. This condition can also be a symptom of other medical conditions.

  • Your immune system

Some doctors think your body’s defense system might attack your bladder by mistake, causing inflammation and symptoms of interstitial cystitis. People that suffer from immunodeficiency diseases like HIV and AIDS can also develop these diseases.

  • Nerve issues

If there’s something wrong with the nerves controlling your bladder, it can worsen interstitial cystitis symptoms. This can happen if the nerves are damaged or not working right.

  • Family history

Interstitial cystitis holds a family history component. If someone in your family has this condition, then you are more likely to develop it too.

  • Environmental factors

Certain things like what you eat, how you live, or your surroundings could worsen interstitial cystitis symptoms. This might include foods like spicy or caffeine or chemicals that can bother your bladder.

Symptoms of interstitial cystitis 

  • Frequent urge to pee often, even when you don’t have much to pee
  • Urgent sensation of wanting to pee badly.
  • Feeling discomfort or pressure in the lower belly area, especially when sitting or doing certain things.
  • Burning while you pee.
  • Sensation as if the bladder is full.
  • Pain and discomfort while having sex.
  • Waking up at night to pee.
  • Period pain where symptoms worsen.

Treatment for interstitial cystitis

Allopathic treatment for interstitial cystitis involves a multifaceted approach, including medications like NSAIDs and antidepressants, bladder distention, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications. However, there is no specific cure for interstitial cystitis. In some cases, nerve stimulation methods or surgical options may be considered. 

Diet and lifestyle modifications for interstitial cystitis

  • Drink water

Keep yourself hydrated by drinking lots of water. Stay away from coffee, tea, and alcohol, as they can bother your bladder.

  • Eat right

Have a balanced diet with plenty of various fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Avoid spicy foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, and caffeine, as they irritate your bladder.

  • Stay calm

Regular stress can weaken the immune system and make you susceptible to other infections. Try relaxation techniques like yoga to lower stress, which can worsen your symptoms.

  • Control your bladder

Try to hold your pee a little longer each time. This can help train your bladder to hold more and reduce the urge to go frequently.

  • Exercise regularly

Move your body with some exercises like walking or swimming to stay healthy and lower stress.

  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption

Smoking may make your symptoms worse, but it can also affect your immunity, so it’s best to quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.

  • Wear clean and comfortable underwear     

Wash your undergarments regularly, and always use a washed undergarment. Preferably, a cotton undergarment should be worn. Your underwear should be allowed to dry in direct sunlight. Wear loose clothes to keep your genital area clean.

  • Stay clean

Use gentle soaps to wash your intimate area. Use soaps or bath washes that are chemical-free and rash-free, and make sure that you are not allergic to them.

  • See your doctor

Follow up with your doctor to check your symptoms and get help if needed.

  • Keep the area dry

You should always wipe off the genital area clean and dry after peeing or washing, as a moist place can give a good environment for the growth of bacteria or other opportunistic infections.

Conclusion 

Interstitial cystitis is a tricky condition with no specific cure. But there are treatments to ease the symptoms and make life better. Homeopathy is another way to help, that uses personalized remedies to deal with the symptoms and bring balance back to the body. Although there’s not a lot of scientific proof that homeopathy works for interstitial cystitis, some people might feel better about it. Overall, working with a homeopathic doctor and making lifestyle changes are important to managing interstitial cystitis and feeling better.

References