10 things you must do for Interstitial Cystitis / Painful Bladder Syndrome

If there is a condition that is so misunderstood an under studied it’s Interstitial Cystitis / Painful Bladder Syndrome (IC/PBS). I am not pretending to have all the answers for this complicated condition, but with my clinical experience and sifting through hundreds of scientific papers on this topic, I think I’m in the position to make significant contributions in this area.


10 things you must do for IC / PBS:


  1. Identify the culprit foods. The typical IC foods (i.e. coffee, wine, citrus fruits, etc.) are not the only problem foods. Wheat, gluten or dairy can also be a problem. See a naturopathic doctor who can do a food allergy blood test. You can also do an elimination / challenge diet for 3 weeks.
  2. Cure may be impossible. 90% improvement is not. IC /PBS is a condition that can be well managed with behavioral adjustments, managing stress, proper diet and possible some
  3. Manage stress. You know stress “pisses-off” your bladder. Find better ways of dealing with things. Take deep breaths. Meditate. Practice yoga. Just find what works for you and do it consistently.
  4. If you cannot sleep well try 2 to 3 mg of melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime. One study shows it may be helpful in nourishing the inner layer of your bladder called the GAG layer of the urothelium (Cetinel et al. 2003) If melatonin by itself will not help, maybe getting a good night sleep will.
  5. Try acupuncture. Although it may not be curative, it can bring significant relief. Acupuncture has been suggested to be helpful in a few studies (Ripolli et al. 2002) To find an acupuncturist near you go to acufinder.com.
  6. Some supplements worth trying; chondroitin sulfate, L-arginine, quercetin are a good to start. Try it for 3 months before you determine if it’s helping or not.
  7. No B-vitamins. They may make your symptoms worse for reasons I am not aware of.
  8. Mainstream medicine alone will not help. You need a team of professionals: naturopathic physician, physical therapist, acupuncturist, psychologist, etc.
  9. See a doctor that wants to see you. Most urologist do not want to see IC / PBS patients. For a list of IC – friendly MD’s go to IC-network.
  10. See a naturopathic doctor (ND). ND’s are trained to identify causes of disease and not just treat symptoms. To find an ND go to naturopathic.org.



Ripolli E,  Bunn T; The role of acupuncture in the treatment of urologic conditions; World Journal of Urology [0724-4983] yr:2002 vol:20 iss:5 pg:315 -8

Sener G, Sehirli AO, Altunbas HZ, Ersoy Y, Paskaloglu K, Arbak S, Ayanoglu-Dulger G.Melatonin protects against gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. J Pineal Res. 2002 May;32(4):231-6.




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