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Self-Help Strategies for Interstitial Cystitis

Self-Help Strategies Used in Treating Interstitial Cystitis

Self-help strategies used for interstitial cystitis treatment can include:
  • A bland diet
  • Exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Bladder training.
Although there is no scientific evidence linking diet to interstitial cystitis, many doctors recommend a bland diet for patients living with the condition. Doctors also recommend avoiding high-acid foods, such as citrus fruits, which may irritate the bladder, or spicy foods, which may cause the release of histamine.
Restricting alcoholic beverages, carbonated sodas, coffee and other caffeinated products, and beverages and foods with artificial sweeteners appears to reduce symptoms in some people.
(Click Interstitial Cystitis Diet for more information on this self-help strategy.)
Many people living with the condition feel that gentle stretching exercises help relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
Quitting Smoking
Many people feel that smoking makes their interstitial cystitis symptoms worse. How the by-products of tobacco that are excreted in the urine affect interstitial cystitis is unknown. Smoking, however, is the major known cause of bladder cancer. Therefore, one of the best things smokers can do for their bladder and their overall health is to quit.
Bladder Training
People who have found adequate relief from pain may be able to reduce urination frequency by using bladder training techniques. Methods vary, but basically patients decide to void (empty their bladder) at designated times and use relaxation techniques and distractions to keep to the schedule. Gradually, patients try to lengthen the time between scheduled voids. A diary in which to record voiding times is usually helpful in keeping track of progress.

Information About Interstitial Cystitis

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