My previous blog focused on explaining what bladder/pelvic pain is. After treating a large population of people with pelvic/bladder pain, there are a few natural remedies that I found to be effective.
The problem is that conventional medicine has little to offer patients that are suffering from bladder/pelvic pain. This is the reason that the average individual will have the disease for at least 8 years before it becomes diagnosed. If you are one of those people who does not want to be on the chemical/bladder installation train for the remainder of your life, you are in the right place.
My top 10 recommendations
1. Identify foods that are your triggers. This can be accomplished by keeping a food diary that chronicles everything you eat and drink over a 24 hour period along with your mood, physical reactions, bladder and bowel movements. Common foods that are known bladder irritants are: chili/ spicy foods, chocolate, coffee, tea (black, green, white), tomatoes, apples, apple juice, citrus foods, cranberries, cranberry juice, grapes, pineapple, plums, strawberries, alcohol, carbonated drinks, food preservatives, vinegars, vitamins (esp B vitamins) and MSG.
2. If you are a smoker, stop. Smoking may worsen pain conditions.
3. Find a way to deal with your stress. Whether it is tai chi, yoga, mindfulness based meditation, swimming, or walking. You get the idea. Stress makes bladder/pelvic pain worse. Pick an activity that does not aggravate your bladder pain and do it at least 3 times a week.
4. Try hot or cold applications. Most of my patients find that soaking in a warm bath with 2 cups of Epsom salt for 30 mins helps to relax their pelvic floor and relieve stress. Do not put any bubble bath or bath fizz as these things tend to aggravate pain symptoms. A few drops of almond or coconut oil with some essential oils is usually ok.
5. Do not let yourself get dehydrated. It is very tempting to decrease water intake in an effort to avoid going to the bathroom often. This only makes your urine concentrated and it can make your pain symptoms worse. In addition, you don’t want to set yourself up for a bladder infection. Drink at least half your body weight in oz of water daily.
6. It is important to find a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation. Not all physical therapists are created equal. Find someone who is familiar with the Wise-Anderson protocol. You DO NOT want to be doing kegel exercises if you have pelvic/bladder pain. This may make your condition worse.
7. Try acupuncture. Acupuncture is good for stress management and it can be a very effective tool in managing pain. I have found a hybrid neuromodulation protocol which is a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine to be very effective.
8. Get a naturopathic physician on board who has experience treating bladder/pelvic pain. There are several herbs/supplements that can be very helpful and much more effective than pharmaceutical meds without the nasty side effects.
9. Take control of your gut health and fix any leaky gut syndrome that you might have. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and bladder pain almost seem to go hand in hand. You cannot truly fix pelvic pain without also addressing GI issues.
10. Get support. Find a support group that is engaging and uplifting. Pain is depressing and depression is painful. It is helpful to be with people who are able to rephrase their experience and not allow this condition to define them.
How have you dealt with your condition naturally?