Bladder pain has many different causes. Aside from a urinary tract infection, researchers are unsure what causes other sources bladder pain. Interstitial cystitis (IC) can be associated with chronic bladder infections, family history of IC, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic allergies, and autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. Some researchers are looking at the possibility that IC may actually be an autoimmune disease.
Although the NIH has not confirmed a diagnostic procedure for IC, my urologist looked for a thinning or damage to the epithelial lining of the bladder when performing a cystoscopy, to confirm the diagnosis.
Most doctors recommend a change in diet. You know the drill, low-acid foods, no aged cheese, no caffeine or alcohol (especially wine), no spicy foods, no chocolate, etc. Let me tell you, for a chef, this is a nightmare! On top of feeling like I have a bladder infection ALL THE TIME, now, I have to eliminate the foods I love most?
After my doctor gave me the diagnosis, she asked me to try a medicine. This was in 2014. The cost of the medicine without insurance was a whopping $850.00! This medicine was made from birch bark. Well, now I am allergic to all things birch-related. So, I set out in search for an alternative.
I am a member of the Cherokee Nation, and have a long history of family ties to nature’s treasure-trove of traditional medicines. I broke out my books and old notes, and began researching specific herbs that could be helpful for my painful condition.
Over the next few months, I will be writing about some of my findings, and how you can make your own natural, healing medicine. I refuse to allow this condition to dictate my culinary choices, and diminish my quality of life. This is the beginning of the end of bladder pain!
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