Natural Remedies for Interstitial Cystitis

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 8 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Remedies to help with interstitial cystitis
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Natural Remedies for Interstitial Cystitis

September is Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Awareness Month. As the month draws to an end, I want to take this time to shed light on a bladder disease that affects millions of Americans as well as several of my close friends. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy to remedy as a common cold, but there are some natural things that can help.

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

IC is a bladder disease characterized by chronic pelvic pain, a persistent and urgent need to urinate, (often throughout the day and night and sometimes more than 50 times a day), pain or discomfort while the bladder fills and relief after urinating, and pain during sexual intercourse.

IC symptoms may come in flares, with periods of relief for some people and for others it may rage constantly. Often times, symptoms of IC mimic classic urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms but there is no sign of bacteria or infection and antibiotics do little to nothing to alleviate the pain. IC affects men and women but is much more common in women.

Because IC does not have a cure and is a chronic pain disease, successful treatment is typically limited to reducing the symptoms of frequency, urgency, and pain. When those symptoms are reduced IC patients are able to live more comfortable lives.

Much of this is trial and error for IC sufferers. What works for one doesn’t always work for another, and often a person must try many options before finding something that works. Also, what works during one flare may not be effective during another, so it’s good to have a toolbox of possible remedies.

This video explains IC, what it does to the bladder and how it affects the lives of those who suffer from it.

Types of Interstitial Cystitis Flares

There are typically 3 types of interstitial cystitis flares: bladder wall flares, pelvic floor flares, and muscle flares.

Bladder wall flares are most often characterized by a feeling of ground glass or razor blades scraping the bladder. During these flares the bladder has often been irritated by a food/drink sensitivity and becomes more inflamed than usual.

Pelvic floor flares can be a product of sexual intercourse, long periods of sitting, or something seemingly as simple as riding a bike. They are more of a burning feeling in the urethra, vaginal area, or any part of the pelvic floor. They can also feel like something is falling out of or being pushed into your vagina or urethra.

A muscle flare is typically when the bladder muscle goes into spasms and will often cause a severe aching feeling in the bladder. The pelvic floor muscles can also become tight, spasm, and ache.

Because conventional medical therapies have not been shown to offer much long term relief for IC patients, sufferers often turn to alternative means to treat their ongoing pain. These therapies include heat/cold therapy, physical therapy, diet changes, regulating hormones, water intake, reducing stress, and supplements such as marshmallow root and aloe vera pills.

Heat/Cold Therapy

Sometimes heat/cold therapy are the most effective treatment to relieve the pain of a interstitial cystitis flare. Depending on the type of flare, heat may be more effective, or cold, or even a combination of both.

Bladder wall flares react well to heat as do muscle flares. The easiest thing to use is a simple heating pad or hot water bottle over the abdomen when the bladder is in spasm. The heat helps the tight and spamming muscles to relax and soothes the bladder wall.

If treating a pelvic floor flare with heat, it may be helpful to use  a longer lasting portable heat pad (with a protective layer over it) inside pants or underwear.

Numbing the area, especially during a pelvic floor flare, is very effective. With extreme urethra burning, a frozen water bottle (with a layer of protection over it) placed against the urethra provides quite a bit of relief. The cold helps to reduce inflammation.

It is important not to leave either the cold or hot on too long, alternating or removing evert 20 minutes or so.

Pressure/Support Therapy

The Mama Strut is a promising new product for IC patients. It wasn’t designed to treat interstitial cystitis but rather was invented to help women heal in the post-partum period after childbirth but seems to have the potential to be quite effective in helping many other pain/healing issues including IC.

The Mama Strut has several compartments where hot or cold packs can be placed on the back, abdomen, and perineum…Perfect for IC flare pain! It’s a bit pricey, but for some women would be well worth the cost to be able to place hot/cold packs where needed and also be able to move around instead of needing to lie down during flares with ice or heat.

The Mama Strut is also less bulky than other similar products so you can easily and discreetly wear your clothes over it. This video shows how it works.

Physical Therapy

Many IC patients find that their pelvic floor muscles are very tight. Physical therapists work on releasing those tight muscles and the tender trigger points by using techniques such as deep tissue massage (also called “myofascial release”), trigger point release therapy, and nerve releases.

Biofeedback is also used by some therapist by placing probes into the vagina or anus (or electrodes on the body in these areas). These probes or electrodes show on a computer screen how tight your pelvic floor muscles are. The readings from these can help you to learn how to relax your muscles.

Often times interstitial cystitis patients don’t even realize how tight their pelvic floor muscles are until they see it on the computer screen using biofeedback. They have become so used to living with these tight muscles and now need help learning how to relax them.

When most people (especially women) think of pelvic floor exercises they think of Kegels. This is the opposite of what you want to learn to do for IC. Doing Kegels teaches your body to tighten your pelvic floor muscles. IC patients need to learn to relax their pelvic floor muscles and working with a physical therapist they can learn how to do this using certain exercises on a regular basis.

Many physical therapists use transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy to treat IC. This article explains how it works.

In TENS therapy, mild electrical stimulation is applied to the lower back or pubic area. These pulses may increase blood flow and strengthen bladder wall muscles. The electrical stimulation may also help block pain.

TENS units can be used outside of the physical therapy office by patients once they are shown how to use them and can be purchased for a reasonable price. They can provide daily relief from symptoms. Some patients find so much relief from the TENS therapy that they have a similar device, called Interstim, surgically implanted in their lower backs so that they have constant electrical stimulation to treat urgency-frequency syndrome as well as urinary retention when other treatments have failed.

Many physical therapists also teach bladder retraining exercises so to help reduce urinary urgency and frequency as well as learning to more completely empty the bladder. This is often done by systematically spacing out the frequency of urination in order to train your bladder to go longer and longer between urinations.

For IC, it’s important to find a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic pain issues or women’s health. The American Physical Therapy Association’s website can help find a PT who specializes in IC (choose “women’s health”) and so can the International Pelvic Pain Society’s website.

Interstitial Cystitis Diet

One of the most popular methods of treating a UTI is drinking pure cranberry juice. This treatment can actually prove detrimental to IC sufferers. Cranberry juice is very acidic and acidic foods can often inflame the bladder.

Some common acidic bladder irritants are coffee, diet soda, alcohol, cranberry or other acidic fruit juices, tomatoes, chocolate, and lemons. Many people are able to pinpoint which foods, if any, cause flares to worsen but by trying an elimination diet.

Some IC sufferers take a product called Prelief when they know they will be eating an item containing an acidic bladder irritant.

The active ingredient in Prelief is calcium glycerophosphate, a dietary mineral that combines calcium and phosphorus in a 1:1 ratio. When it is added to acidic foods, the mineral acts as a base agent, actually bringing the pH of the food toward a neutral level. (1)

Other IC sufferers find that an anti-inflammatory diet is helpful as IC is an inflammatory disease. Often times this is a wheat or gluten free, low sugar diet with little to no processed foods.

Marshmallow Root

Elmiron is a popular pharmaceutical drug used to treat IC. It is thought that it acts to coat the bladder wall and offer protection to IC patients.

Marshmallow root is used to naturally act in a similar manner as Elmiron, but without the possible side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. The marshmallow root can be taken in capsule form or prepared as a tea.

Aloe Vera

Many OB/GYN’s are now recommending the use of aloe pills to their patients to help keep IC flares at bay.

Freeze-dried Aloe Vera Capsules have been shown in clinical trials to effectively reduce urinary frequency, burning, and pain that are a part of many bladder disorders, but especially interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS).

It is theorized that the aloe plant helps IC patients in several ways. When processed correctly, the powder maintains its high levels of the glycosaminoglycans (GAG). The first lining of the bladder destroyed by IC is a GAG layer. It is possible that aloe vera is working much like Elmiron, but with no side effects from a man-made drug. The aloe plant is also a natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, analgesic, and anti-microbial agent but only when used in its super-strength form.(2)

IC patients should use caution when consuming liquid aloe vera juice. It is often preserved using citric acid which can be an irritant to the bladder.

Regulating Hormones

For many women interstitial cystitis pain can flare with changes in hormones. Some women find that their IC flares are the worst around the time before ovulation and then subside after ovulation. Other women find that the time from ovulation to the beginning of their menstrual cycle to be the worst.

Pregnancy will sometimes relieve the pain of IC until the third trimester. It’s also not uncommon for women to have a big flare at some point during their post-natal period as their hormones are in major flux.

Working to balance hormones can help ease the symptoms of IC,  Essential oils can also be used to regulate hormones as well as acting as pain relievers and anti-spasmodics.

Natural progesterone creams such as Progest can also be helpful in balancing hormones. I plan to write an in depth article on this in the future (stay tuned). (3)

Water Intake

Water intake gets a bit tricky for an IC sufferer. It is important to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated, staving off constipation, and keeping urine from becoming too acidic. The problem is that many IC sufferers worry about their frequency and that drinking too much water will make them have to urinate more often which can cause more pain.

Finding the right amount of water intake can be a balancing act. Sipping water throughout the day seems to be the best option to stay hydrated and still keep urgency/frequency to a minimum.

During a flare, some interstitial cystitis patients opt for alkaline water to make sure that their urine isn’t too acidic. Another trick to balancing out the acidity in the urine is to drink ½-1 tsp. of baking soda mixed with a full glass of water (Some caution is advised if you have high blood pressure. If this is the case, check with your healthcare provider).

Reducing Stress

Stress can trigger inflammation in the body and IC is an inflammatory disease. It is important find ways to relax and de-stress, which can help decrease inflammation. (Easier said than done for someone in constant pain!)

Simple steps like taking time to meditate and relax can help. Help pelvic floor muscles relax by laying in an inverted position on the floor with legs up on a chair or ottoman for 10-15 minutes daily while working on relaxation techniques (listening to relaxing music, meditating, or using guided relaxation).

An Epsom salt bath can help to relax pelvic floor muscles as well as the bladder muscle. A baking soda bath used as an external soothing agent is another great way to reduce bladder pain and aid in muscle relaxation.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Michelle Sands, ND. She is double board certified in Integrative Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine and is also a Board-Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and competitive endurance athlete. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Do you suffer from Interstitial Cystitis, reoccurring UTI’s or pelvic pain? What natural remedies have you found helpful?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


170 responses to “Natural Remedies for Interstitial Cystitis”

  1. Tricia Avatar

    I use apple cider vinegar when I have a flare; 3 teaspoons a day.
    I take a teaspoon at the first sign of a flare.
    I need to take ACV every day; if I don’t, I get symptoms and immediately remember to take the AVC.
    I hope this helps someone.

  2. Alyssa smith Avatar
    Alyssa smith

    Thanks for the post. It is hard not to feel alone in this illness. I’ve been using powdered bovine colostrum for three weeks now and feel a noticeable decrease in my pain level. In addition, my lower abdomen is no longer swollen. I bought a brand called Synertek first six hour colostrum. It is supposed to help heal the bladder lining.

  3. Tina Avatar

    I don’t have IC but for those who have been diagnosed with it……..have you considered trying Archangelica? (It has to be the one from Iceland and not the Chinese Don Quai) It’s good for anything to do with the bladder, so I would give it a go. Also, I would check with FSM practitioners. FSM stands for Frequency Specific Microcurrent, and it’s amazing for reversing/ healing many conditions, and for pain. Do the research.

  4. Erin Avatar

    Just after the birth of my second daughter I kept suffering what I thought were bouts with UTIs. I would go through a cycle of pain and antibiotics and heavy cranberry use followed with urine cultures that showed no bacteria. Only after I got diagnosed with IC, stopped the cranberry suplements, went on an elimination diet and started a low acid and low sugar diet with supplements of fish oil, probiotics and anti-inflammatory and immune supporting herbs like tumeric, ginger and Sinatrol did things start to improve. Now I’m flare free and can occasionally eat coffee, chocolate, lemon and alcohol (wine is still a no go) with my prelief tabs. I still have to pay attention and be careful of hydration, but things are so much better now. There is hope! Just over 2 years ago I was miserable and going to doctor after doctor with no help and now life is back to normal . . . crazy but no pain 🙂

  5. Dee Avatar

    Forgot to say that for UTIs, 50 ml of cranberry juice 2 x day and 500 mg of l-methionine 3 x day can be very effective.

  6. terry Avatar

    Thank you so much for this article! I was diagnosed with IC over 10 years ago. I started with the holistic approach first then went with the traditional medicine. After 3 years of having bladder “cocktails” taking all kinds of meds including Elmiron, and my last resort botox injections I am done!!!! I went back to my Better bladder book written by Wendy Cohan RN who also suffers from IC. This time I feel like I understand it better and thanks to this article I ordered a few supplements that I’m hoping will help. I’m trying the gluten free anti-inflammatory diet. It really does help to have other people to talk to that are going through the same things. One other thing I need to say, I’m now praying for God to heal me. I’ve always thought it was selfish to pray for yourself but this disease has become so debilitating that I’m not able to live a normal life. I feel like He has led me back to the natural way of healing!!!!

  7. Dee Avatar

    People with IC might want to look up the VP Foundation and also the Trying Low Oxalates yahoo group. A lot of people with IC find improvement with the low oxalate diet. People with IC post what they find personally helpful during flares at the Trying Low Oxalates group.

  8. Dee Avatar

    Anyone who has IC might want to look up the VP Foundation and also the yahoo Trying Low Oxalates group. Many people with IC find improvement with a low oxalate diet. A lot of IC people post what they find personally helpful during flares.

  9. Mariana Avatar

    I didn’t know there was such a disease. I had UTI 3 times and feel so miserable every time I got it, I can’t even imagine having such trouble in a chronic basis.
    As I have researched, cranberry juice (or cranberry capsules) work in this way: it helps that the bacteria that causes UTI (which keeps “crawling” up the urinal tract all the way up to the kidneys) is not able to hold to the urethra and bladder walls, hence is eliminated with the frequent urination. Since IC doesn’t involve the same system of bacteria going up the UT, there’s no sense that cranberry juice or capsules would help.
    But it work greatly when is UTI. I’ve cured it myself with capsules/juice once, and with dried cranberries (which I put on water to hydrate and then drank the water and ate the cranberries several times a day) other time, since couldn’t find affordable and reliable cranberry juice in Brazil. The other time I had it I was pregnant and didn’t associate the frequent peeing with UTI, so it was pretty bad when diagnosed, so I rather went into antibiotics.

  10. Sharon Avatar

    Both strawberries snd tart cherry juice are a killer for IC. Might be good for urinary track issues but I’d never try it with IC flaring.

    1. Ashley Avatar

      You should give it a chance. I dont get UTIs. I have interstitial cystitis diagnosed during cystoscopy. But, what works for one may not work for another, but it changed my life.

  11. Ashley Avatar

    Aloe vera leaf- cut in half with insides removed and blended with strawberries and tart cherry juice.

  12. Christina Avatar

    Thank you for addressing this issue. I was in the process of being diagnosed with interstitial cystitis when I found out I was pregnant with my 4th baby so I had to forego my cystoscopy until after the baby arrives. I will say pregnancy is helping me and has before and mine is worse when I’m not pregnant especially prior to menstruation. I also have some endometriosis. Giving up caffeine definitely helped me but I still get bladder pain though not as much frequency.

  13. JUNE Avatar

    I have had IC for about 3-4 years now, and am happy that I am improving and can eat foods that I could not before. I have been on a gluten-free, non-GMO diet and try to eat organic vegetables and fruits on the IC diet list (melons, blueberries, pears & lemons). I have also studied Western Herbal Medicine, and drink organic herbal teas specific for IC, including marshmallow root. Whenever I eat out at a restaurant, I ask the waiter not to put any seasoning, sauces, and anything spicy (no condiments) on my food. I have learned to eat bland, boring foods. Whenever I am invited to lunch/dinner/wedding/shower/etc. I would explain to the host/hostess of my condition, and thankfully, everyone has been very accommodating. I am also currently getting acupuncture for my IC as well. So everyone, there is hope. Do not despair. Good Luck to all of you.

  14. brooke Avatar

    I pretty nuch cured my IC, after years of barbaric, painful, useless treatments, with a strict low acid diet and “the baking soda trick”. Baking soda got it under control to begin with (I read you coukd take up to 3 tsp daily for a short term) and was key to nipping flares in the bud (I judt coukdnt give up chocolate entirely. When I succumbed to a craving, baking soda was a lifesaver.) After seven years, I drank a little wine one Thanksgiving and was delighted when I had no pain! I’ve been essentially cured ever since. My rare flares seem to come from dehydration.

    IC is very common among people who have toxic mold illness, also known as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). CIRS causes rampant inflammation (elevated TGF-b1 is typical) and chronic dehydration at the cellular level (it depletes the antidiuretic hormone), among other things. So if you struggle with IC, check your home and workplace for water leaks, condensation or humidity problems, especially if you also have any of the following common symptoms: brain fog, lethargy/fatigue — especially mental fatigue, joint or tendon pain, racing or overly strong heartbeat, disturbed sleep patterns, muscle weakness or contractions, “anxiety” or depression…. Mold wreaks havoc on the body and brain through inflammation, and very few doctors are trained to recognize, diagnose or treat it. See

  15. Sarah Avatar

    I had an IC diagnosis for which they said there was no cure. Went to a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) for other issues. Turns out there’s Lyme & Bartonella in my bladder making those symptoms. The IC is going away with Lyme/ Bartonella treatment. Maybe IC is one of those things that Lyme masquerades as. It’s worth getting a proper IGeneX test by a LLMD if you have a diagnosis.

    1. Lauren Avatar

      How did you know there was Lyme and bartonella in your bladder? What did they do to check this? I also have Lyme and see an llmd in Nyc. Thanks!

      1. Kelli Avatar

        Same! I have lyme and Bartonella. I am getting better with treatment. Lauren, you need to find a Lyme literate Dr. The local lyme Facebook groups can help you find one in your area. Then you need testing with igenix or Armin. Or even a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms.

        1. Sam Avatar

          I am suffering from ic I just got diagnosed with it I have had it now for just over a year and it’s awful. Are you able to give me some more advice. Thanks

  16. JENNY Avatar

    I was just diagnosed with IC this month and had never heard of it before. I can’t believe it’s IC Awareness month! God works in mysterious ways… =)
    Thanks for posting this. I’m eager to try these remedies next time I have a fare up!

  17. Callie Avatar

    Thank-you for posting about this!!! I was just diagnosed with IC two weeks ago and it is one of those diseases that makes your feel very alone, so seeing that you are bringing awareness to it is very encouraging! I think the hardest part of all of this is having hope that it will get better. There are so many negative things said about it, so when you are first diagnosed, you honestly feel like your life is over! I am still wondering, “will I EVER feel normal?!”. As a breastfeeding mom, I have been pouring over the Internet to find natural and safe ways to heal my bladder, because worrying that it will never get better is not doing anything for me. It was great to read an article focused on GETTING BETTER! And not the doom and gloom that I commonly find. Also, as you mentioned, IC is very common, and yet we are told by many that it is rare! I think so many women may be able to help themselves if they only knew what was going on with their bodies! I am hoping that my current (7 weeks now) flare will get better as my hormones regulate and as I try out various methods. I wanted to add that I am taking fish oil supplements. I have no idea if it will help, but I am trying it all! Much love to all of you with IC! This is a tough disease, but let’s encourage one another to have hope, don’t give up, and maybe, just maybe, one day… We can have a cup of coffee again!!? I know it’s acidic, but, hey, a girl can dream.

    1. Sharon Avatar

      Fish oil is anti inflammatory so that’s good. I am able to drink coffee now. But I have substitute that is fairly good. Teeccino Java flavor. I got it on Amazon but I’ve seen it in some health food stores. Have you tried tge Prelief? Take it before every meal and more often. Try the tea I mentioned in my previous post. Keep searching and reading. Knowledge is power. I’m in menopause and no doubt it helps, I’m also doing a Progesterone cream therapy. I’m sure hormone issues add to it as any extra pressure in the pelvic region is a killer.

      1. Callie Avatar

        Yay! There is hope! I have started taking Prelief everytime I eat, but since things still haven’t calmed down for me, I am sticking to the elimination diet for now. I want to try the tea! Thanks for the tip! It’s so hard with breastfeeing, as many of these herbs haven’t been tested/researched in breastfeeding moms. I will have to check out the one you mentioned, though. I haven’t heard of it yet and I will try anything that could help! Do you generally feel ok? I am so scared that I will feel like this forever, as some people never get relief. The fact that you can have coffee is SO encouraging! As a mom of three kids all 5 and under, I REALLY miss my coffee. I actually cried walking by Starbucks today. I bought Teeccino! I love it! It’s not coffee, but it at least makes me feel like I am “doing coffee”. I’ll have to give the Java flavor a go. Thanks, Sharon!

        1. Sharon Avatar

          Yes there is hope but it will not be overnight. The elimination diet is a must and when things have settled reintroduce slowly. You may want to think about a diet that would be similar for leaky gut. gluten free, eliminating all grains initially..rid yourself of anything inflammatory, estrogen is inflammatory so you may want to look into Estrogen Dominance, it’s one reason I began Progesterone therapy. Yes, now I generally feel ok but I spent years in agony. I was on Elmiron, pain pills, Valium, sleep meds, frequency/urgency meds…you name it…I think IC led to my fibromyalgia diagnosis. But you are already way ahead in what you know then what I knew. I’m not a huge coffee drinker and only began recently so I feel well enough that I could begin enjoying it once in awhile.

          1. mindy Avatar

            elmiron i took over 20 years ago for 8 months and it gave me intestinal gas for 2 years after ,now there is a law suit for this drug elmiron of women reporting partial blindness

        2. Michaela Noojin Avatar
          Michaela Noojin

          Hey! I was diagnosed almost a year ago and just three moths after having my second baby. Like you, I thought my life was over. Like you, I read ALL of that doom and gloom as well. My bladder was on fire and I had to pee every minute of every day. I found an amazing urologist who treated me very aggressively. Slowly, very very slowly, I got better. I quit breastfeeding due to the medications but I felt I had no choice. We all have to make our own decisions, ya know? Anyway, I took meds, went to the chiropractor, acupuncture, and physical therapy with biofeedback. I did a stem cell transplant in May and do instillations twice a month. I’m now down to a low dose of one medication and my instillations. I drink coffee and wine. I stay away from a lot of acidic food and drinks otherwise. You can go back to a “normal” life. The pain will end. I’m on all the FB groups for IC. I read and read and asked question after question to get educated. But then I would get off the sites if I were you. I did and that was a good thing. There is so much support our there which is amazing, you need it. But, there is a lot of negative doom and gloom too. Sometimes its just mentally healthier to avoid that. I hope you find what helps you. Give yourself time and grace and things will get better! Good luck!

          1. Callie Avatar


            Thank-you!! Your post made me cry, because I just feel so alone in this. Other moms are running around having fun with their kids, and running, for me, is torture. I just want my life back. It’s so encouraging to hear that someone just like me is improved in just a year. I have been doing bladder instillations for three weeks now, along with the diet. I keep hoping that things will magically get better, but I do know it is a process. I had no idea stem cell transplants were an option. Where did you find out about it? I am afraid to google anything these days. Like you mentioned, it is pretty much better for me to avoid forums and the awful stories at this point. Stress definitely doesn’t help!! Did the transplant help you? Ok, sorry for all the questions! Your story is so encouraging to someone just starting this journey! (Particularly the coffee and wine part) ;). Thanks!!

        3. Kristin Avatar

          I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this! My sister is an IC sufferer so I know how debilitating it can be. I have a different issue that prevents me from having coffee because it is so acidic. So you bet I researched my little heart out to find some coffee that is low acid 🙂 I’m drawing a blank on the name at the moment but you can find it on amazon by searching “low acid coffee”. It is a red and white bag. Starbucks also has a lower acid coffee… I believe it is pikes place. Perhaps you could try the prerelief with one of these varieties. Best of luck to you and may you drink coffee again!

          1. Debbie Bragg Avatar
            Debbie Bragg

            There is a coffee made by Folgers called Simply Smooth. It’s low acid and it taste great.

          2. David Avatar

            Puroast coffee! 70% less acid than regular coffee and 7 times more antioxidants!
            I have suffered from IC for about 10 years now. I’m on so much stuff and I still stuffer from pain.

        4. Patti Avatar

          I buy puroast, it is very low acid coffee.. Also cold brewing coffee removes a lot of acid.

    2. Dana Avatar

      I take Desert Harvest Aloe Vera Capsules and i am able to drink coffee. Desert Harvest Aloe vera is made specifically for people with Interstitial Cystitis. They have removed the harsh (anthriquines?) from the aloe so you can take as much as you need and still recieve the healing property from the Aloe. I would not recommend taking other Aloes this way, as it can be very dangerous. I have been taking these capsules for over 4 years. I can now eat and drink things that i could not before. I started out taking 6 capsules 3 times a day i think, then i have reduced the dosage over time. i now only take 3 capsules once a day. And sometimes i skip days. If i have a flare, i up the dosage again until its under control. I am, for the most part pain free. I eat and drink most everything i want except Coke. I do not drink Coke because i will flare for about 1 month after consuming it. Other soda seems to be fine though. Hope this helps.

  18. Sharon Avatar

    Kudos for addressing this. Most doctors don’t know about it…it’s one of those diseases it pays to research. Out of desperation I researched and discovered this and went to my dr asking if it could be my problem ( I couldn’t sleep because of the pain and had to lay in a recliner with a many pillows putting me into a V position with heating pads and still feeling the urgent painful need to urinate every 15 minutes). I was told I needed to see a Urologist. IC is virtually unheard of so I just don’t talk about…besides who wants to hear about another person’s bladder. But it is extremely painful and the urgency/frequency is exhausting (especially at night) and embarrassing. So we suffer in silence. When I was first diagnosed I asked if there was a cure, the response was “there are miracles”. Not very hopeful. But following a lot of the tips you mentioned I’ve been able to get off the drugs and live fairly symptom free. I also take alkalinizing supplements from Source Naturals everyday. A great tea is from Traditional Medicines called “Throat Coat”. I drank this every day for a few years. I stumbled upon this in thinking that the mucosal of the throat is very similar to the bladder. My new doctor has mentioned Corn Silk tea but I’ve not tried it. Prelief really does work as does an alkalinizing diet…reading what foods are acidic is very informative. There are a couple of IC websites that are very helpful even with food lists. Thx for discussing this.

    1. Mary Avatar

      I have IC and was diagnosed by a wonderful urologist at The University of Michigan Medical Center. She told me that a lot of her patients use baking soda. I bought some large gelatin capsules, and I fill them with natural baking soda (Bob’s Red Mill). I take two before bed every night. This has helped me more than anything else I’ve tried.

      1. Karen Avatar

        In what ways does it help? Do you still get up at night to urinate? If so, how many times?

    2. Aimee Tyner Avatar
      Aimee Tyner

      What are the websites that you like? I’m currently getting diagnosed. I’m having the scope done under anesthetic. Already doing most of diet with no relief.

      1. Lezlie Avatar

        Me too. I have an appointment with a urologist next week. I really think I could shoot myself if I don’t get relief soon. I’m on Elmiren and it’s not helping so far. Haven’t been diagnosed but am pretty sure it’s IC. Need help!

        1. Rita Avatar

          I know exactly where you’re coming from. My urology appointment is in another couple of weeks. The drug myfamily dr. prescribed is no longer available in my area and he didn’t have any other recommendations. I would have tired anything to stop the pain and get relief. Drank the baking soda mixture ( 1 Tb baking sode in a glass of water) and chamomile tea became my best friend. didn’t stop the flare up. Finally decided to I consult with a naturopath. My Naturopath recommended eliminating some food to see how things progressed … no caffeine of any type incl chocolate, no spice, tomatoes, citrus… in face most fruits, except watermelon, pears and blueberries,… it’s made a remarkable difference!!! No pain, no irration, urgent bladder symptoms also relieved. … I had previously eliminated dairy and wheat… a few years back but had slipped a bit… became diligent again about that. Natuopath also recommended supplement Quearanse.. 2 capsules twice a day… My flare up is calmed.

        2. Callie Avatar

          I am so sorry! I was right where you are when this article was published. I went through a month of different doctors basically thinking I was crazy and offering no sympathy. People have no idea how bad it is. I have had three babies – I would take child birth over the worst days of my IC. Look up the IC diet. Don’t get overwhelmed. Understand that you WILL be able to eat most of the foods you are eliminating again, but for now, you bladder needs bland, calm and soothing foods. It is a first line of defense for IC. Also – do heat or ice. I have found ice packs to be much more soothing. I have found cystex (over the counter) to help take the pain down a notch. Most of all, be encouraged that you will NOT feel like this forever. The pain will end. I am still recovering, but am sooooo much better than I was last September. It takes time for the bladder to heal, but it can. It’s great that you are on Elmiron! It can take about 6 months to start feeling the effects of it though, so for sure ask your doc about Uribel and follow these natural remedies. Also – Desert Harvest Aloe is very soothing for many IC patients (I flared from it but that is not common). Also / I think the supplement that has helped me most is called Cystoprotek. It is pricey, but I swear I started feeling better on it within a couple weeks. Have you been on the IC Network? Lots of helpful stuff on there but be careful – worst case scenario as well. Please don’t give up! You will get better, I promise!

    3. Dana Avatar

      I have been using Desert Harvest Aloe Vera capsules for several years now. I would not be able to live without this supplement. When taken regualrly, i have little to no pain. If I am in a flare, I take 6-9 capsules 3 times a day to get it under control. When I take this regularly, I can consume most acidic foods and beverages that I am told to avoid except for Coke. I cannot drink that at all! But I have found other sodas sometimes are OK. The Desert Harvest brand are specifically made for people with I.C., so they can be taken in high quantity without side affects. I think I took them about 2 – three weeks before all my symptoms completely subsided. Now I just deal with flare ups when I skip doses and consume the wrong foods/ drinks. Overall, its been a lifesaver.

      1. Barbara Avatar

        Where can you purchase the desert harvest aloe? It seems chamomile tea is also helpful. I have had numerous tests and am now going to a urologist, I don’t believe he will find anything. It’s a mystery to me where this came from.

    4. Rita Weagle Avatar
      Rita Weagle

      Thank God I stumbled on this site while searching for natural remedies for IC. Just diagnosed and waiting for urologist appointment,,, which could take months and I need relief now. I’m 63… And have had issues from time to time… Since early 30s but condition a,ways worked itself out.. Drank lots of water to flush my bladder.. Seems to help. Didn’t know about IC till latest flare. Misery!! I

    5. Tanja Torres Avatar
      Tanja Torres

      I just got diagnosed with this and I’m over the top iuncomfortable. Doc put me on prescription pills – don’t like
      I need to find a specialist
      I need holistic natural relief.

      I do not know we’re to begin to look .

    6. Kelly Avatar

      I’ve had chronic IC pain on and off for years – since I was a child. It has been at bay for probably 5 years now and of course I got a bladder infection a month ago and had to take antibiotics. Since then the infection is gone, but my IC is flaring.
      I drink corn silk tea daily. I used to find it very helpful, but during this flare it is doing very little if anything at all.
      Everyone is different and every flare is different though, so if it’s something you’ve never tried, it’s worth it to give it a shot.

  19. Fiona Avatar

    I have had cystitis on and off for most of my life and , when it’s a bad bout, can make me feel about as miserable as I can get. Sulphur seems to be the main treatment I have found but many people are allergic – I am one of them. Since taking cranberry capsules, I have not had another flare up – about 10 years now.

    I know your article says that is counter-productive (and you are right about so many things) but it works for me. That and lots and lots of water to flush it all out.

    1. Sharon Avatar

      There is a difference between Cystitis and Interstitial Cystitis. Cystitis I believe is the urinary track and IC the bladder. Classic IC has cracks and some have ulcers in the bladder which can only be seen with cucystoscopy and hydrodistension under anesthesia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *