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The mysterious painful condition that’s growing fast

If I were to ask you what interstitial cystitis (IC) was, most people would not have a clue. 

Unless of course you happen to BE one of the 4 to 8 million women (or 1 to 4 million men!) that have the condition.  Then you are PAINFULLY aware of what it is.

And one of the biggest concerns is that it’s growing.  Fast.

According to the Nurses’ Health Study, only about 1 million cases of IC were reported in 1990.  Now we’re looking at 5 to 12 million just a few decades later. 

It’s affecting children too!  Many IC sufferers report having suffered symptoms as far back as childhood.

Let’s look at this very painful condition and see why it’s increasingly likely that it may affect you at some point.

IC—a bladder infection “on steroids!”

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is characterized by chronic inflammation that affects the bladder and the surrounding pelvic region.  

Although mainstream medicine claims the cause of IC is “unknown,” it is suspected by many to have an autoimmune component.  In this case, the immune system can begin attacking the healthy bladder cells, triggering chronic inflammation and affecting normal bladder function. 

In addition, protective protein membranes in the bladder lining may weaken, causing toxins from your urine to leak into the bladder wall and stir up inflammation.

It’s no surprise that IC is closely associated with other immune-related conditions including asthma, food and environmental allergies, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.  These are all merely different examples of immune reactions gone haywire. 

A wide range of unpleasant symptoms

IC symptoms vary from person to person.  People may experience mild pain, pressure, tenderness, or intense pain in the bladder and pelvic area.

The pain can suddenly go from mild discomfort to feeling like you're being stabbed without warning!

Sufferers can also feel a sudden urgent need to urinate, or have to urinate in small amounts very frequently (as many as 40-60 times a day!), and often it's excruciatingly painful and burning. 

People with IC have also reported pain during intercourse, being unable to exercise due to pain, sleep interruptions (because of having to get up so many times to urinate), and being unable to work or carry out activities of daily living.

And as if that’s not enough, IC is (understandably) associated with increased emotional stress, anxiety and/or depression.

What UR gonna get

The standard medical offerings for IC include medications aimed at symptomatic relief—including anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, acid reducers, anticonvulsants and painkillers.

But NONE of those does diddly for the chronic inflammatory process that is taking place in your bladder with IC!

So of course the meds are of limited benefit, plus remember the potential side effects!  And when we’re talking about anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants, that’s not pretty.

Other treatment possibilities may include physical therapy, biofeedback training, bladder training, stress relief and even bladder surgery, but again, the underlying cause of the inflammation remains largely ignored.

Address the underlying cause—inflammation and an overzealous immune system!

To really help get a handle on IC, you’ve got to go right to the source—the chronic inflammation and overzealous immune system actions! 

Here are some tried and true strategies to help get you REAL relief!

Support a healthy gut environment

Proper immune system functioning depends on a healthy gut environment.  Your gut houses about 80 percent of your immune system, so if it’s not in good shape, neither is your immune system!

Concentrate on gut-friendly foods like lots of fresh vegetables and fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. 

At the same time, stay away from processed and fast foods and especially refined sugars, as they feed the harmful microbes in your gut. 

Plus, probiotic supplementation with a full-spectrum formula like Super Shield can help repopulate your supply of friendly intestinal microbes, and help support a healthier flora balance that can protect you as well as be a good home to your immune system.

One of Super Shield's strains, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, helps to strengthen gut-barrier function and has been shown to have a beneficial impact on autoimmune reactions as well as constipation, diarrhea and IBS symptoms.

Additionally, Super Shield's 12 other potent, feisty strains will help keep your microbiome in proper balance, encouraging the formation of more anti-inflammatory immune cells.

Ease inflammatory actions with vitamin D

Supplementation with a top-quality vitamin D formula like Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can go a long way in helping to counteract the overzealous inflammatory responses seen with autoimmune reactions. 

Vitamin D helps to tame inflammatory actions throughout your body!  That includes the immune system as well as your cardiovascular system.

Take advantage of Nature’s anti-inflammatory

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are Nature’s anti-inflammatory, but unfortunately most of us are grossly deficient in these crucial fats.

It didn’t used to be that way.  Way back when, we used to get a healthful supply of Omega-3 EFAs from the meat, milk and eggs from pasture-raised animals, since the grasses they ate were bountiful sources of Omega-3s. 

But now the animals for our food supply are grain-fed, which not only means they don’t give us the Omega-3 fats they used to, but they also are loaded with inflammation-stirring Omega-6 fats instead!

Plus processed foods and vegetable oils also stir up inflammation, and heaven knows we eat our share of those!

To make sure your body maintains a health-supporting level of Omega-3 EFAs, supplementation with a pure pharmaceutical-grade fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 is crucial.

VitalMega-3 provides a soothing 1,200 mg of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats in every 2-capsule dose, including the Superstars EPA and DHA.

Carefully weigh the risks and benefits all medications, including vaccines

Most medications, including vaccines and especially antibiotics, can affect your gut health and immune system function. 

Read package inserts for all drugs and vaccines in their entirety, use medications ONLY if absolutely necessary, and talk to your doctor about alternatives.  If he or she is unwilling to discuss the matter with you, find another who will.

Attack the culprits behind IC—inflammation and an overactive immune system—and see how much better you can feel!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia


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5 comments


  • Need help for my young adult daughter who is in constant pain

    Shalini Virdi on

  • Hi Robert,

    Thank you for your kind words! Sherry was thrilled to take your suggestion and write an article on the topic. If there is anything else you’d like to see her address, please let us know!

    Melanie at Holistic Blends on

  • Sherry B,

    I truly appreciate your having addressed this horrible disease called IC. I asked you if you would do so. And YOU DID SO!!!!!!

    Thank You So Much,
    Robert Hill

    Robert A Hill on

  • Thank you, Tina! Great advice!

    Holistic Blends on

  • I have IC and I can tell you DMannose, Quercetin and a good probiotic has been the most helpful for me. And, whatever you do, don’t drink cranberry juice! It is a huge irritant!

    Tina on

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