My Urologist told me several years ago that I had the worst IC of any of his patients. Two years ago he cauterized the Hunner’s lesions; but in my recent visit, he confirmed that several Hunner’s lesions were back. He said, “You still have the worst IC of any of my patients, yet you complain of pain the least.” I told him I had accidentally discovered a home remedy that really helped me manage my symptoms. He was surprised, but told me to continue on the regimen, which I describe below.
I was taking vinegar for an upset stomach and realized it seemed to help my IC pain. Later, I tried taking 2 tablespoons of vinegar twice a day–first thing in the morning and just before going to bed–while monitoring my IC pain. While I regularly maintained the daily doses of vinegar, the IC pain remained negligible, but it flared again every time I stopped the vinegar.
Vinegar for IC is counterintuitive, since it is a low acidic food. But vinegar turns alkaline in the urine. Moreover, vinegar has an antiseptic quality that may help prevent bacteria from the Hunner’s lesions from setting up camp somewhere along the urine’s exit channel.
I’m not sure if vinegar will work for everyone and not sure how it even works for me. I just know it does. I mix 2 tablespoons of regular Apple Cider Vinegar (not with mother) with about 1/4 cup of low calorie apple juice. Tastes like a tangy cider…not bad.
One sidebar…It is critical to make sure you do not have a bladder infection or a UTI first and that you can distinguish between the infection and the IC. I was having frequently recurring bladder infections. The urologist determined that my lack of estrogen had caused dead tissue around where the bladder opened to pee, allowing bacteria into my bladder. He put me on a low dose antibiotic for three months and gave me estrogen cream to treat the dying tissue in the vaginal area. Once I got the infection cleared up and the tissue health improved, bladder infections became rare.
By the way, the diagnosis of worst-case IC came before the vinegar regimen…vinegar did not cause it. And vinegar only helps me manage the symptoms, primarily pain, and it minimizes (but does not completely prevent) frequent urination.