Interstitial Cystitis 07 Home Remedies

Home Remedies


D.G. Lee

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.


1. Green tea

Catechins within this famous herbal remedy could protect bladder cells from inflammation. It has been proven in studies that have exposed cells to a damaging acid. Forget the actual tea here; you need the supplements to deliver the dose of catechins needed for this effect.

2. Dietary changes

This is a big one. While diet may not actually cause an inflamed bladder, certain foods will make symptoms worse. Many report that eliminating or cutting down on potential bladder irritants helps a lot. These irritants include

Spicy food
Fruits (especially citrus)
Pickled foods
Alcohol, and anything with caffeine
3. Train the bladder

People with inflamed bladder must train themselves by setting bathroom trips according to the time rather than waiting until they need to go. Start off every half-hour regardless of whether you feel the urge. Slowly lengthen that time period. Some deep breathing and other relaxation methods could also help cut urinary frequency.

4. Quercetin

This flavonoid chemical is believed to be an anti-inflammatory (among other things) and has been found to reduce IC symptoms.

5. Arginine

This is an amino acid your body uses to produce nitric oxide. This is something that relaxes smooth muscles. Based on the idea that it could do so in your bladder, arginine is considered a potential IC therapy.

6. Glycosaminoglycans

These are natural substances, polysaccharides, which are a family of carbohydrates. It’s possible that the bladder’s surface doesn’t have enough of these substances in cases of IC. This deficiency could, the thinking goes, be a reason why the bladder has become inflamed, and could be a potential reason for autoimmune problems.

7. Change your routine

Avoid putting pressure on your lower stomach, so don’t use belts or tight clothes. Do your best to reduce stress, as it will hamper your healing progress. Try some light exercise each day. And know that smoking cigarettes can make any painful condition worse, and is harmful to the bladder specifically.


I went through years of doctors thinking I was just a pill popper before I was finally diagnosed with IC. It was horrible. I would cry myself to sleep at night sitting up in a chair because it hurt less to sit up than it did to lay down. I wanted to die. I was in so much terrible pain but was treated so horrible because doctors thought I just wanted to take medicine to get high or something. Finally while in my Urologists office on a follow up appt from a kidney stone surgery I bust into tears telling him that I just cannot take anymore pain. I was 25 years old and my quality of life was decreasing with each day that passed. He began to ask me questions, scheduled me for the procedure to look into my bladder, and two days later I was finally diagnosed. Since then I have had an interstem device implanted in my back(kind of like a pacemaker for the bladder), I have a procedure done every 6 months where he stretches my bladder and adds DMSO, I take Prozac and Elaval everyday, and now at 38 my quality of life is better than it was in my early 20’s. it seems like when my flare ups bother me the most is when I lay down to go to sleep at night and the absolute BEST thing for this is a ice pack. I have the gel ones. I keep two in my freezer at all times. I cannot eat or drink anything in the red family like wine, juice, marinara sauce, tomatoes, chili, peppers, etc… For me Advil helps much better than Tylenol bc it’s an anti inflammatory and the azo pills from CVS … when I take them I drink tons of water to get it down to my bladder as quickly as I can. This can be a horrible disease that can take all quality out of your life and make you want to die but with the right doctor and the ‘know how’ to control it you can get better and deal with this disease.


I’ve tried everything from Prydium to Elmiron to Tramadol, and until recently the only help was a very limited diet. I have just started seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist, and it’s astounding! I do 30 reverse-kegel exercises a day (10 reps of 10 seconds, three times a day), and I’m having a PT do manual treatment for 6-8 weeks, so far so good! I high recommend physical therapy for this condition.


For anyone suffering with interstitial cystitis, its impossible to drink anything acidic such as all pop,juices, beer,don’t eat oranges either etc. Drink a lot of water when you have a flare up take cystex 2 four times a day. This can be purchased over the counter,and use at first sign of trouble. My urine smell is my first sign, smells like burnt coffee. you should feel relief after a few days stay on this pill for 5 to 10 days. It never fails to help me. My bladder is very sensitive to anything acidic. This is all i use. I don’t drink or smoke.I would stay on the pills 3 days past all symptoms.


I was predisposed to Interstitial Cystitis due to years of UTI’s and cutting to help enlarge the canal for urine to pass. I was retaining 1/3rd of the urine in my bladder. Add menopause to that and dryness caused problems. A great old common sense urologist used an injection of DMSL solution that I had to retain for about 30 minutes. Not an easy thing to do when there is irritation and fullness. That cleared things up quickly. Repeat discomfort responds well to using a cotton ball saturated with DMSL solution from the health food store. Using coconut oil to lubricate the irritated tissue before intercourse, and emptying the bladder afterwards followed by the DMSL has kept me feeling good for a few years now. Also, becasue it’s a burning sensation, a clean wet washcloth with COLD water held to the area works wonders too. …And I still drink my coffee and eat as always.


I don’t know where else to post this, but I know, as someone who suffers from this, that information on interstitial cystitis is really hard to find. But it’s a horrible thing to live with so I’m going to post my home remedy.
When I first feel it coming on, I take tylenol. Quite a bit of tylenol. And put about two or three teaspoons of baking soda into a bottle of water and CHUG it. I do this IMMEDIATELY when I feel a flare up coming on. If you catch it early, it’ll reduce the duration.
Keep taking quite a bit of tylenol throughout the whole duration of the flare up, and try to drink at least half a water bottle of baking soda water a day. A whole one, if you can. Do this everyday. When you stop feeling the inflammation, do it for three more days after you’ve stopped feeling symptoms. You should be better in about 10 to 16 days, depending on how strict you are with it. And while you’re having the flare up, it’ll only irritate you when you go to urinate. It’ll be irritating for about 10 seconds and then you will be fine.


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