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Bladder Spasm and UTI Symptoms Not Caused by Bacteria: What Worked for Me

Updated on September 2, 2017
Sherry Hewins profile image

I have always been interested in health issues and healing. This is my experience with bladder spasm and UTI symptoms.

Woman in pain
Woman in pain | Source

I Have to Pee all the Time, But I Don't Have an Infection

You go to the doctor with what you're sure is a bladder infection, only to find out it's not. A urinalysis shows that there is no bacteria present. So what now?

When I was in this situation, I found out that antibiotics don't help; in fact, they may make things worse. Often a doctor will prescribe antibiotics for UTI symptoms without performing a urinalysis, but that can be a mistake if you're actually dealing with a condition such as bladder spasm or, worse yet, interstitial cystitis. After what I have been through, I would recommend that you insist on a urinalysis before taking antibiotics for urinary symptoms.

Through research and trial and error, I found the things that worked for me. I now have been pain-free for over a year and a half, and I am not taking any medications.

Many women find themselves in a situation like the one I have described at some point in their lives. Their GP or gynecologist may not be very knowledgeable about it. Trying to get information about urinary symptoms that are not caused by bacteria and getting the appropriate treatment can be very frustrating.

Bladder Spasm

The urologist I went to called my problem "bladder spasm," and he took great pains to explain to me how difficult it is to find the cause and right treatment for symptoms like urinary frequency and urgency. He also said that many women have episodes of bladder spasm at some time in their lives, but recover from it completely.

I am not a medical professional. I am sharing my experience in the hope that it helps someone else who is going through this. Every person and every bladder is different. As my urologist pointed out, there are many things that can cause the same symptoms, and the cause of bladder pain can be hard to diagnose.

The Symptoms of Bladder Spasm

The most common symptoms of bladder spasm are:

  • Urinary frequency and urgency
  • Urethral burning
  • Pelvic pain

In my experience, most doctors, especially male doctors, do not perceive these symptoms in a female as a serious medical matter, certainly not an emergency. After all, your vital signs are all fine, an examination doesn't find anything amiss, nothing is showing up in your blood or urine. Therefore, you're fine.

It's easy to get overwhelmed and very emotional when this happens. You're extremely uncomfortable, it's very hard to get any sleep, and you're physically and emotionally frazzled. But try to get a grip on yourself.

If you show up at a doctors office in that condition, it will be even harder to be taken seriously. (In fact, when I showed up at the ER in tears, I was prescribed Xanax by a doctor who obviously thought I was just hysterical.) Also, the pain cycle can feed on itself, and the more emotionally worked up you get, the worse you may feel. Believe me, it will get better.

Bladder First Aid

I'll get into more details later, but if you are suffering right now, this is what I would do:

  • Drink Baking Soda Mixed With Water - The first line of defense for me is to drink 1/4 tsp of baking soda (do not exceed two teaspoons of baking soda a day) dissolved in a small amount of water. This neutralizes the acid in your urine. I started feeling better within 10 minutes. I read about it in a book, and it helped me much more than anything any of the doctors I had been going to for months had.
  • Take a Hot Bath - I found a soaking in a hot tub to be very palliative.
  • Relax your Pelvic Floor Muscles - The muscle you want to relax is the same muscle you work when doing Kegel exercises. Locate the muscle you use to stop your urine flow by tightening it once, then consciously relax it. It seems like it's too simple, but I was really surprised how much better this made me feel.

Don't Strain When You Urinate

This is really important. You've probably been straining to empty every drop when you urinate; try not to do that, it's making things worse. The muscles in that area are all tense, and the nerves are overstimulated. You need to calm them down

Baking Soda
Baking Soda

Stop Drinking Cranberry Juice!

Do not drink cranberry juice or other fruit juice! it is very acidic and will irritate your bladder. Many people who develop these symptoms have been drinking large quantities of cranberry juice; if you are doing so, stop immediately.

Avoid Acidic Food and Drink

  • Immediately stop consuming all carbonated drinks, alcohol and coffee.
  • Do not eat any chocolate.
  • Drink plenty of plain water, but do not force yourself to drink gallons. Simply drink a glass whenever you think about it.

I give a more comprehensive list of "trigger foods" toward the end of this article.

What To Avoid: Don't Sabotage Yourself

Don't give in and reach for the foods that are hurting you. I really sabotaged myself for a while because I would not give up that one cup of coffee in the morning. Once I got past that, I started to get better. Don't undermine your recovery with that one glass of wine or cup of coffee, the way I did. Just stop. If all goes well, this will be a temporary situation. You can go back to enjoying those things later, but for now, you have to get this situation under control.

Instead of your regular acidic indulgences, milk or vanilla ice cream can be pleasant and very soothing. Make sure you get a brand of ice cream that does not contain a lot of chemicals.

Some Hot Drinks You Can Have

Have hot Vanilla Milk in the morning instead of coffee. Just put a drop of pure vanilla extract, and a little sugar or honey in a mug of hot milk. Some other options are Marshmallow Root, Chamomile or Catnip tea. They are usually well tolerated, and can be beneficial. Make your teas weak until you are sure they don't bother you. Sometimes, just sipping a cup of hot water is comforting, and it helps keep you hydrated.

Source

What's Wrong with Me? Could It Be Interstitial Cystitis?

The answer to that question is maybe, but maybe not.

If you are researching these symptoms on the Internet, or talking to your doctor, you may have heard of interstitial cystitis (IC). It is a chronic inflammation of the lining of the bladder.

If you have urinary frequency and urgency, urethral burning, and pelvic pain, you probably have cystitis, which is bladder inflammation. If it doesn't go away and no other cause can be found for it, then it may be interstitial cystitis.

Interstitial cystitis is often mistaken for a urinary tract infection. Patients may go as long as four years between the time they first experience symptoms and the time they receive their diagnosis. It most commonly affects women, although men can get it too.

IC is diagnosed by ruling out other conditions, such as bladder infections or bladder cancer. Also, when it is advanced, it can be diagnosed by cystoscopy, as there will be visible ulcers on the lining of the bladder. For a cystoscopy, you will have to see a urologist.

IC is a chronic condition. Just because you have urinary symptoms without bacteria does not mean that you have IC. It is a possibility, but many people, especially women, have these symptoms yet they recover completely.

Seeing a Urologist

Once your GP recognizes that you don't have a garden-variety bladder infection, you will probably be referred to a urologist. All of this takes time, and it will likely be a couple of months before you actually see the urologist. Usually the first thing he will want to do is a cystoscopy, for which a tube with a camera on the end is inserted through the urethra into the bladder to examine it. My urologist made an appointment for me to have that test, but it was six weeks away. He said that if I got better before then, I should call and cancel.

The idea of that test really freaked me out, given the way I was feeling. And reading the interstitial cystitis forums I found online, I wasn't optimistic about the outcome. I didn't see a lot of positive comments about how great things were after the diagnosis. Everyone seemed to be on a lot of drugs that were marginally effective at controlling their symptoms, and it sounded like a life sentence to me, one of those conditions you just have to live with.

Don't Lose Hope

Now, looking back, I think most people who get over their problems never go back to the forum to share their story, so just because you don't see many success stories doesn't mean they don't exist. I did get some good advice for dietary changes and supplements from the IC forum, but I had to do a lot of digging. Here, I've tried to condense the information that helped me to make it more accessible for someone having a first experience with bladder irritation.

I never did have the cystoscopy. I was able to get my symptoms under control and opted not to have it. The cause of interstitial cystitis is mysterious, and I was never diagnosed with it, but I feel as though if I had continued to irritate my bladder, I could have developed this chronic condition.

From my reading and research, it sounds like it's important to get your symptoms under control early. Dietary changes when you first experience symptoms can prevent your condition from progressing. Patients who have had an irritated bladder for a longer period of time experience less relief from dietary changes.

If, despite your best effort, you don't get better, by all means have the test. If it turns out you do have interstitial cystitis, there are medications and treatments that may be beneficial to you.

You Don't Have to Live with Cystitis

You Don't Have to Live with Cystitis
You Don't Have to Live with Cystitis

I found great advice in this book; it was recommended to me by my urologist. I found it to be very helpful and informative. It goes into depth about the causes of cystitis, how to reduce bladder pain and how your diet can impact the condition.

 

Healing an Irritated Bladder: What Worked for Me

The healthy bladder is coated with a mucosal tissue called the glycosaminoglycan layer, generally referred to as the GAG layer. This layer protects the bladder from direct contact with urine. The GAG layer can become damaged by bacteria or other trauma, such as pelvic surgery, repeated infections, or a complicated pregnancy. I went on a regimen designed to heal the GAG layer.

First of all, go on a low-acid diet. If you look up Interstitial Cystitis diet or IC diet, you will get a lot of varying advice on this. Different people seem to have different triggers. The ones I mention below in the "Common Food Triggers" section should be avoided. Most of them definitely affected me.

One book I read said, "If you wouldn't put it on an open wound, don't eat it," and this resonated with me. So things like hot spices, lemon and vinegar would be off limits. If I ate acidic food, I could feel it within 10 minutes, burning my bladder.

This list is a good starting point. Pay attention to you body. If you feel worse, ask yourself, "What did I eat?"

Common Food Triggers

Spicy foods are one of the triggers that may cause your symptoms to worsen.
Spicy foods are one of the triggers that may cause your symptoms to worsen.

Foods to Avoid for Bladder Spasm or IC

  • Cranberry
  • Fruits other than pears
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Spicy foods
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Aspartame
  • Aged cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Yogurt
  • Corned beef
  • Cured meats like salami, bacon, or ham
  • Vinegar
  • Salad dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lentils
  • Tree nuts
  • Onions
  • Soy
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial flavors
  • Vitamin Supplements - Especially Vitamin C

What to Eat

Most vegetables, meats, breads, and dairy products will be fine.
Most vegetables, meats, breads, and dairy products will be fine.

It can be hard, with just a list of things you can't have, to figure out what to eat. There are plenty of foods you can still eat.

  • Any meat, poultry, fish, or shellfish is OK, except cured meats like bacon or salami.
  • Most vegetables other than tomatoes, onions, or hot peppers are fine.
  • You can still eat bread, other than rye and sourdough.
  • Dairy foods including milk, butter, cottage cheese, American cheese, and vanilla ice cream work. You can start adding some of the milder aged cheeses in small amounts once you start feeling better.
  • Pasta, rice, and most cereals are OK.
  • Salads can be a problem because of the dressing, but you can try them with herb infused olive oil and coarse salt.

When you feel better, start slowly adding foods one at a time. It can be tempting to just go back to your regular eating pattern, but you don't want to have to start over. I started with a little mayonnaise on my sandwich because I really missed it.

Add one food at a time, and take it very slowly.

What Supplements I Used

Based on what I read in books and researched on the Internet, I used the supplements and products listed below:

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin (400 mg 3x per day): It coats the GAG layer, giving it a chance to heal.
  • Calcium Citrate + Vitamin D (200 mg 2x per day): It helps your body excrete oxalates more efficiently this helps prevent vulvodynia, an associated condition which is also very unpleasant.
  • Bromelain (100 GDU 3x per day): Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme.
  • Quercetin (100 mg 3x per day): Quercetin is another anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Prelief: Prelief is an antacid that you can take before eating acidic foods. I would not recommend eating acidic foods, even with it, until you get your symptoms somewhat under control. But I did use it occasionally as a precautionary measure if I needed to eat out, and I used it more often as my bladder improved and I was able to return to a more normal diet.

You might want to start off with the glucosamine and chondroitin and work your way down the list. add one supplement at a time and wait a few days before adding the next one, just to make sure it's not a trigger for you. I used 21st Century, Glucosamine 250 mg, Chondroitin 200 mg, just because it doesn't have a lot of extra ingredients in it. I don't think the brand matters so much, but look out for added vitamin C in some of them.

One prescription medication I took for a short time that did help me was Ditropan (oxybutynin chloride). It is supposed to relax your bladder muscles to prevent urgent, frequent urination. At first, I was taking 5 mg a day, and it wasn't helping. But when my doctor raised it to 10 mg a day, it gave me some relief.

This Is Based on My Personal Experience

I am not a medical professional. I only want to share my experience in the hope that it helps someone else who is going through this. Every person and every bladder is different. As my urologist pointed out to me, there are many things that can cause the same symptoms, and the cause of bladder pain can be hard to diagnose. What worked for me may not work for you. If it doesn't, don't give up; keep trying until you find something that does.

If you're really suffering right now, you're probably having a flare. It won't last forever; it will pass. It will take time for your bladder to heal, so don't expect a miracle cure overnight. I have experienced two flares that lasted several months each. I am able to eat a normal diet now, even coffee and chocolate. But if I had to give them up forever to prevent that kind of pain, it would be well worth it. Now I know what I have to do when that feeling comes back.

Some Seasonal Advice

It is December 21 when I am writing this, and I am seeing a spike in visits to this page. That is making me recall the time when I had my very worst flair. It was Christmas time, and the office I work at was full of tasty treats. I love chocolate, and I was not able to resist the lure. If you are suffering right now, and you are eating a lot of chocolate, please stop!

I know it's hard, but nothing is worth that kind of suffering. Give yourself a gift for Christmas. The gift of healing!

There is Great Advice in These Comments

I have had many people visit this page and leave comments. If you need more advice, I would recommend looking through them.

The list is long, but there is some great wisdom to be gained from others who have experienced unexplained bladder pain.

© 2012 Sherry Hewins

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    • profile image

      Lu-T 3 days ago

      Does anyone have hip pain or side pain? Has anyone had any success with doctors? Thanks

    • profile image

      Lu-T 4 days ago

      Melisa Glad your feeling better.. hopefully you will be completely well soon!

    • profile image

      Melisa 5 days ago

      Hi Lu-T,

      I'm doing pretty good, as far as pain goes. The antihistamine prescribed to me helped greatly, and I'm continuing with the tips Sherry suggested. The AZO bladder pain OTC med definitely helps with the urgency! I'm still kind of annoyed that the urologist was so quick to call it IC.. they don't seem familiar with bladder irritation after an infection. I'm only 24, so I'm hoping this irritation goes away.. I'm frustrated with my doctor but I'm happy I'm feeling a little better!

    • profile image

      Lu-T 5 days ago

      I was curious if anyone ever used a Tens Machine to help with their pain?

    • profile image

      Lu-T 6 days ago

      Melisa.. How are you doing? I am in the same situation. Diagnosed with an infection from the middle of August. Pain hasn't gone away. Still have back and pelvic pain. I am keeping an acid free diet and on bladder supplements similar to what's suggested on here. In my opinion it seems to be a waiting game and hopefully it will happen. I wish you well and good health! Louise

    • profile image

      Melisa 10 days ago

      Hi all, just wanted you update everyone on my experience. I had an appointment with a urologist on Tuesday. She was very caring and actually very knowledgeable but seemed to think I was a textbook case of IC.. I asked if my bac infection back in May could've caused it, or if it could be residual inflammation and she said maybe but basically said this is IC.. which frustrated me.. she did prescribe me an antihistamine called atatrix and I felt relief immediately. I also started taking azo bladder pain relief and that also helps.. I'm very torn.. while I'm glad the meds help, I'm also bummed the urologist was so fast to diagnose me with IC..

    • profile image

      Lu-T 2 weeks ago

      cw/me Thanks again! It seems things are starting to calm down for me. Still having some soreness and mild back pain. But nothing like I started out with. I'm watching my diet and taking d'mannose and bladder q (which has a lot of what is suggested on this site in it) I'm actually sleeping better also, which I did not do for awhile. Like you this all started out with taking Macrobid and having a bad reaction to it. Your help is very much appreciated!

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      cw/me 2 weeks ago

      Yes Lu-T, back pain is very normal with bladder inflammation because the same nerves that bring pain sensation to your bladder also affect the spine. I have bad back issues in the first place, and once I was well enough after the UTI that initially damaged my bladder, I went to a spine surgeon who confirmed the reason I was in more pain was probably from the bladder inflammation as there is a connection in the nerve pathways. I also saw a urogynocologist, not a urologist. The urogynocologist was frankly not helpful, nor was my primary physician. I was stunned at how little experience either of them had with lingering bladder inflammation. I simply did my own exhaustive research and cured myself. I wouldn't suggest anyone else do this unless they at least first speak to a primary or specialist and rule out the less likely chances of a more serious condition. The urogyno merely tested my bladder capacity, assessed my pelvic floor muscles, which by the way she said were weak, and it is tense pelvic floor muscles that can often contribute to the problem of bladder pain. She gave me a script to see a physical therapist which I didn't use as I thought it had nothing whatsoever to do with my problem. I recommend you continue to get routine urine cultures about once a month as long as you continue to have symptoms. Sometimes it is impossible to distinguish between an infection and irritation, and if an infection exists, that should be treated right away. But antibiotics may do worse damage, so I would suggest first consulting a doctor as I did to let them know if antibiotics is worsening symptoms, then discontinue them and begin several doses of d-mannose and a gallon of water a day when experiencing a flareup. The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself, though when it comes to bladders, it can take a fairly long time, so hang in there!

    • profile image

      Lu-T 3 weeks ago

      cw/me Thank you so much for your advise...this has been going on for 6 weeks now.. Lately its a little better. I am taking d mannose also. And just started on Bladder Q.The macrobid made me very sick while taking it. I am also having some back pain with all this. I was wondering if you experienced any other symptoms while going through this. Did you see a urologist? I'm not ready to go that route yet. Thanks Again!

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      cw/me 3 weeks ago

      Lu-T- yes it is Very possible that Macrobid inflamed your bladder and is causing you more pain. This has been my experience twice with two different UTIs and it is no coincidence because each time after two or three days on it, severe bladder pain worse than the UTI started to kick in. The second time, I took only 3 doses, told my dr. it inflamed my bladder and I then stuck to d-mannose powder, taking 1 tsp twice a day for a couple weeks as well as Natrol glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM complex. The 2nd time I was in pain about a week or two, but the first incident I suffered for eight or nine months. Everyone is going to be different. Give the supplements a couple of months. I now only take glucosamine about 1x a day. I personally believe the d-mannose supplement I use has given great relief. I take it whenever I feel a tingly feeling that is an alert sign of bladder irritation, as well as 1 tsp a day as a maintenance dose. Bladders take a while to heal and I hardly ever feel bothered anymore, but it flares up slightly on occasion, and I've yet to try spicy foods after 15 months from the first UTI that caused the inflammation. Good luck, and get well soon!

    • profile image

      Lu-T 3 weeks ago

      Hi Can someone tell me what Brand of Glucosamine Chondroitin their using and How many milligrams.? And if you have had any success. Thank You!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 3 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Lu-T - It is common to have some lingering irritation after an infection. That usually resolves on its own, but you can help the process by not eating irritating foods,

    • profile image

      Lu-T 3 weeks ago

      Thank You for your advice. I had a bladder infection 6 weeks ago and was put om Macrobid ,I was only able to finish 5 full days of the medication because I got very sick from it. The doctor said 5 days should be enough and I no longer have an infection. But I still have pain in the bladder area and pelvic and lower back area. Could this medication have caused my bladder inflammation? Can antibiotics damage the bladder? Will my bladder heal eventually?

    • profile image

      Sarah 3 weeks ago

      Hi beachk1,

      If you are still checking this site--the next time I peed I tested my urine again and the level of leukocytes had gone way down, so I didn't end up contacting the doctor about it. I kept testing and the level of leukocytes would fluctuate somewhat with my diet so I figured it was just weird lingering irritation.

      I did end up talking with my OB/GYN about the ongoing problem (I don't have any pain! Just sliiight constant urgency) when I was in for a checkup, and she just told me that I should come back to the doctor if it started to negatively affect my life but wasn't very concerned...

      At this point it's been about 5 months of this mild urgency for me. I'm not perfect with the diet but do my best to stick to mild foods and water and I think it's getting better, but it still fluctuates a bit. In fact I thought I might be almost better since it's been so mild over the past few days but tonight it feels worse again. I agree that trying not to tense your muscles makes a huge difference! Anyway, I really miss coffee. Best of luck to you and everyone else going through this.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 3 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Wow Liz, I'm glad you went to the doctor. Did he say you had a bladder infection? I've never heard of such bad bleeding from that. Did he do a vaginal exam? Do you have a primary care doctor? Stay on top of this one.

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      Liz 4 weeks ago

      I appreciate your article and will try dietary changes. I'm quite frustrated in trying to diagnose my specific symptoms. I've had light bouts of uti symptoms but fairly consistent urgency with no other symptoms for about a year. I'm perimenopausal at 58. When I've had light uti symptoms I've had one of those otc uti symptom-relief tablets n it's alleviated the symptoms entirely. Having had no symptoms, other than urgency, yesterday at noon at work I had urgency, then frequency with little output, then abdominal pressure. As I went to urinate frequently, I noticed first pink in the toilet, then on the to n then clots in the toilet. I felt alot of pressure but not pain, maybe a little soreness upon urinating. The bleeding continued so I went to local clinic ater work. I provided a urine sample that was totally red. The male doctor looked at the primary analysis n said I had a bad infection n prescribed antibiotics. I left there n had no symptoms except mild frequency n no blood at all. I called back today because I have concerns with the antibiotic he prescribed (cipro). I have some abdominal.oreddure today but no other symptoms. Any ideas about how to proceed, what to watch for, would be appreciated.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 4 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Paula, you might try just reducing the Vitamin C before you quit all the vitamins. It is really the most irritating.

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      Paula 4 weeks ago

      What a great article! I had exactly the same problem years ago: 100% sure I have a bladder infection I was said there is nothing like that. Via my research I found out it is irritation of bladder through tons of juice I drank. I stopped and started to drink water instead and symptoms were gone. I didn't even had to give up a cup or two of coffee/day. The rule don't eat it if you wouldn't put it on open wound will stay with me forever :))

      I got to your article here because I started to take, due to my perimenopause symptoms, a lots of vitamins and started to buy in Mariano's those pure juices, they are squeezing every day, freshly, to enhance it. And the symptoms are back: it is actually only the one - irritation after urination. So while I think I need those vitamins, because they are making my PM symptoms much much better, I am leaving juices out of it. Multivitamin package I am taking is having 500mg/vitamin C and also higher dosed of A and Bs. I read that all of those can trigger the irritation of bladder. So, if I won't improve after juice quitting, I will have to consider quit those vits as well.

      Thanks for all great tips brought by your great research :)))

    • profile image

      Jamie 4 weeks ago

      Thank you so much. Your advice reversed years of suffering that my doctor was unable to address (she wanted me to take meds, drink cranberry juice and do other things that didn't help at all).

      I am so grateful that you took the time to share your knowledge. THANK YOU! The hardest part was stopping coffee but I'm good now!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 5 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Melissa, a flare can indeed last that long. In fact people with Interstitial Cystitis have to deal with it constantly. Four or five month does not sound unusual. There are people who have been coming back here to comment on their progress for months or years. I'm not trying to scare you, if you are getting better, that's a really good sign. As you progress in your healing, the symptoms get better, but it can take a long time to heal completely.

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      Melisa 5 weeks ago

      Sherry,

      Thank you for your response. Your advice has been so helpful, and I'm so happy I stumbled across this post. I have been relaxing my pelvic muscles and have noticed a great difference. My pelvic floor used to be constantly clenched but I have "trained" myself to relax and a lot of pain has subsided.. my current flare has been going on for over a month with little relief.. my pain levels have def decreased from previous but that dull ache is still present. Can flares last that long? In June and July, I was having a week or two long of pain but then it would subside for a week and come back etc but now it seems here to stay, even with my diet change. Sherry, a question for you- how long would you say the healing process took for you? I found another's blog post who experienced similar things and said it took them about 4-5 months.

      Thank you!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 5 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Hi Melissa, It is not uncommon to have bladder irritation after a bacterial infection. You are doing the right thing by changing your diet. I hope you are following my advice to relax your pelvic muscles too. New research is showing that to be important, and from my personal experience, I really think it helped. I hope you feel all better by the time your appointment comes. Wouldn't that be great!?

    • profile image

      Melisa 5 weeks ago

      Hi all,

      I have also been experincing these symptoms since June, and they said it was Ureaplasma, which is a bacteria. They treated it with antibiotics and my symptoms went away for about a week, they retested me and it's clear but I'm still in pain. I had two glasses of wine and I literally could feel it burning my bladder. I'm so anxious that it could be something serious, but I don't have any 'strange' symptoms. I pee often and have no pain when urinating but feel pain when I have to go--almost like pressure/burning in my ureathra/bladder. did others experience this? I stopped eating/drinking irritants, and it's def helped but I still feel almost a dull ache when I have to pee. I see the urologist in a month and am not looking forward to it.

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      KH 5 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for the advice! I started having these symptoms this past may, but didn't know what it was, so I ignored it thinking it was nerves. Then at it progressed, my doctor said it was a UTI. And my symptoms were calm for a while but back in late July, they arose again and and just kept progressivly getting worse. I do not know if I have IC or blatter spasms because this is my first time ever dealing with this so everything all sounds the same to me. I've been getting no relief from medication for 3 months and it is draining me. I will definitely take your advice. I have a meeting with my urologist this week and I too am not so excited about the scope, especially after hearing the feed back from other people on it. Thank you so much for writing this page!!

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      Jami 5 weeks ago

      Hi omg I'm so happy to read this bc at the moment I'm going through something like this I think . I went to a doctor and hospital and they said no uti but I can not stop peeing. And I have pains with my lower back and a pressure pain around my lady parts. But doesn't hurt when I pee. I'm going to try some of your ideas. Hopfully it helps thanks

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      Kate 6 weeks ago

      I have read many articles about IC and this has been the most helpful. Thank you

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      Donis Harmon 6 weeks ago

      I have have seen a Urologist.... have no infection.

      Myrbetriq 50mg x 4wks to calm the bladder with not much relief.

      Contrast CT Scan which was negative.

      I have been off of coffee and alcohol x 5days, but will now follow your recommended diet and have started Glucosamine/Chondroitin today...I have high hopes that all of this will help.

      I am scheduled to have a Cystoscope in 8 days.

      Let the healing hopefully begin!!

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      Donis Harmon 6 weeks ago

      I have been having this problem for about 6 wks and am so happy to find this online....I will follow your advice, thank you so much.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 7 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Peeing 40+times - I know exactly what you mean. What I can say to you is, reread this article from the beginning. If you are sitting on the toilet and trying to squeeze a few drops, you are clenching your pelvic floor muscles. That is making everything worse. It is very important to relax those muscles as much as possible. In fact, I would say that is just as important as avoiding acidic food.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image
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      Sherry Hewins 7 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Erika - This isn't really about UTI's, and I have not tried the product you recommend, but I will leave the comment here as it may be useful to someone.

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      Erika Keamy 7 weeks ago

      As a sufferer of UTIs in the past, I would strongly urge women sufferers to try a more natural remedy instead of immediately taking antibiotics. In my experience, antibiotics have caused symptoms (including urgency and that awful burning feeling) to linger for weeks, driving me crazy. I recently had an infection, happened to find Preferred Nutrition UTI drops at a natural food store, and took them (orally with water) for a total of 5 days. I felt 100% better in about 2 days, and within a week the infection was gone, as were all the symptoms. The UTI drops make the bladder wall slippery so that bacteria gets flushed out with the urine. They also have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, so they are a much more effective remedy than cranberry juice or even D-Mannose, which I have taken in the past, but found that it didn't help with a previous UTI.

      The UTI drops are not cheap ($50 for a bottle) and they aren't exactly tasty, but the results are pretty astonishing, and I no longer live in fear of getting a UTI and dealing with the aftermath. I will always keep a supply in my medicine cabinet.

      If you Google "Preferred Nutrition UTI Drops" you'll find reviews on Amazon, and a YouTube video by Dr. Gifford-Jones, explaining the healing properties of the treatment. It's definitely worth looking into if you're prone to UTI problems.

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      Peeing 40+times a day,every min or two and the I have to sit for five mins to get one drop to come out 7 weeks ago

      I am having the issue I listed in title...Doc said blood in urimg been on Cipro today will be my third dose.I DO NOT FEEL BETTER NOT EVEN A TINY BIT!What could this be?I am a 39 yr old female

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      kitty kare 7 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for the information. I too was taking cranberry thinking it would be good. And did not know about all the various foods that are a trigger.

      Recently I found out about castor oil packs which for me relieve the pain almost immediately. Whatever it does, it stops the urgency and pain. Google castor oil for UTIs and will be a ton of information.

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      beachk1 2 months ago

      Hey Sarah,

      Did you get any response about the leukocytes? Your story sounds kind of similar to mine. Suddenly two UTIs (never had them before) almost back to back. The first one seemed pretty fine, got antibiotics (too many!!) but then another UTI about 3 weeks later (a different strain). The pain got increasingly worse when I started the antibiotics, and since February it hasn't gone away. I'm basically never without pain now, although it's significantly decreased since February, but sometimes it gets angry for seemingly no reason (food doesn't seem to affect me, unless it's so delayed or takes a certain amount so I can't tell), but I'll smell that odor and the pain will increase and the dip shows leukocytes but no nitrates as well. I take uva ursi, dmannose, drink a lot, etc, and after a day or so it calms back down (not sure if what I do affects it or not)... Did your doctor reply at all about the positive leukocytes but no nitrates?

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Michelle - Having pelvic surgery is traumatic. I think it is not uncommon to have bladder symptoms in the aftermath. Women who have tubal ligation or hysterectomy will often have such symptoms also. It is possible that your bladder was "nicked" during the procedure. Usually, that will go away as you heal.

      I know it's hard to tolerate right now, and all you can think of is how to make it feel better fast. I wish there was a magic pill I could give you to make it all better.

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      Michelle Kukkuk 2 months ago

      Hi Sherry ,

      I just stumble upon your page after nights of searching want can be wrong.

      I had a laparoscopy to remove a cysct 2 weeks ago and ever since my operation my bladder is in trauma! The pain is excatly what you say and its like stabbing knifes that goes into my bladder. And its not a UTI ive been to the doctor and he confirmed not UTI and maybe its a bladder spasm and i must drink Uripas.. and that so does not work! Thank you for insight and help!! I will defenitly start with everything! I just hope this will go away soon.. people talking about months and im at week 2 and feel like im dying.. i had no problem before operation with my bladder had 1 UTI when i was in school thats it! Im 33 now! And after opertion its like this! Feel that the gynae made a mess with me!

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Carolina

      Yes, I'm sorry but Vitamin C is very irritating. Be sure to read your labels.

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      Kim 2 months ago

      Hi - I last wrote 4 weeks ago while in total misery with the ongoing urgency and urethra pain. Thought I would give an update. I did call the urologist that morning as I was desperate for relief. The nurse said my symptoms sounded like I was passing a kidney stone. Given that my CT Scan results just a couple of weeks prior showed I had several stones, that made sense. She advised I take pain meds & drink lots of water. Ended up passing a stone the following morning. The bladder misery stopped immediately! Saw the urologist a week later and he ordered labs - blood draw and two 24 hour urine collections, a week apart - to find out why my body is producing so much calcium oxalate crystals. This may also explain why I have calcific tendonitis in both shoulder rotator cuffs and BPPV (Benign Paroximal Positional Vertigo) on occasion. Got the results yesterday. Turns out I have a genetic condition where my body doesn't produce enough citric acid to break down calcium - or some such complicated thing - which in turn causes my body to produce kidney stones & lots of small oxalate crystals (too small to be considered stones) that sit in my kidney's. Doc put me on a prescription only supplement, which will prevent further kidney stone development. He said simply eating more citrus wouldn't be nearly enough, so the supplement is vital. I still have a 3mm stone in the left kidney, so I know misery is in my future when it decides to pass. At least now I know what was causing all those horrible symptoms since the initial UTI in May. Glad I finally went back to the urologist and no invasive tests were required! Yes, my IBS has still been quite bad lately, but I'll take that any day over the bladder pain/horrible non-stop urgency.

      cw/me mentioned Xanax in a post. If it weren't for Xanax I wouldn't have gotten any sleep during that whole time. I took half a .50 mg tablet every night, which helped my body relax enough to sleep. Because Xanax puts me to sleep (which is why I have the prescrip in the 1st place - sleep issues), I can't take it during the day.

      Want to say thank you for having this site, it is so helpful knowing others are out there who understand what I have experienced. I appreciate all the advice and kind words and hope everyone who has posted finds relief very quickly!

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      Carolina 2 months ago

      Thanks Sherry, that makes sense. I bought the supplements you used last night and am introducing them day by day. I did notice the glucosamine chondritin I bought contains vitamin C... should I stay away from that? Thank you so much for your help!

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Carolina, I think that is a common thing for the symptoms to come and go. If your bladder is already irritated it reacts more readily to foods. If your bladder is healthy, it can handle any food. Also, food is not the only factor. Tense muscles and overstimulated nerves also play a part.

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      Carolina 2 months ago

      Also, has anyone tried Accupuncture? I read in some place so that it was helpful in healing the bladder

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      Carolina 2 months ago

      Thank you so much for this article! It has truly given me hope! I tested positive for a bacteria called Ureaplasma U. back in May, which is a controversial and tricky bacteria. It basically causes the symptoms of a UTI and the bacteria lives and grows in the bladder/urinary tract. After two rounds of antibiotics, I cleared the bacteria but my symptoms were still present. I was convinced that it was still there, but my doctor did every test imaginable and nope all clear. She never mentioned that irritation after an infection was a thing! I scheduled an appointment to see the urologist in a few weeks but in the meantime I will try you're suggestions. The most frustrating part of all this is that my symptom starts come and go. Two weeks symptom free, and then it will come back. I was eating the same during the time the symptoms were gone so I and curious as to why, but I definitely know that coffee and win every irritates my bladder like no other. Did anyone else have relief for a few weeks and then symptoms return? It's like I can tell that my bladder is irritated, I don't know how to explain it.

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Ashley - I have had a couple of flares since I wrote this article, but none as bad as what I had before. It has been a couple of years since I had any flares at all, and I eat whatever I want. So, I consider myself completely well.

      When I was having my major problems I was going through menopause, so perhaps there is a hormonal component to it. People often ask how long it took to get better, and I wish I had taken notes at the time instead of having to rely on my memory.

      As for adding things back, I would start out adding one new food a week at the beginning. Better to start out cautiously. Once you've added a few items without having setbacks, you could increase to every three days.

      Here's a pretty good list of foods, I would start out eating only from the "safe" list, and cautiously adding things from the "try it" list. http://www.ic-diet.com/pdf/What-Can-I-Eat.pdf

      Once you feel like you're well on your way to recovery, you could relax a little about the artificial flavors and preservatives. I like to keep them to a minimum anyway.

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      Ashley 2 months ago

      Hi sherry, I've looked at this page multiple times over the last year and a half or so. I've had these episodes as you've had but they would go away after 4 weeks or so without me doing anything. But then pop up again. I recently went to a urogynecologst who found inflammation in my bladder but she hesitated to call it IC. I'm now trying to do the diet to see what bothers it, if anything. I'm wondering if your flares ever returned? I'm only 29 and worried this will be a lifelong issue. Also, how did you reintroduce foods, especially ones like preservatives or artificial flavors. Did you use the three day approach to introduce those foods back in? Thanks so much, this page has been so informative and comforting and gives me a little hope that maybe this won't be a lifelong thing for me. I've had it off and on the last yeR and a half or so and been pregnant and had a child during that time.

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      Erika Keamy 2 months ago

      As a past UTI sufferer, I just wanted to share a helpful treatment option for UTIs I just learned about that apparently has been used in Europe, and came onto the Canadian market in 2015. It's called Preferred Nutrition UTI Drops. It is an all natural alternative to antibiotics and is very effective, perhaps even more effective than D-Mannose, as it acts as an antiseptic to bacteria. Hope it gives to relief to those of you suffering..

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      Sarah 2 months ago

      Hi again, 8 weeks ago I posted that I was going on the low acid diet after a month of slight but persistent urgency and frequency symptoms that started after contracting 2 UTIs in a row this spring. While changing my diet did seem like it was helping for the first few weeks and my symptoms became very mild, I fell off the diet wagon while doing a ton of traveling this past month and the symptoms came back fullll force (no pain, just the mild constant urgency), so even though I was taking Prelief before eating and drinking all the time, it didn't seem to work. I've been taking glucosamine, calcium citrate and probiotics for about a month and recently started taking d-mannose pills and corn silk as well (obviously I'm pretty much trying anything and hoping something works at this point haha). I got at-home UTI test strips that show I've got a lot of leukocytes (but no nitrites) so I'll be contacting my doctor again tomorrow to ask whether that could mean I have some type of infection again, even though she figured the symptoms were just lingering irritation before... ugh. Anyway, just wanted to reiterate your point about changing your diet back to normal too soon being a big mistake :( even with the Prelief pills. I think I've definitely set myself back, although I'm still not sure exactly how long I should stick to the diet for. Thanks again for all the insight, hoping to be better soon now that I'm back on track with the diet. Best of luck to everyone else currently on this road trying to figure out which foods are okay!

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      No worries Maria. I hope you're feeling better.

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      MARIA 2 months ago

      sorry, Sherry, I mispelled your name in that last post. :)

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      Maria 2 months ago

      cw/me -- Thank you for your helpful advice. I have eliminated peanut butter so now I'm down to very few foods I can eat ( I tried green peas yesterday but that caused me to flare), so Im just going to make sure I get plenty of protein and slowly introduce other foods over the next few weeks. My diet now includes chicken, eggs and whole wheat sprouted bread and brown rice. Sheri and others have recommended veggies as well but I'm a little scared to try them at the moment due to the flare up after the plain green peas last night. I have also started 400 mg of Tagamet once a day which my urogynecologist wants me to try for a month. She says it works in 40% of patients with bladder issues. I'm not really a fan of medication so I'm in two minds about this, but I guess Ill try and see if it goes well. Anyone else tried it?

      Incidentally I'm also taking 2 tsp per day of D-Manose plus the other supplements Sheri has listed above.

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      Maria 2 months ago

      Thanks for the advice Sheri. Ive started to vary my diet a bit more. The peanut butter may have actually been irritating me, who knows? Anyway I had another question for you. I know you said you suffered for months because you didnt give up some acidic things right away like coffee, etc. But once you DID start eating the right foods, how long did it take you to recover? (I ask because I personally have eliminated all acidic/trigger foods a couple weeks ago and still don't feel anywhere near normal with flares that still happen every other day or so for some unknown reason. Its only been a few weeks but I need to start seeing a light at the end of this tunnel so hearing how long it took you to feel good again would really help). Thank you again.

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      cw/me 2 months ago

      Maria, the concept of "less irritating foods" should not be dictated by our assumptions, but rather, the reactions from our bladder. Foods that are absolutely harmless for one person may create tremendous pain and suffering in another.

      I discovered that nuts of any kind can create a burning effect in the bladder which might be obvious immediately or take a few weeks to accumulate in the bladder lining before causing trouble. For the time being, I suggest eliminating peanut and other nut butters and see how you are doing in 1-2 weeks. If feeling better, try going back on miniscule amounts such as a 1tsp once a day for several weeks, and gradually increase from there. Don't add any other food, supplement, drug or beverage during this testing phase to better pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

      I recently learned that my last UTI, which luckily was very small, cleared after about 4 doses of Macrobid, and then I was forced to quit due to dramatic increase in urethral burning. As soon as I quit I began taking d-mannose powder in a dose of 1sp twice a day, which I am taking am and pm. So far I am doing much better than I was, but as I learned I have high cortisol levels, which can by a process of a chain reaction eventually make one susceptible to infections like this, I needed to get rid of all forms of sugar and NutraSweet and switch to Stevia. Unfortunately, even its absolutely purest form in tiny amounts it causes bladder discomfort. I wanted to bring this up because even things that sound absolutely harmless in the smallest doses may still be substances your bladder hates.

      You should treat every food you ingest as a sort of a science experiment and it soon will get a lot easier to determine which food, supplements and beverages agree with you and which do not. I strongly disagree with advice I've seen on IC sites that say if you do okay with a food one day, try increasing amounts the following. Wrong! That can spell trouble for your body because certain chemicals may cause a reaction in your bladder right away, and others could take days or weeks to build up. So you want to always take the least amount of a food that you can and see how you react after 1 or 2 weeks, and slowly increase from there. I hope this is somewhat helpful. It is a very long and tedious process but ultimately worth the effort. Best of luck to you getting through this as painlessly as possible.

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Maria, two weeks is a short time for these symptoms. I know it doesn't seem that way to you though. Repeat bladder infections can weaken the lining of your bladder, making it harder to heal. I would recommend eating a more varied diet including rice, vegetables, meats, dairy, and less bread and peanut butter. Not that I think the bread and peanut butter are necessarily to blame, but you really shouldn't rely too much on eating the same foods all of the time.

      Bladder symptoms like the ones you are experiencing often seem to surface without any obvious reason. I hope you are feeling better soon.

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      MARIA 2 months ago

      I followed all your great tips last october when i had a UTI and then subsequent bladder irritation which went away after I started eating non-irritating foods. Now 2 weeks ago I started having the same symptoms and have altered my diet back to the bland IC friendly diet and its not going away this time. The only thing I can think that may be bothering my bladder is maybe the bread im eating since its what i eat teh most of. Its the Eureka 'Saa-Wheat' variety. Ive been eating about 5 slices a day since I started feeling bladder symptoms so maybe that's the culprit. Today Im switching to Ezekial sprouted whole wheat to see if that helps. I mean I cant think of anything else thats causing this flare-up since Ive only been eating scrambled eggs, and peanut butter sandwiches and plain chicken breast. Im just baffled as to why my symptoms are not resolving as quickly as they did last time. ugh, so so uncomfortable and frustraing.

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Christine07 - Decaffeinated coffee is no better than the regular stuff. There are some low-acid coffees that you might want to try, but I would recommend waiting until you are feeling better, and even then proceed with caution. I know it's hard, coffee was the hardest thing for me to give up.

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      Christine07 2 months ago

      I've been following this thread for a couple of weeks now. It is a great relief to read my exact symptoms from other women. As I sit here now I am fighting the urge to go back to the toilet again, at least until my bladder is actually full! My original UTI was all the way back in December 2016, and I got over that, but then the annoying symptoms started. A shooting pain in the urethra after urinating, sometimes like a needle, other times an intense kind of itch. The feeling of fullness in the bladder when sitting that seems to reduce when standing up. Feeling ok when going to bed, but as soon as I lie down, feeling that I've got to go again. I find alkalising sachets (Ural) help and I'm always taking Ethical Nutrients UT support tablets ( these are Australian brands). I read about D- mannose and have just started taking that so hoping it may help. Couldn't find it in stores here so ordered from USA. I also purchased probiotics and UVA Ursi, but haven't tried the latter yet as I'm a bit concerned about possible side effects.

      I'm post-menopausal and have had two UTIs in the last 5 years. Both times they were accompanied by menstrual symptoms, although there was no actual period, so seems to have been a last hoorah from my ovaries! (I hope it's the last anyway). The previous UTI gave me the same symptoms, but not quite so painful and not for so long. I've been strict on my diet for the last couple of weeks to see if that helps. No black tea, no coffee and no chocolate, fruit or yoghurt. It hasn't been too bad actually. I rarely drink so that was no problem. I'm wondering whether it's okay to have an occasional decaffeinated coffee or is that still a no-no?

      Anyway, I'm hanging in there, I shed the occasional tears, then try to relax my way out of it. I work with high school students in classrooms, so have to put on a brave face and get on with it. (Jumbo pads help here - can't keep dashing to the loo every half hour!) I keep telling myself it WILL get better - it did before, so it will again. As Dolly Parton sang, "Sometimes it's hard to be a woman..."

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      Sherry Hewins 2 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Sally, I do drink on occasion. Mostly beer. I waited a long time though. I wouldn't recommend introducing that right away. I think the biggest mistake most people make is trying to go back to their regular diet too soon. It sounds like you are doing well, don't be too impatient.

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      Shelby 2 months ago

      Sherry, yes I was semi relieved but also kinda bummed because I really want an answer. But I think I'm starting to realize there is no easy answer here. He did refill my Toviaz and so far today I am doing well, however I am still having vaginal burning which feels different from the urethral burning, I think it's from the Toviaz because it drys you out (dry mouth, constipation etc). I'm just hoping I can get this under control so it doesn't develop into a chronic problem, as I am just 26 and forever with this seems unfathomable. I really appreciate all of your support and responses!

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      Sally 2 months ago

      Hi, I was wondering if you were able to drink alcohol and how long it took you until you were able to. I have done this diet and received very good results. How long should I wait until I introduce alchol? I had a bad uti, followed by these symtoms. And I was wondering how long you thought it would be until i could eat a normal diet. If I stick to the diet I have no symptoms at all, but if I have too much acid I get this pressure on my bladder. No urgency anymore but I used to get some

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Jollene Bea - When I first started experiencing these symptoms, I didn't relate it to what I was eating. Even after I learned about the low acid diet, I was resistant to changing my eating habits. It's hard, and not fun!

      I wanted a medical solution. I wanted a pill, or even surgery. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to be an option. Yes bladder issues are difficult to diagnose and treat.

      I hope you find your solution.

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      Jollene Bea 3 months ago

      I actually had one day where I ate acidic foods to see if my symptoms would worsen and I felt fine so I guess I just assumed food and drinks dont affect my bladder issue. I will definitely try eliminating acid food and drinks. Im really hoping I recover, who knew bladder issues were so difficult to deal with :/ Thank you for the reply

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Jollene Bea- I'm wondering how you have determined that food and drinks are not a factor. Have you tried eliminating acidic food and drink? Results are not usually immediate.

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      Jollene Bea 3 months ago

      Hey, Ive been suffering for 6 months and cannot see a urologist for another few months. My bladder issues are essentially as follows:

      Dysuria during period

      urethral burning

      urinary ugency

      inconsistent pressure on bladder

      and hesitancy

      I was feeling better the last few days but then I noticed my urine was cloudy (Its not anymore) so I got a little scared and my symptoms seem to be back to how they were before. Do you think the chances of me having IC are high? I just wanted to get some input since It will be a while before I can see a specialist. Thank you. Also food and drinks actually dont seem to worsen my symptoms

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Shelby- I'm glad to hear that your doctor is supportive of dietary changes. I bet you are kind of relieved that he didn't want to do the scope, huh?

      I did OK with Cheerios, Special K and Rice Chex. For hot cereal, Malt-0-meal, cream of wheat, some people have a problem with oatmeal, I did not.

      Here is a good site to check out that may give you some food tips.

      http://www.ic-diet.com/IC-diet-food-list.html

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      Shelby 3 months ago

      Hi everyone, I thought I would give an update. The doctor decide do not to scope me today as he wants me to try diet first. He says if in 3-4 weeks it's not better he will do the cystoscopy. He also gave me Toviaz to help in the meantime. I'm writing to see if you guys have any recommendations on safe cereals to eat? Everything I'm reading says most are safe as longn as they don't have the "bad ingredients" but they don't state what they are. Any help would be appreciated. As I stated before I have been in pain for a month now and I just am really hoping for some relief! Thank!

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Shelby - Chocolate is at the top of my list of things you should avoid. That and coffee are my worst offenders. Those bars probably have nuts and other thing in them you may be sensitive to also. The first things to suspect are the things you eat every day. That's what you were eating when you started having these problems.

      You can't casually follow the IC diet and expect results, you need to get serious about it. Once you get better you will be able to add those foods back again gradually.

      I now drink coffee and eat chocolate occasionally, and in small amounts. It is not as appealing to me now that I know how much it hurt me.

      You should be eating mostly pretty bland foods, meat vegetables and grains. You might try taking Prelief before meals.

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      Shelby 3 months ago

      Sherry, thank you! I have tried the baking soda and did not notice any relief. I do get relief when I soak in a hot bath but it's right back within an hour. I have not made any major changes with my food (mostly because I have been an a cruise and had to eat what was available) but I have cut out sodas and don't drink alcohol. I guess I will try to make more food changes now to see if it helps. I will try to use your post as a reference. I have tried to stay away from spicy foods though. Also I eat protein bars regularly because my job doesn't give me much time to eat as I'm always on the go. The only flavor I like is chocolate. It is mostly protein but do you think I should cut those too? Thanks again for your help

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Shelby, I'm so sorry. Don't get too discouraged about the cystoscopy. Maybe they can help you. As I've said before, people who get better often don't come back to tell their story. Have you tried any of the dietary changes? If the Toviaz gives you symptomatic relief, maybe you can get a refill, and change your eating while you are on it, so you don't have to suffer while your bladder starts healing. A month with these symptoms is really short-term. I know it's not much comfort now, but odds are good that you will recover completely.

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      Shelby 3 months ago

      Hi all, I have too been suffering for almost a month now and am hoping for some advice. All of a sudden about a month ago I was having som burning and urgency immediately thought I had a uti and went to the urgent care. They gave me an antibiotic and after 5 days still wasn't better. They gave me another antibiotic and that didn't work either. I went back and had an ultrasound on my bladder which showed nothing and saw a urologist who said (without any examination) that he thought it was urethritis and gave me Toviaz to help reduce the urgency because I was going on a cruise and miserable. After I ran out of Toviaz all symptoms returned (and didn't completely go away while on it). I am so miserable and at the point of tears most of the day just from the frustration. I know my husband is suffering as well. I am scheduled to have a cystoscopy tomorrow but I am a little discouraged after reading these posts that most of you have been through the same thing and have no answers. I'm just not sure what to do anymore.

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      cw/me 3 months ago

      Kim and all, I know that anti-depressants have been prescribed as a means of bladder pain relief. No one knows how that works but apparently some people have been successful with it. It is a matter of trial and error. I didn't want to go that route, but I had been on .50mg of Xanax a day for anxiety, and after a short trial and error period, realized that it stops the abdominal pain of a bladder spasm before it proceeds on to the urethral burning stage, which is the course it usually follows for me. When I get the urethral burning, which is modest now compared to what it was after my first UTI recovery, the Xanax can stop it within an hour or so and give me lasting relief. So that could be an option for you to look into. But remember that everyone reacts differently and it is a process trying to figure out what is going to work for you. Also very important, you must remember that foods that are on any so-called "good list" may be foods that your bladder rejects. I'd always thought getting rid of caffeine, acidic foods and never drinking alcohol meant healing from the long lasting inflammation after a damaging UTI would be a breeze. Wrong. After some extensive research I learned certain amino acid combinations present in foods that otherwise seem harmless can actually adhere to the bladder lining and ultimately break down to a corrosive acid that causes the pain. Some of my favorites were on that list - bananas, nuts, yogurt, and other foods one might never suspect as culprits in causing bladder pain. I am pleased to report that since my latest brief round of Macrobid, which I needed to get off of after only four doses thanks to the insufferable burning pain it caused, has begun to clear much faster than the first bout of severe inflammation it caused that lead to eight months of excruciating pain and the inability to eat a wide variety of foods. Now, only about one week after ending the Macrobid, I am doing okay with coffee, a little yogurt, and pretty much all of the other foods I admitted back into my diet after the initial 9 months of deprivation with the first UTI. The only thing I've been seriously wounded by has been aspartame, also on the list of trigger foods with nuts and bananas because it's comprised of certain amino acids that break down to a substance that is corrosive to the bladder lining. The safest foods for me so far - and I need a lot more protein due to the skin damage I suffered from 8 months of eating hardly anything - are white meat fresh caught albacore tuna, organic turkey breast with zero additives, 2% large curd cottage cheese, most varieties of sliced cheese that are real and not proceed with a bunch of additives - anything else I couldn't handle because of the acidity which also aggravated gastritis issues. I stick with veggies like spinach and legumes such as chick peas (but not lentils yet), steamed veggies, especially cauliflower, yellow squash, red, yellow and orange bell peppers ( avoid green), brown rice, whole grain breads and waffles without additives or soy products, and yogurt that does not contain citric acid. I now drink about 1/2 gallon of water a day, down from one gallon, which is enough to flush out my system, along with a tsp of d-mannose powder twice a day. That d-manose seems to comfort my bladder more than anything I've tried so far. It is intended to prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder lining, without the need to drink acidic cranberry juice to obtain the benefits. Even if you do not have or never had a UTI, this may prove a good preventative measure and certainly is harmless to try. I also take glucosamine and chondroitin 2x a day. My dr. was clueless when I called him in horrible pain after the fourth dose of Macrobid and asked ME how I would treat it, and I gave him my outline as above. He should pay me! LOL.

      Yes, it is true that the bladder and colon appear to "communicate" with each other, so when one is suffering it triggers the other. IBS commonly flares up when the bladder pain peaks.

      Anyway, keep plugging away to figure out what works for you. I think bladders are generally resilient despite the fact that they can take ages to heal. Months to perhaps three years, according to one Harvard study I read. The average doctor is terribly uninformed, and even the urogynocologist I went to was of little use. So I ended up finding effective treatments on my own. Good luck to you and remember that IC is considered rather uncommon, and even those with it will eventually enter remission at a rate of about 50%. Learn everything that you can and read what has helped other sufferers in online forums like these, but take these as guidelines only, because your bladder alone knows what is best for you.

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Lynn - Thanks so much for coming to offer your advice to Kim. I know that many who have visited this page have had that exact experience that she described. If only medical science could come up with a good solution for us. Until that happens, I guess the best we can do is learn from trial and error, and share what works for us with others.

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      Lynne 3 months ago

      Just read Kim's story and my heart is breaking for her. I know some of how she is feeling as I'm going through this as well right now too. Just want to offer two suggestions that seem to work for me. An herb called Cornsilk has been amazing at relaxing the spasming and urgency that I get. Also, I see a naturopath who tried a new treatment using ozone to help calm the irritation in the urethra and bladder. The jury is still out on this one. We tried it yesterday and things are much better today, so I'm hopeful. The other thing that seemed to help is a reflexology technique performed by the chiropractor I was seeing a few years ago. He simply pressed on three key spots along my spinal chord to trigger/stimulate the nerve pathways. He explained that the nerve pathways are like garden hoses and sometimes they get squeezed and they don't work as well - that is my very layman's version of what he said. It seemed to help but I'm thinking now, it's something that needs a reboot once in awhile, as my symptoms have started to flare up worse than they've been for years now. Good luck and I hope you find relief soon. L

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Kim, I know how miserable and frustrated you feel; it is very hard to bear. Definitely do call the urologist; what have you got to lose? Have you tried a cold compress against your urethra? That can give some temporary relief and might help you calm down and rest. I'm sorry there's not more I can do to help you. I am praying that you will feel better very soon.

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      Kim 3 months ago

      Hi - I wrote 4 weeks ago and here I am again....still not better. In fact, it's worse now. Eliminating the "bad" foods, taking the baking soda & hot baths did seem to help as the urgency was lessening. Maybe I began eating some of the bad foods too soon. Or maybe it was using the ab crunch machines at the gym (read online that this also can irriate a sensitive bladder), but the urgency got really bad again last week & 2 nights ago awoke with urethra pain. The pain came intermittently, several seconds apart, but by morning it was non-stop. With it was horrible urgency to the point I put on a pad cuz it feels like I'll wet myself. Was a basket case at work by the afternoon - thankfully my only co-worker is on vacation this week, so I'm alone in the office. Got very teary and my anxiety kicked in high gear. Found some prescrip strength urinary pain relievers doc gave me a couple of years ago in the cupboard (akin to AZO) and took 2. It helped greatly. Felt okay yesterday until the pills wore off. Took another 2 last night, but the effect didn't last nearly as long as the first time. Pain/urgency very bad again this morning-took another 2 pills. Am so ready to call the urologist at this point, though I loathe having to go, but at my wits end with this. Feel like I have no life cuz I must be near a bathroom at all times and the urgency/leaking are so very bad. The stress of this is causing my IBS to flare up. Which in turn is probably not helping the bladder/urethra issue. Read other forums where these 2 things can be related as the nerve endings in there are all connected. Don't understand why all of a sudden the urethra pain started - didn't have this before and this whole bladder/urgency issue has been ongoing now since June 4th. I'm coming unglued and know that doesn't help, but can't control the anxiety - even the lexapro isn't helping right now. Been over an hour since I took the pain pills & they haven't kicked in at all this time. Typing this thru tears - locked the office door so no one comes in. Need to calm myself down, but it's so hard. How long can I endure this?

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Naomi, Yes, absolutely you should tell a parent about this, and go to the doctor. Most likely, you have a UTI that can be treated with antibiotics. After that you will probably be fine.

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      Rachel 3 months ago

      Sherry, thank you for your kind words, and cw/me... thank you for your input! The thing is... I don't think that I even ever had a UTI since all my urine cultures have tested negatives..., but perhaps I had some minor irritation that was exacerbated by the nitrofurantoin, and maybe that irritation coincided with taking the azithromycin for my other problem. I've been off both antibiotics for almost two weeks now, though, and haven't seen any improvement in my symptoms. I'm seeing a urogynocologist tomorrow and will definitely bring up the possibility of a bad reaction to either the antibiotic or to stopping my birth control pill. Again, thanks so much...

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      Naomi 3 months ago

      I'm a 16 year old girl and yesterday I started to feel some of these symptoms. I've started to feel the urge to pee around every ten minutes and when I'm not peeing I just have this really uncomfortable feeling. However when I do pee I get this sort of spasm in my pelvis that is really painful for just a few seconds.

      I'm not quite sure what to do? Should I tell someone about this? Should I see my doctor? Is there anything I can just fix myself?

      Thank you x

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Cece - when my urologist told me I had bladder spam, my only symptom was extreme frequency and urgency. Like I was going to the bathroom every ten minutes, and in between I could barely stand it.

      As you said though, it varied. If I was on a long car ride, I could hold it for a couple of hours. If I was busy and distracted I could too. Distraction is great, if you can find something to take your mind off of it.

      The urethra is very sensitive, I think the nerves just get really overstimulated. Yes, that can really drive you up the wall. Use an ice pack for that, it has somewhat of a numbing effect. That, and try to relax all those muscles around it. Everything around that area gets so tense and overstimulated.

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      Cece 3 months ago

      This is an amazing article, thank you so much for writing such comforting advice.

      I'm 28 and in April this year I got my first ever UTI. I had never once had an issue with my bladder before this. The bacteria was Enterococcus. Twice I was given antibiotics it wasn't sensitive to. Once the correct type but not for long enough, and a hellish week of Nitrofurantoin that it was sensitive to but just plain didn't work. Eventually a two week course of something else cleared the bacteria.

      Every few days I was phoning my GP, pleading for some relief. I genuinely thought I was going insane, I even phoned the Samaritans in a complete crisis. I last took antibiotics a month ago. 4/5 urine cultures all clear. Ultrasounds, scans, extensive blood work all clear too.

      I have been going out of my mind thinking that the infection hasn't actually cleared, or that I'm reinfected, have IC, other horrible things, you name it. I am still at my wits end but comforted by this.

      Why do doctors seem to discount the fact that severe inflammation after a UTI is possible - this one page is testament to it!

      I had been trying to follow the IC diet, but truth be told I have been a bit rubbish. I will make a real conscious effort to start tomorrow. Although I already don't drink coffee or alcohol, I do have one tea in the morning!

      I couldn't find this already asked - I am taking Cranberry supplements as advised by the GP to try to prevent another infection. Is this as irritating as the juice?

      Can anyone also explain bladder spasms to me please? From other things I have read, the bladder spasming seems to be the urge to need to go, but I seem to be getting spasms in my urethra, almost like electric shocks that go right through me. I have also had hellish pelvic and lower back pain through all of this. Frequency, urgency, and pain when my bladder is full.

      My frequency is very interchangeable. There was a day recently where I was busy and it had been 7 hours! Then days like today where (not so busy) and I need to go almost every hour/2 hours. I also feel worse in the morning and during the day, then evening and night time symptoms normally feel better. I'm not sure if that's because I become a bit more relaxed.

      Anyway, sorry for the essay, it feels good to get that all off my chest though :)

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      MSL 3 months ago

      Thank you for all the great information. I am currently struggling with a month of various antibiotics that have still yet to cure my UTI. Along the way I have managed to irritate my bladder and definitely have a sore pelvis. Very frustrating. I want to mention that I tried D-Mannose. The claims are wildly optimistic and it did not help me at all. Too bad. I am planning to try a little baking soda. At this point I am still hoping for an antibiotic that will work. Macrobid and Cipro barely kept it at bay but never cured me. By the way, I have yet to notice any direct correlations to any foods. Thanks again.

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      cw/me Thanks for coming back to add your wisdom.

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      cw/me 3 months ago

      for Rachel - you may be reacting to Macrobid. In my case, after two UTI's, my illness followed the same trajectory. Infection went away but pain became extreme after staying on the antibiotic for one week last year. The pain lasted eight months and I still had not completely recovered from it when another UTI was diagnosed last week. I took the Macrobid four times, and after the fourth dose 2 days later, was in excruciating pain, knowing immediately the Macrobid was causing inflammation, NOT the UTI because after a couple of days on antiobiotic, your UTI symptoms typically get better, rather than worse. I called the dr. to say I was stopping Macrobid and he agreed, and I'm finally getting relief again. For people like me with sudden chronic bladder inflammation, antibiotics can absolutely cause more inflammation and make the pain worse. Unfortunately, all the dr's I've spoken to are absolutely clueless about inflammation of the bladder and patients are simply left to find their own solutions.

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Rachel - I'm so sorry you are having these awful symptoms. You are in good company. You have read my best advice in the article. Use my first aid tips, and then look at your diet. What did you eat when you felt better? What did you eat when you felt worse. I'm sorry, but there is no magic bullet for this, and changing what you eat and drink is essential. If you need more input than this, read through the comments. Plenty here speak with the voice of experience.

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      Rachel 3 months ago

      Hi everyone, I am a 21 year old female experiencing some bad urinary tract and/or bladder symptoms. If anybody could provide some insight as to what may be causing my symptoms, I would be so grateful. I have been in awful discomfort and really want to obtain some relief...

      For the past year, I was dealing with monthly recurring oral lesions that I had seen countless doctors about. On May 28th, I decided to stop taking my birth control pill (Trinessa 28) to see if this had any effect on my problem. Finally, on May 31st, a test I had done came back positive for both Bartonella bacteria (a tick borne bacteria) and staph infection. My doctor put me on azithromycin 500mg daily for 30 days to treat me. Meanwhile, he also put me on 50,000 IU Vitamin D once a week as my blood work indicated I was quite Vitamin D deficient.

      On June 7, however, I started feeling symptoms of what I thought was a UTI. Frequency, burning in the urethra (but NOT during the actual urination), and a constant feeling of needing to go. I have had a few UTIs in the past and was sure I was experiencing one again. I saw my primary care physician on Friday, June 9th, and she prescribed me Macrobid twice daily for a week prior to obtaining my urine culture results, because she didn't want me to suffer through the weekend if it was a UTI. On Sunday, I actually had some pretty intense but brief pain in my right back and side under my ribcage which subsided. By Monday, my symptoms were worse and my doctor ordered an ultrasound to check for stones - but I couldn't get an appointment until that Friday. Monday night I was in such bad discomfort that I went to the ER. At the ER, I had a urine culture, kidney related blood work and CBC, bladder scan, kidney ultrasound, and pelvic exam. Everything came back normal, but I was treated for Diflucan for yeast 'just in case'. They took a vaginal culture too, which ended up coming back normal. They sent me home to follow up with a gynecologist and urologist.

      I saw my gynecologist that Wednesday, and she said my ovaries felt fine and my exam seemed normal with no sign of yeast. She also looked at my vaginal mucous under a microscope. She gave me 5 days worth of Uribel and sent me to a urologist.

      By Saturday night (June 17th), my symptoms seemed to spontaneously heal after a rough afternoon. I noticed afterwards that I was still waking up earlier than I normally would every morning to urinate, but this was certainly bearable. I still went to the urologist on the next Monday, and he sent me home and told me to return if my symptoms returned. I was so happy, until June 31st when the symptoms did return.

      I went back to my urologist and he ordered a CT scan stat, which I had done on July 7th, and came back negative for anything irregular, including stones. He says the next step is a cystoscopy.

      At this point I really want to figure out what's wrong. I've done a lot of research and have made a few hypotheses... could stopping the birth control pill have caused me to get interstitial cystitis (FYI; just for my period on July 5th since stopping the pill)? I've seen some posts online that indicate some people have maybe made this connection. I've also seen that Vitamin D toxicity can cause some of my symptoms, but I don't think I took enough to experience toxicity. Could this just be some sort of reaction to the azithromycin course?

      I've noticed that my symptoms are usually less severe in the morning and early afternoon, but by late afternoon/early evening I sometimes am urinating every 20 minutes. Later at night usually isn't as bad either. This second time around has been better in terms of waking up at night to go, but I still wake up 2 or 3 times a night (which is not a big deal at all compared to what I deal with during the day). If anyone had any insight, I would be so thankful...

      An overview of dates:

      STOPPED TRINESSA: May 28 - took for 3 years, no sexual activity since stopping

      AZITHROMYCIN: May 31-June 29

      VITAMIN D: May 31, June 8, 15, 22, and 29 - stopped for now

      SYMPTOMS: June 7-17 and June 31-present

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      Misar 3 months ago

      I suffered almost nonstop for 4 months this January after having a UTI that came back. I took a long antibiotic dose and it came back a week later and 3 antibiotics later I noticed the urethral discomfort. I blame and still blame the antibiotics messing up my gut, urinalysis from general, gyno and uro came clear. I did get a scan on my kidneys and they found a tiny stone. After messing with diet I have discovered that oxalate rich foods mess me up in a couple of hours. I have 100% gotten rid of chocolate which has made a world of difference. Large amounts of spinach and nuts will set me back too and unfortunately blueberry's have been spiking symptoms. I have also resorted to taking probiotics with specific oxalate eating strains.

      I just recently got a flare and I am trying to figure out what caused it, but doing my diet has left me in a much much bearable state for the last two months.

      Soda also bothers me.

      When it was at its worst I was prescribed elavil which helped me sleep, for a while it was so bad that I could only sleep every other night because I was exhausted from not sleeping the night before. I did stop elavil two months ago so I know it was not that that gave me the two glorious months of no uncomfortable urethra.

      My current flare is not nearly as bad as the beginning. I do sometimes wonder of this oxalate thing is causing tiny sand in my kidneys that is abrasive. The ultrasound would not have caught anything like that. If I do not pee for long amounts of time (if I forget to hydrate myself for a few hours) it hurts less. Also being constipated makes it twice as miserable.

      Anyway I figured I would share this because I spent an absurd amount of hours when I couldn't sleep googling my symptoms and going through forums trying anything anyone said would help (cranberry, d mannose, probiotics, vitamin d, milk thistle, meditation, diet elimination, etc.) But in the end it was focusing on my body and writing down basically a crime report (antibiotics!) The symptoms when they disappeared or lessened what did I eat that did not flare them, etc. I feel better in the mornings worse if I don't sleep a lot. Get a notebook or write it in your calendar how you feel every day, if you suspect something food wise eliminate it and eat strictly things you ate on days when you felt better and nothing changed. If you start narrowing down on a culprit (my first was chocolate) see roughly how many hours after you start feeling weird. I also noticed that If I drink a lot of water with my meals I am less likely to flare.

      It is still a nightmare, and I am not healed yet but I feel so much better than I did 6 months ago where I was just in excruciating discomfort.

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      cw/me 3 months ago

      Okay, I'm now back on Macrobid and this UTI and inflammation nightmare is happening all over again. I ordered a supplement called d-mannose, the key ingredient in cranberry juice that research suggests can prevent UTI's. I bought the powder form, which delivers the benefits of cranberry juice without the acidity. D-mannose is supposedly helpful in preventing UTI's by flushing bacteria out of the bladder. Anyone ever tried this with good results? thanks

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I hope they help too laurafhl. It's so frustrating how long it takes to inch your way through the medical system, and then your appointment finally comes and it's postponed!

      If you need more suggestions, read through the comments. Their is lots of good advice here.

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      laurafhl 3 months ago

      I started getting UTI's on a fairly regular basis around 4 years ago. In the last 6 months I have had 4 UTI's that were positive from urinalysis. I have also had blood in my urine (1+) for at least three of these years even without infection.. I just finished a round of antibiotics about a week ago, they did a test to see which would be the best. I was fine until today.. The same urgency is back and the discomfort when I pee.. Like last time I am peeing every hour or two. I don't look forward to tonight when I know I will be up and down all night. I'm very frustrated. Had an appointment with Urologist on the 29 of last month but she had to reschedule because of emergency surgery.. Been delayed now until the 8th of August.. I absolutely hate the thought of calling my regular doctor once again so say that the symptoms are back after only a week without antibiotics.. Just needed to vent.. I'm going to try some of your suggestions.. Hope they help!!

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      cw/me 3 months ago

      Hey, I'm checking in after several months to say that I've been so much better with only occasional flareups of abdominal pain and tingling, triggered by the new foods or supplements I'm always adding in after a year of recovery from post UTI bladder inflammation. So the other day I got a routine urine culture and was horrified to hear that I now have another "small" UTI, which is what caused my 9 months of bladder pain hell in the first place. That plus the antibiotic Macrobid caused pain that was extremely severe because it horribly inflamed my bladder. I can't imagine ever going through something like that again. The dr. said just leave it alone if it is not causing symptoms, which is really hard to gauge because I always have at least mild symptoms of inflammation which I've now had for a year, that are progressively improving. In the last six months, I've added a number of different foods extremely cautiously, one at a time, and feel almost normal.

      This news has been a big blow. I will refill the Rx for Macrobid and wait and see if it clears up because it is supposedly a small UTI; but these can grow rapidly in no time. I am in permenopause and this is my second one in about a year after a lifetime not getting them, which is unfortunately common. For all of you in permenopause who are going through this, it can reoccur regardless of the precautions you might be taking against it, as I've already learned.

      The first thing I'm doing is getting right back on the 64 ounce of water a day to hopefully flush the bacteria out, and get the Rx filled and just keep it in the house if it becomes obvious the discomfort I am feeling is actually a UTI and not merely bladder inflammation. It's a terrible place to be in, since if I decide to take the medicine I could easily be causing a lot of extreme pain from added inflammation that the antibiotics cause, yet if it is a UTI, the bacteria can be fast at work growing and destroying the bladder lining I just spent a year trying to recover.

      Let me also say that not eating isn't an option. For eight months I hardy ate anything and I lost about 10 lbs and all the elasticity in my arms about 5 months after the infection, leaving deep creasing and wrinkling and sagging arms which some plastic surgeons said was due to the rapid weight loss and my age, 52, the skin couldn't recoil. It was actually trying to feed off itself to get the nutrients and protein needed. The problem is so severe I need to work out every day and eat very high protein, yet it will likely require plastic surgery to tighten both arms. So my advice is if this should happen to you, try to eat as much high protein food as this seems well tolerated. I was a vegetarian for many years and recently began eating tuna fish packed in water and am now probably going to start eating turkey, so if heaven forbid this terrible disease attacks my body again, I can protect my skin from getting any worse.

      IMO, Sherry is right in that taking an antibiotic can worsen symptoms; however, if you have an infection causing symptoms it can quickly damage your bladder so there is no choice other than to take the full course. After that I recommend a urine culture about a month later and periodic cultures after that to ensure that the UTI has not returned. And water, water, water every. Nothing acidic and never drink cranberry juice. Some seemingly harmless foods like bananas, yougurt, walnuts that I used to eat every day contain blends of amino acids are known to damage the lining of an already compromised bladder, something I learned the hard way. Everyone is going to be different so cautious experimentation, one new food (or supplement) at a time given at least 1-2 weeks to clear as "safe", is my suggestion.

      Best wishes to all; I hope you understand you are not alone, and this nightmare not only can be managed, for most people it can also be overcome. Some of us just need to be a little more vigilant when we know we are at a risk for recurring UTIs.

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      Sherry Hewins 3 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Antibiotics do worsen symptoms in some people. Sometimes a change to a different antibiotic can help. If your symptoms are worse since taking the medicine, consult you doctor. The main problem I had with antibiotics was just that it just didn't make it better, plus I got a yeast infection which didn't help things. I hope you feel better and are able to enjoy your holiday.

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      Amy 3 months ago

      Hi I've been suffering with irritable bladder and urethra for 3 months now and I saw a urologist who has put me on a strong course of antibiotics even though no infection is present. Did you say this worsened your symptoms? If so, in what way ?

      I'm due to go on holiday next week and I don't know what to do with these awful symptoms that won't go away :-(

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      nic 3 months ago

      Hi. Thank you Sherry for so much advice. I've suffered with IC/cystitis all my life. Had the camera inside and seen top urologist who found no medical cause. I do know that wine coffee stuff with msg in it makes me worse. I use cystopurin/baking soda/water/hot water bottle and hot baths/paracetomol and ibubrofen - funny enough antihistamines work too. But, I find I get so depressed with it. Right now I just feel that it is ruining my life. I took a xanax just now to hopefully make me sleep but sometimes i feel if it is there in the morning then i dont want to wake up :-(

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      Sherry Hewins 4 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Katerina, Once your bladder is already irritated, it can be hard to tell what foods are irritating it. You could try eliminating the most common irritants for a few weeks and see if that helps. If that's too much for you, maybe you should try taking Prelief before meals. If that works, it would be a good clue that your symptoms are food-related.

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      Katerina 4 months ago

      Hi everyone. I am 19 years old and have had some sort of bladder pain since I was 15. At first it did seem to be UTIs but then recently in April I had symptoms lasting for weeks. I went to the ER 2-3 times in the course of 3 weeks and they kept giving me different antibiotics. I then went to a female np working in a urology department. After looking at my cultures from most of my visits to the ER throughout the years she found that many of those tests came back negative, no UTI. There was one case in April but once that cleared there were no more. She told me about IC and about general bladder spasms. Prior to this visit I had already known about IC due to my own research and began trying to correlate foods with my flare ups. Unfortunately, I still can't find anything food wise that causes the flare ups. They seem to be more random. Over the last week I began to notice something. I take Ritalin as needed for my ADD especially when I go to school since I cannot focus. This last week I began summer classes. I also began retaking (after a month of not using) the Ritalin. I also noticed that my flare ups became more frequent. I then realized during finals and tests I was taking Ritalin and that's when I had my surge. This round the spasms were so terrible that on the way home I peed my pants, I simply could not control it. For now I'm on Toviaz, a bladder spasm medication. I was on Detrol for a month but it was too expensive for me. The Toviaz (and Detrol) doesn't get rid of spasms and pain completely. I take it daily so it helps reduce the amount to 1 a week and when I do get a flare up I take the medicine and it tends to ease the pain to a more functional amount. Tomorrow I will be calling the np and updating her on this. Hopefully that is one of my triggers that I can remove. I will also be starting pelvic floor physical therapy and hope that it will help as well.

      Thank you all for sharing your experiences and advice. I decided to share mine in case that helps anyone. I plan to update when I know more.

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      Sherry Hewins 4 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Megan, that sounds absolutely awful! I don't know if what you have is exactly what I experienced. Most of us haven't had it as children. Still, I understand your distress, and I am very pleased if you can find some help or encouragement here.

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      Megan 4 months ago

      Thank you SO MUCH for this article! I've been suffering since I was 5, now 24. They never gave me that scope he did a kidney scope and decided I was fine, switched docs they said over active bladder, their meds didn't help. Got ANOTHER doctor who said the meds the other doc had me on was for elderly people and suggested dialysis so I never went back, and still get them from time to time, nobody ever understands my pain! so I'm very grateful for your remedies and suggestions!

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      Sherry Hewins 4 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Kim, I'm so glad my remedies helped you. Good luck with your recovery.

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      Kim 4 months ago

      Hi Sherry - Thanks so much for your valuable words of advice and experience! I started the baking soda last night and it wasn't as bad tasting as I expected. During the evening I wore a pad (keep them on hand for my 13 yr old niece) so I would feel more confident in trying to relax those muscles (in case of leakage). I also put a cold compress "down there" and fell asleep with it there. I woke about 6am and that horrible feeling wasn't there! It's back now, but not quite as severe. I had 2 whole waking hours this morning with relief. I took some more baking soda before breakfast and put the cold compresses in the fridge to be ready when I get home from work! The light at the end of this long tunnel is becoming visible. Thank you to everyone who posted their experiences. It means so much to know I am not alone in this because family and close friends I've shared this with have never had this problem and cannot understand.

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      Sherry Hewins 4 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Kim, I was in peri-menopause when my problems started, so I do not doubt that had something to do with it. However, just because you are now in menopause does not mean there are no further effect from your hormone fluctuations. As my urologist told me himself, these symptoms are common, and not easily understood. They can be caused by a variety of factors, making them hard to diagnose. As several people have pointed out in the comments section, bladder irritation can continue for weeks after a bladder infection is gone.

      I have given you my best advice as far as diet and supplements go. Also the importance of relaxing those muscles cannot be overstated. Take some baking soda and have a hot bath. Don't strain when you go to the bathroom. When you go to bed, take a cold compress to put between your legs. (I used some ice cubes wrapped up in a wet washcloth inside a zip-lock bag.

      I do understand the word torturous, and it is not too strong a word. I hope you are feeling better soon. You have many sister who have been down the same road.

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      Kim 4 months ago

      I'm so glad to hear others are experiencing what I am right now. About 3 weeks ago I noticed my urine was solid red. Went to urgent care and was told I had a UTI & was given Bactrim for 7 days. I had no other symptoms with this UTI - amazingly. Two days after finishing the bactrim, I had sudden flank pain and immediately thought it was a kidney stone (had one 2 years ago). The pain lasted about 3 hours, then suddenly stopped. My urine was red again. I went back to the urgent care and the culture showed I still had the UTI (e-coli bacteria) and was given cipro. Finished that med a week ago today. Well, 14 days ago (while still on the cipro) I awoke to that horrible feeling of urgency. Like I need to tinkle in the worst way NON-STOP! It won't go away. I had this years ago when I entered peri-menopause and like one other post I read, the ER doc gave me Xanax to calm me down because after 2 months I was literally losing it from being so miserable. I am now taking half a xanax tablet at night to calm myself enough to go to sleep and have gotten back on lexapro to help my anxiety level - which is thru the roof with this constant miserable feeling. I sit here at work trying not to cry - while running down the hall to the bathroom constantly. I will try the baking soda as soon as I get home today. I am desperate for this horrible feeling to STOP! I cannot live like this. When this occurred before I went to a urologist, who put me thru a ton of tests (including the cystoscopy - boy was that awful!) - all of which found NOTHING! They gave me lots of different pills to try, but nothing worked. It finally went away on its own after getting on the xanax and lexapro - my ob/gyn said it was probably perimenopausal related due to fluctuating hormones & chemical imbalance. Whatever. I'm 2 years post-menopausal now so this happening again must be related to the bad UTI I just had. My urine has been clear for a week now so the infection has to be gone. Just don't know why this torturous (and that is not an exaggeration!) urgency won't go away!!

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      Sherry Hewins 4 months ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Shabba, The IC diet does not recommend vinegar, as it is acidic. I can't argue with success though, I'm glad you are feeling better.