As you explore treatments with your physician, you’ll also be exploring self-help strategies that you can use at home to reduce and, ideally, eliminate your symptoms! In fact, it’s often the little, daily things that you can do at home that make a world of a difference in easing your discomfort, relaxing your muscles, calming your spirit and finding hope in the confusion of a new diagnosis. We’ve created an extensive self-help section that is worth exploring in depth. Even the most traditional medical organization, the American Urological Association, suggests that patients explore self-help methods in Step One of their treatment guidelines. Why? Because they work.
Personal Self-Help Strategies
There is no doubt that many patients struggle to receive health care and each country faces its own unique challenges. If you live in a country with socialized medicine (i.e. Canada, UK, many european countries), it may takes months to see a specialist and many treatments may not be authorized and/or available. If you live in a country where medicine is “for profit,” such as the USA, finding health insurance and/or paying for medical care and treatment can be a burden. For USA based patients, here are some resources that may help.
The ICN has an extensive “Living With IC” Video series that you can watch to help learn more about managing IC/BPS.
- Managing Interstitial Cystitis Flares – Learn To Identify The Different Types of Flares
- How to Tell The Difference: An IC Flare vs UTI
- The Estrogen Chat For Women With IC/BPS – Estrogen plays a large role in the health of the bladder trigone and urethra. Learn what happens when estrogen levels drop and what you can do to help your bladder and other mucus membrane organs stay healthy.
- Exercise and Interstitial Cystitis – You CAN exercise when you have IC, the secret is to do exercises which keep the hips level and don’t jar the bladder.
- IC, IBS, Constipation and Soluble Fiber – Constipation is well known to irritate our already tender bladders, how soluble vs. insoluble fibers are more gentle and IBS friendly.
- Making Sitting More Comfortable – Sitting is often difficult for IC patients from a tender urethra, pelvic floor muscles, prostate, vulva or rectum. Learn how to select a cushion that can help you sit more comfortably.
- Restroom Access and IC – Worried about restroom access? ICN Jill shares tips on how to locate safe restrooms in your community.
- Do Feminine Hygiene Products Irritate? – You aren’t alone if you are sensitive to many common pads and tampons. We share some products that you might find more comfortable.
- Summer Vacation Tips for IC’ers – Would you like to take a vacation with your family?? Are you dreading a car or plane trips? Jill shares some tips on how to first select and then enjoy a family holiday. You do NOT have to stay home!
- Couples Communication: A Self Help Tip – Couples can struggle when either partner is diagnosed with a chronic condition. Learn some solid couples communication strategies and tips!
- Facing The Holidays With A New Diagnosis of IC – If you’re newly diagnosed, take heart. With just a little preparation, you can enjoy the holidays even with a tender bladder!
- Holiday Coping Strategies