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  1. #1
    ICN Founder icnmgrjill's Avatar
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    Mar 2000

    One theory for IC - dry bladder?

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    Okay.. so as I was laying in bed last night I noticed that the roof of my mouth was very dry and tender and I know exactly why. The night before I had a big nasal drip from allergies and sucked on some ricola cough drops to calm my throat down. I don't know about you, but I find that if I use too many throat lozenges or cough drops, that my mouth eventually rebels and gets sore. The lozenges seem to eat away and effect the mucous.. giving me a weeks worth of dry, irritable skin tenderness until it can grow back. And the mucuous DOES come back. But, isn't that interesting. Anyone else experience this?

    Now doesn't that make you naturally wonder about the bladder.. which also has an essential mucous layer.. aka the GAG layer. We call it the mighty mucous because it keeps the irritants found in urine from reaching the bladder wall where they can cause irritation. But, if the mucous in the bladder or vagina or vulva or rectum is missing... whammo... instant skin irritation. I mean yikes.. a dry vagina makes for painful sex and a dry rectum makes for agonizing bowel movements. Ick!

    Isn't it possible that there are things in our diet which slowly strip and degrade the mucous in our bodies, including the bladder?? Obviously high acid or alkaline foods could. The one time I tried to drink an alkaline water, it stripped all the mucous from my mouth. Awful sensation. And then, as the mucous layer.. that nice protective lipid (oil) layer deteriorates.. the underlying skin cells are exposed and become more inflamed. I would be a fool, for example, to use my mouthwash today because it would certainly make my dry mouth sting.

    After 17 long years in the IC movement and having spoken with thousands of patients, I DO THINK that there are some patients whose IC is simply the result of a terrible diet... especially those who are addicted to diet cokes, mountain dews, coffees and, more recently, the powerfully acidic green teas. I think that drinking large quantities of any highly acidic or alkaline drinks strips mucuous. I guess we could test that theory by asking soda drinkers if they have a dry mouth, dry throat, sensitive stomach.. and perhaps a sensitive bladder.. because it may be that the bladder is the last to show any damage. I'll ask a family member, who was addicted to soda for almost 30 years. He finally gave it up in his 50s after developing a wicked case of GERD, esophageal spasms, chest pain and headaches.

    But, honestly, look at someone in their 40's who has IC and admits to being a junk drink junkie. They almost always also have GERD and other stomach issues. Not sure about the dry mouth, but GERD is prevalent. I wonder if diabetics experience some bladder problems in their later years not because of the diabetes but because of the large quantities of artificial sugars they consume.. some of which are metabolized into strong acidic byproducts, such as aspartame.

    And, of course, we must consider the fact that the human body is composed of water.. not soda.. not acid.. but water. It needs water to function normally. Soda or coffee do not and cannot support the human body the way that a glass of water does. When we deprive the body of normal amounts of water, how does it respond?? Skin and eyes becomes drier, stools become harder... etc. etc.

    Just a thought that rambled through my brain this morning as I sip on water to deal with this icky dry mouth.

    Last edited by icnmgrjill; 04-15-2010 at 06:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    ICN Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hi Jill,

    I suffer bad bouts of nocturia & after a few hours of sleeping & not drinking water, bladder discomfort wakes me up. I noticed quite some time ago that a few sips of water offers relief so I do think might be something to your AM thoughts.

    To push this line of thought: so many people take more & different rx drugs than in the past & "dryness" can be a side-effect altho one that's not often mentioned. After all, drugstore now sell products specifically to help people suffering from dry mouth. Maybe the rise in IC might even be related to all the drugs people are given in recent years?

    Maybe a wild thought...or maybe not that wild.

    I'd love to hear your & other opinions.
    Last edited by Systitis; 04-15-2010 at 07:11 AM.

  3. #3
    ICN Member Charisse's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Santa Rosa, California
    Very interesting because that's how my bladder feels after I take anthistamines.. especially Atarax. It feels DRY. I am an ex-diet soda/coffee addict and I also ate a lot of acidic things by nature such as vinegars, fruits, tomato sauces. I also have GERD but I had that even before I had a crappy diet. I think my body had an over response to stress in my life to the point where I developed an anxiety disorder and my stomah dstarted pumping out massive amounts of acid in the process which ruined my stomach first and now my bladder.
    The combo of things that brought me out of remission were artificial sweetners, liquid vitamins with citric acid, tight pants, lower body workouts and stopping all my allergy meds cold turkey during height of allergy season. I wish I knew back then what I know now about IC
    First IC symptoms Spring of 2000; In-office cystoscopy 2002 -negative; Remission until 2007 (yeah!!); Negative PST spring of 2007; IC diagnosed via Cystoscopy and Hydrodistention 7/24/07; Another In-office cystoscopy 4/9/10 with biopsy showed inflammation
    Treatments for my IC/PFD: Elmiron 400 mg per day; walking, Zyrtec, Claritin, Singulair, Neurontin 100 mg per day; Ice packs and laying down; About to try Cytotec
    Tried and Failed: Heat (always makes me worse!), Heparin instills -too painful for my urethra; Atarax (interfered with my quality of sleep first time, second time dried my bladder out; Elavil makes me sick, lidocaine patches (just plain don't work), Cystoprotek (only tried a couple months but didn't seem to do much), Aloe Vera caps, pelvic floor therapy, trigger point work flared me worse, Lyrica (bad stomach pain)
    Other Diagnoses: PFD 2009; Fibromyalgia 2006, Osteopenia 2012, GERD 2006, Gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying) Anxiety: Other medications: Ambien, Dexilant, Ibuprofren, Necon 1/35, Voltaren gel for tailbone
    BABY GIRL 10/28/08 *** BABY BOY 7/8/11

  4. #4
    ICN Member
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    May 2009
    Definitely a valid point to think about. I drank a tonne of coffee before I realized I had IC - on average at least 5 or 6 cups a day? I also drank a lot of tea on top of that.

    I also tend to be more of a high strung person who doesn't react to stress very well i.e. I was stressed out a lot of the time before my IC diagnosis. Not sure how this relates to acid in my bladder, but it can't be good for your body overall!

  5. #5
    ICN Member Cassaundra's Avatar
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    May 2009

    I do believe my IC started because of my lifestyle.

    I was going to school fulltime, working fulltime, not exercising, a mt. dew and tea junkie and pizza and junk food junkie. Not a good combination. I have always been GO GO GO and I think that it eventually caught up with me.

    I have told my husband that I think God gave me this disease so that I may slow down and enjoy life instead of being so driven. And while I have some very painful chronic diseases, I am grateful for the life that I have. And that I now stop and smell the roses.

    21 year old female. Diagnosed as of November 2008 with onset of symptoms.

    I am currently diagnosed with IC, PFD, endometriosis, asthma, and vulvodynia/contact dermititis, IBS, and fibromyalgia.


    -Amitryptyline 10 mg

    -Neurontin (in place of lyrica because I can't afford it- lol) 300 mg x3 a day
    Flexeril. 10 mg. As needed.
    First laparoscopy showed moderate to severe endo

  6. #6
    ICN Member nottoc4's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    There is no doubt that not enough water causes me to have IC symptoms of urgency,unable to start a stream or get it to continue once started.I also get burning of the tissues of the vagina.
    I discovered this about a month ago because I was having problem and my husband said I wasn't drinking the amout of water that I used to. He was right. The situation righted itself within hours when I drank lots of water and flushed my system.
    Now I take a bottle of water with me whenever we leave the house and constantly sip on water at home.
    I can usually wait to go pee for3 to 4 hours without any urgency or discomfort.
    I wish I could do that at night!

  7. #7
    ICN Staff ICNDonna's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
    I know that diet sodas can rebound and cause more thirst. So they must have a drying effect. Lately when I'm really thirsty, I have been drinking icy cold water, then melting the ice in my mouth. The ice seems to quench my thirst.

    Have you checked the ICN Shop? for US & Canada for all others

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  8. #8
    ICN Member
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    Sep 2008
    I just wanna state that I used to drink plenty of Coke. In fact, I got on the USS Vulcan, a ship that has been out of commission for many years now, back in 1987. Ok. I could buy a soda onboard for .35. Yep! It went up to .40 later on. Oh! I was called the Coca Cola kid a few times because I would be seen with a can of Coke often enough. I had slowed down by the time that I was diagnosed 10 years later with IC. (went on board in September 87 and got diagnosed September 97) Ok. I just started urinating more often. (out of the blue) I have wondered if all the Coke may have contributed because Coke can clean battery corrosion off of a car battery. Wow! Geez! I don't drink Coke any longer. I don't recall soda leaving me with a dry throat. Maybe so. I do have allergy symptoms often enough. I could be better right now. Yep!
    Last edited by statesboro; 04-16-2010 at 05:08 PM.

  9. #9
    ICN Member nottoc4's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    I drank a lot of regular Pepsi up until 20 years ago. I was always a big coffee drinker and started using Sweet and Low about 20 years ago in my coffee.

  10. #10
    ICN Member futurehope's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Baltimore, Maryland

    Sjogren's Syndrome maybe?

    I agree that for some people a poor diet can create issues.

    But I wanted to throw out the idea that maybe an autoimmune disease, like Sjogren's Syndrome can cause the "dry" mucous membranes. Obviously, if more than one body system is dry, you have to look at the bigger picture.
    Diagnoses: Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (2012),Interstitial Cystitis (2003), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia (2003), GERD (since ?), IBS (since ?), Low Blood Volume (2006), Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (2007)

    Claritin 10 mg/AM for MCAS and allergies
    Aciphex 20 mg in PM for GERD
    Zantac 75 mg, one at night for MCAS and GERD
    Singulair 10 mg in AM, for MCAS & allergies
    Zyrtec 5 mg/PM for MCAS and allergies

    Non-Medicinal Helps:
    glucosamine 500mg/MSM 500mg 2 X/day
    I avoid foods that I react to in my esophagus, bowel and bladder, and I react to many things. It is an imperfect method, but it is all that I do at the moment.

    I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phillipians 4:13)

  11. #11
    ICN Member MaryMcE's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I was never a big soda drinker, but I do buy into the dry bladder theory. I was on a BCP that, in hindsight, was too low in estrogen for my body. All the estrogen was sucked out of me after 8 months on this pill, and everything (bladder/ uterus etc) dried out so badly that I developed a bladder infection. The antibiotics were too strong for my poor dried out bladder and burned the crap out of it. At least that is my theory on how this whole mess started. Wish I could turn back the clock

  12. #12
    ICN Member lonen86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I totally think diet sodas caused my IC . I loved my diet pepsi and would drink only that and no water all day . I still love diet pepsi but no longer drink it and I have no more IC pain.

    Current Meds
    Elmiron 300mg tid
    Elavil 25mg at hs
    Atarax 50mg bid
    Tramacet as needed
    Vitamin D 2000 iu bid
    Gabapentin 300mg tid
    Uracyst instillatons one a month

  13. #13
    ICN Member
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    Jul 2005
    about 20 miles outside Dallas, TX
    I am with the person that suggested Sjorgren's - that seems like what you are describing on a body wide level. I think when push comes to shove there is a lot of linkage among auto-immune diseases and what happens when the body attacks itself. I remember learning awhile back that one of the biggest causes of fatigue is NOT ENOUGH water. So I try hard to get enough water - plain ole water. It does help the fatigue. But I have to do it everyday so my body gets used to it or TOO MANY trips to the bathroom.
    Currently dealing with IC (diagnosed May 2001), Fibromyalgia (January 2000) and ADHD (1998 sometime) and vulvodynia (Jan. 08)

    I work in the schools helping students with disabilities. I am a speech language pathologist working as an Assistive Technology Specialist. A very do-able job with IC.


    Meds that I take:
    Elmiron 2 x day ; Effexor XR 37.5 ; Ritalin;
    Nasonex; Atarax 10 mg (night); Lidocaine 5%; monthly B-12 shots; Pyridium as needed

    Meds I am trying

    Supplements that help:

    Condroitin Sulfate; Calcium Citrate; Magnesium Glycinate; Olive Leaf Extract; daily probiotic

    Other treatments that help:
    Physical Therapy for PFD; Massage for Fibro; Chiropractic for Fibro; IF Unit (like a tens unit) for pain

  14. #14
    ICN Member LithEruiel's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I was thinking Sjogren's too when I read this. My mouth is dry probably most of the day. I think I'm probably the only person I know that drinks "enough" water...but it's because I'm so thirsty. I hope I don't end up with Sjogren's...

    I never drank water, except for taking pills until I was like 19ish. Now I drink a ton of it. But a lot of people drink pop all day and no water, eat terrible food, or drink a lot of alcohol (that has to be very drying) and don't have IC.

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