Natural, OTC Supplements Suggested For Bladder Health
In 2011, the leading urology association in the world, the American Urological Association (auanet.org), published their first Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of IC/BPS. Using a six step treatment protocol, they encouraged patients to start with Step One (self-help strategies, diet modification and OTC nutraceuticals) BEFORE proceeding to Step Two, Three, Four and so forth. Why? Self-help strategies have few side effects, are far more affordable and are well known to improve bladder symptoms and quality of life. In the IC and pelvic pain courses offered at the national AUA conference, several supplements are often recommended to physicians to discuss and/or share with their patients.
Key Ingredients to Look For
- Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) – Pain reducing effect in IC patients. Found in Bladder Builder, PEAORA & AloePath.
- Chondroitin Sulfate – Bladder coating effect. One study released in 2020 found that chondroitin was the most effective at restoring the superficial integrity of the bladder wall. Chondroitin has been used in bladder instillations for years, in both UraCyst® and IaLuril®. Found in Bladder Builder, Bladder Rest, Cystoprotek, CystoMend & Cysto Renew
- Sodium Hyaluronate – Bladder coating effect. Hyaluronate has also bee used for years in bladder instillations, in both Cystistat® and IaLuril®. Found in CystoProtek.
- Quercetin – Is believed to have an antihistaminic effect and has been used in almost every urinary supplement produced in the past two decades. Avoid “citrus” bioflavonoids. Look for bioflavonoids derived from the saphora plant. Found in Bladder Builder, Bladder Rest, CystoMend, CystoProtek, Cysto Renew
- Aloe – has a calming and soothing effect to the urinary tract though some patients may be sensitive. Must be anthraquinone free. Found in AloePath, Cysto Renew.
Urinary Tract Comfort, Irritation, Frequency, Urgency
BLADDER BUILDER® is a more complex formula that offers a protective effect (chondroitin), antihistaminic (quercetin), pain support (PEA), collagen, probiotics and various amino acids. Learn more here!
CystoProtek® is an older, but well loved formula that combines protective (chondroitin) and antihistaminic (quercetin) effects. It does, unfortunately, use shellfish and pork for those who are intolerant, etc. Learn more here!
For Chronic UTI Prevention:
My Daily D-Mannose may help prevent E. coli bacterial infection of the bladder by helping to flush bacteria from the urinary tract.
For Pain Suppression:
PEAORA® combines palmitoylethanlamide with resveratrol to reduce pain and discomfort. A research study released in 2019 demonstrated that this combination was remarkably successful at reducing pain in IC patients. Learn more here!
For Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation:
We also carry several other individual vitamins from Nature’s Path including Vitamin B12, D3, Ester C, etc. Learn more here!
For Diet Sensitivity:
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the ICN offer supplements?
The ICN only sold educational materials (books, videos, etc.) for years before it came to our attention that some doctors were promoting the use of a medical device (and surgery) as a first line therapy for IC. In fact, some patients weren’t even told about oral medications in favor of the more profitable surgical techniques. We were outraged. We believed that patients should be educated about the many treatment options available, including traditional and alternative therapies. Thankfully, the AUA not only agreed with our approach but implemented the same philosophy in their treatment guidelines.
How does the ICN select supplements?
We look first at the company selling the product and their focus on quality. We ask why the product was developed. Are the ingredients known to help bladder symptoms? Is the pricing fair and affordable? We believe that the supplements that we carry today are the best on the market.
Do all doctors recommend the use of supplements?
With the AUA’s recommendation of neutraceuticals in their guidelines, far more physicians are comfortable suggesting OTC products. Almost every class on IC or pelvic pain at the AUA Annual meeting offers comprehensive discussions of available OTC supplements. Unfortunately, doctors who don’t attend the conferences or have not read the guidelines simply may not know that they exist. If your doctor is unaware of the AUA guidelines, you can print out a copy from our website which shares their position on supplement use.
Which one should you select?
Given the fact that IC patients often have very unique food sensitivities, begin first by reviewing the supplement ingredients on our website. If you are sensitive to any of the ingredients, then move to a different supplement. Ultimately, though, it’s just trial and error. What works for one patient may or may not work for another.
Are samples available?
No. Most companies suspended their sampling programs years ago. The only sample available is currently from Farr Laboratories and is part of their Introductory Offer.
Strategy for sensitive patients
People often have different tolerances to different ingredients. We suggest starting with one pill or capsule to determine if you tolerate it well. You can then try one pill a day for a week and, again, ask yourself “Do I feel good taking this supplement?” If yes, you can slowly increase to the manufacturers recommended dose. Please note, however, that some patients prefer taking smaller doses.
In general, these supplements have very few side effects. Some patients may have pre-existing allergies or sensitivity to any of the ingredients and should avoid any products which contain them. Please carefully review the ingredients on our website to make your selection. Some patients report loose bowels or diarrhea with products containing olive fruit oil. The low acid vitamin might be too strong for patients with very sensitive, injured bladders. If you suffer any uncomfortable reactions, stop the supplement immediately. You may want to consider a different brand. Unfortunately, we simply can’t predict what will work for you! If you have any doubts about trying any supplement, please talk with your doctor first!
Supplements should not be exposed to heat, thus shipping in the hot summer time months is very difficult. Order enough in the Spring to avoid shipping in hot weather.
Available at www.icnsales.com or by calling 800-928-7496