Interstitial Cystitis (bladder pain syndrome or BPS)
Interstitial Cystitis (bladder pain syndrome or BPS) is a chronic pain condition that affects the bladder. Symptoms range from mild discomfort to severe pain and inflammation, which often gets worse as the bladder fills. An urgency to urinate, frequent urination, pressure, or tenderness in the pelvic area and/or genitals, pain during sexual intercourse, or pain during ejaculation for men are additional symptoms. The exact cause is unknown. This condition, which primarily affects women, is a non-bacterial inflammation of the bladder characterized by pain associated with urination, urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis, and often pain during sexual intercourse. Currently, this problem is thought to be an autoimmune condition as evidenced by the characteristic changes to the tissues below the surface cells of the bladder. When the surface layer cells of the bladder (which consist of glycosaminoglycans) are damaged (via a urinary tract infection, excessive consumption of coffee or sodas, traumatic injury, etc.), urinary chemicals can “leak” into tissues below, causing pain, inflammation, and urinary symptoms. As such, one of the natural treatments that may be helpful involves supplementation with nutrients (such as glucosamine sulfate) that replenish the glycosaminoglycan layer of cells, along with natural anti-inflammatory agents such as quercetin (March 2001, Techniques in Urology – Katske, Shoskes, Sender, Poliakin, Rajfer, and Gagliano), bromelain and MSM.
Glucosamine and Anti-Inflammatory Agents
A glucosamine and anti-inflammatory agent should contain glucosamine sulfate along with quercetin, bromelain and MSM. Glucosamine is the building block for all glycosaminglycans of the body, which support the synthesis of the basement membrane of all tissues and is essential for cartilage formation in our joints. Quercetin has been shown in a clinical study (Techniques In Urology 2001) to reduce the pain and inflammation of interstitial cystitis. Bromelain and MSM are additional anti-inflammatory agents that can add anti-inflammatory effects to this product.
A high potency multiple vitamin and mineral should contain therapeutic levels of key vitamins and minerals to support the health of the cells that line the bladder.
Essential Fatty Acids
An essential fatty acid should contain the perfect blend of essential fatty acids to promote the synthesis of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins (PG-1 and 3) that are useful in the long-term management of many inflammatory conditions.