Natural Remedies for a Healthy Bladder

Try these natural remedies for a healthy bladder, includes Q and A with leading natural health experts.

| March/April 2006

Natural remedies for a healthy bladder include changing to an alkaline diet, turmeric and goldenseal herbs and urinary demulcents.

Read more about natural remedies for polycystic ovaries: Natural Remedies for Polycystic Ovaries.

Natural Remedies for a Healthy Bladder

I am a 50-year-old woman diagnosed with painful bladder/irritable bladder syndrome. Are there any natural remedies you can suggest? To keep symptoms in check, I avoid trigger foods. These include all fruits, tomatoes, anything with vinegar, spicy foods and caffeine. When I do eat these foods, I sometimes wake up six to eight times at night to urinate. I am especially concerned about losing out on the antioxidants and other health benefits that fruit, etc. provide.
Via e-mail

Willard responds: The lack of good research in the area of painful bladder/irritable bladder syndrome causes plenty of confusion. It is often classified as a symptom of interstitial cystitis (IC), a painful inflammatory condition of the bladder wall. A chronic condition, it is distinguished by pressure and pain above the pubic area. IC symptoms also include increased urination frequency and urgency from the chronic inflammation and swelling of the lining and interior walls of the bladder. It does not necessarily involve bladder infection, though the exact cause of interstitial cystitis is not known.

Some practitioners think it is an autoimmune disorder associated with fibromyalgia or Sjogren’s syndrome. And for some, allergies seem to be associated. Many researchers also feel there is a psychological aspect to this syndrome.

My opinion is that it can have many different causes, or more likely a combination of the above issues. Both men and women can suffer from irritated bladder or IC, but it is much more common in women. The irritation appears to be in the lining or walls of the bladder. The reason that the mentioned foods irritate your bladder is that all of these foods increase the acidity of the urine in the bladder, thus increasing both negative organism populations and irritation. By adopting a more alkaline diet, high in green vegetables and lower in proteins and citrus fruit, often the acid/base balance can be restored. Drinking plenty of clean water or herbal teas such as corn silk, parsley leaves (Petroselinum crispum) and/or dandelion leaves (Taraxacum officinale) also will substantially lower the acidity of the urine.

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