9. Stress Management
While stress is not a cause of IC, it can make your symptoms flare up and trigger inflammation in the body. Hence, to help manage IC symptoms and prevent them from getting worse, it is important to reduce your stress levels.
In 1997, a study using emotional stress models of animals demonstrated that psychological stress can activate bladder mast cells which play a role in the process of interstitial cystitis .
Another comparative study of IC patients and healthy controls revealed that greater the levels of stress, greater the pain, and urgency in IC patients but not in the healthy controls. This association between stress and IC symptoms was found to increase with the severity of the disease .
To reduce stress, do something relaxing every day. Meditation, light exercise, listening to soft music or even a swimming session can help fight stress. In fact, you can do anything that you find relaxing.
A form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture can help reduce IC symptoms by strengthening the urinary system and improving the functioning of the bladder.
Acupuncture has been reported to be moderately successful . The most attractive thing about acupuncture is that there is no known side effect.
During an acupuncture session, a practitioner places numerous thin needles in your skin at specific points on your body. This helps relieve pain and other symptoms by rebalancing the flow of energy in your body.
Acupuncture also boosts the activity of your body’s natural painkillers.
Get your acupuncture treatment done only by a qualified acupuncturist.
- Maintaining a regular exercise routine can help you manage your symptoms.
- Opt for bladder training that involves timed urination — going to the toilet according to the clock rather than waiting for the need to go. It would be good to maintain a bladder diary to log the initial frequency of urinary urgency and actual urination.
- Urinate at regular intervals to reduce the risk of bladder infections as well as kidney problems. Always urinate before and after sex so as to decrease the risk of bladder infections and avoid holding urine in the bladder for too long.
- Wear loose clothing and avoid belts or clothes that put pressure on your abdomen.
- Maintain good hygiene. It is important for your bladder as well as your overall health.
- Do not use douches, soaps or deodorants in your vaginal area.
- Keep your bathroom clean and avoid using dirty bathrooms or public toilets.
- Avoid staying in a wet swimsuit for a long time.
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