Stack of stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! STOP Annoying Bladder Problems the Natural Way

My doctor diagnosed me with interstitial cystitis a few months ago, and I was hoping you could suggest something to make my symptoms easier to deal with.

–Leslie from Kansas City, MO


Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the bladder. About five percent of women suffer from it.

Scientists point to a dysfunction in the bladder wall that allows particles in the urine (like potassium) to leak into the lining of the bladder, causing inflammation and pain.

But the bigger question is: what is causing the symptoms?

There are two things that might be causing the dysfunction: food sensitivity or autoimmune disease.

Studies have shown that over 85 percent of people with interstitial cystitis have trigger foods that make the pain worse. The most common include coffee, tea, spicy foods, and alcohol, but truthfully, any food could be cause symptoms.

The best way for discover which foods are causing your problems is to try an elimination diet.

First, begin by removing all of the following from your diet:

  • nuts,
  • corn,
  • soy,
  • dairy,
  • citrus fruits,
  • nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, paprika),
  • wheat and foods containing gluten,
  • pork, eggs, seafood,
  • and all vegetable oils (corn, soy, canola).

Stay away from those foods for two weeks. Symptoms should go away or at least greatly reduce.

If you don’t see any change in your symptoms, then either food is not your problem OR you are still eating and drinking something that’s causing symptoms.

The best way to reintroduce foods is one at a time, then waiting for a few days before adding in more. For example, eat tomatoes one day and then you see if your symptoms return after two to three days. If they do, then tomatoes may be a trigger food. If you don’t have any pain, then try the next food.

Most people have to do a few rounds of the elimination diet, spaced a few months apart, before they figure it all out.

The good news is that following an elimination diet can help both causes of interstitial cystitis (both food allergy and autoimmune disease).

The last thing that works really well is marshmallow (the plant, not the sugary treat). You can get marshmallow at any health food store, either in pill form or as a tea. I advise my patients to take 2-4 pills a day or drink it as a tea. Marshmallow has been used for centuries for relieving bladder pain and can work great.


P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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