Chapter End Notes for the
The Better Bladder Book

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Book Excerpts

On the connection between adrenal fatigue and IC:
"Every part of this book is dedicated to addressing adrenal fatigue in its own way, from addressing pain, to discovering and eliminating food allergies, to promoting stress reduction through exercise and relaxation, to achieving hormonal balance. These healthful practices are the heart of any recovery plan for chronic illness, including one for IC and chronic pelvic pain. Adrenal health affects nearly all the body's tissues and systems. Our ability to recover from IC by addressing any one of these factors is one of the reasons that IC has proven to be such a complicated disorder to treat. Alleviating pain, even temporarily, and promoting restorative sleep helps tremendously to lessen the adrenal burden. Following a healthful diet, achieving relaxation on a regular basis, eliminating food allergies, and balancing hormones all have the potential to help us move closer to balance and take the load off the overtaxed adrenals. Take a moment and just imagine how doing all of these things would benefit your adrenal health. Together, these actions would begin to decrease inflammation, allow your body's nervous system to wind down, and generally begin to reverse the process that leads to IC and chronic pelvic pain."

On occult infections and IC:
"One theory is that occult infections are opportunistic, secondary infections that arise due to an already impaired bladder mucosal lining, in combination with a weakened immune system, and that they wouldn't have been able to take hold in a normal bladder. A normal, healthy bladder mucosa has the ability to slough off bacteria before they can attach and create a localized infection. But, if something damages the bladder, creating an opening or weakened area in the bladder lining, then a bacterial infection can take hold. The bladder can be injured by a previous infection, sexual trauma, an invasive procedure such as a cystoscopy, or possibly by an inflammatory process triggered by eating gluten or another substance that provokes an allergic reaction. As you've read in earlier chapters, gluten-associated damage often causes problems in the mucosa of other parts of the body. Why not the bladder? It is your decision, but if you're stuck and aren't getting any better no matter what you do, consider having a broth culture done with the support and guidance of a local physician so you can at least rule out this possibility."

On hormones in relationship to bladder and pelvic symptoms:
"Hormones are substances secreted by the body to stimulate the activity of specific cells. You may be familiar with estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone as the sex hormones, but insulin is also a hormone, produced by the pancreas, and cortisol is a special type of hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Hormones act as chemical messengers, and they play a significant role in the health and function of all of our bodily systems. Adequate levels of sex hormones keep the vaginal and urethral tissues well-lubricated and moist, and also help to prevent tissue damage and loss of muscle tone. As we age, the protective function of the sex hormones diminishes, especially after natural or surgical menopause. The drop in estrogen levels that accompanies menopause—either natural or surgical—can cause thinning of the mucosa lining the urethra, making it more prone to irritation and infection. It can become uncomfortable to wear tight clothing, sit in a car, or ride a bike. A topical estrogen cream (such as the brand Estrace, or one specially made for you by a formulating pharmacy) placed at the urethral opening or on surrounding vaginal tissues can help alleviate this problem."

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"No illness which can be treated by diet should be treated in any other manner."

Moses Maimonides,
philosopher, physician, scholar, 1135-1204 AD