It’s a condition that most people would rather not discuss. But if you’re one of the many who suffer from urinary incontinence, any discomfort in talking about the problem is probably a minor issue compared to your need to find a safe and effective treatment.
Which brings us to this recent question I received from a regular reader named Donald: ‘Can you advise me on the treatment for interstitial cystitis?’
There are many different causes of bladder control problems, including prostate enlargement, bladder stones, urinary cancer, and neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Another cause is interstitial cystitis (IC), defined as chronic inflammation of the bladder, resulting in difficult and/or painful urination, increased urgency, and increased frequency of urination. By some estimates, as many as one million people (about 90 per cent of them women) suffer from this problem.
Nutrition could be the simple solution to urinary incontinence
According to conventional medicine the cause of IC is unknown. And with no known cause, conventional medicine also offers no cure. But there might be a nutritional solution.
For years, there’s been a growing body of anecdotal evidence to suggest that something very basic may be behind many of these unexplainable and incurable bladder problems. Something we all take into our bodies every day: our food and drink.
Many people report that certain foods and beverages exacerbate their bladder control problems – particularly people with diagnosed IC. And the foods that seem to cause the most problems are those that are highly acidic: tomato-based foods, cabbage, coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, fruits, fruit juices, beer and wine.
At first glance, it seems like such a simple solution to such a troublesome problem. But when you think about the reality of eliminating many of your favourite foods from your life forever, you can’t help but want a better way.
Mineral brings much needed relief
The article looked at a product called Prelief, which has been clinically proven to reduce painful symptoms in people diagnosed with IC. The active ingredient in Prelief is calcium glycerophosphate, a dietary mineral that combines calcium and phosphorus in a 1:1 ratio. When it’s added to acidic foods, the mineral helps neutralise the pH level of the foods.
According to studies conducted by the manufacturer, calcium glycerophosphate significantly reduced the acid level of common foods and beverages. With one tablet, the acid in an eight-ounce glass of iced tea was reduced 99 per cent; a six-ounce cup of coffee was reduced 95 per cent; and an eight-ounce cola was reduced 98 per cent. Three tablets reduced the acid in a four-ounce glass of chardonnay by 80 per cent and the acid in a 1/2 cup of bottled pasta sauce by 60 per cent.
Urologists at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia, US, studied the effects of the mineral-based supplement on more than 200 IC patients. When using it, 61 per cent of the participants reported a reduction in urinary urgency, and 70 per cent experienced less pain and discomfort when eating acidic foods. Another study presented to the Quebec Urological Association in 1998 tracked the results of the supplement on 200 IC patients. Using visual analog scales to assess pain severity and urge intensity, participants reported significant relief in both areas after using the formula for four weeks.
Prelief users say that the product doesn’t change the taste of most foods; if anything, you may detect a slight mellowing of the food’s ‘bite’ due to acid reduction.
Use remedy with discretion
In the two studies detailed above, no adverse side effects were reported. But one of Agora Health’s Medical Advisor, Marty Milner raised this concern: There’s still a possibility that this compound may reduce the level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and your ability to digest protein and dietary forms of calcium.
According to representatives for AkPharma (the manufacturer of Prelief), their product ‘works on the food, not on the person.’ Nevertheless, Dr. Milner advises anyone trying this product to do so with discretion, on an ‘as needed’ basis.
You can find more information about this remedy at akpharma.com. Prelief is available in the UK from many Internet sources. You may wish to ask your doctor whether this remedy is suitable for you before taking it.
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