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Does cold weather make your IC worse? You are not alone!

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  • Does cold weather make your IC worse? You are not alone!

    snowangel.jpg

    Researchers in Scandinavia were able to make a direct correlation between temperature and pain. Thirty-one men, mean age 51 years (range 35-66 years), with CPPS for 17 ± 10 years (3-42 years) were asked to complete a set of questionnaires including questions concerning how they experienced their symptom intensity during the different seasons using the NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) questionnaire. Results demonstrated that pain was three times more intense during the winter months. All subjects reported that a temperature drop was associated with deterioration. The cause of this relationship is still to be established. Muscular spasm is suspected.

    Source: Hedelin H. Pain associated with the chronic pelvic pain syndrome is strongly related to the ambient temperature. Scand J Urol Nephrol. 2012 Aug;46(4):279-83.

    What's your experience?? Does cold weather exacerbate your IC
    Last edited by icnmgrjill; 11-05-2012, 05:43 PM.
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  • #2
    Cold definitely makes me feel worse, particularly if I don't bundle up. I also love to ski, so I layer up, put a stick on self-heating pad under my snow pants and keep on moving. I pretty much live with a heating pad and wool socks all winter. Keeping my thermostat at a cozy level also helps (I have a tiny house so it's inexpensive to indulge in this). I find that once I get cold, especially if I'm sedentary, it's very hard to avoid clenching my muscles. Hot baths, warm coats and blankets help.
    Current treatments that help:
    5 mg Valium suppositories for pelvic floor
    Pyridium as needed
    TENS unit during flares
    Heating pad
    Hot baths
    IC Diet

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes I am always worse in the colder weather. I am not looking forward to winter in Iowa.
      Jolene

      "Life is what happens when you are making other plans" John Lennon

      IC diet cheat sheet....http://www.ic-network.com/diet/dietcheatsheet.html

      Information for Patients can be found here.
      http://www.ic-network.com/patientlinks.html


      Jen's tips for great IC sex..http://www.ic-network.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22522&highlight=jens+tips[/url]




      Newbie Angel...I will be happy to answer any questions or just listen. Email me at [email protected]

      "IC Angel Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you."

      Comment


      • #4
        This is my first winter with IC, but boy let me tell you.. Ever since it started cooling off here in Georgia, and it dropped pretty quickly, I have been MISERABLE. Tylenol and Ibuprofen do nothing. The only relief I can find(and it's mild at that) is my heating pad. I thought I was crazy because when I tried looking up IC+cold weather nothing would come up.. It was until I saw this same post on ICN's facebook page that I realized I am in fact NOT crazy and this is something A LOT of people deal with it. And it makes sense! Your body is more stressed in the winter. I know when I'm cold, my entire clenches up. I'm sure our bladders react the same way, causing the pain. I'll be taking my heating pad with me everywhere this winter!
        --
        Brittany Tomlinson

        Diagnosed June 2012

        Current Medications:
        Elmiron 100mg 3x day
        Pyridium 200mg 3x day as needed - Makes me really dizzy for some reason!
        Desert Harvest Aloe Vera 2 capsules 3x day

        I was on an antidepressant(Effexor 75 mg 1x day) and trazadone(300mg at bedtime), but I haven't been back to see my psychiatrist to get refills because my insurance won't cover the visits and they are $130 a pop. I am currently looking for a PCP that can prescribe the same things.

        Other Conditions:
        Endometriosis

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh yes, I definitely get much worse when it is cold. And lucky me, I live in northern parts of Sweden where it can be - 30 C (or even colder). I can not say that I look forward to this winter because I remember how bad I felt last winter.

          Each night I do the same thing; I use two heating pads, wear pyjamas and socks, use an extra blanket as well as a hot pad!
          Severe problems started Feb 2011. My IC = mostly severe pain. At times "discomfort" in the bladder/urethra & a "burning sensation". In periods (esp when I flare): urgency/frequency. I had numerous UTI's when I was 1,5 years old - until I was 12.

          Treatments I tried so far that made me worse:
          Gepan instillation, Silver nitrate instillation (got worse) Hydrodistention, August 31st 2012 (worse for 4 weeks)

          Treatments I tried so far that seems to help:
          Tramadol for pain (does not help if pain is severe but other times it can give good relief), glass of water/baking soda (use that when I feel a flare with burning in urethra), elimination diet (helped me the most so far), going to a therapist once a week, stretches from my PT, TENS unit, Hydroxyzine (Atarax), 25 mg (started Dec 2012), Epsom salts baths when needed.

          __________________
          I also suffer from:
          Migraine, allergies/asthma

          Comment


          • #6
            All of my long term flares have been when its cold. Usually around Christmas. But this one was October. Hoping ill feel much better by Christmas at least!
            symptoms when in a flare:

            I feel everything in my urethra but I know its really my bladder. Pressure, stinging, urgency,tingling feeling thats hard to describe.
            *I have a fibroid on my uterus near my bladder.

            Medication
            100mg Amitripyline ( I have seriously gained almost 50lbs on this drug but I feel it works)
            Flexoril 10mg (doesn't work)
            Hydrocodone 5/325 PRN
            Cetalopram 40mg *severe anxiety over flare

            Physical therapy hasnt really helped but I love her! I've learned so much! She states that my muscles around
            My urethra are very tight.

            currently seeing a Gyn in my town and a Uro in Seattle (4 hrs away)

            I have had lots of long term remissions. Currently been struggling with good & bad days since Jan 2012



            find me on Facebook! Brandy Schildknecht Covington

            Comment


            • #7
              I hope you feel better too and everyone here. I don't live in extreme cold but it is a damp cold sometimes that penetrates. I was doing better before and now I get bladder spasm, pressure etc. more than in warmer weather. However hot weather hurts IC as well. Moderate temperature is best.
              God bless everyone here. I have IC for about 23 years.
              If you keep a green bough in your heart
              the singing bird will come.
              http://www.obsidian-sun.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                I found this thread because I was looking for information specifically on whether cold makes IC worse. My symptoms definitely get worse in the winter. I consider our winter climate mild 30-60 degrees but our summers are 80-110 and I am able to function SO much better in the warmer months.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello everyone,
                  So sorry to hear about your experiences with cold weather! I can really relate, as I write in my post earlier in this tread.

                  Guess what? Winter is here for real! Saturday was the first day when it was very cold here in Sweden. What happened? A flare that lasted 2 days (I had to go out that day). Now it is even colder and tomorrow I must go to the hospital. I am worried. But what can you do? I can not change the weather! LOL

                  Move, maybe?

                  So, what do you do to minimize the flares when it is cold? The obvious of course is dress so that you can stand the cold weather but I did this on Saturday with extra leggings, warm socks and everything. Still a flare.

                  All of you here - I wish you warm and happy days in the future and less flares!
                  MIa, Sweden
                  Severe problems started Feb 2011. My IC = mostly severe pain. At times "discomfort" in the bladder/urethra & a "burning sensation". In periods (esp when I flare): urgency/frequency. I had numerous UTI's when I was 1,5 years old - until I was 12.

                  Treatments I tried so far that made me worse:
                  Gepan instillation, Silver nitrate instillation (got worse) Hydrodistention, August 31st 2012 (worse for 4 weeks)

                  Treatments I tried so far that seems to help:
                  Tramadol for pain (does not help if pain is severe but other times it can give good relief), glass of water/baking soda (use that when I feel a flare with burning in urethra), elimination diet (helped me the most so far), going to a therapist once a week, stretches from my PT, TENS unit, Hydroxyzine (Atarax), 25 mg (started Dec 2012), Epsom salts baths when needed.

                  __________________
                  I also suffer from:
                  Migraine, allergies/asthma

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Mia,

                    I would love to visit beautiful Sweden someday! Have you tried the stick-on heating pads? Here in the U.S. they are available under the name Thermacare. They can be worn under your clothing right over your bladder area and they stay quite warm for about 8 hours. For me this makes a difference and if I'm not feeling too bad, they really help me get through an uncomfortable day. But, once I am flaring, I only want my warm bed and the plug-in kind of heating pad. I also think the Valium/diazepam suppositories help a lot with cold related flares because it helps relax your pelvic floor muscles. I also just ordered a pad that covers my whole mattress that heats up. It's something I've wanted for over a year and I finally invested. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow; I'll keep you posted on how it works.
                    Stay cozy, everyone!
                    Current treatments that help:
                    5 mg Valium suppositories for pelvic floor
                    Pyridium as needed
                    TENS unit during flares
                    Heating pad
                    Hot baths
                    IC Diet

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by serrat View Post
                      Hi Mia,



                      I would love to visit beautiful Sweden someday!

                      Have you tried the stick-on heating pads? Here in the U.S. they are available under the name Thermacare. They can be worn under your clothing right over your bladder area and they stay quite warm for about 8 hours. For me this makes a difference and if I'm not feeling too bad, they really help me get through an uncomfortable day.



                      But, once I am flaring, I only want my warm bed and the plug-in kind of heating pad. I also think the Valium/diazepam suppositories help a lot with cold related flares because it helps relax your pelvic floor muscles. I also just ordered a pad that covers my whole mattress that heats up. It's something I've wanted for over a year and I finally invested. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow; I'll keep you posted on how it works.

                      Stay cozy, everyone!
                      Hi there,
                      Great! Make sure you visit during summer though because I hate winter! LOL


                      Wonderful idea! I don't know if it is the same but I bought Voltacare today. It is stick on heating-pads that "relaxes muscles" and helps when you have back pain, pain in the neck or similar. I hope I can use it everywhere and stick it over my bladder area! They were so expensive (4 stick on heating-pads for the price of 16 USD). Each heating-pad can be used for up to 10 hours or something like that. But I figured I could give it a try and use it when absolutely needed! Thanks for the idea!!!

                      Yes, I know how you feel! When I am flaring I want to be at home. Close to my bathroom (no kidding) and close to my bed and heating pad! Glad to hear Valium helps as well for you. Tried to find that here but from what I can see it does not exist. But there might be other options to try. I am happy you were able to order the pad that covers your mattress and heats up! How wonderful! Keep me posted how it works for you - sounds so wonderful

                      Take care!
                      Hugs
                      Mia
                      Severe problems started Feb 2011. My IC = mostly severe pain. At times "discomfort" in the bladder/urethra & a "burning sensation". In periods (esp when I flare): urgency/frequency. I had numerous UTI's when I was 1,5 years old - until I was 12.

                      Treatments I tried so far that made me worse:
                      Gepan instillation, Silver nitrate instillation (got worse) Hydrodistention, August 31st 2012 (worse for 4 weeks)

                      Treatments I tried so far that seems to help:
                      Tramadol for pain (does not help if pain is severe but other times it can give good relief), glass of water/baking soda (use that when I feel a flare with burning in urethra), elimination diet (helped me the most so far), going to a therapist once a week, stretches from my PT, TENS unit, Hydroxyzine (Atarax), 25 mg (started Dec 2012), Epsom salts baths when needed.

                      __________________
                      I also suffer from:
                      Migraine, allergies/asthma

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by missisola View Post
                        Oh yes, I definitely get much worse when it is cold. And lucky me, I live in northern parts of Sweden where it can be - 30 C (or even colder). I can not say that I look forward to this winter because I remember how bad I felt last winter.

                        Each night I do the same thing; I use two heating pads, wear pyjamas and socks, use an extra blanket as well as a hot pad!
                        I would love to visit Sweden, especially because I am so fair! It seems like a safe, wealthy, culturally interesting, and beautiful place, and I would not stand-out as a total tourist because I am blonde, haha! But not only does the cold at that degree of latitude sounds difficult, but the lack of sunlight in the winter must be dreadful! I am sorry, but you must be a tough cookie! I should not complain about the weather here!

                        I never thought about a correlation between the cold and my bladder until I read about it this summer. I was later diagnosed with fibro this summer, so I knew the winter was going to be awful, and from now on, I need to bundle up, especially because I moved further north in New England this fall.

                        I also feel like, even if it is 50 degrees out, if it is windy, I feel worse.

                        By the way, are there any parkas or long coats you ladies would recommend? Or any tips in general on how you deal with the elements?

                        A lot of medical professionals have been joking how I should move to some place tropical ; if they had the health care, I could live with that, but for now I need my mother's insurance, and I would be out of network outside of MA. Oh well!
                        Tierney
                        Message me and add me http://facebook.com/tierneybrielle.

                        Diagnosed with IC at 12-years-old, but have had IC much longer, now 24-years-old - fibromyalgia (diasnosed 07/30/12) - CFS - migraines - diagnosed with myofascial pelvic pain syndrome in January of '12 - scoliosis since ~12-years-old & s/p spinal fusion (06/21/10) T10-L3 w/ metal implants & nerve damage - post laminectomy syndrome - lumbar spondylosis - mild dextroscoliosis now - menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea (both controlled) - IBS - chemical sensitivity - allergies - chronic nose bleeds - heartburn - rosacea - and that is just the relevant stuff

                        Do you have a question? Feel free to ask me anything; I am an open book!

                        I am not a medical authority; I do not offer medical advice. Talk to your doctor, and if you are not comfortable talking to your doctor, find another one. It is OK to advocate for yourself as well as not be satisfied with your doctor! You deserve the best medical care.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Tierney,
                          Yes, Sweden is wonderful Well, maybe not so much in the winter for those with IC...

                          I just bought pants like leggings but they are from a special fabric that is said to keep you warmer during winter. It's from BackOnTrack. Have not tried them yet but I hope they work! I also try to use longer jackets in the winter and warm socks as well...

                          I hope that you will find something that'll help you!! Good luck!
                          Hugs,
                          Mia

                          Originally posted by tierney View Post
                          I would love to visit Sweden, especially because I am so fair! It seems like a safe, wealthy, culturally interesting, and beautiful place, and I would not stand-out as a total tourist because I am blonde, haha! But not only does the cold at that degree of latitude sounds difficult, but the lack of sunlight in the winter must be dreadful! I am sorry, but you must be a tough cookie! I should not complain about the weather here!

                          I never thought about a correlation between the cold and my bladder until I read about it this summer. I was later diagnosed with fibro this summer, so I knew the winter was going to be awful, and from now on, I need to bundle up, especially because I moved further north in New England this fall.

                          I also feel like, even if it is 50 degrees out, if it is windy, I feel worse.

                          By the way, are there any parkas or long coats you ladies would recommend? Or any tips in general on how you deal with the elements?

                          A lot of medical professionals have been joking how I should move to some place tropical ; if they had the health care, I could live with that, but for now I need my mother's insurance, and I would be out of network outside of MA. Oh well!
                          Severe problems started Feb 2011. My IC = mostly severe pain. At times "discomfort" in the bladder/urethra & a "burning sensation". In periods (esp when I flare): urgency/frequency. I had numerous UTI's when I was 1,5 years old - until I was 12.

                          Treatments I tried so far that made me worse:
                          Gepan instillation, Silver nitrate instillation (got worse) Hydrodistention, August 31st 2012 (worse for 4 weeks)

                          Treatments I tried so far that seems to help:
                          Tramadol for pain (does not help if pain is severe but other times it can give good relief), glass of water/baking soda (use that when I feel a flare with burning in urethra), elimination diet (helped me the most so far), going to a therapist once a week, stretches from my PT, TENS unit, Hydroxyzine (Atarax), 25 mg (started Dec 2012), Epsom salts baths when needed.

                          __________________
                          I also suffer from:
                          Migraine, allergies/asthma

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm constantly sitting on ice packs so it's only thing I found for relief.
                            Tracy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, indeed, it does seem to cause pain. In Maine we are having subzero wind chills and Bob says just the thought of having to step outside for any reason makes him tense up and immediately feel pain. Whether it's the cold itself or the thought of being cold, don't know, but with his extreme urethral pain, he says his penis sometimes feels freezing cold even indoors, even tho it is not to the touch. Heating pad does help a lot, and think I will crochet him a nice soft warmer sock for that region. And lots of layers of clothing, keep your feet warm always! Jill, wife of Bob

                              Comment

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