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Does The Cold or Dehydration Cause A Flare for You?

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  • Does The Cold or Dehydration Cause A Flare for You?

    I noticed that it seems that I get a flare or the start of one when it's been cold during the day or when I get dehydrated. I'm only assuming that this is what helped caused the flares.

    Several of my latest flares have happened when I was a little dehydrated and when it's been cold at work (work in a computer room). I know I was shaking a little bit from feeling the flareup but maybe also from the cold.

    This happened a few times the last few weeks. The dehydration was from exercise during lunch. It still happened a bit after using a space heater by my desk when it has been cold. This makes for a really a lousy feeling and many runs to the restroom while not wanting to exchange many greetings to co-workers between the office and the facilities.

    My question is, have any of you noticed that you were flaring after being cold for a few hours or dehydrated? Maybe while feeling cold during the winter?

  • #2
    Cold weather really kicks up my frequency. What happens fo most of us with dehydration is that our urine becomes more concntrated and that leads to more burning. Water helps keep the urine diluted and that eases the burning.
    of course the extra water leads to more bathroom trips. IC really sucks doesn't it?

    Let's keep praying for a cure.
    IC Symptoms began in early 2001
    Divorced : Sept 2002 (Partly due to IC)
    Diagnosed with IC in April 2004
    Most recent injury - Rupurtured Left Achilles Tendon
    Wed Jan 28 2009
    (Ice Storm Accident)
    2nd Achilles Tendon Surgery - May 28, 2009 after re-injury on May 17
    Other Injuries
    Broken Left Ankle - July 2004 ( fell off ladder)
    Broken Left Ankle (Again) - May 2005 (car accident)
    Sprained Left Ankle - November 2006 ( fell off my aunts porch on Thanksgiving Day)

    Elmiron, Pyridium


    • #3
      Dehydration can definitely cause a flare. The urine becomes concentrated and irritating. It's important to drink an adequate amount of water.

      Stay safe

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      • #4
        When it's really cold I have to urinate more. When I have to urinate more my urethra is working overtime (and now with IC) and that can create more frequency for me. In fact that's the only time I get a little burning down there. Otherwise my IC does not have much pain. This is also why I cannot consume the 6-8 glasses of water a day. It totally wears out my urethra and causes a pretty bad flare for at least a day after. I should add that my urine is dilute and I am not dehydrated (per my doctor) when I stay on my 2-3 glasses a day; so it's not advised for everyone...just want to add that caution heh.

        Also when I am in a flare I get really, really cold. And then because I am so cold it also increases my frequency. So not only do I get a flare I get the added fun of frequency from being cold as well.


        • #5
          Thanks, TexasHoney, for letting me know I'm not the only one. I recall now what got me to go to the doctor, finally. It must have been dehydration after walking/running and was at the end when I hurt badly in my bladder and it made me sick to my stomach. That got me to the urologist! She didn't take long to diagnose IC.

          Yes, I agree, this IC thing really sucks. Also, why couldn't the pain be in your foot or something, instead of where it is! Somehow, it eats away at the core.

          Thanks again about letting me know the cold is not unique to me.

          Thanks, Donna. I'm slowly balancing the dehydration issue. I've messed up a few times and paid the price.

          Thanks Andrea, for letting me know how the cold affects your IC. I'll have to pay more attention how it escalates for me. I do know that the more I have to go, the worse it gets and then my urethra starts burning quickly. The cold then makes me start feeling even more miserable. It becomes a vicious circle. Yesterday, what seemed to save me was an instillation the day before and really watching hydration. I start paying attention after being hit over the head with a stick in the form of two other flares this week.

          I am now afraid of becoming dehydrated since I know it can start a big flare for me. I feel that I better drink a full days worth of water or chance a flare. Yeah, I agree, I think if less water keeps you from being too concentrated, there is no reason to consume more liquid. I perspire a lot, especially during exercise and the computer room is a controlled low humidity area, so it's really easy to become dehydrated. If I mess up and not drink enough water, the burning can wake me up in the middle of the night.

          The real challenge for me with hydration is when I have to travel. The flights are usually coast-to-coast and it seems I make it through the line to the bathroom, only to get back to my seat and have to return to the line. The physician's assistant I'm working with every week (instillations) has been helpful in trying to get me back to where I can travel with relative ease.

          I think it works the same for me - I start flaring a little and get even more cold, the frequency goes up. The only good thing about that is it keeps me moving around and maybe this keeps me warmer and not "sitting on my bladder". I found an unused space heater and that helps a bit too. I lucked-out and just had an instillation of lidocaine, heparine and sodium bicarbinate the day before, which helps a lot.

          Sometimes, I feel like a wreck in front and back (PFD) and will skip doing anything like shopping for groceries or anything after work. Just want to soak in hot water, take aspirin and Pyridium. I'm going to physical therapy for the PFD and IC and it is helping more than I gave it credit at first. I just went because I felt the urologist new what she was talking about; she did.

          Thanks to both you and TexasHoney for letting me know there is a common pattern to this cold thing.
          Last edited by LN238; 08-27-2011, 07:35 AM.


          • #6
            YES YES YES

            I thought I was the only one. Dehydration is kinda obvious, but I can't understand why the cold does this.

            Is you're office always cold? Or is it winter where you're at? If the former you should have the ability to request accommodations since IC can count as a disability.
            • 27 year old student
            • Had symptoms since I was 5
            • Been on forums since '07, knew I had this since then, received mild treatment without true diagnosis due to anxiety. Diagnosed by symptoms on 4/08/11.
            • Had first horrible flare in 07, bad doctors, had to research IC myself to clue in onto what it was. After following the diet I went into remission.
            • Big flare in 09 due to an untreated bladder infection. Went back into remission in 2012.
            • Symptoms returned 4/1/15. All of my remissions have ended in April-May or September-October. It sounds like a connection to seasonal allergies to me..

            Currently: Continuous Birth Control, vaginal valium (10/6/11), Elmiron (4/08/11), UTA (4/08/11), continuous Trimethoprim for infections (10/6/11), Heating pad, Benedryl, harsh diet

            What I know works: Benedryl, diet, birth control, UTA, valium, ditropan, soma

            What didn't work: Elavil, vistaril (12/22)


            • #7
              I find I am very sensitive to temperature changes. When I'm cold I tend to tense up and it very often causes bladder issues and migraines. It's a bummer. We have very cold winters where I am so I really notice the problem with cold when it's warm out and then rapidly changes to colder temps, or if I go into a very cold supermarket or air conditioned room.

              Diagnosed: 2011 - have had symptoms for over 20 years. Diagnoses so far: Overactive Bladder, then IC, and now Myofacial Pelvic Pain Syndrome.

              Medicines: For IC am doing PT, and will be taking Gabapentin, Ativan, Tramadol and Ambien. Ice packs and drinking vanilla shakes help. Foods that cause a flare, tomatoes, yogurt, coffee, soda, all sports drinks, and most teas. Take Verapamil, Naproxen (as needed), Omeprazole, Frova (as needed) and receive Botox shots(every three months) for migraines. For allergies I use Claritin and Flonase. (Feel free to ask me any questions about meds.)

              Other conditions: Migraines, allergies, mild IBS.

              "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)


              • #8
                I'm in a warm climate most of the year. It's the office that is cold and going from the outside into the cool air normally feels good to me. Once I stop moving, the cold can grip me. I'm trying to control the cold now that I think it is a factor, and it sounds like I'm not the only one; good to know. I think I can sort of control the temperature in my area by changing various things around. Also, it seems to be colder on Fridays with less people at work on that day. Every Friday is colder than the other days of the week and it has been my worst day for IC at work. I also tend to exercise harder on Fridays too, so I think dehydration and the cold are adding to flares. This is enough to make me second-guess my desire to retire in a colder area of the country.

                It is really hard to balance getting enough water while exercising and not having really strong pains to pee at the same time. It's a really fine line for me that I'm contantly working on. All I know is I'm going to keep exercising even though, at times, it has added to IC discomfort and pain. I can't run any more because I can feel my bladder bouncing the whole time and that discomfort or pain in front then causes pain in the back. Any way, at the end of the day my heating pad is my best friend.

                Frances, I notice that I tense up too and that seems to be a theme for this. Once I tense up from it, things get worse. When things get worse, I tense up more. Nasty Circle. Next thing I know, I go home a basket case. I think I'm getting a better handle on when the precursers to a flare show up, so that I'm able to take steps to forestall one.

                I'm new to this and it was just a short while ago that I was wondering "what the heck is going on?". The first hard-core pains from IC happened just 3 months ago.