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found out last week...

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  • found out last week...

    ...that i've got ic. ugh! i'm 57 years old and i think i've had ic. For me it's just a weird sensation all the time and plenty of trips to the bathroom during the night, which of course means my sleep pattern is all messed up. I am in the early stages of discussing with my ob/gyn and have an appt. with her in a couple of days to discuss in more detail. I really am at a loss and don't even know what to ask my doctor.
    There are a couple of things I hope some of you can help me with.
    My ob/gyn is also into bio-identical hormones.
    1. Has anyone experienced symptoms of ic after they started using bio-identical hormones? I use a estrogen cream vaginally and I think that's when I began having problems with ic. I kept thinking maybe I had a yeast or bladder infection and then it would go away. Unfortunately "going away" has not been the case lately.
    2. I chew 3 or 4 pieces of sugarless gum per day. Did any of you find surgarless gum to be a problem?
    3. I've always considered myself an above average healthy eater but a couple of nights a week I will have a margarita. Does alcohol play a major role in ic flare ups?
    I've got a million questions but these are all the ones I can think to ask at this time.
    Thanks, Sybil

  • #2
    Hi Sybil, welcome to the ICN!

    I don't have any experience with bio-identical hormones, but I do believe hormones can play a role in IC flare ups. I know I noticed my symptoms would wax & wane predictably with my menstrual cycle.

    I'm not a gum chewer so will leave that for others.

    But,...margaritas, yum! That I know something about! (Used to be my summer drink of choice) The common ones, -made with lime, cause me a world of pain! The hard alcohol is one often unfriendly IC ingredient, but then the addition of the lime juice cranks it up several more notches. I now equate margaritas to drinking battery acid!

    plenty of trips to the bathroom during the night, which of course means my sleep pattern is all messed up.
    That's hard! Lots of good things happen when we sleep! I hope this gets better for you. I take it you have yet to start any kind of treatment for IC yet?

    "The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have."


    • #3
      I will chime in on the sugar free gum thing. Artificial sweetener can definitely be a trigger for symptoms. In addition, the sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, etc...) can cause intestinal gas and even diarrhea which, of course, can trigger IC symptoms.

      I agree with Vicki.....any alcohol gives me problems.

      Sending you welcoming hugs!!
      Julie Beyer, MA, RDN
      IC Dietitian, Patient Advocate, Speaker, & Author

      Did you know that up to 94% of interstitial cystitis patients find some symptom relief when they change their diet, and that dietary modification is recommended as a first line treatment for IC? Check out the IC Food List to get started!

      Do you need a little more help understanding the IC Diet? Schedule a phone or video coaching session through the ICN Store today.

      You can also learn more while supporting the ICN message boards by clicking on these book covers and buying the Confident Choices books from the ICN Store:

      ........ ........

      Other IC Diet Resources:

      IC Diet Webinar
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      For Health Professionals: Continuing Education About Interstitial Cystitis and Diet
      Free IC Diet Booklet: What Can I Eat?
      Confident Choices IC Diet Blog
      IC Diet Newsletter

      *Let's Connect!*


      • #4
        I'm doing okay with sugarless xylitol gum which I'm using for a very severe dry mouth... which just flared last week! Grrrr!!! Not irritating my bladder at all. I'm doing xylichew licorice and fruit flavors.

        Would you like to talk with someone about your IC struggles? The ICN now offers personal coaching sessions that include myself, Julie Beyer RD on the diet and Dr. Heather Howard on Sexuality.

        Looking for books, magazines & reports on IC? Please visit the ICN Shop at: Your ICN subscription & purchases in our shop support these message boards, chats and special events. BECOME AN ICN ANGEL TODAY!

        Please remember that the information on the ICN is provided with the understanding that ICN, its founder, staff, volunteers, and participants are not engaged in rendering medical or professional medical services. We cannot and do not give medical advice. Only your personal physician can do this for you.


        • #5
          to the IC Network family. I know you'll find a wealth of information and support here. You didn't mention the IC diet so I will suggest that you give it a try; you'll find the 2009 IC/PBS Food List at the link in my signature below. Some ICers find that single step helps more than anything.

          And yes, the marguarita can be a problem --- citrus and alcoholic beverages are triggers for many, if not most, IC patients.

          Sending warm healing thoughts,
          Stay safe

          Elmiron Eye Disease Information Center -
          Elmiron Eye Disease Fact Sheet (Downloadable) -

          Have you checked the ICN Shop?
          Click on ICN Shop at the top of this page. You'll find Bladder Builder and Bladder Rest, both of which we are finding have excellent results.

          Patient Help:


          Diet list:

          AUA Guidelines:

          I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

          Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool


          • #6
            Staying on the IC diet is extremely important, there are to many foods and drinks that will irritate the bladder.
            It's hard to stay on this diet because you have to give up on so many foods and drinks you had all your life.
            IC is a life altering desease and in time you will find out all your trigger problems.
            When you see your Uro there are different treatment plans available.
            It might take a few trial and errors but hopefully your Uro will find the correct treatment right away.
            This is a good place to ask questions and you have everyone understanding what you are going through.
            I wish you the best and keep in touch and let us know how things turn out for you.
            <a href=";current=Picture005.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>


            • #7
              I'm post menopause and I had a lot of trouble using vaginal estradiol, estrace, and vagifem. I switched to a compounded hypo allergenic estriol cream and have had no problems at all with this type of estrogen and have seen a significant improvement. As for the margaritas- Oooh can't even think about having one of those. Margaritas and red wine were I think even worse than coffee for me. Odd thing is though I tried a pear martini last week at dinner and I was fine with it. It didn't bother my bladder at all. I've been asymptomatic for a while now so I don't think I'll push it with frequent pear martinis but it was nice to know I could possibly have one now and then.


              • #8
                thank you so much for all your support and boy do I need it!! I'm on my way to my ob/gyn today. I especially hope she can help me with my sleep issues. I'm in the early stages of the ic diet (food costs too much to waste) but hopefully by next week I'll be trucking along with my diet in full swing. Also, I temporarily quit all my vitamins.
                (((THANKS for being here)))