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OK this is Weird: BEER stops my urethra burning!

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  • OK this is Weird: BEER stops my urethra burning!

    I have just been diagnosed with IC just a couple of weeks ago, and I am presently taking a typical regimen of medication: Elmiron, Amitriptyline, Hydroxyzine, Uribel, Prelief, and the antibiotic Nitrofurantoin Macro (which I am supposed to take immediately after sex). My bladder at this moment isn't really giving me any problems, but my URETHRA? That's a different story. I wake up in the morning and it just burns constantly, making my work day very uncomfortable. It stings and burns so bad I can hardly concentrate. Neither Uribel nor Azo helps in the least.

    A couple of days ago when I got off work, I was so stressed and upset from the amount of work I was expected to do (despite being EXTREMELY uncomfortable from the burning), that I broke down and had a couple of beers. I know, I know, alcohol is a BIG no-no for IC sufferers, but I was so desperate to relax I just didn't care. By the time I had finished my second beer, the burning in my urethra was completely gone. WHAT? Uribel and Azo does nothing, but BEER relieves my discomfort?

    Now, I may be a special case... I used to drink WAY too much and have even gone through a treatment program. Maybe my body chemistry is used to beer somehow? Has anybody else out there experienced this? I find it incredibly ironic that one of the most dangerous things someone with IC can drink--BEER--seems to alleviate the burning sensation in my urethra, and so far IS THE ONLY THING THAT HAS WORKED. Yesterday I had a few more beers after work, and the same thing happened... I actually had RELIEF. (I still had to go to the bathroom a lot, but there was no pain whatsoever.)

    This situation is so strange I don't know what to make of it. Does anybody have any theories? I wasn't even sure this was appropriate to post in the first place. Thoughts, anyone?

  • #2
    I guess it's possible the beer (or alcohol) temporarily numbs the nerve endings in the urethra. It may not be such a good idea long term though for the health of your bladder if you have IC.


    • #3
      You're not alone. When my symptoms were bad, a beer would calm down the frequency and pain a little bit. I think it does just numb it I suppose. But of course I knew I couldn't use that as a treatment, less I end up babbling like Charlie Sheen ;p But for me, I honestly don't think it hurts my bladder one bit. Because even after the helpful effects wear off, I'm no worse than I was before having the beer. Even if I do two days in a row.
      Update! Feeling much better these days and no longer on any meds!

      Pelvic pain began July 2008. Urinary frequency began in November of 2008. IC Doctor says I'm one of the worst frequency patients he has had.

      Things that helped me the most: IC Diet, Elavil (30mg), Elmiron since June '09 (500mg/day).

      Previously tried and quit: one series of six instillations, Neurontin, Ditropan, Oxytrol, electric stimulation to the pelvic floor, Desert Harvest Aloe, Cystoprotek and Flomax, Hydroxyzine (50mg), Alesse Birth control (this helped my period flares when my symptoms used to be bad), PTNS (I think this helped).