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OK this is weird: BEER stops my urethral burning!

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  • OK this is weird: BEER stops my urethral 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, and I had no idea which section to post it in, so I chose Alternative Therapies and Urethral Syndrome as a lot of people seem to visit these forums. Thoughts, anyone?

  • #2
    Just a thought.... Have you been evaluated for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction? It can cause that awful urethral burn. The greater the stress, the more the pelvic floor muscles contract and you feel it in the urethra. Physical therapy for PFD as well as stress reduction techniques can help. It's something you might want to discuss with your doctor.

    Ulcerative Colitis and IBS
    Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

    Retirement is great! Work is highly overrated!!!
    ---My dear hubby

    Never go to a doctor whose office plants are dead.


    • #3
      Annie might be on to something there, maybe drinking caused you to relax and that is why your urethra felt better. I wouldn't recommend drinking beer with meds you are taking.

      Link to the patient information, everything from What is IC? to Disability

      American Urological Association Clinical Guideline
      Diagnosis and Treatment of Intersitial Cysitis/Painful Bladder Syndrom


      • #4
        You know, it worries me that you say you used to drink WAY too much and 'even had treatment', do you mean like alcoholism or rehab? Is your IC causing you to get so stressed out and upset you feel like you're breaking down and having a drink? What sort of consequences can you see from having a problem with alcohol to going back to drinking?

        Sorry to be nosy, it just really stood out for me but seemed glossed over. Beer absolute exacerbates my urethral burning, nearly all alcohol does so I'm about 99% teetotal. The pain just isn't worth it.
        Seven years of hell ongoing, chronic bladder and urethral pain with an umbrella diagnosis of 'chronic pelvic pain syndrome'

        Procedures done:

        3 x Cystoscopies (1 with biopsy)/1 x Kidney Ultrasound/1 x Laparoscopy (found old endometriosis)/1 x Pelvic MRI/12 Cystistat Instillations/1 x Nerve Block in my spine (no anaesthesia)/Acupuncture

        Drugs I've had:


        Due to have Sacral Nerve Neuromodulation Therapy in April 2012 (Insterstim Therapy I believe it's called)

        Currently taking:

        600mg Pregabalin, 120mg Duloxetine, 30mcg/hour Buprenorphine through transdermal patches, Laxatives every night and a nightly Trimethoprim antibiotic.


        • #5
          Oddly enough, I know exactly what you are talking about. I don't know what it is but I feel like beer has that chuggable thing going for it, at least for me, as well as being able to relax like you said, I can take my mind of the excruciating burning I have 24/7 and when I do finally get up to go to the bathroom, I actually have something to void. I seem to have more discomfort with water which is typically the only thing I drink. I am constantly drinking water to make sure I stay hydrated so that when I do go to the bathroom, it's not just a trickle. I'm currently on Elmiron, Doxycyline, Spironolactone, Pyridium, Prozac, Nortriptyline, Oxycodone, and Seroquel. I've tried at least 10 other antidepressants over the last year and nothing helps better than beer! I don't understand it at all but you're not alone on that one.

          Something else I discovered over the last few years when I'm dying for a pop/carbonated anything, is Zevia. It's a natural drink, natural flavors, and Stevia is the sweetener. It's completely calorie free. There is something in it called Erythritol which is not absorbed by your body like sugar or artifical sweeteners, instead it goes straight out the urethra into the toilet. This ingredient is amazing for me. It causes frequency like no other but it is so relieving. The ginger root beer is amazing. I've also noticed root beer in general is quite soothing. But that's just me.
          Last edited by Guest; 06-22-2011, 03:53 PM.