Here's a question that we just took from an IC patient in South Africa!

Q: “I was just reading up inthe latest newsletter about vitamin C and other supplements. I am very worried about not being able to take vit c. I worry about getting cataracts, other eye problems, etc. Besides not being able to boost my immune system, in the event of colds and flu etc. What can I do? I have had ic for 10 years or so, and do not take any medication for it. I find if I just eat bland foods and stay away from things I should not eat, I keep my pain to a minimum. That is not to say I dont try sometimes to eat something I shouldnt, but it isnt worth it.”

A: The safest way is to focus on those veggies that are high in Vitamin C like green bell peppers, potatoes and green leafy veggies (spinach, lettuce, cabbage). You can also try taking a low acid Ester C… which seems to be much easier for some, but not all, IC patients to tolerate. Lastly, I’m not sure if they offer a low acid orange juice in South Africa. They do here in the states. You could try that… provided that you dilute it substantially.

Don’t forget, though, that using therapies that can help calm the bladder and reduce inflammation might help your bladder improve even more. The use of an antihistamine (aka hydroxyzine) helps control histamine induced inflammation. An antidepressant, such as Amitryptiline, helps control neuroinflammation. There are also protective coatings, such as Elmiron and rescue instillations, that are worth talking with your care provider about.

Don’t overlook, as well, some of the OTC supplements, such as CystaQ, Cystoprotek, Bladder Q or Desert Harvest Aloe, are currently available.