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Can't have coffee - what else will wake me up?

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  • Can't have coffee - what else will wake me up?


    Does anyone knows of a 'pick me up' alternative to coffee? Any foods / supplements / things to do that you guys find help with lethargy and being tired?

    I'm a university student in the middle of exams, and i'm going to be putting in some long hours studying in the next few months as well. Reading for hours on end without getting sleepy is tough, plus I've also noticed when I flare I just get plain exhausted.

    Sometimes I go for a short walk, but that's not always possible (it's -25 C outside) so I'm hoping for some sort of alternative. Caffeine pills? Ginseng? Some sort of veggie?

    Thanks in advance!


  • #2
    Unfortunately, I think that many stimulants can be problematic for people with IC. The reason I've heard is that it's because it stimulates your nerves, including those that transmit pain. So not only caffeine, but MSG and stimulants like psuedoephedrine (Sudafed) can cause flares.

    I personally find mint to be kind of stimulating - have you tried Metromint water? It's a flavored water that I can find locally. It's literally only water and mint. Having an ice cold one of those can pep me up. For an indoor pick-me-up, have you tried doing push ups? (I'm serious!) A few of those can get your blood pumping without having to go outside.

    If you are really, really, really needing the caffeine, maybe try a small amount of Kava (low-acid instant coffee) and see if that helps you.

    Good luck on your exams!

    40 y.o. mom, wife and marketing manager

    "Il faut manger pour vivre, et non pas vivre pour manger." -- Moliere ("One should eat to live, not live to eat.")

    IC symptoms began Feb 2010; diagnosed Mar 2010


    Elmiron 3x day; Elavil 25 mg/day; Prelief (when I remember!); Benadryl and Prosed DS as needed for flares

    Acupuncture 2x/month; yoga; IC Diet; meditation and breathing exercises for stress; heating pad for flares


    • #3
      Sipping ice cold water wakes me up. Also just stretching or doing some simple exercises can help. I would avoid stimulants --- you don't want an IC flare.

      Stay safe

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      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


      • #4
        Hot marshmallow root tea with a little honey works a little, just to stimulate blood flow. There is also substitute coffee. You just need to get over the caffeine fixes, and you'll get used to it.

        And yes, hope you had good luck on your exams. Know they can be grueling!


        • #5
          I don't know about waking you up, since this is milk, but if you're looking for something hot the IC nurse told me about Starbucks steamed flavored milks. It's just steamed milk with flavor squirted in it. She said just ask for a couple of squirts instead of the four or five they usually do. I don't know if all the flavors would be okay, but I do know they have vanilla. I plan on trying that over the weekend!

          Diagnosed with:
          IC September 2009 (symptoms are frequency all the time and some burning)
          Graves' Disease June 2006 (thyroid issue)
          Sleep Apnea February 2007
          IBS-C so long ago I can't remember
          Total hysterectomy 2015 (pre-cancer)
          CPAP Machine (for sleep apnea)
          Metoprolol ER
          Linzess and Magnesium for IBS-C

          Love my furbaby, Turtle!


          • #6
            I know I miss my coffe too, but we have to get use to sticking with the IC diet until they find a cure.
            <a href=";current=Picture005.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket" ></a>


            • #7
              Thanks for the info, everyone! I didn't realize it was stimulants in general that I'm not supposed to have. The other suggestions were good tho - I'll try marshmallow tea and the Metromint water.

              The Starbucks steamed milk w/ flavoring were a great idea- I tried vanilla yesterday, it was delish and didn't bother me at all! Didn't 'wake' me up per-say, but still were good.

              The exams went good thankfully!



              • #8

                Have you ever tried Kava coffee? It's 90% acid reduced and supposed to be IC friendly. It is acid free, but not caffeine free. I used to drink it all the time when I first got IC and had bad symptoms and it didn't cause problems. It's an instant coffee and it tastes pretty good. You can order it off the internet. They used to sell it at the grocery store, but I think they might have stopped. Hope you find something to help you stay alert. :woohoo:


                • #9
                  I miss coffee too. I've found Teeccino to be a pretty good substitute. It helps a little as a pick-me-up since it tastes pretty similar to coffee. I get mine at the grocery store in the organic section.
                  34 years old, bladder symptoms all my life
                  diagnosed with PFD and VV October 2009; IC May 2010

                  Current meds:
                  Cystoprotek 2 pills twice a day, Hydroxyzine 10 mg, Gabapentin 600 mg, Myrbetriq 25mg, Zoloft 25 mg, Mircrogestin, capsaicin cream (for vulva)
                  Other past treatments:
                  IC diet, physical therapy, Traumeel injections as needed, TENS unit, heating pad, instills with sodium bicarb, lidocaine, and mucosa compositum
                  Tried and didn't work:
                  Pyridium, Singlair, Nortriptyline, Elmiron, lidocaine and heparin instills (worked at first, then didn't anymore), various creams, acupuncture