Natural Treatment for Interstitial Cystitis, and Repetitive or Chronic UTI

Identifying and treating the underlying factors allowing a bacterial infection to take hold is key. Predisposing factors range from embedded infections, biofilms and poor immune function to overuse of antibiotics and leaky gut.

“Nick really is amazing at what he does and I cannot thank him enough for everything he has done with my health journey.

I had been suffering with chronic cystitis that would not go away.. it was mentally draining for me and incredibly upsetting and painful, something you never think would happen to you..

I found Nick online searching for a naturopathic doctor at my wits end after being told by countless gynecologists and a urologist that antibiotics were my only solution, after trying around 6 different antibiotics my body was not responding and it continued to come back weekly.. I was getting cold sores, my skin was getting bad, clearly because my body was so run down

I felt I had nothing to lose and put my full trust in Nick to try and help me get better.

He put together for me a program which consisted of different supplements to be taken every day which I have been taking the last 3 months, the cystitis I’d say took around 3-4 weeks to go away, and the symptoms I was experiencing fully subsided in around 2 months..

Nick has been really great and offered me some great advise when I needed help or when I was worried about slight symptoms coming back.. I really could not recommend him enough!

– Rach H

Negative culture but relentless UTI symptoms

Interstitial cystitis came on my radar when a family member of mine had a UTI, diagnosed with a positive culture, following a period of prolonged stress. After taking a course of antibiotics from her GP the symptoms of the UTI remained. So, another culture was taken, only this time it came back negative for infection. She was simply told there was nothing wrong. However, she was in pain and rushing to the bathroom every 20 minutes, whereas before her UTI there were no problems at all. Clearly, something was wrong.

People get in touch with me, mostly because of ongoing symptoms despite having used short or long-term antibiotics.

If you are suffering from repetitive or chronic UTI symptoms, I understand how painful and debilitating it can be. The pain, burning, abdominal ache, frequency and nausea are all very difficult to live with, especially if this becomes chronic.

The good news is that I have helped many of my patients by treating the body as a whole and pinpointing the underlying factors allowing the UTI and cystitis symptoms to dig in. What’s more, this is done naturally.

The role of bacterial infection

  • Interstital cystitis: In my experience, infection that is not properly cleared lies behind most cases of interstitial cystitis.
  • UTI: A urinary tract infection can be caused by various differnt bacteria. Almost 9 in 10 cases of UTI are caused by the transfer of ecoli from the intestinal tract to the urinary tract. In addition there are other bacteria in a minority of cases.

It’s not just a case of identifying a strain of bacteria

While treating and clearing the bacteria is important, for healing to occur it is more complex than simply identifying the bacteria and applying antimicrobials.

The key to resolving this uncomfortable and complex condition lies in finding out what is blocking the healing. Very often there are several underlying predisposing factors, such as:

Testing can be utilised to pinpoint the cause. Often, I start with iridology testing, and sometimes further testing is needed.

Typical symptoms

Symptoms experienced in those with UTI include:

  • Urinary frequency (more than 7-8 times per day, sometimes up to 60 times)
  • Pelvic pain and pressure
  • Urinary urgency
  • Bladder pain

In the case of interstitial cystitis, sensitivity and flaring from some or many foods can form a major part of the picture, in addition to some or all of the above UTI symptoms.

It affects any age group, from children up to post-menopausal women. However, by the age of 30, many will have experienced at some point a urinary issue.

If the infection is embedded, antibiotics can have a hard time reaching the infection

Antibiotics are usually the first line approach to treating a UTI when you visit your GP and do have an important role. Very often they will clear an infection. However, if there has already been an overuse of antibiotics, or if there are other factors co-existing with the infection, the antibiotics are not always able to reach and clear an infection sufficiently.

Controversially, it is now possible to be treated with long-term antibiotics for embedded UTI. The trouble is that this can also lead to antibiotic resistance in strains of bacteria like e-coli in the gut. In turn this means that a UTI caused by these bacteria will be even more challenging to eliminate and can cause further problems.  Not only did the long-term antibiotics not resolve the predisposing factors, for many the symptoms carry on as well as new ones.

What’s more, antibiotics do not address the underlying susceptibility, and do very little to prevent the infection from returning. So, while they may be an easy fix for the short term, in the long term more needs to be done to address the predisposition to UTIs and urinary tract discomfort.

Why have you got biofilms in the first place and to what extent?

Often bacteria is not picked up in urine tests because of biofilms. Biofilms act a bit like a piece of clingfilm over an infected area. This not only protects the bacteria from antibiotics but also makes it difficult for it to be picked up in urine tests. There are natural medicines to disrupt biofilms, also known as biofilm busters, which then allows us to clear out the bacteria in a steady and measured way. This can be also referred to as an embedded UTI.

While antibiotics can definitely have a role in fighting infection, repetitive or long term use of them eventually can cause signficant issues. For example, they can compromise our immune system, upset the microbiome and compromise the integrity of the gut lining – all key things in protecting yourself from UTIs. If you consider there are 3x more bacteria in the body than cells, the overuse of antibiotics can have deep and wide consequences.

In fact, low levels of bacteria are a very common cause of chronic cystitis and IC. What’s more, most UTIs are caused by ecoli bacteria, whereas it’s not uncommon to find other bacteria lying behind cases of IC, such as Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus for example. In fact, in some cases, healthy bacteria is detected in the bladder, which can cause symptoms because it shouldn’t be in the bladder – when this occurs it is a good indicator of digestive issues affecting the bladder.

Out of date testing  methods

The problem with cultures run by GP clinics here in the UK is the amount of bacteria picked up in the culture needs to be relatively high for a UTI to be diagnosed. This means that low grade infections, or partially treated infections are often missed and left to linger, causing chronic, low grade cystitis-type symptoms.

Drug free treatment

The good news is that with a tailored program of natural medicine many women are able to live completely normal lives. Many people contact me looking for an interstitial cystitis natural treatment or treatment for repetitive and chronic UTI.

The key to successful treatment is identifying the underlying cause and correcting this. For some women this can encompass several factors. These range from underlying low grade bacterial infections (which don’t show up on a normal culture), hormonal imbalances, mold, Candida, SIBO, pelvic floor issues, digestive issues, sacroiliac joint problems, and more.

The first step is to unravel what has caused the IC symptoms or repetitive and chronic UTI. This is done via a consultation and possibly functional testing. The tests I may use include an OAT test, MicroGen test and stool test. Test kits will be delivered to your home in the UK, where you can follow instructions and mail your samples off.

Natural antibiotics are often used in the treatment of IC, as bacteria is nearly always present. In addition, digestive health is often implicated too, and usually goes hand-in-hand with IC.

Often, people with urinary issues have a history of taking many antibiotics, and this too is an area that is frequently worked on. Other factors that can play a role are all individually addressed also. Vitamins, herbs, specific probiotics, natural antibitoics, homeopathics and diet are all things that can be used, depending on the underlying causes identified.

The role of stress

One thing of note is stress. Stress is such a common trigger for urinary tract problems, and this too is something that can be helped with herbs and nutritional support.

Interstitial cystitis is something I’m treating more and more in my practice, as well as recurring and chronic UTI. This in part is due to the declining effectiveness of antibiotics, and the lower levels generally given as awareness of antibiotic overuse has grown.

When IC comes about, it is a warning light that your body needs help and attention. Making the decision to treat this condition by peeling back the layers that have caused it to come about will help to free you of the debilitating and life changing condition. What’s more, it will help set you on the path to good health generally, which in turn leads you enjoy a full and happy life.

If you are interested to find out more, call 01379 307707 to discuss further.

Hear from my clients

“After enduring relentless frequency and achy pain for months, Nick found out what the problem was, which was such a relief. He gave me supplements to help relieve the problem as well as a program to treat it. I’m pretty much back to myself now, which I’m so grateful for. With the things I had read online I was really worried I wouldn’t get better, and my GP didn’t think there was anything wrong with me because the UTI tests came back negative. I’m so glad Nick was able to give me answers, thank you Nick.”
– Mary


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