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Irritated Bladder
I was diagnosed with an irritated bladder a couple of years ago after a cystoscopy that revealed general irritation, but nothing alarming. I've figured out several triggers for it: any type of citrus fruit, some spices (cinnamon particularly). And once it gets irritated, tomatoes and tomato products will prolong it.

If I'm VERY careful, eat bland foods, drink lots of water to keep things well diluted, I seem to do mostly okay. But every now and then, I'll have a flare-up, and I can't figure out anything I ate that would have caused it.

The flare-ups generally last about 24 hours, during which time I need to go to the restroom every half hour, and I void about a teaspoon. By mid-point of the day, it hurts to urinate, I sometimes turn to pyridium, which helps a little, but not much, and does nothing for the frequency. Ibuprofen also helps a little, but again, not much. During a flare up, I wake up every hour at night, so the next day seems to be horrible for me, because I haven't gotten much sleep. And in a vicious cycle, if I'm overly tired, I need to void more often!

I also take oxybutinin for urgency issues, which helps a little, but not much: I'd pretty much better be on my way to a restroom as soon as I feel the urge.

So my question is: is there anything that I could take (like baking soda, or something) to reduce the acidity of my urine during these flare-ups? Sometimes I won't know that something is going to irritate (unknown spices) until it's too late. Is time the only relief?
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Robin;

I've been doing research into alkalinizing urine myself.  I've never tried baking soda, but I hear it's very effective.  I seem to get very good relief by drinking grapefruit juice - I know, sounds odd, doesn't it, citric acid, right?  But somehow it ends up having an alkaline effect on urine.  And it brings some decent relief.  I'm thinking that's why I have developed my own urinary problems, not enough citrus.  And boy, my urine was acidic last time it was checked - pH of 5.5!

Morgannon
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Hmmm... since grapefruit itself is something I KNOW I can't eat, I'd be reluctant to try this... I'm thinking that something systemic -- something that would keep my gut more alkaline generally -- might help me.

I tried sodium bicarbonate tablets, thinking that leaving them in tablet form might somehow maintain their magic properties a little longer, but it had absolutely no effect that I could discern. I may well try the dissolved baking soda next time -- aside from the nasty taste, I doubt it'll do me any real harm.

I've never actually measured the acidity in my urine, though. That might be an interesting experiment.
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Ah, that's too bad, grapefruit juice really helps me tons.

Maybe try bananas?  Those seemed to help me too, but not as much as grapefruit juice.

Morg
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Well, I had a severe flare-up, and I hadn't eaten anything I would immediately identify as acidic, but I had a significant amount of sugar. So I was reading something completely unrelated, which identified sugar as a high acid food, and that triggered a thought for me: if I were to balance a known acid food with a known alkalai food, would that mitigate some of the problems?

I'm off tomorrow to buy some litmus test strips (if my Wal-Mart carries such a thing), and then several items off the "alkalai food" lists. Which, by the way, grapefruit is (and bananas, but they have a high glycemic index, which would indicate that they're also high in sugar...). That's probably why grapefruit does it for you, Morgannon! I may retry grapefruit, because it's one of my favorite fruits, and maybe something else was really the culprit in that episode.

The alkalizing food list also includes cinnamon, which makes me wonder if it's really cinnamon that does it to me, or because cinnamon is usually delivered with significant amounts of sugar, if that's the real culprit. (But then, I had Indian food from a restaurant, and I don't know what else was in the sauce, but I could identify the cinnamon. I don't think it had a significant amount of sugar -- it was salmon in some kind of sauce -- but who knows?)

I'm going to have to try items one at a time, though, rather than willy-nilly, creating my own exclusionary diet...

What a journey of discovery!
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HI, It sounds to me like you have interstitial cystitis. I was diagnosed with it and have exactly the same symptoms as you. What has helped me tremendously has been alkaline water. The best I have found is called Essentia, it has a PH of 9.5 and I have found that if I drink that all day I have very few flare ups. Of course the first few days you will have to pee a lot but you need to increase the capacity of your bladder by holding in the urine as long as possible. If your urine is very diluted it will irritate the lining of your bladder wall less. If you don't drink a lot of water during a flare up you stand the chance of decreasing your bladder capacity which leads to problems even when you are not flaring, in addition to the fact that your urine will be too concentrated and it will burn your bladder wall which is damaged due to the IC. I have also found potatoes, especially baked, to be a big help. They are very alkalinizing and they have a substance called Mucilage in them that helps to coat the intestinal and bladder walls. Bananas also have this substance in them but you need to be very careful with foods high in potassium because K is very irritating to the bladder. Have you by any chance been diagnosed with Herpes? Some feel this may cause IC.
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