Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Experiment

  I had my first major flare in August, 2012 after some very stressful events, hormonal changes, and poor eating. Since that time I've had monthly flares that very much coincide with my menstrual cycle. I'm one of the ICers that has issues with estrogen and feels better during times of balanced (luteal phase, the 2 weeks before your period) or low balanced (the first three days of my period). I'm using both allopathic (conventional medicine) and homeopathic ways to treat my IC. All of my health practitioners are aware of who I am working with and what I am using to treat my IC.

Since October, I've started to see some improvement that have resulted in me having more good days than bad. What has been effective for me has been acupuncture, dietary changes, meditation, aloe vera pills, atarax, and herbs to balance out my hormones. I'm also taking elavil, uribel, cystoprotek, d mannose, magnesium citrate, and have gone gluten and dairy free. I honestly don't know if anything in the second set has helped any but I continue to take them.

I wanted to use the summer to experiment on myself. I'm not looking to take myself off medication or implement any large and/or intense diet changes or cleanse. I just want to see if small changes make a noticeable difference if I do them consistently. I'd like to use this thread to track my progress.

As of this starting point, I am a 41 year old woman with red hair who is the walking definition of inflamed. I had bladder issues since I was a child and underwent two urethral dilations (first one at age 4) which set the stage for post procedure ptsd and extreme health anxiety issues. I had no issues after the age of 14 (when I got my period) until I was in my mid 30's when I my hormones started to change (very mild IC that was only triggered by food). I went into remission after having my son at age 37 and didn't flare again until I turned 40. My symptoms on a regular basis are burning and urgency. I don't have frequency issues unless I'm in full flare.

This summer, I will be switching over to a diet that includes more animal protein. I will also continue to meditate daily but will be adding in gentle yoga. I'd also like do gentle daily detoxes like skin brushing. Lastly, I'll be syncing up my daily activities and diet with a new program that has women balancing their lives along with their cycle. 

7/5 Update-

I've been doing a lot of work as of late with meditation which has been a game changer for me. I believe that with the herbal balancing, body work, and some dietary changes, I've been feeling a lot better. Still on meds but I'm going to talk to my Dr this week. I'm fine with being on them for a bit longer, I'm just curious to see what her thoughts are.

I've been looking into a low histamine diet lately. I have a lot of symptoms of systemic inflammation that correspond to high histamine levels. That plus the one med that I do know had a positive effect on me was Atarax. I've been reading the Low Histamine Chef and her diet is doable. She had IC-like symptoms (nocturia, painful urination) but since she had other equally harsh symptoms elsewhere in her body, she didn't treat her condition as just IC. She has an ebook that talks about different mast cell conditions and narcolepsy (which I had from 14 until this major flare in Aug) is one of them as well as IC, obviously. I do think that there are more and more studies pointing to the over stimulation of the nervous system contributing to conditions like IC. 

Anyway, I think all of these things- hormone balance, alkaline diets, meditation contribute to a calmer nervous system. The role of histamine and hormones is pretty crazy and definitely worth a look.

Now, on to milestones. I did have a mini flare last month which bummed me out but my herbalist was happy that the pattern was shifting. I'm trusting her on this one.

1. I'm wearing jeans on a regular basis, even some stretchy close fitting ones which are actually really comfortable.
2. My husband and I hung out with friends until 9:30 one evening without me getting flarey or freaking out that my evening schedule was off.
3. I scheduled a trip for us (including our son) to DC in August. 
4. I'm starting my own business! I'm going very slowly. I used to be crazy type A professional for years, so this one is hard.

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