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I am a 50 yr old woman with interstitial cystitis. Because of my condition I am limited as far as what I can eat. Do you know any way to tailor the type O diet so that I can participate, also? Now, I am stuck with beef, almond butter, blueberries, and a few other things. I would really like to expand my selection, but so many things cause me pain ... Elaine
Interstitial cystitis is a devastatingly painful condition that until recently had little or no medical recognition or targeted therapy. Because the best of mainstream medicine offers only drugs, surgery, and the avoidance of acid or salty foods and alcohol, none of which has proven widely successful, I will wade in here with our best shot.
Elaine, for now I will try to give recommendations that will work to reduce inflammation generally and heal the bladder specifically. Please correspond with me through email and let me know your views and reactions to these notes.
It would be well worth your while to order the secretor test from this site. The kind of aggressive inflammatory response and membrane-permeation you are experiencing is far more common among nonsecretors, whose digestive-system linings do not produce antigenetic substances to protect us from avid alien organisms as secretors' do. While you may have tested negative for bacteria (many IC patients do), your inflammatory response may be so high that any "non-self-like substance" in your diet can inspire havoc. I would also make absolutely sure of your blood type, since this is necessary in order to receive valid results from the secretor test.
Here is the type O Urinary Tract Health protocol from The BTD Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia, to be used for four weeks (then "mail me in the morning" :-)):
Bromelain caps (500 mg), 1-2 caps twice daily;
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) (150-250 mg), 1-2 caps twice daily;
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) (500 mg), 1 cap twice daily;
Vitamin C (from Acerola Cherry or rose hips), 250 mg), 1 cap twice daily;
Polyflora-O available here, taken as directed on the bottle.
If you find you're a nonsecretor, add:
Vitamin A (10,000 IU), 1 cap daily;
Deflect-O available here, taken as directed on the bottle.
For once I'm not going to push the exercise thing. (hope that gives you a chuckle!) I am going to push the rest and calming activities thing. :-) Anything that makes you feel good IS good. Meditation, yoga, massage, a fantasy novel followed by a nap.
I MOST ESPECIALLY encourage you to get hold of a copy of Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Cameron Stauth from your local bookseller or Amazon online, whether new or used, and read it. If you've no energy to wade through all of it at the moment, just skip to page 193: Special Meditation for the Second Chakra. It is designed to heal the bladder, takes two minutes and will astound you.
Additionally ~ can you tolerate...
yellow onions? they contain a multitude of urinary tract healers. Quercetin is the anti-inflammatory found in yellow onions and available cheaply in supplement form. No known interactions or overdose, so if they give you no trouble you can pop 'em all day long. ;-)
beets? they possess potent cleansing/healing properties due to their plant dyes and sugars. Great cooked, or juiced with larger quantities of carrots and celery.
broth made from bones left over from roasted beef, turkey, or fish? It is chock full of collagens, minerals and proteins in solution ~ just the thing for an ailing bladder, as long as you can eat it pain-free.
mineral water? Explore the mineral water site. If you are following a low-salt diet, your electrolyte balance may be suffering. Mineral water is a possible way to begin addressing the deficit.
A health care professional who is willing to work with you along holistic lines would be your best asset at this time. Do browse our Practitioner Registry, use a good search engine like www.alltheweb.com/advanced, and your local phone book to discover candidates in your locality if you do not have a responsive doctor right now.
Elaine, I regret it's taken me so long to respond to your question! I look forward to hearing your replies. Anyone out there with IC who is using complementary means to resolve it, please sing out! I'll make sure there's an update posted here. Best wishes for healing to all!!