Interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder. It causes urgent, painful urination and pelvic discomfort. People with interstitial cystitis have a bladder wall that is inflamed and irritated (red and sore). This inflammation can scar the bladder or make it stiff. It also does not store urine well. In some cases, the walls of the bladder may even bleed slightly.
- Painful urination
- Pelvic discomfort
- An urgent need to urinate
- Pressure, pain and tenderness around the bladder, pelvis and perineum (the area between the anus and vagina or the anus and the scrotum).
- A bladder that doesn’t hold urine well
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- In men, discomfort or pain in the penis or scrotum
In many women, the symptoms get worse before their menstrual period. Stress may also make the symptoms worse, but it doesn’t cause them.
According to Ayurveda, interstitial cystitis (IC) appears due to aggravation of vata and pitta dosha. Vata is an Ayurvedic humor, which governs all movements in the mind and body. It is cold, mobile, subtle, light and dry in nature. More specifically apana vata seems to be involved, which is a subdosha of vata dosha. Apana vata is located in the lower pelvic region, and is responsible for the elimination of menstrual blood, stool, urine, and reproductive fluids. The next dosha that is involved is pitta. Pitta symbolizes heat or fire. Pain is a sign of aggravated vata dosha, and a burning sensation of aggravated pitta dosha.
Aggravated vata and pitta produces specific toxins. These toxins accumulate in the pelvic region, bladder, urethra and anal region. Accumulation of toxins lead to pain, frequent urination and a burning sensation in urine. The Ayurvedic diagnosis for this disease is referred to as ‘Ushna Vata’.
The Ayurvedic treatment recommends pacifying apana vata, vata dosha, and pitta dosha. Another way is to eliminate toxins from the pelvic region.
The foods which should be drastically curtailed or altogether avoided are aged cheese, chocolates, heavy cream, ice creams, fat meats, deep fried foods and gravies, high carbohydrate foods like bread, potatoes, sugar, syrup, rich puddings, and beverages such as all fountain drinks and alcoholic drinks. Citrus fruits and vegetables should be avoided.Fresh, sweet juicy fruits, green vegetables, nuts like almonds, milk and fresh milk products can be taken.
Gokshuru (Tribulus terrestris), ashwaganda (Withania- somnifera), shilajeet (Asphaltum), punarnava (Boerhaavia difusa) are good to take.