Interstitial Cystitis is all caused by your mind and emotions.
Um.. Not so fast!
I have been there. I have been told by meaningful prayer leaders my disease was all in my head (or heart). I was only feeling bad because I had a sad childhood. Here I was a young woman who looked perfectly healthy on the outside claiming to be extremely sick without understating why. No one knew what to do with me.
It must be psychological!
I tried all conventional medicine had to offer but I was not getting better. IC is supposed to be “incurable” according to western doctors. It is indeed a real disease. It is diagnosed by going up and looking into your bladder with a scope and you can actually see it. It causes painful sores all over your bladder.
There is a popular blogger online who claims Interstitial Cystitis and many other pelvic disorders are caused only by stress and your emotions. You can totally heal by dealing with your emotions differently! No diet changes, no treatments, no doctors. This sounds to good to be true, and it was for me.
I followed her blog and even paid for her program. I did her emotion releasing exercises and I read all I could about mind body and disease. I travelled and saw a mind body doctor in Chicago and got diagnosed with it. It did not help my IC one bit, even with 1 year of trying everything they told me to do and reading and rereading Dr. Sarnos books.
Thankfully a year later I did get better but I would have gotten nowhere if I kept going with only mind body emotion theory. It was not a lost cause though! I shared all this with a friend of mine with IC and she also followed the mind body program and it worked great for her!
Me and this other woman had very different IC symptoms. You will find when talking to other women we all have slightly different symptoms and some of us have radically different symptoms.
This blog is written for the women out there who have read information on mind body and maybe even tried to heal this way but it did not work. I have to tell you there is STILL HOPE! IC is definitely EFFECTED by stress. Stress effects all disease, proven fact!
That in no way means you CAUSED your IC by not handling your emotions properly! We already are dealing with a tremendous amount of guilt about how we have to live, and now we are told we caused our illness by our emotions. Not cool.
If you are one of the women who did heal with only mind body techniques, that is fantastic! I would love to hear you story in the comments. We can only help each other by sharing what worked for us.
The fact is IC is VERY complex and there are many different causes and not everyone is the same. I got better through a combo of eating a moderate to low oxalate diet, healing my sugar addiction, going though over 100 NEAT treatments for my allergies, ozone therapy, and a gluten free diet.
I also had to totally change my diet to exclude toxins, colors, and well CRAP!
I needed to do all these things to get well.
I am writing a book about my story and I will reveal it all in time but please understand there is rarely just one problem with chronic illness and you often have to be your own detective when trying to get out of pain.
If you are someone who has gotten out of pain or even healed I would LOVE to hear your story below.
We are in this together and the more knowledge the more power we have!
I have been 206 pounds, granted I was 9 months pregnant, but I only went down to 186 after I had him. It took over a year to get the weight off until I had another child and the cycle continued.
I have also been 105 pounds, 120 pounds, 148 pounds, and 165 pounds. I have gone up and down like a roller coaster throughout the years until I was forced to learn how to properly eat for my body type while healing my disease.
I still will gain weight quickly if I eat a few days of refined sugar or grains.
When I got to 105 (6 pounds underweight according to my BMI) is when I felt the most disgusted and not beautiful. It's ironic because in my teens and younger years I always thought if I could just get as skinny as the models then I would be happy with my body.
I could not eat most foods at the time because eating was the cause of my bladder pain. I was forced to only eat eggs, meat, and broccoli because every other food caused me issues. When you have IC you have open sores in your bladder, chemicals from food in your urine cause the pain to be worse. Its like pouring substances on an open wound. OUCH!
During this time in my life I was angry. I was fearful. I was closed off to the rest of the world. I hated myself. I felt ugly no matter how skinny I was.
People would find out I was sick and their first words would be, "But you look so great, look how skinny you are now!"
Please people, DO NOT comment on someones looks when they tell you they are chronically ill.
I could not understand why I had to be sick and I felt like God was cursing me.
I did not care about my weight anymore. I just wanted to be out of pain.
Even though I was skinny, I was not feeling beautiful because my soul was not free. I believed lies. Beauty is in the soul, and only in the soul. If you believe by loosing 25 pounds you will be more beautiful, you are wrong. You will be thinner. You will be able to wear a smaller size of clothing. You may feel sexier with your clothes off but If you hate your body at 150 pounds, you might be disappointed to find out you don't like it at 115 pounds.
Don't get me wrong, I understand the motivations for wanting to be thinner and having more energy. Feeling like you look hot is a great thing, just make sure you love yourself at each weight and look deep inside to see your soul beauty. We all have it. I had it when I was 105 and feeling bad for myself. I just could not see it.
No one is perfect. Not one. We all have a life of regrets, guilt, and choices we wish we had not made. We also have joy, love, and amazing experiences we created! Its all relative and all part of our beautiful story here. What good movie have you ever seen with absolutely no hardship? Every great story has suffering.
Look in the mirror every morning and look at your amazing God given body no matter what the scale says. Think of all your body has been through and it's still working for you! Every mark, dot, and dimple is amazingly beautiful. Now look into your eyes. Eyes have said to be the window to the soul. Can you see yourself? Can you see into your heart?
You are wonderfully and magnificently made!
You are BEAUTIFUL! Believe it! If you don't believe it now, keep repeating it over and over until you do! Once you believe it you will feel free no matter how much your scale number moves or doesn't move.
You are not alone.
Look around America, most people are gaining weight rapidly. This is not your fault. Did you hear that? THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
I know every diet book, website, blog, and doctor may be shouting to you, LOOSE WEIGHT NOW! Like it was so easy, like you haven’t TRIED to loose weight 100 times! Maybe you have lost weight and felt amazing to get those old jeans on, only to regain it back and have no idea how you got back there?
You are not alone and you have been fooled like the rest of us. Big Pharma and the USDA are greedy, very greedy. They also have a lot of money and in turn power. What does this mean to you? This means not only you but your parents and your grandparents have been conditioned in every way since childhood to buy into their lies and become addicted to high sugar products and refined grains. I don’t call them foods, they are not foods, they are poison. Advertising, “scientific” studies produced by the company themselves, and culture has taught you to eat poison that is highly addictive. Eat it when you are happy, Eat it for a reward, Eat it when you are sad, just EAT IT, culture screams! Companies pay a ton of money to scientists to figure out the exact mix of ingredients that will make your brain want their product, and make you pay for it! Hmm.. Sounds more like a drug ring then a food company..
Let’s be HONEST.
Sugar and white flour products taste amazing! Our brains release all sorts of happy chemicals when we eat these things. I could start drooling now thinking about the cheesecake that put me into a food coma for hours.
For some of us (well most of us after a certain age) our cells turn the excess sugar into fat though, not so amazing.
So a predicament we have. Our brains love the quick reward of sugar, but our bodies, hate it.
What can you do about this madness?
Here are some things you can do right now:
Eat enough protein at breakfast, never skip breakfast! Protein keeps you full longer and prevents a sugar crash. If you eat only carbs and coffee be prepared for a sugar attack later in the day.
Eat Real Foods. If it comes in a box or package – just say NO. When you feed your body real foods, such as the ones you find on the outside aisles of the grocery store, you will give yourself the nutrients you are actually craving and lessen the sugar monsters ability to pound on your door.
Do some small planning. I know you are busy! Whether you are a stay at home mom or a career woman, everyone in this culture is busy. Spend a few free minutes every day planning for the next day, or do it all on one day for the whole week. You know yourself best and which planning schedule fits your life. Plan your lunches and bring them if you will be going to work or keep them in fridge if you are a stay at home mom. Pack healthy, protein containing snacks for when cravings do hit.
Do not let yourself get starving.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store starving and not even left the store before you ripped open the chocolate bar or even ice cream container? I have! Many times, when I made the mistake of dieting and allowing myself to feel starving.
Eat until you are satisfied and don’t go shopping until you are feeling strong. I know this is not always possible, so if you must go to the store hungry at least buy some nuts and tear open that package and eat it before you hit up frozen food isle.
Give yourself a few free cheat meals a week, or don’t. This is confusing and here is why. Someone like me cannot handle cheat days. My cheat treats ALWAYS turn into a 3, 4, or 6 full day cheat week.
I have friends that can certainty enjoy a cupcake without eating the entire box, or have some ice cream without waking up in a ditch with chocolate all over them. This is not me.
Know your limits.
You need to decide who you are. Can you handle eating sugar without sabotaging yourself? Only you can deicide this for yourself. Be true to yourself.
Start journaling every day. You need to figure out your triggers of overeating and get to know yourself. Even just 10 minutes at night can help!
Get a coach! Sometimes this addiction is to much to overcome on your own, hire someone who has been through it and will hold you accountable. (Like me:)
Melissa is the Author of Healing Through the Pain How I overcame Interstitial Cystitis. She writes about health (physical, emotional and spiritual) from a vulnerable place, after overcoming her own challenges and healing Interstitial Cystitis. She is passionate about helping women realize their ability to make changes and move forward from difficult situations in their lives.
If you have any poetry you would like to submit do so to the email below.