I have just had what I consider to be a miracle revelation. Here is my story (briefly) and what I just discovered that has solved my problem:
I'm 36 with a long history of UTIs and many antibiotics or flushing with Cranberry Juice and water when I felt the symptoms coming on. I also seem to have a sensitivity to certain foods and beverages including coffee and Coke. I thought it was the caffeine giving me fits.
Recently my problem had gotten so bad that I could drink nothing but cranberry juice and water without running to the bathroom 20 times a day. And still I had the burning and frequent urination.
Worse yet, when an episode was coming on (which was anytime I got even slightly dehydrated) I would get this spot in my field of vision. This, I have discovered is a "Scotoma". It would appear before the symptoms of infection hit and would worsen to the point that I could not focus on anything in my central view. This is very scary. I mentioned this to my doctor the last time I got antibiotics. He was neither concerned, nor had he any suggestions.
Long story short: I researched IC and decided that one of my earlier Dr.s was probably correct in thinking I might have it. I didn't pursue it then because of the horrible sounding treatments that "may or may not have any results".
I then researched the whole body pH thing and learned of the connection between acidic urine and IC. I had read that increasing the alkalinity of urine by drinking baking soda and water might relieve the symptoms of IC. I was having two or three onsets per week before I started this. I have been drinking a shot of baking soda water a couple times a day for the last week and have experienced a complete turnaround. Not just the relief from burning. I have actually been drinking coffee again, which used to literally ruin my whole day! No symptoms.
I still drink lots of water, but I don't have to run to the bathroom every half hour like I was before. I have also lost the queasy/shaky feeling I would get from even one cup of coffee (regular or decaf.) And foods that previously bothered me are now no problem.
This makes perfect sense if you read what they say about the proper pH for the human body and what can happen if you go outside the range. I guess the acid in my urine was just corroding the walls of my bladder.
I started this regimen in the midst of an attack and the spot in front of my eyes was gone in five minutes.
I know this sounds too good to be true. But I would love to hear from anyone else who has experienced scotoma with IC symptoms, as well as anyone else who has found relief from baking soda. (I also hear that Coral Calcium is a good acid reducer).
I'm sure there's some optimum amount of baking soda. I just wing it with approximately a teaspoon in as little water as possible, so I can down it real fast and get it over with. Tastes terrible!
I do know that you can get test strips and check the pH of your urine. There are web sites that say what the correct level is. Perhaps you can experiment until it is right.
I just do one shot in the morning and night and anytime I am consuming something acidic. Good for indigestion too. Though I'm sure the salt is not real good for you...may cause water retention. But it's sure a lot better than what I've been going through.
Let me know if it works for you.
[This message has been edited by RoxRoxU (edited 10-21-2003).]
The test strips should be available in your local pharmacy. If they do not have them on hand, they can order from an outside vendor. I work in a pharmacy. Great idea about the baking soda. Certainly an option that is a "natural" way of balancing the ph. I am soooo sick of antibotics and "so called" precription cures. Thank you for your input!!
I too have been looking into the acid-alkaline balance issues of the body lately, and have ordered some PH strips which I am expecting soon. But baking soda sounds unnecessary and kind of harsh to me. The best way to rebalance your PH is to get a food chart which shows acid V.S. alkaline foods to eat, and make modifications in your overall diet. In very general terms, fruits and vegetables are alkaline-forming, while meat, dairy, grains, white flour, white sugar, coffee, alcohol, beans, soda, fish, are acid-producing. You do not need to avoid all acid foods, just eat more alkaline foods than acid (the ratio is supposed to be 5-to-1).
An acid PH causes calcium to be leached from your bones, which is probably why calcium supplements can be good. But it needs to be a balanced one with silica, boron, and magnesium.
Thanks for the feedback. It's true about the diet, I'm sure. But I have developed an increasingly severe reaction to just half a cup of coffee, coke, tea and even my very favorite...red wine. Not to mention most fruit juices. It gets really boring.
I eat well and try to avoid acidic and processed foods. But it's almost impossible to have a pristine diet with the frantic lifestyle I lead. And I just can't do the vegetarian thing.
And just as soon as I let my guard down...Wham! That's why I got so excited about the baking soda. The relief is almost instant.
I've tried to find out what's bad about it. All I find is the salt and the increased potential for a certain type of kidney stone in people who get those. I've found that athletes are actually using it to combat the effects of lactic acid after extreme workouts.
It's certainly a lot less traumatic than what I used to do: Lock myself in the bathroom for half the day with a gallon of water and a jug of cranberry juice.
Hello again everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I have had no problems since I made this post. I don't take baking soda every day. Perhaps once every other or every three days. I am now drinking moderate amounts of coffee and Coke as well as the occasional wine or beer. I was once dependent upon cranberry juice, but haven't had it for ages. I think the acidity actually caused a delayed reaction. If I start to feel the twinge or burning, I just do the baking soda and its gone.
I am writing again because I keep seeing posts by people who describe the same symptoms I had. And I went through the all the doctor prescribed treatments to no avail.
What you are saying makes so much sense! I am buying a new baking soda today and starting on it! I have had the same problems since I was a teen (37 now). I am a dental hygienist and body chemistry also plays a role in dental health. An acidic person will develop more cavities(myself-even with very good hygiene- but lots of prescription strength fluoride has stopped that!!). An alkaline person will develop more tartar! I never develop any!! So that is just another correlation for us all! I find it very interesting and can't wait to see the baking soda results....who knows, maybe I'll start building up more tartar and need to clean my teeth more often! I'll take that over uti symptoms any day!Thanks!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for the baking soda tip. I am 65 year old male and have been having UTI type symptoms for a couple of years now, on and off. This latest one started about 4 days ago. I read your post about baking soda and by taking a teaspoon every 5-6 hours in water, within ONE day the major symptoms were gone !!!!!!!!!!
Nothing else has worked for me as the baking soda has. The last time that I took antibiotics they had no effect whatever..
The only side effect was that the baking soda acted as a major laxative.....
I can't thank you enough for posting this tip.
I think that my problem was urethritis and it immediately made sense that an overly acidic urine flow could exacerbate this condition.
Last edited by edwardstiles; 11-20-2003 at 06:19 AM.
You might be on to something here...When I read your story about getting floaters in your field of vision, this really hit home with me. I get these too. I also have IC with frequent UTIs. I'm going to try your remedy sometime when I'm flared up. Thanks!
Incidently, anyone here think that cranberry juice might be part of their problem? Before I was diagnosed with IC and had frequent UTIs, I was on a strict diet of cran juice and water, but the symptoms never really subsided until my urologist told me that the juice was too acidic for my bladder to handle and to quit drinking it NOW! Ever since, I haven't touched the stuff. I still get flare-ups, but at least I know not to drink something that might exacerbate my problem. Any thoughts?
Cranberry Juice: I decided it was too acidic also. I stopped drinking it as soon as I started the baking soda.
Laxative effects of baking soda: I had the same experience. However, since I stopped drinking cranberry juice, I have been able to stay symptom free with only a tablespoon of baking soda every now and then. (I think the last time I took it was two days ago.) At this level, I haven't had any problems.
I'm still in shock that I can drink a cup of coffee in the morning!
So happy that someone was able to benefit from this information. Keep me posted.
Well, the baking soda has seemed to eliminate the burning. I am also using the tea tree oil spray. I had a urinalysis done today. No bacteria and ph was in the middle range. Feeling pretty good. Hope it lasts!!! Good luck to all!!!
How funny...this baking soda thing is one of those old wive's remedies that turned out to actually work. My husband's aunt cured a family member of a bladder infection years ago when she started her drinking it at the first signs of a UTI....next day she was fine. I was a little skeptical at first until I started doing some research, and turned out his aunt knew what she was doing. You do want to be careful doing this if you have high blood pressure though. Be sure to get an ok from your doctor first.
I do have a question for RoxRox - do you use a tablespoon of baking soda, or a teaspoon? You mention both in different posts and there's a difference in size between the two.
That's fascinating. I guess it makes sense that some old wives tales actually have a medical basis. After all, medicine has been practiced throughout recorded history and medical science, as we know it, is just a baby.
What still baffles me is how resistant many doctors are to the practical home remedies that are available. I wonder if it has to do with $$$$ or the threat of malpractice?
Anyway, I was reading back last night and noticed my discrepancy in the measurement of baking soda. The truth is that I just dump some into a glass, more or less, depending on how "acidic" I am feeling. I'm waiting for some pH test strips to arrive, so that I can come up with a standard for myself.
I don't think it really matters that much, except I overdid it once and felt kind of nauseous for a while. 3 tablespoons is too much!
Thanks everyone who has replied. It is heartening to know that others have found relief too.
I just wanted to reaffirm that the UTI symptoms that I was suffering from have gone away and stayed away !!!!!!!
In my case one day of baking soda "doses" was all that was needed, approx 5 glasses of water each with one teaspoon of "Arm and Hammer" taken over the course of one day !!!!!
I noticed that Alka Seltzer is made up of baking soda with aspirin and citric acid added. This might be a perfect cure with the aspirin to act as an analgesic to give quick relief from pain, Just a thought..
Once again many thanks for the tip, I have been trying to find a cure for two years and this looks like it is really effective.