Herbs and Interstitial Cystitis (IC-Less)
Interstitial Cystitis (IC-Less)
"Dear Alan, I am simply amazed at the speed your IC-Less Tonic has worked! I have been in great discomfort for months with misdiagnosis from my doctor. It made me depressed. But now with such swift relief and continued improvement my mood has lifted and I feel a lot more positive. Thank you for all your advice and encouragement."
Hello Alan, I thought I would drop you a line to let you know how things are going. I don't want to tempt fate, but my IC is so much improved I would go as far as to say that it is 'back to normal' so fingers crossed that the improvement is sustained after having to put up with this condition for almost 1 year.
Dear Alan, I was taking mirabegron a drug from my GP for IC; it was meant to act on the muscle by sending a message to the brain, but it was useless and had no effect at all, and I stopped it. I was in real pain and had IC for nearly 7 years. I started your IC-Less tonic and within a short time I was noticing a soothing effect, with less frequency, more control and a lot more confortable. I'd tried so many products over the years and nothing has worked like your herbs. Now I take just 1tsp a day. Wonderful, wonderful tonic! I'm a much happier person! Thank you for all your help and advice.
Elizabeth L. Hampshire.
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder. Its cause is unknown. "Common" cystitis, also known as a urinary tract infection, is caused by bacteria and is usually successfully treated with antibiotics. Unlike common cystitis, IC is believed not to be caused by bacteria and does not respond to conventional antibiotic therapy. It is important to note that IC is not a psychosomatic disorder nor is it caused by stress.
IC can affect people of any age, race or sex. It is, however, most commonly found in women. Recent epidemiological data suggest that there may be greater than 700,000 cases of IC in the US.
Some or all of these symptoms may be present:
FREQUENCY: Day and/or night frequency of urination (up to 60 times a day in severe cases). In early or very mild cases, frequency is sometimes the only symptom.
URGENCY: The sensation of having to urinate immediately, which may also be accompanied by pain, pressure or spasms.
PAIN: Can be in the lower abdominal, urethral or vaginal area. Pain is also frequently associated with sexual intercourse. Men with IC may experience testicular, scrotal and/or perineal pain, and painful ejaculation.
OTHER DISORDERS: Some patients also report muscle and joint pain, migraines, allergic reactions and gastrointestinal problems, as well as the more common symptoms of IC described above. It appears that IC has an as yet unexplained association with certain other chronic diseases and pain syndromes such as vulvar vestibulitis, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. Many IC patients, however, have only bladder symptoms.
Most IC patients have difficulty obtaining a diagnosis. To make a proper diagnosis of IC, a urologist must follow these steps:
Take urine cultures to determine if there is a bacterial infection present.
Rule out other diseases and/or conditions that have symptoms resembling IC. These diseases may include bladder cancer, kidney problems, tuberculosis, vaginal infections, sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, radiation cystitis and neurological disorders.
Perform a cystoscopy with hydrodistention under general anesthesia if no infection is present and no other disorder is discovered. If distention under anesthesia is not performed, the diagnosis of IC may be missed. Cystoscopy during a routine office visit may not reveal the characteristic abnormalities of IC and can be painful for those who have IC. It is necessary to distend the bladder under general or regional anesthesia in order to see the pinpoint hemorrhages on the bladder wall that are the hallmark of this disease. A biopsy of the bladder wall may be necessary at this time to rule out other diseases such as bladder cancer and to assist in the diagnosis of IC. IC is not associated with bladder cancer.
With thanks to the IC Help Group.
At this time there is no known cure for IC, nor is there an effective treatment which works for everyone. However, a vast majority of IC patients may be helped by herbal treatment.
"After 7 YEARS of this painful condition with no relief having tried all kinds of products of course because I was desperate. Yet after the very first bottle of IC-Less there was significant improvement. I haven't looked back. I'm so grateful for this amazing mix of herbs." Liz from Lymington, UK
Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.
Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.
Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.
HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436
General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
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