Question: I have interstitial cystitis. What do you think causes this and what do you think the best option for treatment is?Larry’s Response: Interstitial cystitis is mostly a mystery. While doctors know what it is, an inflammation on the wall of the bladder, few know why it happens.

While you may not find medical evidence to support this, I think it is highly likely that interstitial cystitis is an immune disease – similar to irritable bowel disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and so on. There is also the possibility that bacteria can be involved. I think there is a strong relationship between immune diseases and bacteria (probably spirochetes). It seems very little research is going on in the area of connecting immune diseases with infections. It was gaining support a few years ago, but it seems our government stepped in and stopped all work in that area.Many people with a wide variety of immune diseases are finding relief by using low doses of a drug called naltrexone (LDN). The dose is 3.0mg to 4.5mg, taken once daily at bedtime. It requires a prescription, and costs around a dollar a day. We’ve been dispensing it for over a decade. Some people get great results. However, it is not 100%. It is very safe and I have only heard of a few side effects. One warning is that it should not be taken by anyone who is using any narcotics (opioids). I don’t know if it would work in your case, but I think it is well worth a trial. I’m available if your doctor has questions.

It is still possible that a bacteria is present. I don’t think it wise to use antibiotics “just in case”. However, there’s a sugar, d-mannose, that has been shown very effective in treating bladder and urinary tract infections. It is also use to help prevent recurring infections. It is very safe, even for diabetics. There is a very good product that contains d-mannose, called UTI Edge. It is available as a powder (to be mixed with water) or capsules. The powder is the most cost effective because the user can adjust amounts as needed. Capsules are very handy for people who travel.

One more thing to keep in mind is that a properly hydrated body (sufficient water) has fewer urinary tract and bladder problems. Be sure to drink sufficient amounts of water every day