The Better Bladder Book: A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis and Chronic Pelvic Pain

The Better Bladder Book: A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis and Chronic Pelvic Pain

by Wendy L. Cohan


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Bladder problems affect millions of people, and recovery is often difficult and incomplete. As a registered nurse, Wendy Cohan has provided health information and treatments for patients with a number of bladder conditions. She begins with a description of the anatomy and function of the urological system and the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of typical bladder problems. She lists frequently prescribed medications, explains how they work, and identifies their side effects. The bulk of the book picks up where medical treatment leaves off: the use of diet and herbs, regular exercise, stress and pain reduction techniques, and methods for better sleep are discussed. Cohan includes self-assessments, meal plans, herbal recipes, and a week-by-week recovery plan to create a complete holistic approach to bladder wellness. Information on specific diets, a review of the range of conditions that can cause pelvic pain, and a thorough guide to additional resources complete the book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780897935555
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 12/14/2010
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 342,144
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Wendy Cohan, RN, is a registered nurse who specializes in bladder wellness and emphasizes diet and lifestyle as part of a holistic approach to treating health problems. She educates patients on Celiac disease and gluten intolerance and helps clients manage the treatment of interstitial cystitis and over-active bladder. Ms. Cohan engages in public speaking and contributes to several health and diet-related websites. She maintains two websites on these topics ( and Her first book was Gluten-Free Portland – A Resource Guide.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. John Toth ix

Foreword Dr. Lisa Shaver xi

Preface xiv

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction 1

Part I Finding Your Healing Path

1 A New Approach to Bladder and Pelvic Pain 4

Seeing the Big Picture 4

New Ways of Thinking about IC and Chronic Pelvic Pain 6

Possible Pathways to IC and Chronic Pelvic Pain 10

What You Can Do Now 13

2 Understanding the Basics 15

Understanding the Urinary System 15

Urinary Dysfunction: What's Happening with My Body? 19

Chronic Pelvic Pain and Interstitial Cystitis 32

Urinary Tract Problems in Men 45

What You Can Do Now 51

3 Traditional Treatments 52

Medications for IC/PBS and CPP 52

Invasive Methods of Treatment 62

Physical Therapy 65

Treatment by a Chronic Pain Specialist 66

What You Can Do Now 68

Part II Beginning the Journey

4 Learning to Manage Symptoms 70

Managing Stress 70

Benefits of Daily Exercise 72

Tips and Tools for Relief and Wellness 76

Fight Fatigue by Getting the Rest Your Body Needs 89

What You Can Do Now 94

5 What's Bugging Your Bladder? The Role of Food Sensitivity in IC 96

Food Allergies, Sensitivities, and Intolerances: An Overview 98

Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease 103

Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance 104

Gluten Sensitivity and the Bladder: A Special Case 105

The Lectin Connection 111

Recovery on a Gluten-Free Diet 113

What You Can Do Now 116

6 The Anti-Inflammatory Diet 118

A Diet for Health 118

Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Include 120

Inflammatory Foods to Avoid 121

Getting Started 122

What You Can Do Now 124

7 Stress and Chronic Pelvic Pain: Understanding Cause and Effect 125

The Role of Stress 125

Recognizing Pelvic Floor Muscle Tension 128

Getting to Know Your Pelvic Muscles 129

Tender Points, Trigger Points, and the Role of Neurogenic Inflammation 131

Activities That Can Activate Trigger Points and Refer Pain to the Bladder 133

Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) 136

Addressing Pelvic-Related Symptoms 139

What You Can Do Now 145

8 Help with Hormones for Alleviating Discomfort 147

The Sex Hormones and Bladder Health 147

Pregnenolone Steal: One Reason Why Hormonal Imbalances May Exist 150

Vulvodynia and Other Sources of Chronic Pelvic Pain 151

Treatment Options 155

Focus on Comfort-The Sensible Solution 156

What You Can Do Now 157

9 Fighting Adrenal Fatigue 159

The Adrenal Glands 159

Stress and Inflammation 161

How Stress Leads to Adrenal Fatigue 161

Adrenal Fatigue and IC 162

Why Does Inflammation Persist? 164

The Cat Studies: A Model for IC and Adrenal Dysfunction 165

Stress and the Allergenic Response-Diet Does Matter 167

Menopause and the Adrenals 171

A Personal Look at Adrenal Fatigue 172

Beyond IC: Other Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue 173

Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue 173

Adrenal Recovery 175

What You Can Do Now 180

Part III Further Along the Road to Recovery: Suggestions for Those Who Are Still Struggling

10 The Embattled Body: Dealing with Infectious Microorganisms 182

Occult Bacterial Infections 183

Bacterial Parasites and Occult Urological Infections 187

Bladder Symptoms in Lyme Disease 190

Candida Overgrowth 193

What You Can Do Now 197

11 Medical Conditions and Other Sources of Pelvic Pain or Bladder Symptoms 198

Diabetes Mellitus 198

Pelvic Endometriosis, Bladder Endometriosis, and Adenomyosis 201

Pelvic Adhesions 205

Pelvic Congestion 206

Ovarian Cysts 207

Ovarian Cancer 208

Bladder Cancer 210

Other Conditions 212

What You Can Do Now 213

12 Some Effective Complementary Therapeutic Techniques 214

Neurofascial Processing (NFP) 214

Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT) 217

Acupuncture 219

What You Can Do Now 220

13 Other Helpful Diets to Consider 221

Introduction to Alternative Diets 221

Cultivating a Healthy Intestinal System: A Key to Recovering Your Health 222

The Body Ecology Diet (BED) 223

The Low-Oxalate Diet 225

The Low-Histamine Diet 227

The Allergy Elimination Diet 228

What You Can Do Now 232

14 You Can Get Well 234

Keep a Healthy Outlook 234

Ask for the Kind of Help You Need 236

Appeal to a Higher Power 239

Experience Healing Day by Day 240

Measure Success by Your Own Standards 244

Final Words 245

Appendix A Getting Started on a Gluten-Free Diet 247

Appendix B Gentle Herbal Remedies for Healing the Bladder and the Adrenals 258

Appendix C Homeopathic Remedies for the Bladder 274

Notes 277

Resources: Further Information and Support 278

Index 293

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