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Gluten Sensitivity and Bladder Disease

Celiac.com 08/28/2008 - Gluten intolerance can affect all the mucous membranes of the body in sensitive individuals, including the bladder lining.  I was diagnosed in 1996 with an incurable, progressive, painful disease called interstitial cystitis.  The symptoms mimic those of a bad bladder infection, although most lab tests are negative for bacteria, and antibiotics generally do not help.  I knew as a nurse how the bladder functions, and that it needs to have an intact lining to tolerate holding all the toxic wastes of the body prior to elimination.  It made sense to me to try a dietary approach, and I had good luck immediately by excluding from my diet known bladder irritants like tomatoes, caffeine, chocolate, citrus, and alcohol, even though most doctors at the time gave diet little credit for a reduction in symptoms.   Nevertheless, the disease did progress over time, and I eventually needed to take pain medications, anti-spasmodics, and other medications to enable me to function.  Every urine test showed that I had significant amounts of blood in my urine.  No one ever tested me for food allergies, gluten intolerance, or considered any other possible cause.  No one suggested that my symptoms were part of a systemic dysfunction in my body.  I had a painful disease, and they would give me as much pain medicine as I wanted, but there was no cure.

I was no longer getting enough sleep to enable me to function well as a nurse.  I made the choice to stop working for a few years to concentrate on rebuilding my health.  I was in constant pain.  It was about this time that I began turning to alternative practitioners for help, and started experimenting with my diet, as well as having food allergy and sensitivity testing done.  I had some success eliminating the swelling in my pelvic area using castor oil packs, enough so that when I had increased swelling from eating a particular food, I could tell the difference.  Careful observation showed me what did and did not negatively affect my bladder.  Eliminating gluten resolved a long-standing rash on my legs, called dermatitis herpetiformis, and after about two years and a lot of alternative bodywork, my bladder began to significantly recover.  It was the first area to show symptoms, and the last to recover.

Now, twelve years after my interstitial cystitis diagnosis, my urologist readily agrees that gluten negatively affects the bladder in some portion of her patients, and that eliminating gluten leads to a reduction in symptoms. All of my urine tests are perfectly normal and I sleep at night.  Still, there are almost no published journal articles linking gluten intolerance and the bladder. I am trying to get the word out there, specifically, the idea that we do not have to live with constant pain, and that what we eat can affect our health.

My future goals include beginning an informal clinical trial in the form of a support group for patients willing to try a gluten-free diet as a treatment for chronic bladder symptoms.  If anyone is interested in the link between bladder symptoms and gluten sensitivity, I have pages of anecdotes gathered from many people who have experienced healing on a gluten-free diet.

The Connection Between Bladder Symptoms And Gluten Sensitivity - A Collection Of Personal Experiences*

*Names have been changed to initials to protect individuals privacy.The author has the original web-posts or other identifying information. A summary of web posts from icpuzzle@yahoogroups.com and intersitialcystitischronicpain@yahoogroups.com and personal communications revealing strong evidence of a connection between bladder symptoms and gluten sensitivity. This article is an adjunct/follow-up to the above article on gluten sensitivity and bladder disease.

  • …”The main help came from W.’s suggestion to try to eliminate wheat-barley-rye (gluten).The Elmiron was getting close it it’s max without constantly abusing the situation with gluten…about three months ago I started eliminating gluten-carrying grains, “wallah” absolutely the most significant change started happening about 3 or 4 days from the last day of gluten.  How much better am I now since then – about 500% better (close to where I was when I first noticed the IC, even though I didn’t know what was happening – close to TWENTY YEARS AGO).  I am still of the opinion that some kind of critters have and maybe still play a part of this.  I have taken every kind of antibiotic, with a little success now and then, but not enough to kill it.”
  • “It took about 3 months to see mild improvement, about a year to see moderate improvement, and about 2 years to feel much better.  I am not 100 percent symptom free, but most of the time I am a very manageable level of symptoms, and when I flare (from diet or sex) it is very short lived.I am down to one Elmiron a day (from the original dose of 3) and I also do a gluten and sugar free version of the IC diet, which I also think has helped me a lot.”
  • “I have had IC for 30 years pretty severely.  It was only this past years that I got tested …and found out I had a severe wheat-gluten allergy to the point that I cannot ingest one bite of anything with wheat or gluten…they said my whole digestive tract was inflamed…Over the years I knew I was wheat, dairy, and sugar intolerant but these (latest) tests are more specific and let you know the levels.  I feel much stronger and have many days when I am symptom free.  I finally feel different.”
  • “I have started cutting wheat and gluten out of my diet, its been about 2 weeks now.  I, like M., have IBS.  I am feeling better every day.I am following a diet very similar to yours.Thank you for posting it again!”
  • “I have had IC for over a decade.  I have been on a gluten free diet for over 6 years and that has been the only thing that has given me any relief from the IC.  I no longer take any meds at all – haven’t even been to a doctor for the IC in several years.Glad to hear someone else is seeing the benefits of the GF diet for IC and getting the word out.  I would definitely suggest anyone with IC give it a try.  It definitely gave me my life back."
  • “Where have you been for the last twenty plus years?You may have saved my life.I have described these symptoms for years to doctors and never got an answer that sounded even close to what was happening.  Just “try these antibiotics” once in a while at the beginning (there was minimal change), but more and more the antibiotics got more and more expensive with less and less effect if any at all, it even included the kill-all antibiotic – kills everything except me …Went to nerve doctor ($2,500 plus, pelvic x-rays (2 or 3 types).One of the urologists… never said anything but “prostatitis” over and over again. My head now also has a near perfectly clear thinking ability, before it was always a bit cloudy even though I may not have been totally aware of it.The feel of carrying extra weight is now almost gone. The gluten issue may not be the only issue I have – prostatitis is likely to be part of the pain problem, but there is no question that the gluten issue has been a very, very large part and is now subsiding.”
  • “I was tested for gluten intolerance but it came out negative but while I awaited results I went gluten free and I felt so good I never went back.  I have had a lot of improvement going gluten and sugar free as well.I can find rice pasta, lasagna etc. easily.  It’s amazing how you don’t have to try hard to substitute (for) it.”
  • “I have gone from having to go with urgency every 5 to 10 minutes and being in constant pain (especially at night) to having almost no symptoms.   I am not “cured”.  I am still working on healing.  I occasionally have a mild flare.  Gradually I am able to add foods back into my diet – a very different diet than before.  Whole foods, more veggies, only whole grains (no wheat), no sugar, and an overall more alkaline diet….There is help.  There is hope.”
  • “I am just into the first several chapters of the book (Solving the IC Puzzle, by Amrit Willis, R.N.), but wanted to stop and ask if there were any people who were celiac or gluten intolerant that also suffer from IC.  In my celiacs group, there are quite a few that have celiacs that (also) have IC.Autoimmune – allergy – poor lifestyle choices – toxic body – all related.  So, I am wondering if there are others in this IC group that are gluten intolerant/celiacs or who have suffered from, have, or have healed from autoimmune diseases…”
  • “I have celiac disease also.  I was diagnosed via a blood test about 4 months before the IC thing came to a head.  I disregarded the doctor’s warning to stay away from gluten/wheat.I went to a gastroenterologist because I felt like I was having a stomach flu every 2 weeks.  So I saw this guy and he gave me the blood test results (which I ignored) until finally, I felt so bad I decided to whit the gluten/wheat.I had a friend who has celiac really severely and she told me that I might as well cancel my hydrodistention to test for IC because eliminating wheat/gluten might clear everything up for me.  Unfortunately, I had the hydrodistention which made me much worse, IC-wise….Sorry for the long-winded answer.I finally stopped taking the Elmiron…So far so good.I really don’t expect to have a problem.  It was just hard letting go.  I don’t know which came first (the celiac or the IC).Looking back, every time I drank beer I always felt bloated right away.  Classic example, on our way to skiing, we would stop for two beers.  Relieving myself before getting back in the car, I would be dying for the bathroom before we reached our destination, 45 minutes later.  I though this was normal.I suppose it was the celiac and IC kicking in. Too bad it would take 10 years and 3 pregnancies later to diagnose it…”
  • “I have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity and am gluten-free.  Since I was already eating very little in the way of grains at my nutritionist’s urging, I don’t find the diet that difficult to follow.I try to be very careful.”
  • “I agree with these 2 types of pastas.  I also find that when I eat wheat (which is an allergy I have) that my bladder gets irritated…”
  • “…So, W. your IC is totally gone right now – especially after cutting out gluten?  I have known for years and years that I was gluten sensitive as whenever I wouldn’t eat gluten or wheat, if I just ate vegetables and protein my stomach would be soooo quiet.Hindsight is 20/20 – just wish I would have given up gluten years ago and maybe this wouldn’t have happened.  I am checking into pelvic floor therapy and will have that done along with many other things – I am so terrified of this getting worse, absolutely scared to death.  Thanks for your words of encouragement and comfort.”
  • (Personal Communication)“Suddenly some of the mysteries of what's been called my "wheat intolerance" or "allergy" were resolved.  In particular, I no longer think I'm crazy for suspecting a link between my 2.5-year-long urinary tract infection and the onset of my more obviously wheat-related symptoms. Thanks so much for getting the word out, and sharing your experience!”
  • (Personal Communication) “I about fell off my chair when I read about your bladder stuff.  I've seen 3 specialists (including a digestive doc and a urologist!!), a regular PCP, and a naturopath, and none of them were willing to consider a link between wheat issues and my poor bladder's troubles. It was like the world lifted off my shoulders - I'm not crazy!  And my body is not the wreck I thought it was at the ripe old age of 31!Seems funny to be exultant about probably having celiac disease, but that's what I've been since.”

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53 Responses:

 
krista
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said this on
30 Aug 2008 4:14:30 AM PST
Thank you for writing this. I have had the same experience. Most doctors here don't recognize the effect that gluten can have on bladder and kidney function. Or any other organ other than the small intestines. I hope they wake up soon it would save so many from so much pain.

 
Laurie
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said this on
05 Sep 2008 7:23:22 PM PST
I have both IC and a wheat allergy, which I ignored and was paying the price with the severe pain with IC. Absolutely nothing was working and of course no doctor would hear of it being related. Several have told me that diet would not solve anything. *right* That was until the total experience with dermatitis (celiac) forced me to be gluten free and it has completely stopped the IC pain. It's nothing short of a miracle to have my life back. I can actually plan to leave the house now, where I couldn't before without a serious map to all bathrooms in all stores on the route.

 
Anne
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said this on
07 Sep 2008 1:59:26 PM PST
Thanks for sharing this information and glad your health improved. I did not have bladder irritation or infection, but I did have stress incontinence. I was told that was 'normal' for a 60 year old woman. When I went Gluten Free 5 years ago, my incontinence disappeared.

Interesting aside is my dog was urinating in her sleep and when I started her on a Gluten Free diet, she no longer does this.

 
Rachael
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said this on
10 Sep 2008 9:54:16 AM PST
Thank you for sharing this. I used to get frequent bladder infections that were prone to quickly creeping up into my kidneys. After going gluten-free more than a year ago, I have only had one, and that was right after diagnosis. I've never gone that long without a UTI since my first one 11 years ago!

 
Melissa
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said this on
10 Sep 2008 3:55:59 PM PST
Thank you so much for this informative article. I've spent the last month with a urologist testing me to figure out what was wrong. The first thing I asked him was if there is any relation to my celiac disease...of course not! All my tests (over $4000) came back negative. He told me that something was wrong, but he just could not figure it out. So he wanted to put me on a daily dose of antibiotics to solve my problems. No thank you. I have piece of mind again! Thank you!

 
Kara
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said this on
11 Sep 2008 11:41:32 AM PST
Its a comfort to hear that there are others out there with the same conditions as I have. I have both IC and Celiac. I am 23 and have have dealt with pain for half of my life and fear that their will never be an end to it. Though I try really hard to stick to the diet it is hard, especially when all my friends like to drink and eat out a lot. I have tried to deal without pain medications but it seems the only way to get through the day. Its hard to deal with life when everyone feels sorry for you but no one understand the day to day trails I go through. I have to say reading the article made me feel a little better to remember I am not alone. Thanks for the small comfort you gave me.

 
Heather Tupper
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said this on
12 Sep 2008 9:50:13 AM PST
OMG! I'm so weirdly happy to read this. I also have IC and once I finally found out I was a Celiac, my symptoms also improved. It's so nice not to think I'm a TOTAL freak. Thank you!

 
Frieda Christianson
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said this on
12 Sep 2008 12:13:20 PM PST
Working through a lot of this information on my own--this sure helps the self-learned.

 
Rhoda
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said this on
13 Sep 2008 5:41:30 PM PST
Yes! I suspected a connection. Celiac is in my family - I asked for testing - they said I wasn't thin enough. Finally I went gluten-free on my own. This cleared up my constant UTI's, hives on my legs and lower abdomen, bleeding gums, and all the intestinal distress! It's been 15 months now and I'm feeling better each day.

 
Aggie
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said this on
15 Sep 2008 10:18:03 AM PST
I was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease at age 64. Had frequent bladder/kidney infections in my 30's and 40/s, and was having incontinence problems when I was diagnosed (accidentally) at Mayo Clinic. I have been gluten free 18 months, and the incontinence issues are mostly resolved.

 
marga
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said this on
16 Oct 2008 11:42:58 AM PST
I've gotten frequent bladder infections for years and though I suspected it might have something to do with what I was eating, I could never quite put my finger on it. I've also had the devastating fatigue, headaches, painful bloating, achy joints, irritability. I've been a vegan, too, for about a year now, and I have to say that cutting out the meat and the dairy have helped some, too. Don't know how hard it will be to be gluten free, as well, but I'll try anything to feel better. Thank you for your article. Stay healthy.

 
phyllis
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said this on
23 Oct 2008 4:50:21 AM PST
Thanks so much for your info. I thought this was all in my head. I was diagnosed almost a year ago and had no idea it could cause bladder ailments and also the 'new' rash I have. Many doctors (or mine) do not know all of the symptoms that this disease may cause. Thanks

 
Valerie
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said this on
17 Nov 2008 5:20:11 PM PST
After too many years I have struggled with my mother's Colon Cancer and my daughter's Incontinence issues, Now I know that it is a hereditary issue. Thank you for sharing your stories and I hope that we can heal and help others.

 
Amy
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said this on
19 Dec 2008 3:19:13 PM PST
I gave up gluten because my sweet son was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I have had a LIFE LONG struggle with my bladder and kidneys and recently have been in so much pain I felt like giving up on life!! A few weeks of the diet and I feel AMAZING!! I cannot wait to see how much better I feel in the future!! This word HAS to get out!! My son's diagnosis literally saved my life and I want to become part of the 'cause' to get this word out about gluten!! Please contact me if there is anything I can do!!!

 
Alyssa
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said this on
06 Aug 2015 12:32:08 PM PST
Hi There, I was just wondering what kind of bladder issues you had. I am also completely struggling and have been for years. Doctors have not been able to find out what is wrong and I am at my wits end. Would you recommend anyone try gluten free?

 
judy
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said this on
27 Aug 2009 9:55:12 AM PST
This has been so informative. I have celiac, IC, fibromyalgia, sjorgrens.

 
let
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said this on
16 Sep 2009 9:21:35 AM PST
I just want to write on behalf of my mother. She has been struggling for almost 6 years with constant bladder-pain infection, and she went for so many operations, and now she must use a catheter three times a day. she became much better and did cut out the obvious food, except the hidden gluten. They even put her on anti-depressants. Thank you for this article. she cried when she read it. All praise to God. Thank you. She is finally living again, like the mom I always knew.

 
Chris
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said this on
29 Sep 2009 8:29:12 AM PST
I didn't even imagine that there is a link between gluten intolerance and IC. I can't get a doctor to tell me that my problem is gluten, but after cutting out the obvious culprits for the last week, it is glaringly obvious. Just the fact that I don't look pregnant anymore tells me what I need to know. Now that I see that the two conditions go hand in hand and can be corrected by eliminating gluten from my diet, I'm more convinced that this is the way to be! I agree with the other people that say that they are happy to know that it's not all in their imagination! Thank you.

 
Bee
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said this on
18 Mar 2010 12:08:16 PM PST
I am 24, and I have had stomach trouble and constipation for the past 10 years. My mom was diagnosed with celiac a few years ago, and I suspected that I might have it as well but didn't want to have to go on the diet so ignored my issues. Over the past year, I have had chronic yeast infections, chronic urniary tract infections, joint pain, problems with anxiety, fatigue, headaches and recently started breaking out in hives and an itchy rash. I am now positive that I have celiac too, and I believe it has caused all of these issues. I am going to go on the gluten-free diet and hope that it resolves the issues I have been having.

 
Sam
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said this on
27 Jan 2013 2:59:25 PM PST
I'm having the same problem. I'm 21 years old and have had 5 UTI infections in the past 6-7 months. Now I'm always super constipated that I've left work so many times in pain. No doctor does anything but keeps feeding me antibiotics which has caused yeast overgrowth in my gut. Anyways, I think that wheat is definitely the problem. I tried to eliminate it and then ate it. That day, I got fully constipated and now have another UTI! I didn't have one for 2 months and now it pops up . Crazy how we're so young, yet so much sickness can happen from gluten.

 
Isabel
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said this on
07 Aug 2010 1:19:51 PM PST
Your article helped me to link a rash I have been getting on my hands and feet for the last 10-12 years of my life to a wheat allergy! I was told it was some weird type of eczema by the doctors and that a steroid cream would make it go away, but I refused the cream, seeming only to suffer badly with it in Summer. But from the pictures and the description I believe it to be dermatitis erpetiformis.
I too have bladder problems! Which has been a more recent problem, lasting about the last 8 months. I have taken countless courses of unsuccessful antibiotics and tried many different supplements, also seen a specialist and had scans, xrays etc. I gave up sex for a month (as instructed by a urologist) which seemed to help a bit, but not fully. It was only when my sister who is a Coeliac suggested that I give up wheat that I found any success. She had read on group on facebook that some Coeliacs have long standing bladder problems (or IC) instead of any intestinal symptoms. I have been wheat free for just over 2 weeks and feel almost normal, urinating no longer has me crying or panicking for the first time in ages. Keep up the good work, because I believe this could solve an awful lot of problems for many people, who are suffering needlessly with endless pain.

 
Elizabeth L.
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said this on
23 Feb 2011 9:56:03 PM PST
I was diagnosed with IC about ten years ago after living with constant pain, dozens of doctors' appointments and ER visits, and countless rounds of antibiotics. Last year I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and have been taking synthroid, in addition to Elmiron for IC. I knew about the link between thyroid issues and gluten intolerance, so when I started to have nausea, sinus headaches and fatigue, I did an elimination diet to see if quitting gluten would help. The result is amazing. I no longer have sinus problems or stomach problems or fatigue. It's only been two months, but already my IC symptoms have improved greatly. It's something I figured out on my own just by paying attention to my body. We need doctors to learn more about this and start talking about the benefits of a GF diet! I feel like I lost gluten, but I got my life back, and that's a pretty good bargain.

 
Wendy Cohan, RN
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said this on
06 May 2011 1:25:24 PM PST
Hi Elizabeth,

Well, they are finally beginning to listen. I wrote "The Better Bladder Book - A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis & Chronic Pelvic Pain" in 2010, and it has an entire chapter on the link between gluten (as well as other food sensitivities) and the bladder. There are also two new studies confirming that at this estimate, about 30-40% of IC patients are gluten-sensitive.

Wendy Cohan, RN - article author

 
Debie
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said this on
27 Nov 2011 7:14:48 AM PST
Thank you for all you are doing for those of us who seek mainstream help and are handed antibiotics instead of an over-all picture of how the toxins, allergens, etc. are processed (or not) and the leakage it causes to our sensitive membranes of the gut and bladder. Thank you for writing your book and for being active in this work. IC and gluten intolerance can be such debilitating disorders to have...and yet with much help so close at hand when the information is shared. D-mannose is an amazing help. FemDophilus has helped a bunch. Living gluten free is key. So much help for those seeking a real choice in their health and wellness. Again, thank you.

 
Simone
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said this on
31 May 2011 6:20:51 PM PST
My daughter is 6 and has had UTI's since 3 with horrible emotional consequences and gastro problems. She has had two blood tests coming back negative and now has to wait 4 months to have a biopsy to test for celiac. I so just want to remove Gluten NOW, but have been told not to as it affects the results of the biopsy.

 
John
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said this on
01 Nov 2012 12:33:40 PM PST
Forget their advice. Eliminate the gluten.

 
Christy
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said this on
01 Jun 2011 7:19:33 PM PST
I have had appts. with my family doc, urologists, and recently a naturopathic physician. For the last year the inflammation in my bladder has been pretty extreme at times. I've been diagnosed and re-diagnosed by many - but with no test results to prove anything. And, the tests I've undergone have been MANY. Bringing my naturopathic physician into the picture has been a life saver. He asked me to stop eating wheat in all forms only a month ago. Within 3 days the severity of my bladder problem totally subsided. If you run into my post please try this. I can't believe the different and the insanity of the past year trying so hard to find out what was wrong. Thank you for creating this site.

 
Heather
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said this on
03 Jun 2011 7:24:24 AM PST
Thank you so much for this! I saw a stop in my "UTIs" when going on a gluten free diet. I also saw great improvement in my severe IBS, fatigue, and other crazy symptoms (my adult-onset acne cleared completely)! Every time I had an accidental gluten-ing, I would get what felt like a UTI. But the cultures NEVER grew anything out (I was always treated with antibiotics, but after going through my records I realized that I never had anything grow on the cultures). Now that I'm pregnant with my first child, I have had two UTIs. The doctor says they are completely normal and puts me on antibiotics. However, I have nothing growing on the cultures still. This is my third "UTI" in 3 months and I asked him if it could be interstitial cystitis, not an UTI. The doctor is unsure but willing to let me ride out this one without antibiotics because I know that I consumed gluten by accident just four days ago, right before this started! I took this website to him to show him the information contained. Thanks

 
Thelma
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said this on
10 May 2012 2:26:55 PM PST
Since the age of 35, I have had recurring pain in my middle left stomach area along with severe heartburn and skins plaques on my lower legs and knees. I was diagnosed with IC in Nov 2009 at age 42. Urologist prescribed Atarax and sent me on my way. Since IC is such a miserable, life changing condition, I started journaling what I ate and my corresponding level of bladder pain. After consuming a whole wheat bagel in Feb 2010, I awoke from a dead sleep 6 hours later with blood in my urine. My IC is so severe that bleeding is a regular thing. I have since removed gluten from my diet and no more bladder pain. Completely cured until I cheat....birthday cake. I always pay the price for a "cheat" without fail. I have never been officially diagnosed as gluten sensitive, but my doctor was willing to listen to the correlation without thinking me too crazy. There is definitely a link between gluten sensitivity and IC. I have tested it on myself at least 20 times (very weak when cake is involved), and I always have a flare up without fail. Whole wheat products create a faster reaction that white flour products. Perhaps there is more gulten in the whole wheat?

 
Ali
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said this on
24 Jun 2011 1:15:18 AM PST
Hi, it is brilliant to find this information. I get urine/bladder infections really easily. I've long thought that a gluten intolerance could be to blame. Recently my gynecologist told me the infections could stem from a problem with the intestines. Along with being very bloated all the time and having sudden tired/irritated spells there are many other little symptoms. My sister has intolerances and my mother has been struggling for years to get some kind of diagnosis for herself, but being of a certain age doctors take her for a complaining menopausal woman. She has cut out gluten completely. I'm hesitant to go to see a specialist. My generalist is pretty useless, combing this with my mother's struggle I am very skeptical that something will come out of it. What should I expect and how should I approach this with a doctor? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
27 Jun 2011 12:54:42 AM PST
You should always be the boss when it comes to your health--never take no for an answer and switch doctors if necessary. Also, just try the diet should you not be able to get properly tested.

 
D.N
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said this on
03 Oct 2011 4:04:39 AM PST
Why has it taken me 25 years, and many, many doctors to find this article. I have suffered so long and in the last year it has been a nightmare of always being sick, never going anywhere because of IC. Finally a name for the frequent urination, sometimes 25 to 35 times a night. I really need some information as where to start and what books are best to change my diet.

 
Wendy Cohan, RN
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said this on
11 Oct 2011 5:07:34 AM PST
Hi D.N.,

I am happy to help you with this. I can recommend two books: The Better Bladder Book - A Holistic Approach to Healing Interstitial Cystitis, my book which contains an appendix covering the basics of a gluten-free diet, and Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, by Shelly Case. Both will give you the information you need to know. Recent research shows that about 30-40% of people with IC are gluten-intolerant. About 12% have actual Celiac disease.

 
Kate devoll
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said this on
26 Feb 2012 8:20:52 PM PST
I can't tell you how excited I am that this is all coming out! I suffered for 8 years with painful swollen bladder, aching joints, migraines,constipation,irritability,painful sex,sinus congestion that would turn to pneumonia yearly,pain that radiated from between my shoulder blades and depression. I had a urologist run tests,scopes in all my holes and hundreds of dollars in medicine monthly. One night when I could not sleep I was researching bladder pain.trying to find a cause and I found.a girls blog stating all the same symptoms I had. She had a friend who was a nutritionist who told her to go gluten free. She did and felt better, so I tried it. It used to feel like I was peeing razor blades in acid every time I went. That was better the first day I didn't eat gluten and has improved everyday since then. It has now been one and a half years and I still get better each day. I never cheat on the diet and if I accidental get some I know it for about three days.i feel like a new person. My husband says I am funnier and happy all time! I wish I knew where the blog was I read I owe that girl my life. I had no idea just how bad I felt until I went gluten free. I get out of bed every day thanking God for that blog and for the internet.i am excited to be alive!!!!

 
Claudia
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17 Mar 2012 5:14:05 PM PST
Thank you, your blog should be read by millions of women who even consider suicide for being deprived of sex, sleep and a job. The most desperate aspect of this link between gluten, sugar and dairy intolerance is the ignorance of almost 99% of doctors and the public in general, we're treated as "freaks" or "anorexia candidates". I lost a job, a marriage and almost killed myself. Your blog can save many lives.

 
Dermot
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18 Apr 2012 3:36:17 AM PST
I came across this post while researching bladder infections/trouble on the net and the link between gluten intolerance and the bladder. Although I don't think I have IC, I'm a man, do men get IC? the benefits from going on a gluten free diet are worth the withdrawal symptoms from going wheat/gluten free. My bladder problems have almost gone ( only two weeks on diet ) but energy levels are much better and clearer thinking, which is great. I think for a man its much harder to talk about these things and then when they do by going to a doctor, they can be and more than likely to be misinformed about their condition. This post is fantastic for women, but hopefully more men who have these problems find it and see the link with their bladder problems.

 
JoelG
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05 May 2012 10:32:58 PM PST
This certainly explains a lot! I have been having this problem for nearly all my life and have had numerous of test done with doctors/urologist with no answers. Always felt as if I was the only one that experienced these symptoms in life. I am a male 37 years of age and now I have answers that hopefully I have been looking for! Switching over to Gluten Free Diet and I will keep you posted on how things go! Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the answer to all the pain and suffering that I have experienced in life due to this disease. Thank you so much for the valuable knowledge. Certainly will keep you posted!

 
val stratton
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19 Oct 2012 1:32:52 AM PST
I have had IBS bladder INFECTIONS for years. I was told I may have wheat and oat intolerance. I was not given any test, so I put myself on a gluten-free diet for five months. I felt 100% better: no bladder problems. Then I had a communion wafer at church and felt so ill the doctor sent me for tests. Still waiting for results. I had to eat gluten for two weeks and all symptoms came back. I just rang doctor for another lot of antibiotics for bladder. My problems are dermatitis on hands, headaches, aching legs, swollen stomach, nausea, lack of sleep, mood swings, tiredness and diarrhea.

 
Carolyn
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21 Oct 2012 1:24:44 PM PST
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for this article and all the comments. I have suffered with bladder problems for 20 years and never knew of, or thought of, the gluten/wheat connection. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for getting the word out!

 
GIna
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said this on
29 Nov 2012 8:51:27 AM PST
I have celiac disease, chronic bladder infections, anxiety for years, and now IBS. My doctor sent me to a celiac specialist; he knew nothing! So I wrote him off. Recently, tired of no action or help from my doctor, and not wanting any more antibiotics, I went to a different doctor who recommended "buscopan" for my severe bloating and pain in my entire abdomen (including spleen which deals with autoimmune overload) buscopan (non addictive) is a parasympathetic nervous system 'antispasmotic." It totally calmed all my 'spasms': bladder, bowels, spleen...I woke up with a flat stomach! I think it raises my blood pressure a bit though, but it calmed everything down. I follow a strict diet to no avail, so I was happy to get relief with the CNS antispasmotic. Long term effects of Buscopan? I guess I'll be figuring that out as I go. Good luck, all!

 
Mia Lorenzen
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06 Jul 2013 7:31:17 AM PST
I had lots of stomach and bowel pains and very frequent bladder urges and pain. I was recently put on IBS medicine after my endoscopy and colonoscopy showed everything looked fine. I also was frequently tired, achy, irritable and anxious. Instead of starting new meds, I decided to go gluten-free. Hooray!!! Within one day I started feeling better!! I've been on it for 5 days now and feel better and better each day! I also can almost sleep through the night without urinating. I think going gluten-free has cured my whole system! I also eat mostly vegan and exercise daily!! Good luck to everyone!! Just try it... what have you got to lose?! Also, many gluten laden products are full of sugar, fats and sodium; so it will help you choose only healthier choices! I'm a believer!!!

 
fawn
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22 Sep 2013 4:07:51 PM PST
I am 47 years old and have had a "leaky bladder" most all of my life. It became more pronounced after the birth of my children. I began to believe that my only hope was surgery. After going gluten-free I am completely better (after a LIFETIME of this issue). I can now JOG with no leakage!!! This without any special medications, surgery or exercises. All along, the subtle yet very damaging issue has been inflammation caused by gluten. I have been a vegan...a vegetarian...avoided processed--all of that. The one thing that worked and works for good is gluten free living.

 
Jill S.
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29 Dec 2013 8:10:35 AM PST
I have had urgency and UTI symptoms but no incontinence or infection for two years. My urologist said I had an overactive bladder and after an elimination diet, we thought tea was the culprit. I have been off my beloved tea for 1.5 years with a little improvement but still symptomatic. My urologist offered me medication for overactive bladder but refused to diagnose IC because I had no blood in my urine. Then I attended the Gluten Summit free online in November, 2013 (theglutensummit dot com) and one of the speakers suggested a bladder/gluten connection. I immediately removed all gluten from my diet and was miraculously symptom-free. It has been six weeks now of NO urgency, NO UTI symptoms!!! I made gluten-free bread, coffee cake, and cookies over the holidays and remained asymptomatic. I don't mind living this way at all and think it's probably healthier for my family of 7 to be gluten-free based on all I have learned about today's wheat. (P.S. I am even drinking TEA again with no symptoms!)

 
Jill S.
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said this on
29 Dec 2013 8:28:34 AM PST
I provided the link above so you could see the speakers and their topics and perhaps use them as resources for ideas to find out more about gluten. When I attended the conference live, it was free but there is a $97 fee to purchase the lectures now. Just wanted to clarify this.

 
Mary Mundahl-New
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said this on
24 Feb 2014 6:15:48 AM PST
After years of chronic bladder infections, colds, flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, gastrointestinal challenges our son was diagnosed with a severe gluten intolerance. Later he was identified with Asperger's syndrome. The whole family had a litany of various health concerns and one-by-one we all started a gluten free diet. Why are so many people suffering? Why are we seeing such an increase in ADD, ADHD, Alzheimers, various auto immune diseases, IC, "irritable bowel syndrome", gastro enteritis, and more? Do some research on the connection between mercury (the second most toxic substance on the planet) and its affect on certain people. Some people are more sensitive. We were told that Asperger's is a genetic thing. Yes, you are more susceptible to its affects. No, you do not have bad genes. Where do we get exposure? Dental amalgams and fish are major contributors. Do your own research and you will find a great deal on the internet. Start with "Autism Made in America" a You Tube video. Goggle the following: affects of mercury, dental amalgams, causes of celiac disease, etc.

 
Simon
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said this on
15 Jul 2014 9:00:01 AM PST
Actually I was also worried about the potential risk of mercury toxicity from amalgams and found a scholarly article well researched with data on the subject (eventually).
The exposure to mercury vapor from 14 amalgam surfaces (USA average) is approx. the same as 2 tins of tuna a week.
This isn't killing anyone, gluten on the other hand is increasingly causing large scale health problems in the west.

 
Michelle
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said this on
18 Jan 2015 5:46:03 PM PST
Hi.
I came across this article because I have had symptoms of urine infection on and off for the past 2 years, but test for UTI came back negative. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease last week. I really hope that going GF will help with these symptoms, because it's really uncomfortable and I don't know what the cause is. I get a lot of stinging and discomfort really low down in my abdomen, and stinging ''down there'' a lot, not just when I'm on the toilet but that stinging can be there for most of the day sometimes. I am going gluten free in 3 days! If I notice any improvement in my UTI symptoms I will try and remember to post back here. Thanks for your article.

 
cara ratcliffe
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11 Feb 2015 11:37:09 PM PST
I absolutely agree with this article, I had constant lumps and huge spots all over my face up until the age of 28 and constant urine infections, the doctors just said I got urine infections due to stress but I wasn't stressed, they said my skin problem was adult acne and gave me cream and tablets, after being at my wits end and doing some online research I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet which was hard as I ate a lot of bread before, after about 2 months my skin cleared up and I never got another urine infection, it is just amazing, I wish I had known this years ago. I tested my theory by eating gluten for 2 weeks afterwards and I got a urine infection and my skin broke out so it definitely is the gluten causing this. I have not been diagnosed by a GP.

 
S.J.
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said this on
19 Feb 2015 3:21:46 PM PST
For starters, I am an active, 24 year old female. For most of my life, I have suffered from symptoms of hypoglycemia. Since my grandmother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over 25 years ago, I thought that I was destined to develop the disease as well. At the age of 11, I had my first UTI. Flash forward 10 years and I began to develop even more recurrent UTI's spaced out at about 6 months apart. Symptoms were painful, but went away after about a week. Antibiotics did not help, but Azo pills did tremendously. This past September is when everything got worse. Shortly after starting school for my doctorate in physical therapy, I began to notice severe bladder and urethral pain. After countless trips to general practitioners and two urologists, I was yet to find a cure for my pain. I had multiple urine cultures done, all which came back negative. I even underwent a cystoscopy at a very prestigious hospital. After my cystoscopy, my doctor prescribed me with Elmiron, oxybutinin, as well as a combined mild analgesic antibiotic/anti-spasmotic medication, None of these seemed to help. I must note that I was hesitant to start the Elmiron, considering its side effects and consistent necessity. I was hopeless at this point. My sympathetic boyfriend was still trying to lift my mood and keep my hopes up, but I essentially had given up. My life consisted of sitting on the toilet for hours on end, even during the night. Simple daily functioning became almost impossible. I couldn't find joy in anything, and it began to effect my mood. I became depressed because I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. As far as I was concerned, nobody could help me. After a lot of praying and admitting defeat, I spoke with one of my classmates who had gone through a similar ordeal. She recommended I take a vaginal health probiotic and 100% pure cranberry juice before bedtime. I decided to give it a try, since there was nothing else the doctors seemed to know what to do. This method helped for about 4 days, but a stressful life situation caused my symptoms to flare again. At this time, I decided to continue my research and heard of a connection between bladder issues and gluten sensitivity. Long story short, I decided to go gluten free. No longer than a week after I made my decision that my symptoms seemed to disappear. I couldn't believe it. I always knew that my body was trying to notify me of a problem, I just wasn't listening! I must also note that I have had severe abdominal cramping and bloating in the past, and celiac disease runs in my family. Stomach pains would cause me to double over in stinging pain. I firmly believe that our dietary choices greatly influence our overall health, in more ways than one. If you are having issues and just can't seem to find a solution, I encourage you to speak with a nutritionist/naturopath that can help distinguish/eliminate possible harmful food allergens. It can change your life if you can get your symptoms under control. Don't get me wrong, western medicine can be a life-saver and in many instances, it is. But sometimes our problems are only a small part in the bigger picture. For all of those who are currently suffering, my heart goes out to you. I understand that some may be worse than others, but bladder pain is nothing to joke about. You don't really understand how much it can effect your life until you deal with it yourself. Hang in there. Your body is a beautiful machine. Sometimes it just takes a little listening and understanding to get it back to its natural, comfortable functioning.

 
Mellinda
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said this on
23 Sep 2015 12:12:42 AM PST
My now 4 year old has suffered irritable bladder frequent night and day wetting and pain (ic) since a few months after she was toilet trained. Very frustrating as she was fully toilet trained before her third bday and within 6 months was wetting constantly. She would get urges where she couldn't move until they passed or she would wet herself. People tried telling me she was lazy. But on abad day this could happen every 10 minutes in a half hour period. We are on holiday atm and I decided to go gluten carb free for a health kick and can't believe the sudden improvement in my 4 year old. A full bladder every time she goes. No urgency where she can't move and four sleeps without wetting. Could it be gluten intolerance? Needless to say I'm a very happy mummy atm. No wet pants or beds

 
Michele Frazier
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said this on
20 Nov 2015 12:09:47 AM PST
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about celiac disease.

 
Tara
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said this on
22 Jan 2016 8:53:22 AM PST
I was just diagnosed celiac and gave up gluten 2 weeks ago. I had a meal last night with some hidden gluten and today I feel like another UTI is coming on, so I googled for the connection! Sure enough, this article and a plethora of others, talk about the connection. Finally I may have found the root cause of several ongoing health concerns. It also sounds like ingesting gluten may be behind the chronic sinus infections I've suffered with the past 5 years or so. Thanks for you what you do!

 
jan
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said this on
30 Jan 2016 7:55:17 PM PST
Outstanding, thanks, celiac, DH, IC,
osteo, RA, Ang.S,




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