Bladder Wall Dysfunction

If your doctor suspects that you have a damaged bladder wall (chemical irritation, ketamine cystitis, etc.) products that are calming, soothing and support the health of the bladder wall will be a priority.  The key ingredient to look for is chondroitin which has been found in research studies to help restore the surface integrity and recovery of the bladder wall.(1) 

Key Patient Education Tips

  1. The bladder wall has three key layers: (1) an outer mucosal layer that provides protection, (2) several layers of urothelial cells and (3) at the deepest level, blood vessels, nerves, mast cells and the smooth muscle of the bladder wall.
  2. The bladder wall can be injured, most often by chemical exposure. This allows urine to penetrate deeply into the bladder tissue where it will trigger irritation and/or pain.
  3. Drinking water is essential to bladder health. Water dilutes urine, thus reducing the potential irritation that the chemicals in urine can cause. Spring water is ideal. We do not suggest alkaline water which, if used in excess, can also irritate the bladder.
  4. Dehydration causes urine to become more irritating. Some patients, however, stop drinking water in a mistaken attempt to reduce frequency. This actually makes the bladder more irritated.
  5. No therapy (alternative or traditional) will force the bladder to heal. It takes time, patience, determination, a wilingness to protect your bladder and follow the diet, and so forth.
  6. A secondary problem of pelvic floor tension can also occur as a result of the pain and discomfort. This is known as the guarding reflex and may also need attention. If you are struggling to start your urine stream, your muscles might be tight and restricting blood flow to the various organs and structures in the pelvis, including the bladder. 
  7. Diet modification is essential. Foods high in acid, caffeine can trigger more pain and discomfort and should be avoided until the bladder calms down.
  8. Your goal is to create an environment that will support healing of the urinary tract. This means modifying your diet to reduce any foods that are caustic and irritating, such as coffees, teas, sodas, cranberry, etc. And not just for a week. Because the bladder heals quite slowly, diet modification is required for several months if not longer. 

Nutraceutical Options

The American Urology Association suggests that patients try OTC nutraceuticals in Step One of their Guidelines for IC/BPS. Here are some options that you can consider: 


AloePathBladder BuilderBladder Rest
ALOEPATH® - For a soothing and pain reducing effect

BLADDER REST® - For a simple chondroitin based protective effect

BLADDER BUILDER® - Our most comprehensive formula provides a coating, soothing, pain reduction and biome support

PRVNT® - For the prevention of urinary tract infections

PEAORA®
 - For chronic pain relief

Prelief® - To reduce acid in some foods. 

Bladder Smart® Low Acid Vitamin - A low acid, much more bladder friendly multivitamin formula

*It's not unusual for some to have sensitivities to various ingredients. Please review the label carefully for any known allergens. We suggest starting small. Try one capsule and see how your body handles it. If you feel good, try one a day for a week and again assess. If you are doing well, you can gradually increase to the manufacturers recommended dosages. Of course, if you struggle with any side effects, stop the supplement and talk with your physician.

Recommended Reading




Wellness Coaching

If you are newly diagnosed and/or struggling to determine what could be causing your symptoms, you might benefit from personal coaching from one of our IC coaches. ICN Founder & National IC Support Group Leader Jill Osborne can help you understand tests, treatments, how to prevent and/or manage flares and so much more. Julie Beyer RD is happy to work with you on diet and nutrition! We are here and we care! 




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Reference: 

1. Rozenberg BB, et al. IMPROVING THE BARRIER FUNCTION OF DAMAGED CULTURED UROTHELIUM USING CHONDROITIN SULFATE. Neurourol Urodyn. 2019 Nov 27.

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