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Holiday Gift Ideas

With the holiday season officially in full gear, it's time to think about gift buying. Coming up with holiday gift ideas for IC and pelvic pain patients isn't quite as difficult as it might seem. Of course we are all different, but there are some things we'd all be pretty happy to have. This list will give you some inspiration this season! And if you buy some items for yourself, we won't judge you one bit! 

The BEST IC/BPS & Pelvic Pain Books

The best way to take care of yourself is to know your body and what's going on with it. Having a good understanding of IC and its treatments is a must for patients. Some of our favorites resources include the following:

IC 101: It's Not Just a Bladder Disease
Breaking Through Chronic Pelvic Pain: A Holistic Approach
The Interstitial Cystitis Solution
When it Hurts Down There
My Mom Has Interstitial Cystitis
- ICN Guide to Managing Flares in print or in PDF
ICN Guide to the IC Diet
- Issues of IC Optimist magazine in print or in PDF
- IC cookbooks: Delicious with IC, the IC Chef Cookbook (print or PDF) or Confident Choices.

A Sampler of IC Friendly Beverages & Foods.

Coffee lovers are often heartbroken to learn that their favorite cup of joe could be irritating their bladders. There is hope. For patients who have to avoid all traditional coffees, DandyBlend® is our absolute go to. This instant herbal coffee has a fabulous flavor and can make both hot lattes and icy frappuccinos. If you're looking for real coffee and/or trying to reduce caffeine, their half-caf works beautifully. Bella Rosa has the lowest levels of chlorgenic acid in the industry! Of course, Tylers and Simpatico are also popular! 

Dandy Blend - our favorite, new herbal coffee that is rich, flavorful with no bladder irritating ingredients. 
Bella Rosa Low Acid Coffee. Comes in decaf, half caf and regular
Tyler's Acid Free Coffee - Ground & K Cups
Colorado Mountain Jams & Jelly - Low Acid and tasty too!

Carob is Delicious!

Chocolate lovers are often devastated to discover that their favorite guilty pleasure can trigger both IC and IBS flare. Yes, it's true. Chocolate is highly allergenic and well known to trigger symptoms but carob is VERY IC and IBS friendly. Missy J's Carob company makes some fabulous candy, truffles, carob powders, chips and, my personal favorite, carob brownies. Seriously, I can't have these in my home because I will eat them all in a heartbeat. They are soooo goood!

Missy J's Carob Brownie Mix
Missy J's Carob Cake Mix
Missy J's Carob Oatmeal Cookie Mix
Missy J's Dark Delight Mint Candy
Missy J's Carob Chips (Mint & Unsweetened) & Carob Powder

When Sitting is Painful

Tight pelvic floor muscles and stressed nerves can make driving and sitting very uncomfortable. The ICN offers two fabulous chair cushions used by thousands of patients!

CAPPS Pelvic Pain, Coccyx & Pudendal Nerve Cushion offers a lot of flexibility due to its unique design. Position the "U" shape towards your back and it will protect the urethra, vulva or prostate. Point the shape forwards and it will protect a tender rectum and/or hemmorhoids! 
CAPPS Pelvic Pain Travel Cushion - Our favorite cushion by far, the design works for any "crotch" pain, fabric is very high quality and, best of all, it folds in half with convenient handles to carry to work, the movies or in your home. 
Waffle Chair Cushions are ideal for patients who have pain in their glute muscles and/or around their sit bones. Comes in two sizes. 

Heat or Cold Packs

Heat can help relax tight pelvic floor muscles while ice can help calm and soothe nerves. These are great gifts for any one who is struggling with discomfort. 

BodiHeat Instant Heat Packs -  These are very affordable and our "Go To" when driving long distances or flying. I won't go on any long trip without them because my pelvic floor almost always begins to spasm a few hours into the trip.  BodiHeats take about 30 minutes to heat up and will last for 10 hours or more. Let cool and then toss in the trash. Note that these should never be put directly on skin. Put them on cotton underwear or a tee shirt. 
Gingerbee Heating Pads - These microwavable pads are a true workhorse. I sleep with one almost every night, sometimes around my neck for TMJ and other times for my pelvic floor muscles. 
MamaStrut™ Cold Packs - These are ideal for delivering coolness to the crotch area! Remember, never apply ice or heat directly to the crotch area. Ice should always be wrapped in a towel and only used for brief periods of time. 

An ICN Membership

The ICN offers various levels of membership that are more affordable than you might realize and provides great IC resources. With memberships ranging from $25 to $100 per year, you get magazines, various helpful guides, fact sheets and a medical record file. An ICN membership is a great way to support the mission of the IC Network, receive our IC Optimist patient magazine and receive the latest news and research. You'll read it before your doctor has the chance to read the journals!

- $25/yr Guardian Membership (read everything on-line)
- $50/yr Champion Membership (Print magazines delivered by US Mail)
- $100/yr Hero Membership (Print magazine + IC Chef Cookbook + IC101)

Learn more here! 

IC Friendly Supplements

With the only oral medication FDA approved for IC/BPS now linked to retinal disease, many patients have transitioned to a variety of OTC supplements which, according to the American Urology Association guidelines, offer fewer risk of adverse events. If you're not sure what the supplements do, check out our "How To Select A Supplement" Buying Guide first. You'll find suggestions for urinary tract comfort (and flares), pain suppression, chronic UTI prevention, gut health and for vitamin and mineral supplementation.  Volume discounts are available too! 

Bladder Builder
Bladder Rest
Bladder Smart Low Acid Multivitamin
- Cysto Renew

My Daily D-Mannose

IC Wellness Coaching

We offer both 30-minute and 1-hour coaching sessions related to IC, PFD, pelvic pain and wellness. By talking over the phone, on Zoom or on Skype, patients can spend time with an IC seasoned professional who can help them learn more about IC and its related conditions. The coaching sessions are designed to help patients become their own best health advocate in order to have the best quality of life possible.

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