This information has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA and is not necessarily based on scientific evidence from any source. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease
We take real pride in our product and aim to help as many Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome people as possible. We cannot help all, but we can help some; every case varies so much. Our ingredients in URelieved have been extremely carefully selected by a woman who has IC, and most are based on scientific studies, as we explain here.
Baking soda, unlike other ingredients, is a common-denominator-go-to-aid for both UTI’s and IC. This is rare because what often helps UTI’s exacerbates IC symptoms. It is safe to say that IC patients that have UTI’s (very common) are almost always helping their discomfort when they take baking soda – it is often not known whether the alkalizing of the urine or the tamping down of bacteria are helping here, but for IC baking soda most commonly helps more than not. “An elimination diet of bladder irritants, decreasing dietary acid load, and urinary alkalization with baking soda or potassium citrate has been an effective treatment for many IC patients”(1) Baking soda also helps maintenance of IC because it helps avoid food sensitivity triggers. "Interstitial cystitis diets do not have to be overly restrictive. It is recommended that patients with IC/BPS avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, coffee, tea, carbonated and alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, artificial sweeteners, and vitamin C. The use of calcium glycerophosphate and/or sodium bicarbonate before consumption of these trigger consumables may also help reduce sensitivity.”(2) Studies even show pain relief for IC with baking soda: “Self-help sources of IC pain relief include cold packs and/or hot packs placed on the pelvic floor region, sitz baths, and, for those not on salt-restricted diets, drinking a solution of water and a teaspoon of baking soda during flare-ups.”(3)
We insisted on baking soda in URelieved for the above reasons, knowing that baking soda in capsules are much more preferable to downing it in water.
Citrulline and Arginine have been shown to dramatically improve IC symptoms in studies. When Citrulline enters the kidney, it is converted into Arginine. Both Citrulline and Arginine are necessary for the production of nitric oxide and relaxation of blood vessels. When this happens there is more blood flow and thus more oxygen to the organs – the bladder included. In many IC patients it has been found that an insufficient supply is being generated to the bladder for adequate healing. Most importantly, IC patients are often found to be lacking nitric oxide in the bladder. Supplementing Citrulline and/or Arginine helps increase the nitric oxide which helps with bladder symptoms and flares. “Oral L-arginine treatment resulted in a significant decrease in urinary voiding discomfort, lower abdominal pain and vaginal/urethral pain. Urinary frequency during the day and night also significantly decreased.”(4) We included Citrulline instead of Arginine because of the more maximal powerful delivery by Citrulline in influencing nitric oxide production, especially when combined with Pine Bark.
Pine bark (Pycnogenol) is shown to enhance the effects of Citrulline and increase nitric oxide to the bladder and pelvic region. It has most famously been associated with treating erectile dysfunction in men, but the benefits to IC patients regarding nitric oxide delivery still stand.(5) Pine Bark is also shown to act as a natural anti-histamine, reducing the mast cell activity found with bladder inflammation and flares.(6)
Bee Pollen is also found to be a natural anti-histamine involved in mast cell degranulation – a bladder inflammatory precursor. “Daily oral administration of BP [Bee Pollen] to mice significantly reduced the cutaneous mast cell activation elicited by IgE and specific antigens…These results first revealed that the anti-allergic action of BP was exerted by inhibiting the Fc epsilon RI-mediated activation of mast cells, which plays important roles, not only in the early phase, but also in the late phase of allergic reactions.” (7) In other words, bee pollen can be taken and used as a bladder anti-inflammatory agent before the histamine has a chance to largely increase and cause uncontrollable inflammation. Bee pollen has also been shown to relax the muscles of the bladder and urethra, something which otherwise causes extreme pain and/or discomfort in IC people. “The literary data point out that pollen seals capillaries, removes swellings of cardiovascular and renal origin, and has a spasmolytic [(of a drug or treatment) able to relieve spasm] of smooth muscle effect on smooth muscles especially in the range of bladder and urethra.”(8)
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate
These two supplements are shown to relieve IC symptoms and help rebuild the GAG layer of the bladder. “Interstitial Cystitis (IC/PBS) is characterized by a “leaky” glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer . This GAG layer is the innermost layer of the bladder, closest to the urine…Attached to the GAG layer is a collection of cells called connective tissue. Their purpose is to connect the GAG layer to the bladder muscle (Detrusor). Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfates are both naturally occurring substances within these two important tissue layers and play a major role in their construction. Rebuilding or strengthening the bladder GAG layer has long been an established protocol for IC… Oral supplementation with therapeutic doses of Glucosamine and Chondroitin sulfates strengthen the bladder GAG and connective tissue layer, reduce symptoms of IC, help prevent damage to the bladder muscle, reduce inflammation and reduce pain.”(9)
Marshmallow is listed as a top herb for treatment in IC and Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS). (10) It has been found to encourage the body to regenerate and repair the GAG layer, and it is well tolerated by most. (11) “The major herbal actions of marshmallow root include demulcent, diuretic, emollient and vulnerary. Demulcent: Relaxes, soothes, protects and coats mucous membranes, such as the intestinal tissues and mucosal layer of the bladder wall. Demulcents reduce inflammation in the lungs and urinary system. Diuretic: Increases elimination through the urinary system. A lot of water must be taken with diuretics for best results. Emollient: A demulcent applied topically to the skin, which soothes, softens and protects skin surfaces. Vulnerary: Helps the body heal wounds through antimicrobial action and/or promoting the regeneration of damaged cells and/or an astringent action to seal and protect a wound. Marshmallow root does all three of these for wound healing!” (12)
1.Reviews in Urology. V.4 (Suppl 1);2002 PMC1476005 – Reviews in Urology Rev Urol. 2002; 4 (Suppl 1): S28–S35.) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476005
2.Female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery. 17. 36-9. 10.1097/spv.0b013e3182044b5c. Dietary Consumption Triggers in Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome Patients. Bassaly, Renee & Downes, Katheryne & Hart, Stuart. (2011). researchgate.net/publication/221978643_Dietary_Consumption_Triggers_in_Interstitial_CystitisBladder_Pain_Syndrome_Patients
3.Interstitial Cystitis: Overview May 2001; Volume3; 36-39. Lucretia Perilli and Vicki Ratner, MD.https://www.ahcmedia.com/articles/70008-interstitial-cystitis-overview
4.The Journal of Urology. September 1997 Volume158, Issue 3, Pages 703–708. Improvement in Interstitial Cystitis Symptom Scores During Treatment With Oral L-Arginine . Shannon D. Smith, Marcia A.Wheeler, Harris E. Foster Jr., Robert M. Weiss.(From the Section of Urology, Department of Surgery, Yale University,School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.)
5.Minerva Urol Nefrol. The Italian Journal of Urology and Nephrology. 2015 Mar;67(1):27-32. Improvement of erectile function by a combination of French maritime pine bark and roburins with amino acids. Stanislavov R1, Rohdewald P.
6.Phytotherapy Research. 2003 Jan;17(1):66-9. Pycnogenol inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells. Sharma SC1, Sharma S, Gulati OP.
7.Journal of Medicinal Food. 2008 Mar;11(1):14-20.doi: 10.1089/jmf.2006.163. Inhibitory effect of honeybee-collected pollen on mast cell degranulation in vivo and in vitro. Ishikawa Y1, Tokura T, Nakano N,Hara M, Niyonsaba F, Ushio H, Yamamoto Y, Tadokoro T, Okumura K, Ogawa H.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18361733
8.Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. 2015; 2015: 297425. Published online 2015 Mar 11. doi:10.1155/2015/297425 PMCID: PMC4377380Bee Pollen: Chemical Composition and Therapeutic ApplicationKatarzyna Komosinska-Vassev, 1, Pawel Olczyk, 2 Justyna Kaźmierczak, 1Lukasz Mencner, 1 and Krystyna Olczyk 1ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377380
10.Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation. 2015 Oct;
11(5): 251–254.Published online 2015 Oct 30. doi:10.12965/jer.150226PMCID: PMC4625652 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625652/11.‘Painful Bladder Syndrome: Controlling and Resolving Interstitial Cystitis’. Philip Weeks, 176.