Posted by: Kate | April 11, 2008

Longing for Caffeine

As I have mentioned before, I live with a bladder disease. Of course, at my last specialist appointment the doctor is now uncertain whether it is actually IC, but is certain that I have major bladder discomfort and well, just doesn’t want to label me with IC in particular. But then he gave me the drug that is made specifically for IC. Yup, I’m confused now too.

Anyhow. There is great debate amongst people with IC, as there is really in any chronic condition community now, about what role foods play in exacerbating the condition. I know some people with IC who put themselves on a strict diet, as well as take medication. Then there is my doctor (my GP, not the specialist), who I really like, who says it’s almost all a load of hogwash and that you do more damage to your health by avoiding foods (he excepted actual food-driven illnesses and allergies). I haven’t decided where on the spectrum I fall. I don’t eat citrus, and certainly seem to be affected by too much sugar. But I haven’t found enough of a correlation to restrict my diet immensely (and one person I know who restricts totally and also takes meds, still gets flare-ups, so who knows anything about anything if all that doesn’t work).

There is one thing, however, that everyone, even my GP, can agree it is a good idea to avoid: caffeine. It is a drug that has a direct and obvious affect on your bladder, so it would be rather counter-productive to use it. All caffeine in liquid form I avoid.

Which brings me to the title of my post (yup, long winded today). It is Friday, and I’ve had a heck of a work week, and a lot of spirited behaviour in the house, and I’m tired and still have one more edit to finish before the end of the day. I want caffeine!!! So, I’m appealing to you all, what should I substitute? (And no, decaf doesn’t cut it as it still has small amounts of caffeine. I’ve been much happier bladder-wise since I gave up even the decaf coffee and tea.) Help me get through my Fridays!




  1. Lean protein of some sort. It really does help. Sometimes just a piece of bread with peanut butter. Or a piece of cheese.

  2. I keep good bottled water around for just these occasions, believe it or not … it’s a great ‘perk-me-up’ choice when I’ve been sitting at the computer too long, or start nodding off in my knitting. ;-) Good luck with whatever you choose…

  3. Oh, I love caffeine in the form of good espresso. I drink it once a day. I have a bladder issue that results in frequent need to “go” and some minor incontinence without medication. I drink lots of water also. Good luck with your issues.

  4. I sympathize because I, too, love coffee and haven’t been able to drink the caffeinated version for a couple of years now. And I think I may even have to give up the decaf lattes I love so much; with me it’s because of too much acidity and heartburn caused by the coffee (decaf and regular) and milk. One alternative that I have come to really like is Rooibos Tea, which is naturally caffeine free and full of antioxidants, even more so than green or white tea. I love it with either a tiny dash of milk and a bit of honey, or just the honey. There is just something comforting about a hot soothing drink, isn’t there?

    I am also told to let up on the red wine and that is even harder for me as I love a glass to relax with at the end of the day. This is my one resentment I have about getting older, the body is no longer quite so forgiving!

    I hope you find something that works for you :)

  5. I was going to suggest Rooibos too, but it occurs to me that, with a mum from the RSA, I’m sure it’s not news to you. My mum likes it too although I’ve never been particularly keen.

    However, beggars can’t be choosers, no?
    : )

  6. oh my, I have no bright ideas, I’m a hopeless caffeine addict myself.

  7. I had cystitis once…. and so I cant imagine living with a worse version of it all the time… bladder things are so painful – poor you. Sorry I dont have a remedy…cranberries? any good? I always drink cran juice when feeling like I may come down with an attack…that helps.

  8. Kerstin – luckily for me white wine seems to be worse than red wine, so I haven’t given up red wine. A girl has to live, right?!

    Shan – believe it or not I wasn’t sure if Rooibos tea had caffeine or not. My mum only drinks english tea!

    Krissie – unfortunately cranberry juice is too acidic for me. I do take cranberry pills to avoid infections, which I am also quite prone to.

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