Yep. Caffeine withdrawal is as bad as I’ve heard it was. I looked up the symptoms and have experienced them all. And I wasn’t as heavily into caffeine as many are, had already foregone coffee. Nothing helps the headaches except cold compresses on the forehead. And then there’s the nausea, fatigue (floating in and out of consciousness), inability to concentrate, muscle aches…Why, you may ask, have I put myself through this hell? Because, it means I get to live. Between severe gluten intolerance and worsening bladder irritation (plus frequent infections), I’m having to make extreme dietary adjustments. A sad place to find yourself is on the Celiac website forum with the hard-hit bladder people saying, ‘Great. More dietary restrictions,’ as they ask which supplements, aids, and foods are also gluten-free. I’ve spent a lot of time lately researching what is and isn’t good for bladder health and found a lot of helpful information on the Interstitial Cystitis network at: http://www.ic-network.com/
What have I learned? Don’t let yourself get into this state before taking decisive steps. Dietary restrictions vary from person to person, but the absolute worst bladder offenders are caffeine (in any way, shape, or form), chocolate, tomato products, carbonated beverages, sugar substitutes, (*sugar in general should be limited as it’s an irritant and not good for us, as we all know) vinegar (and it’s in a lot of stuff), anything acidic, including many fruits (all citrus). Spicy food is out, preservatives and MSG (ought to be out anyway) and say goodbye to alcoholic beverages (with a few possible exceptions). If you suffer as I do, cranberries will send you into horrific spasms. The cranberry treatment we hear so much about isn’t meant for people like me. I’m taking marshmallow root extract capsules several times a day now. I already knew it was soothing, but became convinced it was a go after all the testimony on the forum, (I may try the tea). And the doctor approved. He put me on Macrodantin–it’s done wonders for my sister, so we shall see. I hope to regain my ability to function, which has deteriorated abysmally over the fall and especially winter. I want to garden again. Most vegetables are great for whatever ails you, though not all. For the complete list of dietary recommendations for bladder health visit this IC network link. I downloaded their pdf file.
Fun times. Fortunately, most herbs are on the good list. And I’m finding our wonderful fresh farm milk quite soothing. For a special hot beverage, I heat a cup of milk and add a pinch of sugar and a little pure vanilla extract. It helps take the place of that ‘gotta sip something hot’ craving. Peppermint and chamomile tea are also fine. I can tolerate Twinings decaffeinated Earl Grey in moderation. My greatest challenge is my dependence on green tea to fight chronic leukemia. I’ve stuck to it religiously because I’ve seen amazing results, but green tea has caffeine, is acidic, and is giving me fits. So, I looked up decaffeinated green tea extract in capsule form and found one at Amazon that has gotten raves. Among the reviews are one from a person with chronic leukemia who says their doctor advised them to take this supplement for their condition and it worked. So I’m going to do the same and pray I can tolerate the capsules and not lose ground. Perhaps, in time, I can add some of the green tea back into my diet again. I’ve hung onto my olive leaf extract, also an immune booster and an aid for blood levels, and it doesn’t bother me. I get mine strictly from Olivus because of the high quality.
Today is better than yesterday, and the day before that, or I wouldn’t be writing this. I hope tomorrow will see even more improvement. I’m doing my best to find the healing path amid all these challenges. A terrific quote I came across on the IC forum. “God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I’m a bad-ass” ~Author Unknown
And so say all of us.