Isn't it sooo strange that something like an allergy could cause IC symptoms?? So strange. But I am so glad for you that you found the allergy. What a blessing.
My story is a bit different. I never had any allergies, or bladder problems at all until I got my first UTI, then I started to get them every month for about 2-3 months and then the last UTI was soooo bad, very high in bacteria. All my UTIs were true UTIs per a urine culture. After the really bad one UTI that is when I got IC, the culture came back neg, after like 4 wks on Antibiotics but I still had all the symptoms. So mine def. began w/ a UTI that turned into IC.
I had a hydrodistension to confirm IC, and was dx'd at that time. The Hydrodistension actually put me in remission for 2.5 yrs. I was in college at the time(out of state) and made the connection that everytime I went home for longer than 2 wks, my bladder started to get bothered again. When I finally graduated school and moved back home, in three months, my IC came back. So yes, something, and allergy, irritant either in the air or water was irritating my bladder. What, I don't know. This time when my IC came back it was not from an infection but something else.
My symptoms are weird, I get edema, and I mean big time edema, so I find it interesting that you stated you lost 25lbs after the IC went away. My legs swell very very badly and it is hard for me to walk. I have freq, and some burning, and my lymph glands in my neck are swollen, but no pain. These are the same symptoms I got when I had a UTI as well prior to IC, but these all went away when the infection went away after I took Antibiotics .
My urine also if very alkaline, so I am different, and actually over alkalizing irritates my bladder. Most vegetables, fruits bother my bladder, because they are too alkalizing.
I have IBS-C, which I think greatly affects my bladder big time. And have a history of being on the constipated side my whole life. The only other thing is that my whole life I have had painful, and I mean throw-up, severe pain, menstrual cramps. So, I also believe that my hormones have always been out of whack. Plus, I seem to have a jacked up nervous system. I have always had very sensitive skin as well, but not related to allergies, just sensitive nerves.
I totally agree w/ you in that I do not take ANY meds. I am like you, my body is already screwed up and all those meds on my kidneys and liver I believe is sooo very taxing, so I don't do it. I did try some of the meds for IC for a month or two, but the seemed to make my bladder worse, so I stopped.
Everyone is sooo different, and think IC has many different causes as well. Unfortunately, finding what each person's cause is, is the difficult part. Although, since IC is found in mostly women, I really believe that hormones are playing a big connection.
I am glad that more research is going into IC. When I first was dx'd there wasn't much out there and it was very frustrating.