Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition of the bladder. It can be very painful, and it is also knowns as painful bladder syndrome and bladder pain syndrome. It has symptoms similar to a bladder infection but remains unresponsive to antibiotics. Four million Americans suffer from IC. It can be a debilitating condition that impacts almost every aspect of your life.
Symptoms of Cystitis
Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include pain in the bladder and pelvic pain or pressure combined with a frequent urge to urinate. Some people experience pain in their penis or testicles. Pain may also increase during urination or sexual intercourse. You will feel a frequent urge to urinate and may experience bladder spasms and excessive urination at night. You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Interstitial cystitis must be diagnosed by a medical professional for it to be treated.
Diagnosis of Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis is a complex disease that resists understanding and diagnosis. Sometimes it can take up to five years to diagnose your interstitial cystitis. If you are diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, it is because you have certain characteristics. You will experience pain and pressure in your bladder or pelvic region. In severe cases, you may suffer from unrelenting pain in your pelvic region that makes you go to the bathroom very often, even during the night. You will experience urinary urgency that can be very frequent (as often as every ten minutes). You will have an absence of an infection, and your urine cultures will come back negative. Other conditions and diseases that can cause the same similar symptoms are ruled out.
Your doctor will order lab tests and medical imaging to make sure that your symptoms can be attributed to interstitial cystitis and not a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection (which it is often conflated with). Some people with interstitial cystitis have symptoms that prevent them from leaving their homes, riding a car, working full-time (if at all), traveling, and participating in leisure activities. Some people with interstitial cystitis can’t share sexual intimacy with their partner because sex can make interstitial cystitis worse.
Treatment of Cystitis
Every year there are more than 200,000 cases of interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis can’t be cured, but undergoing treatment for your symptoms may help If is often difficult to treat. Antibiotics aren’t shown to help with interstitial cystitis because there is no infection present in the body.
Treatment for interstitial cystitis is usually a combination of treatments that are needed to provide relief from symptoms. Different combinations of treatments are usually needed to attack your symptoms from all angles and also because the symptoms of interstitial cystitis can vary greatly from person to person. As a result, treatment for interstitial cystitis also varies from person to person. Usually, the best cure for your interstitial cystitis is found through trial and error. You and your doctor can discuss and try your different options and figure out which is the most effective treatment or a combination of treatments for you.
Changing certain things about your diet, like avoiding citrus foods, spicy foods, and other potentially problematic foods. Caffeine, as well as carbonated drinks and alcohol, should also be avoided. Biofeedback has been used to control symptoms of many different conditions, including interstitial cystitis. Biofeedback primarily helps you control your body’s function. You will be attached to sensors that help you receive information about what your body is doing, and helps you make subtle changes. Relaxing certain muscles helps to reduce pain. You can think of biofeedback as a device that helps you use your thoughts to control your body.
Bladder instillation is an outpatient procedure during which a catheter (a small tube) is inserted into your bladder through your urethra. Medication is infused through this tube and into your bladder, coating the inside of your bladder for a short time. Before this treatment, you need to prepare. You don’t need to fast, but avoid drinking too much before your appointment. Your doctor will drain your bladder before the procedure. During the process, you may be asked to change your position every fifteen minutes to ensure every corner of your bladder is coated with medication. The two most common drugs used for interstitial cystitis bladder instillations are DMSO and Clorpactin.
Is bladder instillation. Bladder instillation is an outpatient procedure during which a catheter (a small tube) is inserted into your bladder through your urethra. Medication is infused through this tube and into your bladder, coating the inside of your bladder for a short time. Before this treatment, you need to prepare. You don’t need to fast, but avoid drinking too much before your appointment. Your doctor will drain your bladder before the procedure. During the process, you may be asked to change your position every fifteen minutes to ensure every corner of your bladder is coated with medication. The two most common drugs used for interstitial cystitis bladder instillations are DMSO and Clorpactin.
Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants and muscle relaxants to alleviate pain. Elmiron is the only oral medication approved for specific use in interstitial cystitis. Physical therapy is often used. This can help relax pelvic muscles and treat conditions that may be overlapping with interstitial cystitis
Interstitial cystitis can be a debilitating, chronic disease. Rarely will you respond to one type of treatment for this condition. You and your doctor can find a combination of treatments (usually a combination of medication, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes) that are best suited to you.
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