What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Experiencing mild to severe bladder pain, pressure? If so, you may have Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial Cystitis is a painful and chronic bladder condition. The bladder is a muscular organ that stores urine. It expands when it is full, and signals to the brain that you need to urinate. With interstitial cystitis, the signals of needing to urinate get mixed up. More often, you feel the need to urinate, and it is smaller amounts of urine. And this condition most often affects women.
Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Frequent urination in small amounts throughout the day 20-60 times per day
- Pain and discomfort as the bladder fill’s and relief after urinating
- Pain in your pelvis
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- When To See A Doctor
If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it is time to see a doctor. Although there is no cure for this, there are several medications and other options to help the symptoms.
Your doctor will go over symptoms you have as well as request that you keep a bladder diary to record how much fluids you drink as well as how much urine you pass and how often.
You may also have a pelvic exam as well as the urine test to test whether you have a urinary tract infection.
Potassium Sensitivity Test. This test involves the doctor putting two different solutions into your bladder, one at a time. First, he puts water into your bladder, which you will rate on a scale of 0-5 on how painful and to what degree your urge is to urinate. The same thing is done with potassium chloride. If you feel noticeably more pain or urge to urinate with the potassium chloride, then you probably have interstitial cystitis. People with normal bladder conditions cannot tell the difference between the two.
Medications & Treatments of Interstitial Cystitis
Typical oral medications for treating interstitial cystitis include anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, antihistamines, and pentosan.
Two options other than medications include sacral nerve stimulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). With sacral nerve stimulation, the nerves of the bladder are stimulated to help reduce urinary frequency. With TENS, mild electric pulses are used to relieve pelvic pain as well as urinary frequency.
The cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, but research suggests that many factors may involve. One issue that can correlate with interstitial cystitis is having a defect in the bladder lining, or also a potential leak in the epithelium; this would cause toxic substances in the urine to irritate the wall of the bladder.
Other contributing factors could be infection, allergy, hereditary and also an autoimmune reaction.
Interstitial cystitis can result in the bladder having a lower capacity to hold urine and lower your quality of life, by interfering with social activities, work, and even in your sex life. Sexual intimacy can be painful at times.
Home Remedies & Lifestyle
Dietary changes and bladder training are two huge factors that, if done, can help relieve symptoms of interstitial cystitis.
The “four C’s” is a simple way to remember which main foods to cut out to improve symptoms, while we’ve included some other foods to avoid as well.
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Carbonated Drinks
- Citrus Products
- Foods With High Vitamin C
- Pickled Food
Some other measures you can take are wearing looser clothing that doesn’t push on your abdomen, stopping smoking, and exercising more.
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