Interstitial cystitis, sometimes referred to as IC, is the chronic inflammation of the bladder muscle. The condition affects millions of people in America, most of whom are women. Interstitial cystitis is thought to be caused by a number of triggers, including bladder trauma, bladder stretching, weakened pelvic floor muscles, autoimmune disorders, spinal cord trauma, and other issues.
The Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
The most common symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis include pelvic pain, abdominal pressure, frequent urination, incontinence, and feeling like you have to urinate even if you do not. Some people with IC feel mild burning while others find themselves in severe pain. Sometimes the pain is intermittent and other times it is more constant.
The Diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis
The diagnosis of IC tends to involve ruling out other medical conditions, including urinary tract infections, bladder cancer, endometriosis, and prostatitis. If the doctor can rule out these conditions, he or she may diagnose you with this condition instead.
The Complications of Interstitial Cystitis
If interstitial cystitis is left untreated, it can result in several other complications. They include reduced bladder capacity, lower quality of life, self-esteem issues, anxiety, and depression. It can also impact relationships and intimacy.
The Treatment for Interstitial Cystitis
No cure for IC exists right now, but some treatments can make it easier for you to live with the condition. Medication like Pentosan may be helpful for some patients to repair areas of the bladder wall. Other include anti-inflammatories, antidepressants, and antihistamines. Your doctor may also recommend bladder training, which helps you extend the amount of time between urination each day.
Surgery may also be helpful for some people dealing with IC. Surgery can increase the size of the bladder or treat ulcers you may have in your bladder right now. Surgery is rare, but it can provide a lot of relief.
Diet may also be helpful. You can eliminate food items like alcohol, tomatoes, caffeine, and chocolate from your diet to see improvement. You can also cut out smoking to see some improvement.
You can also exercise to improve the symptoms of IC. Yoga, tai chi, aerobics, pilates, and walking are all great options for improving the symptoms of IC. Physical therapy is another fantastic option.
You can speak with your doctor about the option of undergoing treatment for interstitial cystitis. You have several options to pursue, and you and your doctor can determine if you are a good candidate for treatment. To learn more, consult a physician practice such as Medical First.