Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is not an infection but behaves like one. Interstitial cystitis interferes with the normal functions that control the flow of urine. The condition disturbs the signals. This results in the increasing urge to pass urine frequently, in small amounts. Read on to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for IC.

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Essential Facts About Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is more common in women than men. It can negatively impact your life by disrupting the normal flow of daily life. Currently, there is no cure for it, but therapies and medication can be used to manage its symptoms.

Doctors employ a method of elimination to diagnose IC. If a person experiences urinary pain which is not as a result of an infection, bladder stone, or kidney stone, then it is most commonly interstitial cystitis. 90 percent of interstitial cystitis patients are female, mostly between the ages of 40 and 60. Interstitial cystitis rarely affects young children. Since there is no quick, easy way of diagnosing IC, there is no clear way of determining just how many people suffer from the condition.

Essential Facts About Interstitial Cystitis

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Causes of Interstitial Cystitis

While the true causes of interstitial cystitis remain undiscovered, researchers have found a number of factors that help create IC.

The following issues may help cause interstitial cystitis:

  • Bladder trauma
  • Dysfunction of the pelvic floor muscle
  • Disorders of the immune system
  • Trauma of the spinal cord
  • Bacterial infection

There are also suggestions that damage to the bladder wall allows urine to find its way into the bladder lining. These particles can damage the bladder and cause a lot of pain.

Causes of Interstitial Cystitis

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Healthy Living Tips for IC

The following tips can help people to avoid interstitial cystitis or make the condition better:

Drinking a Lot of Fluids

Drinking lots of water is a good and simple way of beating interstitial cystitis. Hydration keeps the bladder busy. The bladder should not be kept empty, it should at least, be half-full. This keeps the urinary tract in good health.

Proper Diet

People must strive to eat healthy, vitamin-rich meals that contain both fats and proteins. Limit or eliminate processed foods.

Avoid Alcohol

A person must keep the body hydrated. This also means staying away from foods or fluids that can cause dehydration or inflammation. It is better to avoid alcohol or limit it. Alcohol also interferes with the body’s ability to get restful sleep — quality rest can also be helpful.

When to See a Doctor in Atlanta for Interstitial Cystitis

People are advised to see a doctor whenever they experience urinary tract infection or other condition related to the urinary tract. This becomes even more necessary if the symptoms last for about six weeks or are persistent.

In most cases, interstitial cystitis is only detected if all other conditions are ruled out. It is also good to visit the doctor if one is one too many visits to the bathroom for urination.

Diagnosis for Interstitial Cystitis

A diagnosis of interstitial cystitis can be made or more of the following ways:

  • Urinary test – Urine sample is checked and analyzed for urinary tract infection.
  • Medical history – The doctor will ask patients about their medical history and symptoms. This will give the doctor an indication of how the situation is.
  • Pelvic exam – Doctors examines pelvic organs such as the vagina, cervix, anus, rectum, etc.
  • Cystoscopy – An instrument with a tube and lens (cystoscope) is inserted into the urethra and shows images of the bladder lining. The doctor may also check the bladder capacity by introducing a known amount of liquid into it. This process is known as hydrodistention.
  • Urine cytology – A urine sample is collected and tested for any cancer involvement.
  • Potassium test – Potassium and water solutions are introduced into the body separately. If the patient experiences more pain with the introduction of potassium, the doctor may conclude that the patient is suffering from interstitial cystitis.

Treatment of Interstitial Cystitis

IC treatment varies from person to person. The following treatment methods are used:

  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery – This method is not frequently used. Surgical options include fulguration, bladder augmentation, and resection.
  • Interstitial Cystitis Medication – Medication is inserted into the bladder via the urethra.