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Alternative Names: Cystitis – interstitial; IC
Definition: Interstitial cystitis is chronic (long-term) inflammation of the bladder wall.Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is one of many urinary diseases. Cystitis is an inflammation or infection of the urinary bladder. When caused by germs, it’s called a urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs can be painful and annoying. They can also become a serious health problem if they spread to infect your kidneys. Antibacterial, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory herbs are often used to treat cystitis.
Your urinary system is composed of your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. All play a role in removing waste from your body. Your kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs in your upper-posterior abdomen, filter waste from your blood. Tubes called ureters carry urine from your kidneys to the bladder, where it is stored until it exits your body through the urethra. A urinary tract infection can begin when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and then begin to multiply.
Causes: Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the tissues of the bladder wall. The cause is unknown. The condition is usually diagnosed by ruling out other conditions (such as sexually transmitted disease, bladder cancer, and bladder infections).
IC is frequently misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection, and patients often go years without a correct diagnosis. On average, there is about a 4-year delay between the time the first symptoms occur and the diagnosis is made.
More than 700,000 Americans have IC. The condition generally occurs around age 30 to 40, although it has been reported in younger people. Women are 10 times more likely to have IC than men.
Most people with bladder infections develop signs and symptoms. These may include:
*A strong, persistent urge to urinate…Urinary urgency
*A burning sensation when urinating…Pain during intercourse
*Passing frequent, small amounts of urine…Urinary frequency (up to 60 times a day in severe cases)
*Blood in the urine (hematuria)
* Passing cloudy or strong-smelling urine…..Urinary discomfort
*A feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen
In young children, new episodes of bed-wetting (enuresis) may also be a sign of a UTI.
Diagnosis is made by ruling out other causes. Urine analysis, urine culture, and urine cytology tests are essential.
Usually, cystoscopy (endoscopy of bladder) and bladder biopsy are performed. The characteristic finding of interstitial cystitis during cystoscopy is pinpoint bleeding in the lining of the bladder or ulcers on the bladder wall.
In IC, the bladder does not hold as much urine as a normal bladder typically does.
A procedure called video urodynamics can reveal how much urine needs to be in the bladder before the patient feels the need to urinate.
There is no cure for IC, nor are there any standard or consistently effective treatments. Results vary from individual to individual. As long as the cause is unknown, treatment is based on trial and error until relief is found.
The usual treatment is with antibiotics. You can take a number of steps to help prevent a bladder infection.
Elmiron is the only medication taken by mouth that is specifically approved for the treatment of IC. This medicine coats the bladder like Pepto-Bismol coats the stomach.
Other medicines may include:
*Tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (amitriptyline) may relieve pain and urinary frequency
*Vistaril (hydroxyzine pamoate), an antihistamine that causes sedation helps reduce urinary frequency
*Opioid painkillers for severe pain
Other therapies include:
*Instilled medications – medicines are placed directly into the bladder. Medicines that are given this way include dimethyl sulfoxide (DMS), heparin, Clorpactin, lidocaine, doxorubicin, or bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine.
*Surgery, ranging from cystoscopic manipulation to bladder removal (cystectomy)
Bladder hydrodistention (filling bladder with fluid)
*Bladder training (using relaxation techniques to train the bladder to go only at specific times)
Physical therapy and biofeedback (may help relieve pelvic floor muscle spasms)
Some patients find that changes in their diet can help control symptoms. The idea is to avoid foods and beverages that can cause bladder irritation. Below are some of the foods that the Interstitial Cystitis Association says may cause bladder irritation.
Fava and lima beans
Most fruits except blueberries, honeydew melon, and pears
Meats that are cured, processed, smoked, canned, aged, or that contain nitrites
Nuts except almonds, cashews, and pine nuts
Cranberry juice (Note: Although cranberry juice is often recommended for urinary tract infections, it can make IC symptoms worse)
Seasonings that contain MSG
Experts suggest that you do not stop eating all these foods at one time. Instead, try eliminating one at a time to see if that helps relieve symptoms.
For additional information and support, see interstitial cystitis support groups.
Treatment results vary. Some people respond well to simple treatments and dietary changes. Others may require extensive treatments or surgery.
Chronic (long-term) pain that may cause a change in lifestyle
High costs associated with frequent medical visits
Side effects of treatments (depending on the treatment)
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of interstitial cystitis. Be sure to mention that you suspect this disorder. It is not well-recognized nor is it easily diagnosed.
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You can take steps to reduce the risk of bladder infections. Women, in particular, may benefit from the following:
Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Cranberry juice may have infection-fighting properties. However, don’t drink cranberry juice if you’re taking the blood-thinning medication warfarin (Coumadin). Possible interactions between cranberry juice and warfarin can lead to bleeding.
Urinate frequently. Avoid retaining your urine for a long time when you feel the urge to void.
Wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. Doing so prevents bacteria in the anal region from spreading to the vagina and urethra.
Take showers rather than tub baths. If you’re susceptible to infections, doing so can help prevent infections.
Gently wash the skin around the vagina and anus. Do this daily, but don’t use harsh soaps or wash too vigorously. The delicate skin around these areas can become irritated.
Empty your bladder as soon as possible after intercourse. Drink a full glass of water to help flush bacteria.
Avoid using deodorant sprays or feminine products such as douches in the genital area. These products can irritate the urethra.
UTIs can be painful, but you can take steps to ease your discomfort until antibiotics clear the infection. Sometimes a heating pad placed over your abdomen can help minimize feelings of bladder pressure or pain. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid coffee, alcohol, soft drinks with caffeine, citrus juices and spicy foods until your infection has cleared. These items can irritate your bladder and aggravate your frequent or urgent need to urinate.
Doing Pranayam daily under the guide of an expart will help a lot.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose
2 replies on “Interstitial Cystitis (IC)”
your information about cranberry and coumadin use is not correct. studies by ansell, et al and hylek, have erased the cranberry warfarin interaction.
Your information about a cranberry and warfarin interaction or increased risk of bleeding is outdated and proven to be incorrect. Studies done by Jack Ansell, Pharm D, and Elaine Hylek, Pharm D. have shown that in crossover studies there was no increase in bleeding risk in otherwise stable patients. The few studies from the UK that started this myth have been phased out. Please review more current data and make corrections on cranberry use for your visitors.