5 Facts About Interstitial Cystitis and 5 Tips To Help With Symptoms
Interstitial Cystitis (IC) (aka Painful Bladder Syndrome) is a condition in which patients experience bladder pressure, discomfort or pain that can be associated with frequent and urgent urination and a burning sensation during bladder emptying.
Here are some facts about Interstitial Cystitis:
1. The cause of Interstitial cystitis (IC) is unknown however many factors may play a role. One of the theories speculates that patients with IC may have defects in the protective lining of the bladder allowing toxic substances in urine to irritate the bladder wall.
2. Symptoms of IC usually resembles that of a bladder infection however Urine Analysis is often free of bacteria.
3. Significant portion of IC patients may be misdiagnosed as recurring bladder infections and receive multiple course of antibiotic therapy without help before they are diagnosed with IC.
4. The average patient with IC often sees multiple physicians and suffers from IC symptoms for multiple years before the correct diagnosis of IC is finally reached and treated by a specialist.
5. IC symptoms may flare up due to changes in diet, sexual intercourse, bladder infection and / or bladder instrumentation (e.g. placing a catheter in the bladder).
Five Tips To Help With IC:
The following are general tips to help with IC symptoms. These are not meant to be a medical advice. Please contact your physician prior to any dietary changes or using any medications or supplements including over the counter ones.
1. Dietary modifications are very important in controlling IC symptoms. Avoidance of caffeine and acidic juices and foods often helps. A more detailed bladder diet list is available online (www.ichelp.org)
2. Avoid Kegel’s exercises which can worsen pelvic floor pain.
3. Avoid Cranberry Juice and / or tablets. Cranberry can be helpful in bladder infections however it can make IC symptoms worse.
4. The use of over the counter medications such as AZO may help if there are no other health conditions to prevent its usage. The use of over the counter supplements like Prelief prior to meals may help reduce the chance of an IC flare up due to acidic foods. Please contact your physician prior to using any of the above.
5. In general there is no single treatment exists to help with IC symptoms. Patients may need to try a combination of multiple treatments before they experience relief of symptoms. Seeing a specialist who treats IC is very important. A specialist would offer you multiple advanced options to get quick relief of symptoms and restore your quality of life. Please note that not all specialists treats IC.
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