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Interstitial cystitis

From Academic Kids

Interstitial cystitis (commonly abbreviated to "IC") is a urinary bladder disease of unknown cause characterised by pelvic and intense bladder pain, urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), pain with sexual intercourse, and often pain with urination. IC affects both men and women of all walks and stages of life, however it is far more common in women. Though rare over 700,000 patients in the United States alone have IC and the overall number worldwide most likely exceeds one million.

It is much more common in women (20:1) than in men. The cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, though several theories have been put forward (these include autoimmune, neuritic, allergic). The theory garnering the most current support is that of the "missing bladder lining". Normally, the bladder has an inner mucous lining. When this lining becomes damaged (for unknown reasons), urinary chemicals can "leak" into surrounding tissues causing pain and urinary symptoms. Oral medications like Elmiron and medications which are placed directly into the bladder via a catheter such as DMSO work to repair and hopefully rebuild this damaged/wounded lining, allowing for a reduction in symptoms.

Often the symptoms of IC are misdiagnosed as a "common" bladder infection (cystitis), however unlike cystitis, IC has not been conclusively proven to be a bacterial infection and the mis-prescribed treatment of antibiotics to combat IC could further harm the already sensitive/damaged bladder lining.

Treatment is oriented toward replacing the presumed missing bladder lining with medication, avoidance of bladder irritants such as dietary spices and alcohol, stress reduction, and pain management. Alternative treatments include the use of quercetin and marshmallow root tea to help fight the disease.

Many people with IC also develop other medical conditions such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Fibromyalgia, Vulvodynia, Endometriosis and chemical sensitivities.

References

  • The Interstitial Cystitis Survival Guide: Your Guide to the Latest Treatment Options and Coping Strategies ISBN 1572242108
  • Solving the Interstitial Cystitis Puzzle: A Guide to Natural Healing ISBN 0971086923
  • Solving the Interstitial Cystitis Puzzle: My Story of Discovery and Recovery ISBN 0971086915

External links

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