Interstitial cystitis is a disease among women that is also commonly known as painful bladder syndrome. It refers to a disease in the urinary bladder whose cause may remain unknown. The disease is characterized by pain during urination, urinary frequency as often as every 10 minutes, and pressure in the bladder or in the pelvis.
In most instances, the pain gets worse after taking certain foods or drinks. Other signs of having the disease are pelvic floor dysfunction that makes it difficult to start a urine stream, pain during sexual intercourse, and pelvic pain in just about any activity such as driving or even simply sitting at home or at the office. The pain associated with interstitial cystitis causes the woman to experience deterioration of her lifestyle.
Causes of Interstitial Cystitis
Up to this day, it has been difficult to establish with finality the real cause of the disorder. However, a lot of theories have been put forward to try to explain the beginnings of the disease. Medical practitioners refer the disease as an autoimmune disorder, as a neurological disorder, as an allergic reaction, and as a genetic disorder.
Despite the lack of clarity as to the real cause of the disorder, what is clear to experts is that most of those who have the disorder have a damaged urothelium or bladder lining. Whether it is due to excessive intake of soda or due to traumatic injury, some particles may leak into the surrounding tissues causing inflammation, pain, and urinary disorder.
Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis
In most cases of diagnosing the disease, interstitial cystitis is often diagnosed as a case of urinary tract infection. This misdiagnosis is very critical because medications for UTI are found to be ineffective against interstitial cystitis. In order to differentiate interstitial cystitis from UTI, the following symptoms of interstitial cystitis should be present:
a) Presence of pain in the pelvic region
b) Frequency of urination
c) Difficulty in sleeping
d) Frequently waking up at night to urinate. In most cases, they are hesitant to urinate, waiting first for the stream to begin.
e) Pain during sexual intercourse
f) There is a burning sensation in the urethra when urinating
g) There is pressure in the bladder or in the pelvis
h) The pain becomes worse after intake of a particular food.
Treatments for Interstitial Cystitis
The best means for treating cases of interstitial cystitis is through a patientís diet. It is suggested that a patient avoid foods that can irritate or damage the bladder wall. In this case, it will be best to avoid foods and drinks that are spicy and acidic such as alcoholic drinks, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and other fruit juices. What is needed here is just a modification of oneís diet.
Other means to treat the disorder is through massaging the transvaginal muscles to provide relief for the affected area. Treatment may also include medication such as the use of astringent instillations or silver nitrate to kill the bacteria that causes the infection.
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