Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition where the patient experiences pressure and pain on the bladder and pelvic areas, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain. Also called painful bladder syndrome, the patient will feel the need to urinate frequently, although little urine will be released. This condition affects women more often than men.
The symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis include:
While these symptoms are similar to a urinary tract infection, this condition is not caused by a bacterial infection and is not treatable with antibiotics. A doctor should be consulted when the symptoms are chronic or disrupting your life.
Unfortunately, there is no simple treatment for interstitial cystitis, and a number of approaches may be necessary. Some patients benefit from physical therapy others may find relief with medication. A variety of medications ranging from NSAIDs and antihistamines to tricyclic antidepressants may be helpful. The FDA has approved a drug called Pentosan (Elmiron) specifically for interstitial cystitis, but it could take 2-6 months to be fully effective. Dr. Alexander may suggest nerve stimulation to relieve pain. Bladder distention performed with a cystoscope has helped some patients as well.
You should write down a list of your symptoms and questions that you have about your condition. Make a list of any medications, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. Be prepared to talk to the doctor in detail about your urination habits. It might seem embarrassing, but the doctor will need as much information from you as possible to correctly diagnose and treat your condition.
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