Diagnosing And Dealing With Interstitial Cystitis
If you have been dealing with symptoms that feel like you have had one bladder infection after another, you may have a different condition called interstitial cystitis. This condition mimics the symptoms of a plain old bladder infection, but the symptoms don’t go away after taking medication. The symptoms can also flare up if you’ve eaten certain foods or encountered stressful situations. Diagnosing and dealing with interstitial cystitis is not easy, but the condition can be managed, especially with the help of a urologist in New York.
Why Does Interstitial Cystitis Occur?
The exact cause of interstitial cystitis, often referred to as IC, is not known. Sometimes there is a family history; sometimes there is no discernable cause. There is also speculation that IC symptoms are shared by several different conditions. In other words, there may not be just one condition called IC — there may be many. You may hear the term “painful bladder syndrome” or PBS used instead of IC.
Sometimes severe stress can cause physical pain that shows up as an IC-like condition. The pain in these situations is real. However, the condition lessens considerably, or goes away, if the stressful situation is solved. IC should not be dismissed as merely a temporary result of stress, but it is worth looking at what is happening in your life to see if any situations might qualify.
Diagnosis of IC (and not the underlying cause) is usually a matter of disqualification of other conditions. Most people go through treatment for bladder infections for a few rounds with urine tests still not showing any bacteria when symptoms are happening. If this goes on for about 6 weeks or more, IC is a common diagnosis.
Upon seeing a urologist in New York, you might be given pain-relieving medication, but most treatments for IC rely on lessening symptoms long-term. These can include dietary changes as many foods, such as those that contain caffeine and theobromine, can often cause painful flare-ups. Sometimes the dietary changes are all you need to make the pain go away.
One of the more frustrating symptoms of IC is the need to urinate frequently. Your doctor may help you devise a bladder training schedule. Bladder training involves training the body to resist the urge to urinate for longer and longer times. Additional treatments include bladder distention, a relatively successful pain-relieving procedure that might interfere with how the body interprets pain signals, though doctors aren’t quite sure. Bladder instillation and other oral medications might help, too. However, each person responds differently.
If you are experiencing repeated bladder infection symptoms, you should see a urologist for a more definite diagnosis as soon as you can. The sooner you figure out what is going on, the sooner you can work on reducing symptoms and getting your life back.