Are you experiencing pain in the bladder or bladder pressure? Are you experiencing frequent urge to urinate? If yes, you might be suffering from interstitial cystitis. And, if you are wondering what is a discomforting condition exactly is, what its causes are, and how you can treat it effectively, think no further. Keep reading to learn all about it.
What is Interstitial Cystitis?
This is a condition affecting the urinary bladder wherein the person experiences pain in the lower abdomen with urgency and frequent desire to pass the urine. This is a chronic condition that often lasts from months to years. Females are more likely to get this discomforting condition than males. It resembles a urinary tract infection.
What Causes Interstitial Cystitis?
The exact cause responsible for interstitial cystitis is not yet known. However, there are certain theories proposed that could cause interstitial cystitis.
- Damage to the interstitium: The damage to the inner lining of the urinary bladder. This causes the toxic components of urine to irritate the underlying bladder walls and hence the symptoms.
- Autoimmune condition: An autoimmune condition is when the body’s immune system cells mistakenly identify healthy cells in the body as harmful and attack them.
- Allergy: It could be due to allergy
- Associated Disorders: It could be associated with disorders, such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
- Changes in the way the nerves carry the sensation from the bladder to the brain.
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What Are the Symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis and How is It Different From a Urinary Tract Infection?
The intensity of symptoms could vary from time to time. There are times when the symptoms are severe, while, at other times, the patient is symptom-free. For some patients, the pain could be continuous.
The symptoms of interstitial cystitis include:
- Varying pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen. The intensity of the pain may vary from person to person, and, for some people, it could be so severe that it can affect their daily routine. The pain is typically present in the lower abdomen or the pelvic area.
- There is a frequent urge to pass the urine even though the bladder is not full. The patient passes a small quantity of urine at a time during the day as well as night.
- Females may experience the pain between the anus and vagina, and males could experience the pain between the perineum and scrotum.
- The patient experiences discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen as the bladder gets full.
- Sexual intercourse could be painful.
The symptoms are very similar to urinary tract infections. However, a person with a urinary tract infection will not experience pain during intercourse and will have a fever along with it. Also, the symptoms subside after the course of prescribed medicines. This, however, is not true for patients with interstitial cystitis.
Complications of Interstitial Cystitis:
Interstitial cystitis greatly affects the quality of life of the person both physically as well as mentally.
- Reduced work output and productivity: It may affect work and productivity adversely. The pain and frequency of urination may affect the work output and productivity of the person.
- Disturbed, unrefreshing sleep: Sleep is affected as the patient has to wake up often to empty the bladder. This may affect the patient’s functioning for the next day.
- Reduced Social Life: It affects the social life of the person since the constant desire to urinate prevents the patient from going for outings, social functions, etc.
- Adverse Psychological Impact: The pain and frequent urination could affect the person psychologically causing low self-image, anxiety about one’s health, and depression. Since sex is painful, it affects intimacy with the partner.
How is Interstitial Cystitis Diagnosed?
Your doctor will take a detailed history of the condition, its onset, symptoms, and progress of the condition.
He may suggest you Urine tests to rule out the possibilities of infection.
Further, he may recommend an ultrasound and a cystoscopy to visualize the interior of the bladder. He may take the samples of the tissue inside the bladder during cystoscopy.
What is the Treatment for Interstitial Cystitis?
Conventional treatment for interstitial cystitis involves symptomatic treatment through lifestyle changes, medicines, and physiotherapy. He may further recommend nerve stimulation, bladder distension, and medicine instillation in the urinary bladder
All these techniques help to improve the symptoms of Interstitial cystitis.
Surgery is the last resort where the pain is severe and the patient is not responding to any of the treatment mentioned above.
Living with Interstitial Cystitis
- The patients with interstitial cystitis often notice that certain food items aggravate their symptoms. Hence, it is advised to maintain a food diary.
- Some of the food items known to cause irritation of the bladder and increase the symptoms include citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolates, and diuretics like smoking, tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks.
- Stress aggravates the symptoms hence practice stress-relief techniques, breathing, and meditation.
Homeopathic Medicines for Interstitial Cystitis.
Homeopathic medicines have a positive effect on the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. These medicines not just help to relieve the pain and frequency of urination, but also help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with it. The medicines are selected based on a detailed case study of the patient.
Below are a few commonly indicated medicines for interstitial cystitis.
- Cantharis: This medicine has a special affinity to the urinary system. Irritation of the urinary bladder, cutting pain before, during, and after the urination, intolerable urge for passing urine, constant desire to pass the urine, scalded sensation when passing the urine, and urine passes in drops indicate Cantharis. When the urine is jelly-like, in the form of shreds, backache occurs with the desire for urination, the condition of the patient turns worse after drinking cold water and coffee, this remedy is recommended.
- Equisetum: When the patient experiences a dull pain and fullness in the region of the bladder, which is not relieved even on passing the urine, this medicine may help. Frequent urge to pass the urine with pain at the end of urination, the urine flows drop by drop, cutting pain in the urethra, and incontinence of urine in children and old women indicate this medicine.
- Copaiva: Constant desire to pass the urine, which smells like violets, burning sensation and pressure in the bladder, and the flow of the urine in drops indicate Copaiva. This remedy is effective in treating patients experiencing retention of the urine with the pain in the bladder, rectum, and anus.
- Dulcamara: When the patient is sensitive to the cold and experiences catarrh of the bladder after being exposed to the cold, this remedy may help. Desire to urinate on getting cold and urine comprising thick sediments of pus and mucus indicate this medicine. This medicine is beneficial for treating the patients living or working in damp cold basements. The medicine acts best in the season where the days are hot and nights are cold.
I hope this article gives you an idea about interstitial cystitis. In case you have further queries, you may write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 91 22 66888888. We shall be glad to answer your queries.