What is it?
Interstitial cystitis is a condition of the bladder wall that causes symptoms of pelvic pain, urinary frequency and urgency. It is often misdiagnosed as other urologic or gynecologic conditions, but does not resolve with the treatments for these conditions. Often a diagnosis of exclusion, interstitial cystitis can cause or coexist with insomnia, anxiety, and depression as well as interruption of day-to-day activities.
• A chronic, sometimes debilitating genitourinary condition that does not resolve with treatment for another disorder
• Under-diagnosed, particularly in men
• 90% of patients are female
• Can impact quality of life
• Discomfort can range from mild to severe
• Many patients find that dietary elimination of bladder irritants helps their symptoms
How do we treat it?
Interstitial cystitis is really “leaky bladder” – a condition that allows irritants to penetrate the bladder wall and cause symptoms. While the organ affected is the bladder in this case, we treat it similarly to other “functional” conditions such as asthma, eczema, and irritable bowel syndrome. This work includes fortifying the lining of the bladder with appropriate remedies to create a proper barrier so that irritants cannot penetrate the tissue. We also work with each patient to identify dietary and other triggers that may be exacerbating their condition. Overall, we develop a plan for long-term healing of the bladder mucosa, as well as an acute plan for treatment of symptoms involved in flare ups of this challenging diagnosis.