Interstitial cystitis is a condition in which a patient feels frequent and urgent need to urinate. It's an inflammation in the bladder that's not caused by infectious bacteria. Majority of interstitial cystitis patients are women, and most develop the condition at the age of 40. Men and children can also develop the disease, although the incidence is low.
The complications of interstitial cystitis include damage to the bladder through time. The chronic bladder inflammation can cause scarring and hardening of the bladder wall that reduces the bladder's capacity function well.
Causes of interstitial cystitis
There's no definite cause of interstitial cystitis. However, the condition is observed repeatedly among women who underwent gynecologic surgery or those who frequently experienced urinary tract infection. Researchers also found out that 70 percent of sufferers have problems in the protective layer of their bladders. The problem causes the toxins from urine to reach the bladder wall thereby irritating it and causing it to swell. Other medical scientists hypothesized about hypersensitivity of sensory nerves that triggers urination, while some say that the condition is a form of autoimmune disorder. The possibility of infection from an unknown organism and certain types of medication is also considered.
Symptoms of interstitial cystitis
Interstitial cystitis manifest differently from one sufferer to another. However, one classic symptom of interstitial cystitis is frequent and urgent need to urinate. Severe interstitial cystitis sufferers urinate as often as 60 times a day in small amounts. Patients also report pain in the perineum or the area between the scrotum and anus in men or vagina and anus in women. A burning sensation in the urethra during urination may also be felt by some patients. Some patients also report pelvic pain and pain during ejaculation.
A couple or several of the above symptoms may be experienced by one patient and the symptoms can vary from patient to patient. A single patient can also experience varying symptoms through time.
Treatment of interstitial cystitis
Since the symptoms or interstitial cystitis vary from person to person, there's no one treatment fits all for the disorder. However, most doctors prescribe a heparin-like drug, pentosan polysulfate sodium (PPS), which is similar to the bladder's protective chemical. PPS may help in repairing the bladder's lining that prevents the leaking of urine toxins into the walls of the bladder.
For pain relief, a patient may also be given ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Tricyclic antidepressant can also help relieve the symptoms not because the condition is psychological but because the drug can reduce hypersensitivity of the nerves in the bladder wall.
Natural remedies for interstitial cystitis
Interstitial cystitis sufferers are advised to remember the foods and drinks that trigger the onset of their symptoms and exclude them in their diet. The most common triggers are carbonated drinks, caffeine, citrus fruits, and foods containing vitamin C. Smoking and alcohol must also be avoided to relieve the symptoms. And bladder training, which is training oneself to urinate in determined interval and not according to the stimulus, is also helpful.
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