This condition is commonly known as interstitial cystitis and is a chronic bladder condition that irritates or infmes the bladder. As a result there is mild to severe pain, pressure or discomfort in the bladder, pelvic or abdominal areas
The cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown and mostly attributable to an autoimmune condition. There is a defect in the lining of the bladder that allows the irritating substances from the urine to get into the bladder wall.
The symptoms of IC are varied and can range from mild to severe pain, discomfort, tenderness, pressure in the bladder, pelvic, and abdominal areas, perineum (area between anus and vagina and anus and scrotum). There is also frequency of urination, pain during intercourse, urgency, and difficulty voiding.
An important history and physical is important and common conditions such as urinary tract infection, bladder cancer need to be ruled out.
Tests that can be performed include cystoscopy to examine the lining of the bladder wall and also a biopsy.
Potassium sensitivity test: water and potassium are placed into the bladder separately. Patients with IC will have more pain with potassium than with water.
There is no one single treatment for IC. Oral medications can be used such as Elmiron to form a protective coating to the bladder wall. Bladder distention is performed to stretch out the bladder to increase its capacity.
Sacral neuromodulation (Interstim, www.medtronic.com) sends electrical currents to the sacral nerve to ease the pain and reduced the frequency and urgency.
Surgery to remove the bladder is usually the last option in patients who do not respond to any other treatments
Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic and bladder muscles. Double voiding and emptying the bladder completely can also be helpful. Biofeedback can improve bladder function by using visual or audio methods to help identify pelvic muscle pain and contractions.
Eat a healthy diet and avoid sodas, alcohol, spicy foods, acidic juices,
caffeine, tomatoes and other acidic food