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Interstitial Cystitis

Q: I was reading your article in the newspaper about interstitial cystitis and am thinking that is what I have. I have been getting urinary tract infections since I was 17 years old. I am now 22 and I get them at a rate of about 6 a year, sometimes more. Even when I am "cured" by medicine I still have lingering pain and symptoms. My pelvic pain is so bad sometimes I can't walk and overall having one makes it hard for me to function at all. Sometimes when I am sure that I have one and my initial urine sample comes back positive, after it is sent to the lab for a culture it comes back as actually being negative. Sometimes I even feel like I get one seconds after finishing a cup of coffee.

In order for it not to hurt all the time I have to drink 100 ounces of water a day. I have seen a couple of urologists and regularly see a gynecologist to rule out any other possibility.

I was just wondering if you could give me any more information on this topic that I could relay back to my doctors, since it seems that the dozen or so I have gone to with this condition can never give me a reason for them. And could you please tell me the medication that has been approved for this condition. Thank you so much.

Dr. Donnica:
I am sorry to hear of your difficulties.  You're right--it sounds as though you might have interstitial cystitis, or IC.  First, stop the coffee. Even for those without a bladder problem, caffeine is a direct bladder irritant.  Next, you can read up on IC at the Interstitial Cystitis Association website.  Please make another appointment with a urologist and ask straight out:  "Do you think I have interstitial cystitis?"  There is one FDA-approved medication for this condition called Elmiron; if your doctor thinks you have IC, you can ask if s/he thinks this medication might help you.

With best regards,
Donnica L. Moore, MD
President, DrDonnica.com


Created: 10/12/2002  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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