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
With best regards,
Donnica L. Moore, MD
Created: 10/12/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.
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