Based on information from the Interstitial
Diagnosis of IC
- Interstitial cystitis (IC)
is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder wall that frequently goes
- The cause of IC is unknown.
- No treatment is uniformly effective
for patients with IC.
- Although many treatments options
are available, only one treatment (Elmiron) is specifically FDA-approved to
treat the symptoms of IC.
- The majority of patients who
are properly diagnosed and treated obtain relief.
- Symptoms of IC: bladder pain,
urinary urgency, day and night frequency (up to 60 times per day), suprapubic
(lower abdominal) or perineal (area between scrotum and anus in men, or vagina
and anus in women) pain and pressure. Sexual intercourse can be painful.
- More than 700,000 Americans
- Average age of onset is 40.
- Twenty-five percent of patients
with IC are under the age of 30.
- Ninety percent of IC patients
are women, however preliminary studies of men with nonbacterial prostatitis
indicate that they may actually have IC as well.
- IC is frequently misdiagnosed
as an acute urinary tract infection (cystitis), a disorder that can be successfully
treated with antibiotics.
- A cystoscopy with hydrodistention
under general anesthesia is required to make a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis.
The bladder is distended to check for the pinpoint hemorrhages on the bladder
wall that are the hallmark of IC.
- To make a diagnosis of IC,
a number of other diseases must be ruled out, such as bladder infection, bladder
cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, neurological disorders, kidney disease,
and vaginal infections.
Treatment of IC:
Treatments that can help relieve symptoms of IC include:
- Diet modification -- Keep diet low in acidic foods, and avoid caffeine
(coffee, tea, carbonated colas) and alcohol.
- Prelief®, a dietary supplement, can help to reduce the symptoms of
IC by reducing the acids in foods and beverages.
- Stress reduction techniques, such as biofeedback and pelvic floor
- Bladder retraining, once pain is under control
- Bladder hydrodistention
- Elmiron® (pentosan polysulfate sodium) - oral medication specifically
- Other oral medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, antispasmodics,
anti-inflammatories and antihistamines
- Opioid analgesics - for severe IC pain
- DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) - medication instilled into the bladder
- Electrical nerve stimulation --
TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Surgery is a last resort
Created: 7/30/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.