The bladder is a rigid, hollow organ that stores urine. The bladder expands to fill, then tells the brain it's time to urinate. In most people, this leads to an urge to urinate. Such signals combine together with interstitial cystitis and you feel the need to urinate more often than normal, often in smaller quantities of urine compared to others.
In this article, we will explain more clearly what is interstitial cystitis, its symptoms and causes, and how it can be treated.
What is interstitial cystitis?
It is a poorly understood disease that causes pelvic pain and problems passing through urine in the long run. Also known as painful bladder syndrome, or syndrome of bladder pain. This problem affects mainly people in their 30s and 40s and is more common among women.
Causes of interstitial cystitis
Though the disease does not develop, the reasons may include:
- An imbalance in the cells of the bladder wall that can cause irritation of the bladder
- The bladder is vulnerable to trauma
- Pelvic muscle dysfunction surrounding the bladder
- Autoimmune deficiency
- Genetic explanation
Interstitial cystitis symptoms
Interstitial cystitis signs and symptoms vary from patient to patient. If you have interstitial cystitis, symptoms may change over time, as they are periodically raised in response to common triggers such as menstruation, prolonged sitting, stress, exercise, and sex. Interstitial cystitis primary signs are:
- Severe pelvic discomfort (below the navel).
- Sudden, to urinate strongly.
- The urination needs to be more frequent than usual.
- Waking up for going to the toilet several times during the night.
- When the bladder is full, pain may get worse, and it can temporarily relieve urination.
- During periods of time or after eating certain foods or drinks, pain may become worse.
Symptoms often come and go in stages. You may have episodes that last days, weeks, or months where symptoms improve, followed by times when you feel pain and are worse.
Methods to reduce interstitial cystitis
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for this condition and it may be difficult to treat it, although there are a number of treatments that can be tried, there is no single treatment that works for everyone and there is disagreement about how effective some of it is. So, you might have to try multiple treatments to find one that works for you. Changes in lifestyle or drug treatments may be made:
- Reducing stress
- Do whatever helps you relax, such as exercising or regular hot baths.
- If you find that they make the symptoms worse, avoid such foods or drinks, such as alcohol.
- Stop smoking, because you can irritate the bladder with the chemicals you inhale while smoking.
- Checks how much liquid you drink.
- Try reducing the amount you drink before you go to bed.
- Take daily breaks to go to the toilet.
Tablets or capsules can be used to treat people with interstitial cystitis. These include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol and ibuprofen.
- Over-the-counter antihistamines like loratadine and cetirizine.
- Prescription-friendly strong analgesics such as amitriptyline, gabapentin and pregabalin.
- Medicines that help to relax the bladder muscles, such as tolterodine, solifenacin, or mirabegron.
- A number of Elmiron pentosan sulfonate may also help repair the lining of the bladder.
- Some drugs with a thin tube called a catheter may be injected directly into the bladder too. This form is known as bladder instillation or intra-bladder medication.
Web.archive.org. 2020. Wayback Machine. [online] Available at: <https://web.archive.org/web/20110323041336/http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines/main-reports/ic-bps/diagnosis_and_treatment_ic-bps.pdf> [Accessed 23 June 2020].
Web.archive.org. 2020. Wayback Machine. [online] Available at: <https://web.archive.org/web/20110719024153/http://www.auanet.org/eforms/elearning/core/topics/fpm-ngb-incont/cystitis-pps/assets/CLEVELAND-Interstitial%20cystitis-painful%20bladder%20syndrome.pdf> [Accessed 23 June 2020].