Often asked: What Does Interstitial Cystitis Feel Like?

Interstitial Cystitis

Patients with IC/BPS usually try different treatments (or combinations of treatments) until they find one that works for them. It is important to communicate with your health care provider about how your treatments are working so that you can find the best treatment option together.

First Phase: Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet or practicing methods that may help control your symptoms, are often the first treatments used to manage IC/BPS. While lifestyle changes do not always eliminate all symptoms, they do help many patients have fewer symptoms.

Manipulative Physical Therapy

Kegel exercises should be avoided by people with IC/BPS because they weaken the pelvic floor muscles.

Limiting Stress

Patients are encouraged to devise coping mechanisms to deal with family, work, and/or previous traumatic experiences.

Limiting Certain Foods and Drinks

Foods that irritate the bladder in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IC/BPS) include the following four:. Other foods that irritate the bladder in many patients include alcoholic drinks and spicy food.

Elimination Diet

The simplest way to determine whether any foods bother your bladder is to try an “elimination diet.” After 1 to 2 weeks on the elimination diet, try eating 1 food from the IC/BPS food list.

Second Phase: Prescription Drugs

Oral and intravesical prescription drugs are the two most common types of drugs used to treat IC/BPS. Intravesical prescription drugs are inserted directly into the bladder via a catheter. Oral prescription drugs come in a variety of forms, with side effects ranging from drowsiness to stomach upset.

Oral Pentosan Polysulfate

No one knows how this drug works, but it builds and restores the protective coating of the bladder tissue; possible side effects include nausea, diarrhea, and gastric distress; and it works in about 30 out of every 100 patients to relieve pain.

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Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)

The other FDA-approved treatment is a catheter-based injection of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) into the bladder. While no one knows exactly how DMSO helps interstitial cystitis, it may reduce swelling, relieve pain, and remove toxins that can harm tissue.


The only antihistamines specifically studied for IC/BPS are hydroxyzine and cimetidine; the main side effect is drowsiness, which may be a benefit because it helps the patient sleep better at night.

How long do IC attacks last?

Interstitial cystitis (IC)/bladder pain syndrome (BPS) is a chronic bladder health issue characterized by pain and pressure in the bladder area, as well as lower urinary tract symptoms that have lasted for more than 6 weeks without a clear cause such as infection.

What does an inflamed bladder feel like?

A bladder infection can cause pain or burning when urinating, as well as an urgent need to urinate and pain or tenderness in the abdomen.

How do you test for interstitial cystitis?

Doctors use a cystoscope, a tubelike instrument, to look inside the urethra and bladder for bladder ulcers, cancer, swelling, redness, and signs of infection. A cystoscopy can also be used to diagnose interstitial cystitis (IC).

What kind of pain does interstitial cystitis cause?

Interstitial cystitis (in-tur-STISH-ul sis-TIE-tis) is a chronic condition that causes bladder pressure, bladder pain, and sometimes pelvic pain, ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain. It is part of the painful bladder syndrome spectrum of diseases.

What is IC belly?

Bloating or swelling of the abdomen (also known as “IC belly”) is a common complaint among people with IC, and excess gas and distention of the abdomen can exacerbate IC symptoms. Bloating can be caused by a variety of factors, according to research.

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How do you calm an interstitial cystitis flare up?

Here are some general self-help techniques to help you keep your bladder calm and reduce the risk of a flare-up:

  1. Try relaxation techniques.
  2. Use meditation tapes and/or visualization.
  3. Learn self-hypnosis.
  4. Get massages or learn how to do it yourself.
  5. Attend psychotherapy to learn coping skills and stress reduction techniques.

Does bladder inflammation go away?

Dietary modification u2014 Caffeinated beverages, alcohol, citrus fruits, spicy foods, and chocolate are just a few of the foods that some people find aggravate interstitial cystitis.

How can you tell the difference between UTI and Interstitial Cystitis?

The Difference Between a UTI and IC u201cUrine culture results will be negative in women who have interstitial cystitis, meaning no bacteria are found in the urine as with a urinary tract infection.u201d Women with IC may also experience pain during sexual intercourse, a symptom not commonly associated with a UTI.

How long does it take for the bladder lining to heal?

The bladder usually takes at least 10 days to heal.

How do you rule out interstitial cystitis?

The following symptoms may aid in the diagnosis of interstitial cystitis:

  1. Medical history and bladder diary.
  2. Pelvic exam.
  3. Urine test.
  4. Cystoscopy.
  5. Biopsy.
  6. Urine cytology.
  7. Potassium sensitivity test.
  8. Potassium sensitivity test.

What triggers cystitis?

Cystitis can also be caused by damage to the urethra or bladder, as well as other factors.

  • Chemical irritants, such as those found in perfumed soap or bubble bath.
  • Damage to your bladder caused by a catheter or surgery.
  • Radiotherapy to your pelvis or treatment with certain chemotherapy medicines.
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What is the best medication for interstitial cystitis?

Oral drugs Amitriptyline is the most commonly prescribed medication for interstitial cystitis, and Elmiron is the only FDA-approved oral drug for the condition. It improves the bladder lining, making it less leaky and thus less inflamed and painful.

What is end stage interstitial cystitis?

End Stage (Severe) IC About 5% of IC patients have symptoms that last longer than two years, and 5% of these patients have end stage disease, which is defined as a hard bladder with low capacity and excruciating pain, with many of these patients also having Hunner’s ulcers.

Can you get disability for interstitial cystitis?

Interstitial cystitis (also known as bladder pain syndrome) can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, and the Social Security Administration recognizes this by providing benefits to people who are disabled and unable to work due to interstitial cystitis.

Is IC an autoimmune disease?

Interstitial cystitis ( IC ) is an autoimmune condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder, as well as a frequent and urgent need to urinate.

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