The exact cause of interstitial cystitis (IC) remains a mystery and there is not a cure, but there are effective treatments for offering relief and controlling many of the symptoms. It definitely has a food connection aggravating symptoms.
Many people with interstitial cystitis experience periods of time when symptoms are mild or non-existent, that alternate with periods of time when symptoms are bothersome or even severe (called flares). It is not always clear why flares develop. However, the following triggers may worsen symptoms in some people.
Certain conditions like bladder or vaginal infections, endometriosis or gastrointestinal problems like inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, and certain activities, such as sex, prolonged sitting or riding a bike
as well as certain foods and beverages, including spicy or acidic foods, alcohol and coffee.
Your bladder is a hollow, muscular organ that expands and stores urine until it’s full. Then it signals your brain that it’s time to urinate, communicating through the pelvic nerves. This creates the urge to urinate for most people. With interstitial cystitis, these signals get mixed up and you feel the need to urinate more often and with smaller volumes of urine than most people.
The first thing we will do right in the office is a non-invasive urine test to rule out a bladder infection. If none is present, we will provide a rescue treatment of Saline, Sodium Bicarbonate and lidocaine. This is a liquid medication that is instilled into the bladder through a temporary catheter. If you have interstitial cystitis, it works in 5 minutes and we will have you not urinate for 3 hours after leaving the office.
This treatment may be used as a single “rescue” treatment, when symptoms are severe. Patients often experience relief within 1-2 hours. A series of 1-6 treatments is given weekly depending on severity of symptoms.
However, anytime you have a flare, after eating out or new exotic food, we can see you immediately same day or next day when the office is open. No reason to go to urgent care or an emergency room. Call us first even after hours.
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