How is interstitial cystitis treated?
Although there is no cure, many people who have interstitial cystitis are able to find relief. Unfortunately, no single treatment seems to be universally effective, so finding the best treatment for you may involve a process of trial and error. Dietary changes or medications help some people. Others find relief with bladder training, physical therapy, or surgery.
Common treatments for interstitial cystitis
Common treatments for interstitial cystitis include:
- Antihistamines such as hydroxyzine (Vistaril) to reduce urinary frequency
- Bladder training to help increase the amount of urine that can be held before the urge to urinate occurs
- Fluid installation to stretch the bladder
- Insertion of medications directly into the bladder to reduce pain
- Narcotic pain relievers for severe pain
- Non-narcotic pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naprosyn (Naproxen, Aleve), or indomethacin (Indocin)
- Pentosan polysulfate sodium (Elmiron) to coat and protect the inside of the bladder
- Physical therapy and biofeedback to relieve spasms of the pelvic floor
- Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil) for the relief of pain and urinary frequency
What you can do to improve your interstitial cystitis
For some people, dietary modifications, exercise, and eliminating use of tobacco products seem to alleviate some of the symptoms of interstitial cystitis. You may be able to improve your interstitial cystitis symptoms by:
- Avoiding acidic foods and drink
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding artificial sweeteners
- Avoiding caffeinated beverages
- Avoiding carbonated beverages
- Avoiding chocolate
- Avoiding spicy foods
- Avoiding use of tobacco products
- Getting regular exercise
What are the potential complications of interstitial cystitis?
Complications of untreated interstitial cystitis can be serious. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of interstitial cystitis include:
- Decreased bladder capacity
- Permanent or chronic pain
Bladder diseases. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/bladderdiseases.html. Accessed May 31, 2011.
Interstitial cystitis. PubMed Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001508/. Accessed May 31, 2011.
What is interstitial cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is inflammation of the bladder wall unrelated to infection. With this condition you may feel pelvic pressure, discomfort or pain, and you may need to go to the bathroom frequently or urgently. For some, the symptoms are constant; for others, the symptoms come and go.... Read more about interstitial cystitis introduction
What are the symptoms of interstitial cystitis?
Symptoms of interstitial cystitis include pelvic pain, pressure or discomfort and the need to urinate urgently or frequently. Blood may occasionally be present in the urine. Over time, the bladder may not be able to hold as much urine.... Read more about interstitial cystitis symptoms
What causes interstitial cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis is inflammation of the bladder wall unrelated to infection. While the cause is not known, some experts think that an abnormality of the bladder lining or a decreased production of protective substances allows urine to irritate the bladder wall, leading to inflammation. Others suggest that it might be related to abnormalities of the immune system or to an increase in the number of cells that release chemicals related to inflammatory responses. Overactivity of nerve cells of the bladder may also play a role.... Read more about interstitial cystitis causes