The Difference Between Common Cystitis and Interstitial Cystitis

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The Difference Between Common Cystitis and Interstitial Cystitis Powered By Docstoc
					Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is the chronic inflammation of the bladder wall and is most
common in women although men and children can suffer from it. Unlike cystitis, IC is
not caused by bacteria and cannot be treated with antibiotics as common cystitis is.
  We know that chronic pelvic pain is often caused by more than one problem. If you
treat only one cause, the condition does not improve so it is vital to get to the bottom
of what is causing the inflammation before treatment commences. Doctors often
misdiagnose this condition due to a general lack of awareness surrounding the
diagnosis and treatment of IC. Women are diagnosed again and again with urinary
tract infections and while they are treated for this, their IC only worsens.
  The latest research suggests that 3 million women have IC and they experience
constant discomfort in the bladder. The symptoms are usually described by women as
something akin to the worst urinary tract infection they have experienced
accompanied by burning pains whenever the bladder needs to be emptied which can
be a necessity up to 60 times a day in certain cases! Early on in the condition, the
frequency in the need to urinate is sometimes the only symptom and pain and pressure
can coincide with this sense of urgency. Pain will be felt in the abdominal, vaginal or
urethral areas and is often experienced during sexual intercourse.
  In order to diagnose this condition correctly, urine will firstly be tested for bacteria
to rule out a urinary tract infection and secondly a cytoscope will be used to examine
the bladder. A biopsy may need to be taken from the bladder to make sure that cancer
is not the cause of discomfort.
  Symptoms of common cystitis should not be confused with IC. With cystitis the
urine will appear cloudy and foul smelling. A urine test will reveal the presence of
bacteria and a burning pain will be experienced upon urination. Pain will not be
experienced as the bladder fills and bouts of cystitis will last no longer than a few
  There is no known cure for IC. A combination of treatments and changes in lifestyle
might need to be adopted before symptoms have disappeared. Acidic foods, fizzy
drinks, tomatoes, spices, sweeteners and citric acid will have an effect on the increase
in severity of the symptoms. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of bladder cancer
and interestingly, people who smoke with IC find that the symptoms are worse when
they are smoking. Bladder training will help to prevent the frequency with which one
needs to urinate. Physical therapy can serve to relax pelvic floor muscular spasms and
finally, a TENS machine can be used to transmit electrical pulses to the body thus
increasing blood flow to the bladder, strengthening muscles and influencing the
release of hormones which impede pain. Much research needs to be carried out so that
we may better understand Interstitial Cystitis but until then, there are ways of
managing the condition. The best treatment is a correct diagnosis and the sooner this
happens the better.
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