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Symptoms


The symptoms of IC/PBS are often misdiagnosed as a "common" bladder infection (cystitis) or a UTI. However IC/PBS has not been shown to be caused by a bacterial infection, and the mis-prescribed treatment of antibiotics is ineffective. The symptoms of IC/PBS may also initially be attributed to prostatitis and epididymitis (in men) and endometriosis and uterine fibroids (in women).

The most common symptom of IC/PBS is pain, which is found in 100% of patients, frequency (82% of patients) and nocturia (62%).

In general, symptoms are:

  • Pain that is worsened with bladder filling and/or improved with urination.
  • Pain that is worsened with a certain food or drink.
  • Urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, and pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis.
  • Some patients report dysuria (burning sensation in the urethra when urinating).
  • Some patients report waking at night to urinate, hesitancy (needing to wait for the stream to begin), pain with sexual intercourse, and discomfort and difficulty driving, travelling or working.

During cystoscopy, 5 to 10% of patients are found to have Hunner's ulcers. Far more patients may experience a very mild form of IC/PBS, in which they have no visible wounds in their bladder, yet struggle with symptoms of pain, frequency and/or urgency. Still other patients may have discomfort only in their urethra, while others struggle with pain in the entire pelvis.


Other articles from the section: Interstitial cystitis

Treatment - medication (pentosan polysulfate)

  Oral pentosan polysulfate (Elmiron) is believed to provide a protective coating in the bladder, but studies show it is not statistically significant compared to placebo. However, some studies have found that a minority of patients do respond to pentosan ...

Section: Interstitial cystitis

Causes

  The cause of IC/PBS is unknown, though several theories have been put forward (these include autoimmune, neurologic, allergic and genetic). Regardless of the origin, it is clear that the majority of IC/PBS patients struggle with a damaged urothelium, or bladder lining. When the surface glycosaminoglycan (GAG) layer is damaged (via a urinary tract infection (UTI), excessive consumption of coffee or sodas, traumatic injury, etc.), urinary chemicals can "leak" into surrounding tissues, causing pain, inflammation, and urinary ...

Section: Interstitial cystitis

Treatment - medication (bladder instillations)

  DMSO, a wood pulp extract, is the only approved bladder instillation for IC/PBS yet it is much less frequently used in urology clinics. Research studies presented at recent conferences of the American Urological Association by C. Subah Packer have demonstrated that the FDA approved ...

Section: Interstitial cystitis

News

December 20, 2009

Wii, Xbox 360 and Other Video Games Offer Some Benefits

Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation, and other video games are hot on holiday gift lists, but some parents wonder whether these games offer any benefits or are detrimental to kids. The results of a new study may put some minds at ease, ...

December 18, 2009

Should You Be Shoveling Snow?

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December 17, 2009

Athletes who take NSAID's to prevent pain may be doing more harm than good

According to Stuart Warden, a researcher who studies musculoskeletal health and sports medicine, athletes who ritualistically take NSAID's to prevent post event and workout soreness and inflammation may be depriving the body of ...