WHAT IS PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME/INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS (PBS/IC)?
Painful bladder syndrome or Interstitial cystitis is defined as pain, pressure, or discomfort in the suprapubic or bladder area, which can cause urinary frequency or the abnormal urgency to urinate that has been present for at least 6 weeks. The cause of this condition is not completely understood.
SYMPTOMS OF PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME/INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS (PBS/IC)
This is a chronic bladder condition where the bladder walls become inflamed and irritated and causes the bladder to be sensitive. It tends to affect women more than men. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Symptoms include suprapubic or bladder pain, increased when the bladder is filling, frequent urination, and passing small volumes of urine.
DIAGNOSING PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME/INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS (PBS/IC)
This is a diagnosis of exclusion. That means other conditions with similar symptoms would have to be excluded by a process of elimination. These conditions include infection, cancer and other causes of inflammation e.g. radiation. Hence there are no definitive tests to diagnose painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis. The doctor may perform the following tests: urine sample and urinalysis, cystoscopy and bladder biopsy, bladder distension and imaging scans.
TREATMENTS FOR PAINFUL BLADDER SYNDROME/INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS (PBS/IC)
There is no cure for painful bladder syndrome or interstitial cystitis, however the symptoms can be managed through a series of strategies. This strategy is individualized to each patient as there is a variation in response to different treatments. Although symptoms may disappear, they typically recur days, weeks and even months later.
Treatment options include the following: Dietary modification, Lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, Pelvic floor rehabilitation, Bladder retraining, oral Medications, Bladder instillations, Bladder stretching / distension, Injection of botulinum toxin, Nerve stimulation, and lastly irreversible Surgery.