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Interstitial Cystitis - Painful Bladder Syndrome - Symptoms

There are several terms covering bladder conditions that relate to:

  • Urinary Frequency - The Need to Urinate (Every Few Minutes)
  • Urinary Urgency - The Need to Urinate at Short Notice
  • Bladder Pressure
  • Discomfort - Prior to Urination or During Urination
  • Severe Pain - Either as the Bladder Fills or Empties
  • Tenderness - in the bladder and the pelvic region

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) generally relates to a condition that causes repeated painful discomfort within the bladder and pelvic area.

Painful Bladder Syndrome (PBS) or Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS) acknowledge that there may be a number of diseases or causes that lead to bladder pain that overlap or exhibit different symptoms from Interstitial Cystitis

They should not be confused with bladder infection - cystitis as they do not seem to be caused by a bacterial infection and generally are not improved by taking antibiotics.

Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndrome - Causes

The cause of Interstitial Cystitis is not known, however the outcome seems to be damage to the bladder lining or urothelium caused by injury, infection or dietary elements such as coffee or carbonated drinks. The sensitivity of the bladder lining may have its origins in the body's autoimmune response perhaps to allergens, hereditary genetic factors or neurological associations.

The urothelium is a thin tissue membrane 2 to 5 cells thick that forms a protective barrier within the bladder to protect the outer tissues from the damaging toxic effects of urine. It must also stretch as the bladder fills while still maintaining an impervious layer

The membrane relies on a continous film, integral layer or mucous layer of glycoproteins comprising a glycan (oligosaccharide chain) and protein polypetide side chain. They are commonly referred to as GAGs (Glycosaminoglycans or Mucopolysaccharides).
If this protective layer is damaged then urine can attack the underlying tissue forming painful ulcerations and thining of the bladder wall.

Interstitial Cystitis may also be complicated by the presence of an Antipoliferative Factor (APF) that inhibits the growth and formation of the cells making up the bladder wall.

Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndrome - Control Through Diet

Diet changes can help reduce the iritants likely to adversely affect Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome. Unfortunately, the food elements that trigger symptoms vary by individual so it is important to start with a basic "safe" diet of plant carbohydrates using: potatoes, bread & rice then add additionall food elements 1 at a time over several weeks to find which foods act as triggers.

Common trigger "foods" include: Coffee, Tea, Alcoholic Beverages, Carbonated Drinks, Fruit Juice Concentrates and certain vitamins or patassium-rich foods.

Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndrome - Medical Treatments

Medical Control of the underlying symptoms of Interstitial Cystitis and Painful Bladder Syndromes generally involves a varied treatment approach:-

  • Provide Bladder Coating To Assist or Replace The Glycoprotein Mucous Layer (GAG)
  • Use Anti-Histamines To Control Allergy Response and Mast Cell Activity

Medical-Surgical intervention to stretch the bladder has given a degree of pain relief although this only lasts a few months at best.
These treatments help alleviate symptoms but do not offer a cure for Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome




 

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