Interstitial Cystitis

hope for a painful bladder syndrome

Many women suffer from a very painful Urological disorder called Interstitial Cystitis. In addition to being painful, it is often difficult to diagnose and treat. Dr. Christi has successfully faced the challenge of treating Interstitial Cystitis for many patients with innovative treatments. There is hope.

What is Interstitial Cystitis?

Interstitial Cystitis (IC) is a painful bladder syndrome. Patients experience pain as the bladder fills up, resulting in more frequent bathroom visits.

The average time to diagnose IC is approximately 2 years, because it mimics recurrent bladder infections. Many patients are given antibiotic after antibiotic, but they never improve.

What causes Interstitial Cystitis?

We do not fully understand what causes IC, but we do know that it involves increased pain signals on the nerves and an increased histamine response in the bladder wall. Often, there is a food sensitivity related to IC, and dietary changes can be very helpful.

There are two types of IC. One type is bladder-centric, and often this type includes an ulcer in the bladder.

The second type of IC is related to other conditions in the body that cause widespread pain, such as fibromyalgia, IBS and migraines. It is important to address these conditions as well.

How does Dr. Christi treat Interstitial Cystitis?

Dr. Christi will evaluate you and discuss with you the best path forward. She has developed an Interstitial Cystitis Pathway with many treatment options that can be tailored to your symptoms and needs. Sometimes a cystoscopy is needed to look for ulcers. Patients find success with many different treatments:

    1. Dietary changes. This is very important, because most patients have at least one triggering food or beverage. The biggest culprits are coffee, soda, tomatoes, citrus and spicy foods.
    2. Stress reduction. While stress may not cause the condition, it definitely worsens it.
    3. Physical therapy. A specialized pelvic floor physical therapist can work with you to relieve the pain and resolve muscle spasm issues.
    4. Muscle relaxants for the pelvic floor muscles around the bladder
    5. Herbal supplements and acupuncture. While not mainstream, Dr. Christi has seen enough patients improve with these treatments that she does recommend them.
    6. Prescription medications
    7. Bladder instillations (putting medicine directly in the bladder to heal it)
    8. Interstim therapy
    9. Bladder or pelvic floor Botox
    10. Urine DNA testing to look for evidence of bacteria in the bladder that normal testing does not detect.

This is a tough condition to diagnose, but Dr. Christi is ready to work with you to find your solution. Call our office at 281.717.4003 for a consultation.