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INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS (Painful Bladder Syndrome)
Interstitial cystitis — also called painful bladder syndrome — is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by a combination of uncomfortable bladder pressure, bladder pain and sometimes pain in the pelvis, which can range from mild burning or discomfort to severe pain.
Unlike common cystitis (inflammation of the bladder caused by bacterial infection), which is associated with urinary tract infections (UTI) and usually treated with antibiotics, no infectious agent has been found in IC. Though not curable, IC is treatable and most patients find significant relief with treatment and lifestyle changes.
Interstitial cystitis is a chronic condition that affects an estimated 1 million Americans. While it can affect children and men, most of those affected are women. Interstitial cystitis can have a long-lasting adverse impact on your quality of life.
The severity of symptoms caused by interstitial cystitis often fluctuates, and some people may experience periods of remission.
To diagnose IC, diseases that cause similar symptoms must be ruled out. Urine culture and urinalysis are performed to test for bacteria and signs of infection.
A cystoscopy with hydrodistention, performed under general anesthesia, is the standard diagnostic procedure for IC. Glomerulations (tiny hemorrhages that are the telltale sign of IC) are revealed only while the bladder is distended. These hemorrhages are present in 95% of IC cases.